Les Miserables is on course to become the first motion picture cast recording to top the UK artist albums chart in more than 15 years.
The Polydor release had by the end of business on Tuesday outsold its three closest challengers, according to the Official Charts Company, on its way to becoming the first cast recording chart-topper since Evita in February 1997. Among its songs is I Dreamed A Dream.
Lined up behind Les Miserables are Virgin act Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events, which returned to No 1 last Sunday, Everything Everything's first album for RCA and second in all and Jake Bugg's eponymous Mercury album.
Sande's debut drops to two in the midweeks as Everything Everthing's Arc debuts at 3, 14 places higher than the 2010 peak of their first album Man Live. That album, which was released by current RCA boss Colin Barlow's former label home of Geffen, received a Barclaycard Mercury Prize nomination. Also Mercury nominated was Domino act Villagers' Becoming A Jackal and the follow-up Awayland is also set to chart this Sunday. It is new at 12 in the week so far, while the first Villagers album reached 66.
US rapper ASAP Rocky's introductory album Long Live ASAP looks like making the Top 10 with the Worldwide/Polo/RCA release new at 6 in the midweeks. Joining it in the 10 currently is fellow Columbia title 18 Months by Calvin Harris, dropping 2-5, while Def Jam/Mercury act Rihanna falls 4-7, Ed Sheeran's Asylum/Atlantic album + is down 6-8 and RCA signing Paloma Faith's Fall To Grace moves 11-9 with sales up 8% following her appearance on Jonathan Ross's ITV1 show last Saturday. Completing the Top 10 is Taylor Swift's Red, which drops 8-10 in the week so far.
Nearly eight yearrs after their last studio album Waiting For The Sirens Call, New Order will return to the albums chart this weeked with the long-awaited Rhino follow-up Lost Sirens showing as a new entry at 14 in the latest Sales Flashes.
Seven US superstars are crowded into the midweek singles top three with a combination of 50 Cent, Eminem and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine at 1, will.i.am. featuring Britney Spears at 2 and Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z at 3. Little more than 4,000 sales separate the three tracks at this stage of the week.
Just ahead in the race is the Interscope/Polydor-issued My Life, which could give 50 Cent his first UK singles chart-topper, while for Eminem it would be his eighth in all and first since he featured on Akon's Smack It in 2006. Joining the two rappers on the track, Adam Levine topped the UK singles countdown for the first time last year on Maroon 5's Payphone.
Having finally topped the singles chart last week in its fifth week on the countdown, fellow Interscope/Polydor release Scream & Shout by will.i.am and Britney Spears drops to 2 in the midweeks, while RCA act Justin Timberlake's comeback single Suit & Tie featuring Jay-Z shows up as a new entry at 3. It is a rare example of a major release subject to the so-called On Air/On Sale strategy having been serviced to radio this week at the same time retail started selling it.
Mercury act Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble slips 2-4 as Rihanna's Def Jam/Mercury single Stay featuring Mikky Ekko falls 4-5, while James Arthur's Syco single Impossible could drop out of the top five for the first time this weekend, declining 3-6 on midweeks. Columbia's Calvin Harris is down 5-7 in the week to date with Drinking From The Bottle featuring Tinie Tempah, the London-issued Don't Stop The Party by Pitbull featuring Jr falls 7-8 and Atlantic act Bruno Mars' Locked Out Of Heaven declines 8-9. Meanwhile, Syco's One Direction could score a sixth UK Top 10 single with Kiss You climbing 12-10 in the midweeks.
Having been performed on Jonathan Ross last weekend, 14th Floor/Warner Bros act Biffy Clyro's new single Black Chandelier is new at 11 in the midweeks, while Emeli Sande's Virgin single Clown climbs 23-14 after it featured last Friday on Graham Norton's BBC One chat show.
The full midweek singles and albums charts are on musicweek.com.