Based on midweek sales and streaming data, it’s Barlow with the advantage. The Take That singer’s Music Played By Humans (Polydor) is 4,300 chart sales ahead of Steps’ What The Future Holds (BMG) to lead the Official Chart Update.
If it keeps its momentum, Future will give Barlow his third solo U.K. No. 1, and his 11th overall including his career with Take That, the OCC reports.
Steps’ sixth studio album is at No. 2 on the midweek survey, and is the territory’s leader in downloads and vinyl sales so far this week. The reunited pop act has three U.K. No. 1 albums to their name, and their 2017 comeback album Tears on the Dancefloor reached No. 2.
Last week’s chart-leader Together at Christmas (Decca) by Michael Ball and Alfie Boe dips 1-3 on the chart blast, while Miley Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts (RCA) opens at No. 4, and is the week’s most streamed album in the U.K.
The top five is rounded out by AC/DC’s former leader Power Up (Columbia), down 4-5, while career retrospective sets from ’80s stars Spandau Ballet (40 Years – The Greatest Hits, at No. 6 via Rhino) and Shakin’ Stevens (Singled Out at No. 9 via BMG) are eyeing Top 10 debuts.
Dua Lipa is leaping up the chart with Future Nostalgia (Warner Bros), following her Studio 2054 livestream concert and the rollout of its bonus edition. It vaults 34-11.
Christmas comes early to the U.K. midweeks, as Michael Buble’s perennial hit Christmas (Reprise) lifts 26-12, Dolly Parton’s A Holly Dolly Christmas (12 Tone Music) gains 22-15 and Jamie Cullum’s The Pianoman at Christmas (Island) bolts 23-16.
Finally, alternative rock legends The Smashing Pumpkins could snag their first U.K. Top 40 album in eight years with CYR (Sumerian). The double album is new at No. 31.
Over in the singles chart race, Ariana Grande holds pole with “Positions” (Republic Records) while Mariah Carey makes another run at the summit with “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” The holiday classic rises 12-2 in its 40th week on the chart.
The Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts are published late Friday, local time.