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The Specials Hit U.K. Album Summit With ‘Encore’

The Specials have the new No. 1 album in the U.K. with Encore.

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).