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Rick Astley and newcomer Ren in tight battle for Number 1 album

Written by on October 17, 2023

It’s a battle between a famed and fresh face in music this week, as stalwart Rick Astley and newcomer Ren go head-to-head in the race for the UK’s Official Number 1 album.

Never Gonna Give You Up icon Rick is currently in pole position with his ninth studio album Are We There Yet? (1), which would become his third overall chart-topping LP in the UK, following Whenever You Need Somebody (1987) and 50 (2016).

But less than 400 chart units behind is a brand-new face to the Official Chart; Welsh singer-songwriter Ren. The musician, full name Ren Eric Gill, built a dedicated cult following online from his abrasive and sardonic tracks that blur genre boundaries. His debut record Sick Boi is currently expected to debut at Number 2, but he shouldn’t be counted out to aim for the top spot as the battle continues.

Coming in at Number 3 midweek is BRITs Rising Star winner Holly Humberstone, whose years of steadily-building hype lead to her debut record Paint My Bedroom Black.

Mike Skinner’s critically acclaimed project The Streets return with their first album of new material in nearly 13 years with The Darker the Shadow the Brighter the Light, which is predicted to enter at Number 4. Should it hold on, it’ll become The Streets’ sixth consecutive Top 10 album in the UK.

Following the Top 10 placement of Roger Waters’ The Dark Side of the Moon Redux last week, Pink Floyd’s 1973 magnum opus The Dark Side of the Moon (5) is looking to return to the UK Top 10 for the first time since 1993 thanks to a brand-new re-issue in celebration of its 50th anniversary year.

English blues duo When Rivers Meet are on track to secure their first Top 10 album with Aces Are High (6) while Australian pop star Troye Sivan’s unapologetically queer third LP Something to Give Each Other is looking to become his third Top 10 record (7).

ABBA member Agnetha Fältskog’s 2013 solo LP A is looking to re-enter the Top 10 at Number 9 thanks to the release of a special re-record called A+.

Outside the Top 10, Scouting For Girls are up for a new entry with The Place We Used to Meet (11), as are Southampton rockers Creeper on Sanguivore (12).

Irish singer-songwriter CMAT should secure her first-ever Official Albums Chart entry with her eclectic second album Crazymad, For Me (13) as could Irish folk group The Mary Wallopers with Irish Rock N Roll (14).

Further down, a few drops from this year’s National Album Day celebrating some of the most iconic LPs of the ‘90s could re-enter the chart; including Dannii Minogue’s third album Girl (30) and Blur’s Modern Life is Rubbish (36).

Kids in Glass Houses celebrate 15 years of their debut album Smart Casual (33) which originally peaked at Number 29 in 2008, while two acts look to enter the Official Albums Chart for the first time; US rapper Ken Carson with A Great Chaos (39) and Death of Guitar Pop with Be Lucky (40).


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