James Bay Takes a ‘Leap’ In U.K. Chart Race

James Bay could leap to a second U.K. albums chart crown, though he faces stiff competition from another English singer.

Bay led the Official U.K. Albums Chart in 2015 with his debut Chaos And The Calm, and his latest album, Leap (EMI), is in pole position.

The new set leads the Official Chart Update, with a slim lead. According to the Official Charts Company, Leap is just 300 combined units ahead of Harry Styles’ second-placed Harry’s House (Columbia).


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Meanwhile, Afrobeats standout Burna Boy could nab his first U.K. Top 10 with Love, Damini (Atlantic), which bows at No. 5 on the midweek chart. Love, Damini is Burna Boy’s sixth studio album, and the followup to 2020’s Twice As Tall, which peaked at a career-best No. 11.

U.S. R&B artist Brent Faiyaz is on track for a first Top 10 appearance with Wasteland (Lost Kids), new at No. 6 on the chart blast, while Neil Young and Crazy Horse pop up at No. 7 with Toast (Reprise), a “lost” album that was shelved in 2001. If it holds its course, Toast would give the legendary Canadian rocker a 10th U.K. Top 10 title.

Stockholm, Sweden-originated post-punk band Viagra Boys could score a first Top 20 spot, with Cave World (Year0001), new at No. 20 on the midweek tally. It’s the followup to 2021’s Welfare Jazz, which reached No. 41 on the chart proper.

Finally, U.S. rock veterans Journey are celebrating Freedom (Frontiers), their first new album in 11 years. It’s on target for a No. 26 debut, which would be their highest chart position since Greatest Hits reached No. 12 in 2010, and their best result for a studio album since Raised on Radio, featuring Steve Perry on lead vocals and production duties, went to No. 22 back in 1986.

The Official U.K. Albums Chart is published late Friday.