One Direction are heavily applying the presure on Bruno Mars as they look this weekend to add a No 1 single to their virtually guaranteed UK albums chart-topper.
The band's second Syco album Take Me Home has easily surpassed 100,000 sales in its first week at retail with two days of trading to go and it is destined to debut at 1 this coming Sunday. According to Official Charts Company stats, it had sold around 123,000 copies by the end of business on Thursday, more than the collective tallies of albums by Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, Andre Rieu and Robbie Williams directly below it.
Take Me Home has been dominating the market all week. However, that has not been the case with the band's brand new single Little Things, which at the beginning of the week was being outsold by new tracks from Bruno Mars and Little Mix plus Parlophone act Gabrielle Alpin's John Lewis sync The Power Of Love. Mars' Elektra/Atlantic-issued Locked Out Of Heaven led the midweeks at that stage and was around 5,000 sales ahead of Syco act Little Mix's DNA in second place with Alpin third, while One Direction were a distant fourth, nearly 16,000 sales behind Mars.
By the end of Thursday, though, the situation had completely changed with One Direction up to 2 and only around 1,500 sales behind Mars who has a 2.6% sales lead over the boy band. The momentum clearly seems to be with One Direction as they look to score simultaneous singles and albums chart-toppers.
On albums Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas Baby, his first release since switching from Sony to Universal, looks like debuting at 2 ahead of The Rolling Stones' new Polydor best of GRRR. Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra's Decca-issued Magic Of The Movies has dropped 2-4 at this stage of the week, while Island act Robbie Williams' Take The Crown is down to 5 having debuted at 1 last Sunday.
This Sunday's Top 10 is also likely to include brand new entries from Decca's Alfie Boe and Reprise/Warner Bros's Green Day, while Polydor act Lana Del Rey's Born To Die could return to the Top 10 following the release of the Paradise Edition of the album. Sales of the album are up 482% on the week, lifting it 38-8 on the midweeks.
The full singles and albums midweek charts are on musicweek.com.