It’s shaping to be a glorious week for Sam Smith, as their fourth studio album Gloria (Capitol) leads the race for the U.K. chart crown.
Gloria is projected to debut at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, following the Brit’s previous leaders In The Lonely Hour (from 2014) and The Thrill Of It All (2017).
Featuring the No. 1 hit single “Unholy,” a collaboration with Kim Petras, Gloria leads the Official Chart Update. It’s the followup to 2020’s Love Goes, which peaked at No. 2 in Smith’s homeland.
Smith isn’t the only artist eyeing a splashing debut. Bob Dylan is on track for a No. 2 start with Fragments – Time Out Of Mind Sessions Volume 17 (Sony Music CG), the latest instalment in the songsmith’s Bootlegs series, which collates new mixes, outtakes and rarities from sessions from 1997’s Time Out Of Mind, an album that peaked at No. 10 in the U.K. Fragments is set to become Dylan’s 42nd appearance in the U.K. top 10.
Further down the list, Albanian-American pop artist Ava Max is heading for a No. 5 debut with Diamonds & Dancefloors (Atlantic), her sophomore album. It’s the followup to 2020’s Heaven & Hell, which peaked at No. 2.
Meanwhile, new recordings from English prog-rocker veterans Uriah Heep (Chaos & Colour at No. 19 via Silver Lining Music) and U.S. rapper Lil Yachty (Let’s Start Here at No. 32 via EMI) are heading for the top 40.
Finally, just days after Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic landed a string of Academy Award nominations, the King of Rock & Roll is making a move on the U.K. chart. Elvis Presley’s Elv1s – 30 Number 1 Hits (RCA) lifts 23-20 on the chart blast, and Elvis On Tour (Sony Music CG), a six-CD, one-Blu-ray box set capturing performances from Elvis’ 1972 North America tour, is set to bow at No. 43. Elvis is nominated for eight Oscars, including best picture; it also earned a best actor nomination for Austin Butler, who portrayed Presley.
The Official U.K. Albums Chart is presented late Friday.