There’s a poptacular battle brewing in the U.K. chart race, as Madonna’s remix compilation locks horns with Steps’ career retrospective.
Steps, comprising Claire Richards, Faye Tozer-Smith, Ian “H” Watkins, Lisa Scott-Lee and Lee Latchford-Evans, already have three albums chart leaders, with Steptacular (from 1999), and compilations Gold: Greatest Hits (2001) and The Ultimate Collection (2011).
Close behind on the chart blast is the Queen of Pop’s remixed collection Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones, new at No. 2 on the chart blast. Finally Enough Love celebrates the diva’s history-making run on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart, where she has a record 50 leaders.
Madonna enjoyed a lot of love in the U.K., too. She’s lived the highlife on the U.K. chart like few others, with 12 albums hitting No. 1 — a record for a solo female artists and equal with Bruce Springsteen at No. 3 on the all-time list. If – or rather, when – she lands another leader, Madonna would join Robbie Williams and Elvis Presley at No. 2 on the historic list, while the Beatles are the band to beat with 15 No. 1s.
Manchester rapper Aitch isn’t out of the hunt. The 22-year-old hip-hop artist’s latest debut LP Close to Home bows at No. 3 on the chart update, fueled by streaming activity.
According to the Official Charts Company, Close to Home is the market-leader on streams this week, and is outpacing Steps on streaming platforms by nearly seven-to-one.
Close to Home should mark Aitch’s third appearance in the albums chart top 10, following 2019’s AitcH20 (No. 3) and 2020’s Polaris (No. 7).
Oasis’ record-setting third studio album Be Here Now completes the top 5, following the release of 25th anniversary editions, while Demi Lovato looks set for a fifth U.K. top 10 appearance with Holy Fvck, new at No. 6 on the chart update.
Finally, British synthpop act Hot Chip could make a return to the top 10 for the first time in 14 years as Freakout/Release, their eighth studio album, looks set for a No. 7 start; while U.S. heavy rockers Five Finger Death Punch could add to their tally of three U.K. top 10 appearances with AfterLife. It’s their ninth studio album, and it’s on track to start at No. 9.
All will be revealed when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published Friday.