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Tuesday, 7 November, 2000, 18:28 GMT
Westlife ahead in album battle
Westlife group shot
Westlife have sold nearly 60,000 copies of their album
Irish pop stars Westlife are in the lead in the race for the number one album spot - outselling rivals the Spice Girls by three to one.

The five lads, who are already top of the singles chart this week, sold 59,000 copies of Coast To Coast on its first day in the shops.

The Spice Girls shifted around only 20,781 copies of their third album Forever, unofficial midweek sales showed.

Spice Girls group shot
The Spice Girls hope their third album, Forever, will be number one
However, chart experts point out even if Westlife are victorious, they will soon be outflanked by The Beatles, who release their greatest hits album, 1, next week.

And the Spice Girls will not lose out in the long run because their album should be a consistent seller over time.

Gennaro Castaldo, of retail chain HMV, said: "Westlife's position is looking fairly unassailable. Their fans have gone out to buy it from day one.

"The Spice Girls fans seem to be taking their time, but it is one of those albums which will sell well over the coming months.

"They may pull back a little later in the week, but it looks pretty certain that Westlife will continue their run of triumphs."

Westlife launched their sales push with a massive signing session this week, boasting that the Spice Girls were no match for them.

Westlife fans
Westlife are on a massive sales push
Bryan McFadden said: "Our album is better than theirs."

"Their first two albums, people loved them but now they're just trying to be Destiny's Child, or TLC or something. They just don't have it any more."

In the singles battle, three boy bands are competing for the top spot, which will be announced on Sunday.

A1 are in lead so far, having sold 15,656 copies of Same Old Brand New You sold, while Westlife's, My Love, stands at 14,707.

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See also:

06 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Westlife gun for Spice Girls
07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Spice Girls toast third album
24 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Westlife break own record
06 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Westlife: Pretenders to Beatles' throne?
29 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Spice Girls make pop history
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