Taylor Swift starts out in front in the biggest Official Chart battle of the year so far, going up against Arctic Monkeys in the race for the UK’s Official Albums Chart Number 1.

Taylor’s latest album Midnights takes the lead ahead of Arctic Monkeys and their seventh album The Car (2). A huge week is underway with both records clearing well over 100,000 copies in just three days according to Official Charts Company data. Only one other album has broken that threshold in a full week this year – Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, which managed 113,000 units in its opening week.

The Official Charts Company can also confirm that Midnights is now already the UK’s fastest-selling album of 2022 so far, pulling in an astounding 140,000 chart sales and counting, with only three full days of tracking. Arctic Monkeys follow just behind with 105,000 chart units at the midweek mark.

The race is far from over yet, but if Taylor maintains this early momentum, it would land the pop superstar a ninth UK Number 1 album, as well as ending the Sheffield rockers’ flawless run of six chart-topping studio albums on the bounce.

Taylor has previously topped the Official Albums Chart with; Red (2012), 1989 (2014), reputation (2017), Lover (2019), Folklore (2020), Evermore (2020), Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (2021) and Red (Taylor’s Version) (2021).

Arctic Monkeys have landed Number 1 with all of their studio albums to date, including 2006’s Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not, 2007’s Favourite Worst Nightmare, 2009’s Humbug, 2011’s Suck It And See, 2013’s AM and 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. You can see Taylor’s full Official Charts history here, and the chart performance of Arctic Monkey’s hit songs and albums here.

Elsewhere, we could be looking at an all-new Top 5 this week, with South London-born artist Loyle Carner’s third album Hugo (3) which could become his second UK Top 10 record,
Scottish rock band Simple Minds’ 19th record Direction of the Heart (4), and Kylie Minogue’s alt-pop opus Impossible Princess (5) which could re-enter thanks to a special 25th anniversary release. It originally peaked at Number 10 under the title Kylie Minogue.

Norwegian 80s pop icons a-ha also return this week with True North (6) which could become their highest-charting studio album in the UK in 13 years.
Cult pop queen Carly Rae Jepsen could secure her highest-ever charting album in the UK with The Loneliest Time (7) and alt-rockers Dry Cleaning are on track for their second Top 10 with Stumpwork (8).

Outside the Top 10, Architects’ The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit (11) could become the English metalcore band’s fifth Top 20 album, and Queens of the Stone Age celebrate 25 years of their influential self-titled debut album (16) which could be the album’s first appearance inside the UK Top 40.

Oxymore, the 22nd album from French composer Jean-Michel Jarre, eyes a Number 17 debut, while Christmas comes early to the Official Charts as the Bocelli family – Andrea, Matteo and Virginia – team up for A Family Christmas, which could enter at Number 19.

Former The Stranglers vocalist and guitarist Hugh Cornwell’s new album Moments of Madness (22) is looking to become the 73-year-old musician’s first solo album to reach the Top 40.

The Libertines are celebrating 20 years of their debut Up The Bracket (29), which originally peaked at Number 35 in 2002.

And finally, Swedish experimental rock band Goat’s fourth studio album Oh Death could be our final new entry of the week at Number 40.