The chart race of the year is only halfway complete, though Taylor Swift’s Midnights is already strides ahead of the pack.
Swift’s tenth studio album and Arctic Monkeys’ seventh studio set, The Car, are both blockbusters that would win almost any U.K. chart battle.
This is no ordinary chart cycle. It’s a heavyweight bout, with both sets notching well over 100,000 chart copies in just three days.
At the midweek point, Midnights has more than 140,000 chart units to secure the advantage. That sum gives Midnights the best start for any album this year, bettering the 113,000 chart units accumulated by Harry Styles’ Harry’s House across its first full week, the OCC reports.
The Car is some distance behind in second place on the Official Chart Update, with 105,000 chart units – an exceptional result for any other week.
If Midnights stays on target, it will hand Swift her ninth U.K. No. 1 following Red (2012), 1989 (2014), Reputation (2017), Lover (2019), Folklore (2020), Evermore (2020), Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (2021) and Red (Taylor’s Version) (2021). Also, the U.S. artist could swoop in for a chart double; she holds the top three spots on the singles chart update, led by “Anti-Hero.”
Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys enjoy a spotless streak of six consecutive career No. 1s, starting with their 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not, and continuing with 2007’s Favourite Worst Nightmare, 2009’s Humbug, 2011’s Suck It And See, 2013’s AM, and 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Frontman Alex Turner has eight in the row, including his side project, the Last Shadow Puppets.
Based on midweek sales and streaming data published by the OCC, South London artist Loyle Carner could come at No. 3 with his third album, Hugo; veteran Scottish band Simple Minds’ 19th record Direction of the Heart could bow at No. 4; and Australian pop star Kylie Minogue’s sixth studio LP Impossible Princess could return to the chart at No. 5, thanks to a 25th anniversary edition. Impossible Princess originally peaked at No. 10 following its release in 1997.
Norwegian ‘80s pop trio a-ha is set for a return to the U.K. survey this week with True North, new at No. 6 on the chart blast. If True North stays put, it would become the “Take On Me” singers’ highest-charting studio LP in the U.K. since 2009’s Foot of the Mountain went to No. 5.
Finally, Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen is on track for her career chart peak in the U.K. with The Loneliest Time, eyeing a No. 7 berth; while British alternative-rocker act Dry Cleaning is aiming for a second top 10 appearance with Stumpwork, on track for a No. 8 start.
All will be revealed when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published late Friday (Oct. 28).