Arctic Monkeys sets record on UK debut

Updated on Jan 25, 2006 02:21 PM IST

The Sheffield rockers' first album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not gets rave reviews in UK.

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None | ByReuters, London

The Arctic Monkeys, who first built a loyal following on the Internet, are now set to have the fastest-selling debut album since chart records began in Britain.

The Sheffield rockers have already had two number one singles and critics are showering the quartet with accolades. They were nominated on Tuesday for four top prizes at next month's NME awards.

Their first album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not sold more than 100,000 copies on day one, and is currently outselling the rest of the top 20 albums combined.

"The Arctic Monkeys have connected with the mainstream in one leap," said Gennaro Castaldo at music and books retailer HMV Plc. "This is an outstanding figure as January is a quiet time of the year for sales."

He said sales could top 350,000 by the end of the week.

The British record for the fastest-selling debut album is currently held by talent-show group Hearsay's debut Popstars which sold 306,631 in its first week in March 2001.

Damian Peachey of Web site declined to give exact sales figures but said: "We sold more Arctic Monkeys albums on day one than we did for Franz Ferdinand in the whole of their first week.

"The Arctic Monkeys were outselling Richard Ashcroft, who is next on our charts, by four to one," he told Reuters. "This has been very much word of mouth."

The group played their first gigs in 2003, handing out their demos to fans who posted them on a website.

They signed with the independent label Domino, whose last major big breakthrough act was Franz Ferdinand.

Now the Arctic Monkeys are battling with fellow nominees Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Oasis and Franz Ferdinand to be named Best British Band at the NME Awards on February 23.

They have also been nominated in the categories of Best New Band, Best Live Band and Best Live Track for I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor.

NME assistant editor Malik Meer said: "Contrary to all the rumours and myths and panics about the record industry going into meltdown because of music online, it has had the opposite effect.

"The fact that they have had two number one singles means they are not just for a core of obsessive fans. This is good old honest rock 'n'roll, which we have been lacking lately," he told this agency.

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