Mercury's Rising: The XX, Villagers, Laura Marling and Foals Lead Doubling of Album Sales

Music and entertainment retailer HMV has tracked the demand for this year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize nominated albums – comparing yesterday's post-awards combined sales (on CD and download) with Wednesday last week, and found that these have more than doubled (105%). 

This compares favourably with the lift evident following the 2009 event, won by Speech Da Belle and her album Speech Therapy, which measured just 15% for all of last year's nominated albums combined.

This year's surge has undoubtedly been led by winners The XX, whose self-titled debut album was up 448% yesterday – the first full day after Tuesday night's awards ceremony, compared to Wednesday last week. The figure is impressive coming off the back of relatively high sales in recent weeks, and the band are now set to climb back into the top 5 of the official UK album chart this weekend from their current no. 16 position.

The other big winners from this year's event are Irish act Villagers, which has seen sales of its acclaimed album Becoming A Jackal rise by 333% and are now poised to re-enter the charts just outside the top 50; twice-nominated Laura Marling, whose I Speak Because I Can has picked up by 227% – and is set to move into the top 50 having been placed no.136 in last week's chart; and Oxford band Foals, whose Total Life Forever has lifted 225%, and is set to rise to no.53 from its no.98 position last week. Jazz act Kit Downes has seen a remarkable 773% pick up in sales of their album Golden, but it should be remembered that it starts from a very low sales base, so any increase is bound to look dramatic – and, in fact, the album is set to remain outside of the official UK top 200 albums chart when the new run-down is announced on Sunday.

Artists such as Mumford & Sons and Biffy Clyro are still set to remain in the top 10, however, but because they have been selling in very substantial quantities in recent weeks following their appearances at the Reading/Leeds festival, they have experienced a less pronounced Mercury effect, though it should be noted that in actual terms they are only being outsold by The XX.

HMV Music Manager John Hirst comments: “Few commentators would dispute that the Mercurys have been a great success this year or would challenge the judges choice of the The XX, and going by this very healthy increase in overall album sales, it looks like the music-buying public agree. It's also interesting that along with The XX, it's been the likes of Villagers, Laura Marling and Foals that have enjoyed the biggest lift in demand – all acts that by general consent gave brilliant performances on the night.

HMV has produced its own chart for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2010 nominees ranked in terms of the acts that gained most from their participation in this year's event. This has been weighted to take into account – 1. the lift in sales on the previous week, 2. actual sales and 3. the resulting likely moves in chart position.

Artist / Album Rise in sales%

1. The XX / The XX (448%)

2. Villagers / Becoming A Jackal (333%)

3. Laura Marling / I Speak Because I Can (227%)

4. Foals / Total Life Forever (225%)

5. I Am Kloot / Sky At Night (101%)

6. Wild Beasts / Two Dancers (217%)

7. Mumford & Sons / Sigh No More ( 6%)

8. Biffy Clyro / Only Revolutions ( 27%)

9. Corinne Bailey Rae / The Sea (211%)

10. Paul Weller / Wake Up The Nation ( 32%)

11. Kit Downes / Golden (733%)

12. Dizzee Rascal / Tongue n Cheek ( 18%)

Total combined % increase. (105%)

Contact: Gennaro Castaldo
Phone: 020 7432 2033 / 07801 194 139
Email: gennaro.castaldo@hmv.co.uk
Website: http://www.hmv.co.uk