Royals Besieged: Demand outstrips supply for tribute record

Demand for the Elton John song "Candle In the Wind" continued to outstrip supply yesterday as the number of copies pressed and distributed worldwide reached eight million.

The single, which set a record by reaching the top of the British charts on its first day of sale, was disappearing off shelves as fast as stock arrived.

It also became the first-ever single to go on sale in Israel. Until now the country's relatively small music-buying population meant singles were not viable and the music market was exclusively albums.

But music industry executives decided that the tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, which is tipped to become the biggest-selling single of all time, was so big that its people should also be given the chance to buy it.

Mercury Records said manufacturers have now pressed enough copies to meet Britain's 1.5 million advance orders - but the re-orders have started to roll in. More singles will be manufactured and shipped today.

Elton John himself has refused to take the credit for the demand and vowed never to perform the song again because it would be "milking" the tragedy.