Take That, Arctic Monkeys, Kooks, and Razorlight all shifted more than 1 million units as U.K. acts were responsible for seven of the Top 10 albums of the year.

This combination of both new and established artists helped U.K. acts claim their largest share of album best-sellers since 1997 when the Spice Girls, The Verve, Oasis, and The Prodigy dominated the charts.

“Two years ago we predicted we were entering a new golden age for British music,” said BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson. “These numbers confirm that British music is going through an outstandingly creative period which is capturing the imagination of music buyers.”

The figures his organization released at the beginning of January show that U.K. acts claimed a 61.9 percent share of the 100 best-selling albums of the year, although gross sales for 2006 dipped 2.5 percent to 155.1 million units.

Singles sales rocketed 39.7 percent to 66.9 million units, mainly because of the digital sales boom accounting for 79 percent of sales. The biggest single was Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” It sold 400,000 and was only available via download.

As for the record companies, Universal’s Polydor claims the bragging rights as the three best-selling album acts of 2006 – Snow Patrol, Take That, and Scissor Sisters are all signed to the label.

Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not became the fastest-selling debut album of all time, with 363,812 units sold in the first seven days of its release. It went on to be the best-selling debut of the year.The Kooks’ extensive tour schedule and hit singles “Na├»ve” and “She Moves In Her Own Way” helped boost the Inside In/Inside Out album into second place on the debut chart.

The birth of the digital albums market saw 2.2 million units sold between April and December 2006; digital sales now comprise 1.4 percent of the U.K.’s overall album market.