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Bruce Springsteen smashes way to UK number one

LONDON (Reuters) - Bruce Springsteen secured his ninth UK number one album on Sunday with "Wrecking Ball", an often angry look at economic hardship, inequality and the fallout from the financial crisis.

The 62-year-old, nicknamed "The Boss," first topped the UK album charts more than two decades ago, with the global hit "Born in the U.S.A."

Described by one reviewer as "his angriest and most overtly political collection yet", Springsteen's latest release mixes familiar anthemic rock with gospel, Irish folk music and even hip hop.

The album saw off competition from another new entry, "In My Dreams", by the Military Wives, a British choir made up of the partners of British soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Their collection of songs from artists such as U2, Coldplay and Bob Dylan claimed second place, ahead of last week's number one, "Our Version of Events", by soul singer Emili Sande.

There was no change at the top of the UK singles chart, the Official Charts Company said.

Belgian-Australian singer Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" remained in the top spot, clear of Sande's "Next to Me" and "Starships" by Trinidadian-born singer Nicki Minaj.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths)

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