U.K. MIDWEEKS: SHEERAN STARTS STRONG

Ed Sheeran's = (Atlantic) will open at #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart Friday, having already earned 84k at the halfway point. Over on singles, his “Overpass Graffiti” looks set for the top.

Sheeran is currently outperforming the rest of the Top 40 albums combined. Leading on physical sales, downloads and streams, = could overtake Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres (Parlophone) to claim the biggest opening week of 2021.

Elsewhere this week, a further eight new releases could land in the Top 10. Former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft is at #2 with Acoustic Hymns—Vol. 1 (BMG), while the 25th anniversary rerelease of the Spice Girls’ debut, Spice (Virgin), is on track to return to the U.K. Top 10 at #3.

At #5 is The War on Drugs' I Don’t Live Here Anymore (Atlantic). Joe Bonamassa, at #6, could gain his sixth U.K. Top 10 with Time Clocks (J&R Adventures). And Mastodon’s Hushed and Grim (Reprise) is #8. A remixed and updated version of Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Relapse of Reason (Parlophone) is #9.

Motorhead’s greatest hits collection, Everything Louder Forever (BMG), could earn the band its fifth U.K. Top 10 album; it's at #10.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, Sheeran has three songs in the Top 10; “Overpass Graffiti” is currently on track to debut at #1, while “Shivers” sits at #2 and “Bad Habits” is #5.

Adele’s “Easy on Me” (Columbia) drops to #3, and Becky Hill & Topic’s “My Heart Goes (La Di Da)” (Polydor) could climb into the Top 10, up one place to #10.

Scottish DJ/producer Ewan McVicar looks set to break into the Top 20 this week, with “Tell Me Something Good” (Ministry of Sound) lifting seven spots to #14, and Joel Corry’s new single, “I Wish” f/Mabel (Asylum), starts at #20.

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