Steps Beats Aitch, Madonna to U.K. Chart Throne

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Steps has beaten Aitch and the Queen of Pop to snag the U.K. chart crown — and claim a record — with The Platinum Collection (via Sony Music CG).

The British five-piece pop band earns its first leader on the Official U.K. Albums Chart in 11 years, and fourth overall, with a compilation that celebrates a 25-year career which spawned 16 top 40 hits, including No. 1s with “Heartbeat/Tragedy” and “Stomp.”

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With their latest chart feat, the singers — Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Ian “H” Watkins — set a record. They’re the first British, mixed-gender group to earn a No. 1 album in four consecutive decades, the Official Charts Company reports.

They step into an elite club, which includes Rolling Stones (they’ve since clocked up No. 1 albums in six separate decades), Stereophonics and ABBA, while Australian pop star Kylie Minogue became the first female artist to land a No. 1 LP in five different decades when Disco led the Official U.K. Albums Chart in November 2020.

The Platinum Collection was the most bought album — on physical and digital copies — during the most recent chart week, the OCC reports.

Meanwhile, Manchester rapper Aitch earns his own slice of chart history with debut album Close To Home (Capitol), the most-streamed set of the cycle, bowing at No. 2.

Close To Home is the first title to impact the chart to include an NFT collection as part of the release. Fans of the hip-hop artist can select collectible tokens which are bundled with physical copies, and approved by the OCC for inclusion in the Official Charts.

After pushing Steps at the halfway mark, Madonna’s remix collection Finally Enough Love (Rhino) bows at No. 3 on the chart, for the U.S. pop veteran’s 23rd U.K. top 10 album. Madonna misses out on extending her list of leaders to 13, an achievement that would have put her equal No. 2 on the all time-list with Robbie Williams and Elvis Presley (the Beatles are still the band to beat with 15 No. 1s).

Meanwhile,  Brendon Urie’s Panic! At The Disco bags a fifth top 10 with Viva Las Vengeance (DCD2/Fueled By Ramen), new at No. 5; Oasis’ former record-setting third album Be Here Now (Big Brother) returns to the top 10 following the release of a 25th anniversary edition; while  Demi Lovato‘s rock reinvention, Holy Fvck (Polydor), starts at No. 7 for their fifth U.K. Top 10 album.

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