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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September 2004, 20:35 GMT 21:35 UK
Westlife top first download chart
Westlife playing in Belfast last November
Westlife re-released Flying Without Wings for the occasion
A re-released song by Irish boyband Westlife has topped the UK's first official music download chart.

The most popular tracks downloaded from legal UK sites - including iTunes, OD2, mycokemusic.com and Napster - are to be counted down on BBC Radio 1 each week.

Westlife's Flying Without Wings - a 1999 track reissued for the occasion - was named number one on Wednesday.

The chart - overseen by the same body as the singles chart - will operate alongside the traditional top 40.

1 Flying Without Wings - Westlife
2 Blazin' Day - Blazin' Squad
3 She Will Be Loved - Maroon 5
4 Lola's Theme - Shapeshifters
5 American Idiot - Green Day
6 This Love - Maroon 5
7 Dry Your Eyes - The Streets
8 Bedshaped - Keane
9 Laura - Scissor Sisters
10 Apocalypse Please - Muse
The Official UK Charts Company

But industry figures hope the chart will reflect the changes in how people listen to music.

Over the last year legal downloading in the UK has seen a massive increase, with over two million legal downloads sold since January.

Westlife outsold acts including Blazin' Squad at number two and Maroon 5 at three to take the number one title, announced on the Scott Mills show.

High-profile acts such as Sugababes, Muse, Faithless, Jet, Goldie Lookin' Chain and Snow Patrol all attempted to take a place in musical history by releasing tracks the week before the first chart but failed to win the coveted top spot.

1 September will go down as an historic date in the history of the UK recording industry
Peter Jamieson, BPI
Before the countdown DJ Scott Mills told Radio Five Live: "What we have found - especially with Radio 1 listeners who are aged primarily 15 to 24 - is that young fans of bands like Snow Patrol and Starsailor live with computers every day of their lives.

"Downloading music is not alien to them. It is just another way of buying music."

James Gillespie, of The Official UK Charts Company, which is compiling the countdown, told Radio Five Live he hoped the chart would also help boost single and album sales.

"It is going to be the first time that UK music consumers can see which is the most popular download track," he said.

Mike Skinner

"In the US it has really got people excited by music again.

"The physical market of CDs and DVDs have actually increased over there and we are confident the same will happen here."

Peter Jamieson, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, said: "1 September will go down as an historic date in the history of the UK recording industry.

"The launch of the Official UK Download Chart will provide a real promotional focus for the emerging download market and will serve to drive consumer interest even higher."

A rival chart, from download service Napster, was launched on Virgin Radio on Sunday.

Maroon 5's song She Will Be Loved was the most downloaded song bought from the Napster service in the UK.


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