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The Specials Hit U.K. Album Summit With 'Encore'

The Specials
Courtesy of Island Records

The Specials

In one of the more dramatic chart returns of recent memory, reunited ska band The Specials have the new No. 1 album in the U.K. with Encore (UMC/Universal). 

Encore is The Specials' first album of new music for 37 years and their first-ever U.K. No. 1 album. Finishing just over 1,000 combined units ahead, they win a close-run race with Busted, the prolific hitmakers of the first half of the 2000s, who reformed in 2015. The pop band's Half Way There (East West/Warner Music) enters at No. 2, marking the third time Busted have narrowly missed the album summit. Their first two albums, their eponymous 2002 debut and 2003's A Present For Everyone, both peaked in the runners-up spot.

The Greatest Showman (Atlantic/Warner) falls 2-3 as former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown's seventh solo album Ripples (EMI/Universal) starts at No. 4. London rapper Fredo's first full-length album Third Avenue (Since 93) comes in at No. 5. Claire Richards, formerly a member of U.K. chart regulars Steps, opens her solo account with a No. 9 entry for My Wildest Dreams (Sony). 

On the singles chart, Ariana Grande's “7 Rings” (Republic/Universal) tops for a third week. Grande's combined units of nearly 72,000 mean that she continues to lead the way in an unchanged top four, with Ava Max's “Sweet But Psycho” (Atlantic/Warner) at No. 2, Sam Smith's “Dancing With A Stranger” (Capitol/Universal), featuring Normani, at No. 3 and Calvin Harris' “Giants” (Columbia/Sony), featuring Rag 'n' Bone Man, at No. 4. 

Mabel's “Don't Call Me Up” (Polydor/Universal) climbs again 7-5, while emerging 17-year-old American artist Billie Eilish has the highest new entry of the singles week, at No. 7, with “Bury A Friend” (Interscope/Universal).


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