Louis Tomlinson Battles Bruce Springsteen For U.K. Chart Crown

Louis Tomlinson strolls to a lead in the U.K. chart race with Faith In The Future (via BMG). But there’s a Boss to contend with.

Tomlinson, the former One Direction star, leads the Official Chart Update with Faith In The Future, his second solo effort. As a member of 1D, Tomlinson triumphed over the national albums survey on four occasions, and his debut solo set, 2020’s Walls, peaked at No. 4.

The home straight could have some obstacles for Tomlinson, as Bruce Springsteen’s Only The Strong Survive (Columbia) sits close behind in second place.

Springsteen’s 21st studio album is a collection of soul covers. To date, the Rock And Roll Hall of Famer has 22 U.K. top 10 albums, including 12 No. 1s — equal third-best among solo acts, after Robbie Williams (14) and Elvis Presley (13), respectively.

According to the Official Charts Company, fewer than 1,200 chart sales split the two albums at the halfway point.

As it currently stands, the top five is closed out by a trio of former leaders, Taylor Swift’s Midnights (down 2-3 via EMI), Drake & 21 Savage’s Her Loss (down 1-4, via OVO/Republic Records), and Ed Sheeran’s = (up 10-5, via Asylum).

Christmas is just around the corner, and the festive releases are ready to make the annual march into the charts.

British classical crossover stars Aled Jones and Russell Watson could bag a third U.K. top 10 as a duo with Christmas With Aled & Russell (BMG). It’s new at No. 8 on the chart blast.

Andrea Bocelli’s family record A Family Christmas (via Decca), featuring son Matteo and daughter Virginia, could be this week’s big gainer, notes the OCC, lifting 58-13 on the midweek chart for a possible new peak position.

Just outside the top ten at the midweek point is Nigerian artist Wizkid with his fifth LP More Love, Less Ego (Columbia). It’s on track for a No. 12 debut, which would become the Afrobeat act’s career U.K. peak, improving on the No. 15 best for 2020’s Made in Lagos.

Also aiming for a top 20 debut is U.S. roots-rock act Larkin Poe, with seventh album Blood Harmony. It’s set for a No. 15 entry, for what would be the band’s first top 40 entry.  

And finally, Christine & The Queens are poised for a top 20 return with Redcar les adorables étoiles (prologue) (via Because Music), new at No. 17 on the chart blast. The French act has impacted the U.K. chart on three occasions, including a No. 2 on debut for 2016’s Chaleur Humaine, and a No. 3 peak for its 2018 followup Chris.

All will be revealed when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published Friday (Nov. 18).

Lars Brandle