One Direction are on course for their first ever UK No 1 album with the newly-issued Take Me Home already nudging 100,000 sales.
Although their introductory set Up All Night made history this year by becoming the first debut by a UK band to enter at No 1 on the Billboard 200 in the US, it only peaked at 2 in the UK. However, they are now set to go one place better with their new album by the end of business on Tuesday having outsold its nearest four rivals combined, according to the Official Charts Company.
The group, who performed on The X Factor last Saturday, are also making a stong impact on the midweek singles countdown with the brand new track Little Things, although it is currently being outsold by new releases from Bruno Mars and Little Mix.
Rod Stewart is providing One Direction's main competition on the artist albums midweeks chart with his first festive set Merry Christmas, Baby presently registering as a new entry at 2, although it is around 65,000 sales behind Take Me Home. The high debut follows him chatting and performing on Graham Norton's BBC 1 show last Friday and if it finishes at 2 by the time the week's full chart is published on Sunday it will be his highest-charting album since When We Were The New Boys reached the same position in 1998.
Two other brand new albums are presently right below Stewart's with Polydor's new Rolling Stones best of GRRR at 3 and Reprise/Warner Bros's second 2012 Green Day album DOS at 4. The Stones album, released to mark the band's 50th anniversary, comes 10 years after their last new retrospective Forty Licks reached 2, while DOS follows Uno peaking at 2 for Green Day in September.
Having debuted at 1 last Sunday, Robbie Williams' Island debut Take The Crown is down to 5 in the midweeks with sales dropping 68%, while Decca's Andre Rieu & the Johann Straus Orchestra fall 2-6 with Magic Of The Movies and Polydor act Lana Del Rey's Born To Die races 38-7 following the release of the Paradise Edition of the album.
Decca's Alfie Boe is seeking a third UK Top 10 album with Storyteller registering as a new entry at 8 in the week so far as Virgn's Emeli Sande dops 6-9 with Our Version Of Events, while Asylum/Atlantic's Ed Sheeran sees sales of + triple over the week following his performance on last Sunday's X Factor results show. As a consequence, the album climbs 32-10 in the midweeks, while Give Me Love - the song he performed - vaults 139-19 on midweek singles.
King Animal, Soundgarden's first studio album since 1996's Down On The Upside, is new at 13, while RCA's Christina Aguilera registers at 18 with Lotus and Reprise/Warner's Deftones are new at 19 with Koi No Yokan.
Having topped the chart with a best of last year, Steps are set to return to the Top 40 with their first new studio set in a dozen years. Light Up the World, issued on their own Steps Recordings label, is currently new at 22, while other new entries will come this weekend from Universal Republic/Island's Weeknd and Atlantic's The Staves.
Bruno Mars is aiming for a fourth UK No 1 single with the new Elektra/Atlantic single Locked Out Of Heaven leading at the moment, although it is only a few thousand sales ahead of Syco act Little Mix's brand new track DNA with One Direction at 3, making the top three sellers all brand new releases. Syco's Labrinth drops 2-4 wth Beneath Your Beautiful featuring Emeli Sande, while the Parlophone-issued The Power Of Love by Gabrielle Aplin rockets 36-5 following its use in a John Lewis TV campaign.
After securing a second week at the top last weekend, Robbie Williams' Island single Candy drops to 6 in the midweeks, while Island's McFly are looking for an 18th UK Top 10 single with Love Is Easy currently registering as a new entry at 7. Sales of Gangnam Style by Island's PSY are up 22% on the week after he performed it on Jonathan Ross's ITV1 show, although it drops 6-8 on Sales Flashes, while XL's Adele slips 4-9 with Skyfall and Decca's Lumineers climb 15-10 with Ho Hey.
Future Cut/QWorks/Warner Bros's Stooshe are heading for a third hit with their TLC cover Waterfalls new at 14 on the midweeks. Other brand new arrivals include Polydor act Lana Del Rey with Ride and Ministry of Sound's Example with Close Enemies, while Atlantic's Christina Perri leaps 75-24 with A Thousand Years.
The full midweek singles and albums charts are on musicweek.com.