It’s not the first time these two acts have gone head-to-head on the chart. Back in September 1998, the Manics’ This Is My Truth Now Tell Me Yours beat Steps’ Step One for the crown by a margin of 95,000 sales.
What The Future Holds Pt. 2, Steps’ seventh studio album, is the week’s most-downloaded LP, and is on track to become their third consecutive No. 2, following Tears On The Dancefloor (from 2017) and What The Future Holds (2020).
Also new to the Official Chart Update is Dark Matters (Coursegood), the first album in nine years from punk rock veterans The Stranglers. It’s at No. 3, and could give the band their highest-charting effort in 43 years, since 1978’s Black & White.
The Vaccines are chasing a fifth straight Top 5 album with Back In Love City (Super Easy), new at No. 4, while Metallica’s self-titled fifth studio album, widely known as The Black Album (Verigo), is on track for a return to the top tier for the first time since 1991. It’s at No. 6 following a reissue with live cuts and a companion covers LP.
U.S. country artist Kacey Musgraves is on track for her second U.K. Top 10 album with Star-Crossed (Interscope) at No. 7, and Australian punk rock specialists Amyl and the Sniffers are just outside the Top 10 with Comfort To Me (Rough Trade). It’s new at No. 11 on the chart blast.
The Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts are published late Friday, local time.