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  WHAT'S LEFT IN BLIGHTY? Q4 PREVIEW

Universal looks set to be crowned King (or Queen) of Q4 in Blighty, thanks to a number of potentially blockbuster releases. Putting aside Adele (whose upcoming third album is out on XL in the U.K. and Columbia in the States on 11/20), Island’s John Newman and James Morrison, Polydor’s Ellie Goulding and Virgin EMI’s The Vamps are likely to birth the major’s biggest albums this coming quarter. Then there's the recently announced extended Sam Smith LP, as well as a big Beatles box set.

After rising to fame by featuring on two smash hits with Rudimental, “Feel the Love” and “Not Giving In”, Newman released his 2013 debut album Tribute, hitting #1 on the U.K. Official Albums Chart. Managed by Paul McDonald at Closer Artists, Newman recently featured on Calvin Harris’ hit single “Blame,” which hit #1 in September, and will be included in the deluxe edition of his second LP, Revolve, out on 10/16. Production and contributions on the record come from Greg Kurstin, Charlie Wilson and Jack Splash and Jerry Hey’s brass section. Actor Idris Elba and R&B legend Charlie Wilson also feature.

Singer/songwriter Morrison will release his fourth album, Higher Than Here, on 10/30. It’s his second on Island, following on from #1 The Awakening in 2011, and it’s said to have more of a gospel feel than his prior releases. Will Morrison be soundtracking the carol singers this Christmas? 

Meanwhile, Polydor boss Ferdy Unger-Hamilton hopes Goulding’s Delirium will transform her into a global pop artist. Out on 11/6, the album is a big priority for Universal, and follows the singer’s two previous #1 albums. Will she score a hat-trick? Out on the same date, Beatles 1+ suggests not. The three-disc set adds to the group's best-selling 2000 compilation 1, which has sold more than 30m worldwide since its release in 2000.

And then there's Smith. Capitol will release an extended version of his blockbuster debut album on 11/6. A “creative collaboration” with fashion brand Balenciaga (whose autumn/winter 2015 campaign is fronted by Smith), In the Lonely Hour: The Drowning Shadows Edition will feature a second CD with nine new and exclusive tracks.

Pop heartthrobs The Vamps’ second LP Wake Up is out via Virgin EMI on 11/27. Their debut LP Meet the Vamps bowed at #2 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with 47k first-week sales. The campaign kicked off this week with the release of the lead single, which is headed for #1 on this week's Official Singles Chart in the U.K. The group is managed by Richard Rashman.

Over at Sony, SYCO’s Little Mix and One Direction are top priorities, alongside Il Divo and Columbia act Hurts. Titled Surrender, the third album from melancholic electro duo Hurts is out on 10/9; it was A&R'd by Sony's Chris Briggs. Columbia co-President Mark Terry is hoping for a Top 10 entry next week and would like to exceed the RTD sales of their last album Exile, which has sold 35k in the U.K.

Modest!-managed girl group Little Mix, signed to SYCO after appearing on The X Factor in 2011, are now on their third album. Get Weird is out on 11/6 and is pure pop, with tracks produced by trio TMS, Maegan Cottone and others. First single "Black Magic" reached #1 on the U.K. Singles Chart in May and has since been certified gold. Second official release "Love Me Like You" didn't fare as well, reaching #21.

One Direction will surely hit #1 on 11/13 with what could be their last release as a group, Made in the A.M. In the worldwide stakes, it's going up against Justin Bieber's RBMG/Island LP Purpose, but in Blighty the competition is pretty much won. The album is out via Sonny Takhar's SYCO in the U.K. and Columbia on the left side of the sea. Forecasts currently expect it to sell about 350k first week.

Pop singer Olly Murs, also an X Factor graduate, will release a special edition of his fourth and 2x Platinum-selling fourth album Never Been Better through SYCO/Epic on 11/20.

New single "Kiss Me" will feature alongside four other new tracks and a live DVD filmed at The O2 earlier this year during four sold-out shows on Murs' Never Been Better tour.

Later on during SYCO's Q4 schedule, fresh X Factor act Fleur East will release her debut album on 11/27. The label has been keeping her under wraps since leaving the show in 2014, and anticipation is high. As one of the favorites on the show, East wowed with her cover of the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars collab "Uptown Funk!" and finished as runner-up. The yet-to-be-named LP has been recorded with Wayne Hector, The Invisible Men, Jack Splash and TMS. First single "Sax" is out later this month.

Finishing as winner in the same season as East, Ben Haenow will be debuted around the same time. His first single, "Second Hand Heart,” a duet with Kelly Clarkson, will be released on 10/9, followed by his album on 11/13.

Classical crossover vocal quartet Il Divo might not scream “chart threat.” but the SYCO act's six-album discography boasts five Top 5s, including three #1s. Their seventh Amor & Passion is out on 11/27 in the U.K. and 11/23 U.S. With little promo so far it's unlikely to knock The Vamps out the ring but could bring some Christmas cheer to those over-40s.

Max Lousada's Warner U.K. has had a good few months with Jess Glynne's debut and now Rudimental, who look set to steal the albums top charts spot this week. Not to mention Iron Maiden's 16th studio album, and debut on WMG, which opened at #1 in 24 countries on its release in September. The rest of the year looks sparse, with the projected biggest release a repack of Ed Sheeran's second album x, due on 11/13. Asylum’s Sheeran has sold the most albums in the U.K. so far this year with that 2014 set, which claimed the title of last year’s best-seller, and has sold 705k in 2015 alone (2.39m in total). Will the reissue help Sheeran score a second win in this year's best-seller stakes? Adele, it's down to you.

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/6a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
WINNING NOMINATIONS
I.B. Bad on music's biggest comeback (12/6a)
ON THE COVER: LADY GAGA & TONY BENNETT
It's De-Lovely. (12/6a)
CALLING THE PLAYS:
JOHN JANICK
We salute the winner and still champ. (12/6a)
SONG STREAMS:
'TIS THE SEASON
It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas. (12/6a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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