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Third Quarter U.K. Sales: CBS Leads

LONDON — CBS stays top of both the singles and albums sectors in the third quarter analysis of sales returns from the 250 retail panel shops from which Gallup compiles the British charts. But the gap between CBS and its nearest competitors has narrowed considerably compared with the previous three months.

In the singles division for the July-September period, CBS is on top with 15.4% of the corporate chart action, compared to the 13.9% of WEA and the 11.2% of RCA. The second quarter figures had CBS ahead by 16.5%, compared to the 9.8% and 9.7% of Island and Virgin respectively.

Top singles label for the quarter was Epic (9.6%), with Motown at 8% and ZZT/Island at 6.6%.

Top chart performers in singles during the three months were, in order: “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” Stevie Wonder (Motown); “Careless Whisper,” George Michael (Epic); “Two Tribes,” Frankie Goes To Hollywood (ZZT/Island); “Agadoo,” Black Lace (Flair); and “Relax,” Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Top three artists were Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Stevie Wonder and George Michael. Singles statistics combine both seven and 12-inch formats.

In the albums division, which also takes in prerecorded cassettes, CBS is the leader for the quarter with 15.4% of the chart action, compared to the 15.2% of EMI and the 9.8% of WEA. In the previous quarter, CBS was on top with 14.7%, compared to the 12.8% of EMI and RCAs third-place 9.9% tally.

Leading albums in the three-month survey were, in order: “Now Thats What I Call Music III,” Various Artists (EMI/Virgin); “Legend,” Bob Marley & the Wailers (Island); “Diamond Life,” Sade (Epic); “Cant Slow Down,” Lionel Richie (Motown); and “Private Dancer,” Tina Turner (Capitol). The top three album artists were Queen, Bob Marley and Sade.

CBSs double-topper status was achieved mainly through Whams George Michael and his solo single, as well as the success of Sade, Michael Jackson and Billy Joel, plus the various-artists packages “American Heartbeat” and “Footloose.”

In the third quarter chart analysis last year, CBS topped the singles sector with 14.5%, followed by Virgins 10.3% and WEAs 8.6%. The album breakdown of a year ago was CBS (17.4%), EMI (11.3%) and WEA (9.8%).