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U.K. MIDWEEKS: BATTLES A-BREWIN'

Sam Smith and D-Block Europe have their sights set on #1 on the U.K.’s Official Charts, but both face serious battles over the next four days.

D-Block Europe’s Lap 5 (D-Block Europe) is leading an incredibly close four-way battle midweek on the Official Albums Chart, as fewer than 1,600 units separate the top four new entries.

Land of Dreams (BMG), the first solo record in nine years from Take That’s Mark Owen, is #2, just 1,000 chart units behind D-Block Europe. On their heels are 5 Seconds of Summer’s fifth album, 5SOS5 (BMG), at #3 and the second LP from indie-rockers Sports Team, Gulp! (Island), at #4.

Also eyeing Top 10 landings on Friday are Brummie rock band Editors’ EBM (Play It Again Sam), currently #6, and Beth Orton’s Weather Alive (Partisan), at #8. A 30th anniversary edition of Polydor’s ABBA Gold is #5. Another 30th anni release, Alice in ChainsDirt (Sony CMG), is #14.

Swedish House Mafia’s Paradise Again (Island) could reach its highest position in the U.K. yet, #16, thanks to its release on CD. Vieux Farka Touré and Khruangbin’s Ali (Dead Oceans) is #19.

At singles, Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ “Unholy” (EMI) is set to be this week’s highest new entry—it’s currently #2 but has launched a challenge for the top slot occupied by David Guetta and Bebe Rexha’s “I’m Good (Blue)” (Parlophone). Luude & Mattafix’s “Big City Life” (Warner) is eyeing a new peak of #7.

Stormzy’s grand return, the seven-minute “Mel Made Me Do It” (Def Jam), is pacing to debut at #12. Lizzo’s “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)” (Atlantic) could get its biggest lift to date; it’s up six to a new peak of #22.

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