Rolling Stones' 'Blue & Lonesome' Bolting to U.K. No. 1

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Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones pose for a photo during a preview of 'The Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism' at Saatchi Gallery on April 4, 2016 in London.

The Rolling Stones are hurtling towards the top spot on the U.K. albums chart with the rock veterans’ comeback album Blue & Lonesome (Polydor). 

The all-blues covers set is almost 66,000 combined sales ahead of Michael Ball & Alfie Boe’s second-placed Together (Decca) at the halfway stage of the chart week, according to the Official Charts company. 

Blue & Lonesome was recorded in just three days and is the Stones’ first studio album since A Bigger Bang, which came agonizingly close to No. 1 on its release in 2005, missing out on the summit by precisely 11 units to James Blunt's Back To Bedlam (Atlantic). The Stones’ last album to reach No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart was Voodoo Lounge in 1994, though a re-release of the classic 1972 LP Exile On Main St reached the top spot in 2010. 

If Blue & Lonesome can hang on until the charts are published this Friday (Dec. 9), it’lll be the band’s 12th No. 1 in the U.K.

 

Elvis Presley’s The Wonder Of You (Legacy/RCA) is at No. 3 on the Chart Update, Little Mix’ Glory Days (Syco) is at No. 4, and Olly Murs 24 (RCA) is at No. 5, just ahead of Michael Buble’s fast-rising holiday-themed Christmas album (at No. 6 via Reprise).

New entries impacting the midweek chart include rapper Childish Gambino’s Awaken My Love (No. 26 via Glassnote), French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre’s Oxygene 3 (No. 29 via Sony Music CG), soul singer John Legend’s Darkness And Light (No. 32 via Columbia), alternative rock act The Last Shadow Puppets The Dream Synopsis (No. 34 via Domino) and choir master Gareth Malone’s A Great British Choir (No. 35 via Decca).

Meanwhile, Clean Bandit should run away with a fifth singles chart title for “Rockabye” (Atlantic). The British trio’s hit is leading the way on sales and streams on the Chart Update, the Official Charts Company reports, with Rae Sremmurd's “Black Beatles” (Interscope) holding at No. 2 for a possible third successive week. 

The Weeknd’s “Starboy” (Republic/XO), James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” (Columbia) and Neiked’s “Sexual” (Neiked Collective) complete the top 5. 

It's that time of year and the singles chart is predictably loading up with Christmas spirit. Mariah Carey's “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (Columbia) rises 46-9, The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's “Fairytale of New York” (Warner Bros) soars 86-18, Wham's “Last Christmas” (RCA) races 94-19, Shakin' Stevens' “Merry Christmas Everyone” (RCA) reenters the chart at No. 29, and Wizzard's “I Wish It Could Christmas Everyday” (EMI) returns to the survey at No. 39.