George Michael

George Michael performs during a concert in Amsterdam on June 26, 2007.

Evert Elzinga/AFP/Getty Images

It’s pitched as the battle of the former boyband stars, as an adored release from the late Wham frontman George Michael goes head-to-head with former One Direction singer Niall Horan’s debut solo LP for the U.K. chart crown.

Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice, originally a No. 1 after its release in 1990, takes the lead at the halfway stage and sits at No.  1 on the Official Chart Update. Listen Without Prejudice, which includes the singles “Freedom 90,” "Waiting for That Day" and  “Praying For Time,” is almost 25,000 combined sales ahead of Horan's Flicker, which is new at No. 2. 

The special 2-disc set of Prejudice features the original album, reissued with new tracks, and a remastered version of Michael’s 1996 MTV Unplugged. Its release is timed to coincide with the screening Wednesday night (Oct. 25) of George Michael: Freedom, a new documentary which traces his life and career. 

Narrated and co-directed by Michael, the pop singer was working on the film right until his death at Christmas 2016 and it is his final work. Freedom has sparked interest in a raft of Michael’s albums as Ladies & Gentlemen - The Best Of (No. 13), Older (No. 35), Twenty Five (No. 50), Faith (No. 57) and Symphonica (No. 75) impact the midweek survey. 

Pink’s chart-topper Beautiful Trauma drops to No. 3 on the midweek chart while another former leader, Liam Gallagher’s As You Were, slips to No.  4. Also aiming for top 10 entries are new releases by Krept & Konan (7 Days at No. 5 and 7 Nights at No. 9via Virgin) and Jessie Ware (Glasshouse at No. 6 via Island/PMR) while a reissue of the Smiths’ classic 1986 album The Queen Is Dead (Rhino) enters the chart at No. 8. U.S. hitmakers Daryl Hall & John Oates Timeless Classics (Sony Music CG) is also poised for a strong debut; the retrospective starts at No. 12.  

Meanwhile, Post Malone’s "Rockstar" (Republic) featuring 21 Savage is charging to another No. 1. It the leader on the Official Chart Update with an advantage of 4,000 combined chart sales over Camila Cabello’s "Havana" (Epic/Syco) featuring Young Thug at No. 2. Cabello's single could make a late challenge, thanks to her performance earlier this week at BBC Radio 1’s Teen Awards.

EDM star Marshmello and Khalid’s "Silence" (RCA) is at No. 3, Swedish DJ and producer Avicii’s "Lonely Together" (Positiva) featuring Rita Ora is at No. 4 with, and Sam Smith’s former No. 1 "Too Good at Goodbyes" (Capitol) completes the top 5.