Steps, Madonna and Aitch are fighting for the number 1 album

A midweek three-way battle is underway on the Official Albums Chart with Steps, Madonna and rapper Aitch all vying for a taste of number 1 success.

The Stages are leading the charge on today’s official album chart update, currently leading the way with their Platinum Collection.

The pop group, made up of Claire Richards, Faye Tozer-Smith, Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Lisa Scott-Lee and Lee Latchford-Evans, are celebrating a stellar 25-year career with their latest release. If it holds up, Platinum Collection will become Steps’ fourth UK chart to date, and the first in 11 years. The iconic quintet already has number 1s with the second studio album Steptacular (1999), as well as previous compilations Gold: Greatest Hits (2001) and The Ultimate Collection (2011).

It’s by no means a done deal though, as undisputed Queen of Pop Madonna is hot on their heels with the new compilation Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones. The record, which sees its eclectic catalog remixed by Honey Dijon and Felix Da Housecat, is currently debuting at number 2 after a weekend of sales. But could Madonna go all the way and add to her list of 12 UK number 1 albums?

Meanwhile, 22-year-old rapper Aitch looks set to give both bands a hard time with his debut album Close to Home. The Mancunian rapper, born Harrison James Armstrong, is ahead of both of them on the streams, streaming Steps nearly 7-to-1, which will work to his advantage as the chart week progresses. With 7 UK Top 10 singles to his name, as well as two Top 10 EPs – AitcH20 (3) from 2019 and Polaris (7) from 2020, Could Close To Home be the record that will finally take him to number 1?

Viva Las Vengeance could provide Panic! At The Disco their fifth UK Top 10 record this week. Their third album released as a solo project by Brendon Urie, and seventh under the band name, is eyeing a number 4 entry.

25 years after its original release, Oasis’ Be Here Now is well on its way to a Top 5 return thanks to a new collection of Silver Anniversary (5) formats. The third studio album by Manchester-born rock legends Liam and Noel Gallagher, famed for its unconventional rollout, topped the charts in August 1997. Test your knowledge of the Be Here Now album with our exclusive quiz here.

Demi Lovato looks set to score her fifth UK Top 10 album with Holy Fvck in midweek (6). The Albuquerque-born singer has previously had similar success with Demi (10) in 2013, LP Confident in 2015 (6), the 2017 release Tell Me You Love Me (5) and Dancing with the Devil in 2021… The Art to start again (2).

British synth-pop band Hot Chip are on course to return to the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years with Freakout/Release, their eighth studio album (7). The band, consisting of Alexis Taylor, Joe Goddard, Al Doyle, Owen Clarke and Felix Martin, last enjoyed Top 10 success with the 2008 LP Made in the Dark (4).

The latest of what could be eight new Top 10 entries this week comes courtesy of Five Finger Death Punch, with their ninth studio album AfterLife (9). To date, the Las Vegas-formed heavy metal band has three UK Top 10 albums; 2015’s Got Your Six (6), 2018 LP And Justice for None (7) and 2020 release F8 (7).

David Bowie could add to his list of 67 UK Top 40 albums this week, with live record No Trendy Reheated (Live Birmingham 95) set to enter number 15 thanks to a reissue. The album originally peaked at number 86 when released in November 2020.

Further down the midweek chart, Port Talbot-born male singing group Fisherman’s Friends are eyeing their fourth Top 40 entry with the soundtrack to their latest feature Fisherman’s Friends: One and All (26).

Elsewhere, Australian punk-rockers The Chats could claim their first-ever UK Top 40 album with Get F*cked (36) while Isle of Wight-born singer-songwriter Lauran Hibberd could also mark his first appearance on the Official Albums Chart with his debut LP Garageband Superstar (37).

40 years after its original release, a standalone CD edition available for the first time sees REM’s debut EP, Chronic Town, well on its way to a Top 40 entry (38).

And finally, the Waterboys’ latest studio album, All Souls Hill, could land the Scottish-Irish folk band their 11th UK Top 40 release to date (40).

About Elizabeth J. Swartz

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