Busted are leading the race for this week’s Number 1 album with Half Way There, though the competition is tight, with fewer than 700 combined sales currently separating the Top 3 albums.
If Busted hold on, it’ll be their first chart-topping album. The pop-punk band’s first two records Busted (2002) and A Present For Everyone (2003) both peaked at Number 2. Their 2016 comeback album Night Driver landed at 13.
Close behind at Number 2 are The Specials with Encore, the two-tone ska band’s first album of new material in 38 years. It sits just 70 combined sales ahead of Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown at Number 3 with Ripples. Six of Brown’s previous solo albums have charted in the Top 10.
If any of the current Top 3 can claim the top spot on Friday’s chart, it will be their first Number 1 album.
A further eight albums are set to debut in the Top 40 this Friday, with four of them currently in the Top 10: Claire Richards’ debut solo album My Wildest Dreams (5), Third Avenue by London rapper Fredo (6), White Lies’ Five (7), and Resist by symphonic metal band Within Temptation (8).
Nina Nesbitt is heading for a Top 20 debut with her second album The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change (13); County Durham pop outlet Prefab Sprout return with their 12th studio album I Trawl The Megahertz (17), and Beirut’s Gallipolli is charging towards a Top 40 entry (29).
True Love Ways, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s reimagining of Buddy Holly’s classic songs, is up 37 levels to Number 33 following the 60th anniversary of the Rock ‘n’ Roll pioneer’s untimely death on February 3.
Finally, Paloma Faith’s The Architect climbs 18 spots to Number 36 after the release of new single Your Ex, just ahead of the 2018 London Cast Recording of the Stephen Sondheim musical Company – featuring its first ever female lead – which could have a Top 40 debut at Number 37.