Steps came, challenged, but faded late. Can Gorillaz finally knock Ed Sheeran from the summit of the U.K albums chart?
Don't bet against it. The virtual band's return album Humanz (Parlophone) is trailing Sheeran's Divide (Asylum) by just 300 combined sales to open in second place on the midweek albums chart, according to the Official Charts Company.
Humanz, which is positioned for a top 3 start in the U.S., will be the group's second No. 1 if it snags the crown from Sheeran, whose third and most recent set has topped the national chart for eight consecutive weeks.
Many have tried and failed to overcome Sheeran's Divide, including Drake, Take That, Kendrick Lamar and Steps, whose comeback LP Tears on the Dancefloor (Steps Music) led the English singer-songwriter's album at the halfway point last week, but fell away at week's end.
The top 5 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart Update is rounded out by Rag'n'Bone Man's former chart-topper Human (Best Laid Plans/Columbia), Steps' latest, and Kendrick Lamar's DAMN (Interscope), while new releases from veteran Irish rockers The Cranberries, American rock vocalist Mark Lanegan, Glee actress Lea Michele, and prog-rock group Big Big Train are on pace for top 40 debuts.
On the U.K. Singles Chart Update, DJ Khaled's star-studded new single "I'm The One" (Black Butter/We The Best) takes pole position ahead of Clean Bandit's "Symphony" (Atlantic) featuring Zara Larsson.
"I'm The One," which features Justin Bieber, Migos member Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne, has a 2,000 combined sales lead over chart-topper "Symphony" and it'll be the Miami producer's first No. 1 in the market if it hangs on until Friday's Official Chart reveal.