It’s one of the most memorable chart battles of recent years.
Heavyweight rock acts Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Foo Fighters are going head-to-head in the race for No.1 this week.
The first sales flash of the week after a single day’s sales put Council Skies (Sour Mash Records) by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds ahead of Foo Fighters’ But Here We Are (Columbia) by just four sales.
Since then, the leadership has changed hands and both acts have passed 30,000 sales. In the first official Midweek sales chart on Monday, Noel Gallagher was at No.1 on 29,696 and Foo Fighters were at No.2 on 29,581. It’s now emerged that Foo Fighters have today moved ahead by less than 500 copies.
With marginally superior streaming, which is reported by DSPs with a time lag, Foo Fighters are well placed to take advantage in the second half of the week.
However, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have a late format addition that will drop tomorrow morning – the last day for sales to count towards the chart race.
The fourth full-length album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be made available as an NFT: the digital pressing via collectible record store Serenade will provide exclusive access to video footage of the making of the record. Owners of the Council Skies digital pressing can unlock high-quality WAVs of the record, two video diaries documenting the recording of the record, plus digitally signed cover art in an exclusive coloured version.
While NFTs have fallen out of favour in 2023 following a reputational hit to the format, companies such as Serenade are helping to embed the format in release campaigns and change preconceptions about how they are being used by artists. Muse’s 2022 No.1 album Will Of The People was the first chart-accredited release with a Web3 product, which was also powered by Serenade.
Council Skies is the 15th chart-accredited album to be released through Serenade, with more in the pipeline. The Noel Gallagher NFT digital pressing lands at 10am via Serenade and label Ignition. It complements a physical and streaming campaign supported by The Orchard and Proper Music.
“It wraps up a thrilling week in the UK charts, and a brilliant campaign from Noel and team,” said a statement. “This latest digital pressing release from Serenade continues to prove the worth of the futureproof format, connecting fan and artist in a way like never before.”
Fans can sign up via Noel Gallagher’s official site from today for notification about the digital pressing via Serenade. As with the Muse release, numbers will be under 1,000 globally, although the bulk will be in the UK as the band’s biggest market. With an extra 500 sales from an NFT, it could make all the difference in the chart race.
In total, Noel Gallagher has had 12 No.1 albums with Oasis and his own project. If Gallagher does make No.1 this week, it will extend his unbroken run of chart-topping studio albums to 11.
Foo Fighters 11th studio album would be their sixth chart-topper if they do manage to stay ahead at the end of the week.