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In music, cold names, hot sales

The Guardian reports,

Official 2006 music sales figures released yesterday showed that British artists are dominating the charts to an extent not seen since Geri Halliwell was wearing a union flag and Noel Gallagher was taking tea at No 10.

. . .Sheffield's Arctic Monkeys led the way with their Mercury Music Prize-winning Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not, the fastest-selling debut of all time.

. . .Snow Patrol took more than 10 years to find mainstream success with 2003's Final Straw. Their latest album, Eyes Open, was an even bigger hit, selling more than 1.5m copies during 2006. . .

Music industry observers said the eclectic nature of the list was evidence of the way in which digital downloads had changed music-buying habits, with consumers choosing from a wider range of acts after sampling their music online.

Having sampled, they bought British.

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