The Killers' Day & Age has won the first big chart battle of late 2008.
The Killers' album third album Day & Age has gone straight to Number 1 in the UK this Sunday (28 November) ahead of Guns N' Roses' long-awaited Chinese Democracy.
Initial reports from the UK industry suggest Day & Age sold over 200,000 copies in one week, to Guns N' Roses 150,000.
In any other week this year, Guns N' Roses' impressive sales would have taken them straight to Number 1. To compare, The Verve's fourth album, Forth, debuted at Number 1 in the UK on first-week sales of just over 70,000 in September 2008.
But the final quarter before Christmas accounts for approximately 40% of UK album sales of the calendar year, hence the tight battle.
Despite strong sales for both The Killers and Guns N' Roses this week, the CD sales market is still in sharp decline. Analysts predict that 2008 will boast both the worst-ever sales fall in the history of the CD.
CD unit sales this quarter will fall an estimated 27% from 2007, according to Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield. "Q408 is shaping up to be the worst decline in the history of the CD," he says. The previous biggest decline was in the first quarter of 2007, when sales fell 21%.
This week in the UK, it's Britney Spears vs Take That in the album chart. But MusicRadar isn't quite so intrigued by that one…