Blur is back on top in the U.K. as The Ballad of Darren arrives at No. 1, for the Britpop legends’ seventh leader.

The Ballad of Darren (via Parlophone) opens with 44,000 chart units, the Official Charts Company reports, with physical formats proving popular. Almost 90% of those first-week units were sold as physical copies.

That Blur would crown the chart on Friday, July 28 was virtually assured when, at the midweek point, the album was reported to be outselling the rest of the top 10 combined.


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The foursome, which also includes guitarist Graham Coxon, bass player Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree, also hit No. 1 with Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995), Blur (1997), 13 (1999), and Think Tank (2003) and The Magic Whip (2015), while their first two albums, 1991’s Leisure and 1993’s Modern Life is Rubbish, reached No. 7 and No. 15, respectively.

With seven albums chart crowns, Blur joins the likes of Elton John, George Michael, Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand, and they’re just one title short of the eight leaders accumulated by Oasis, Blur’s ‘90s nemesis. Oasis’ string of leaders does, however, including a greatest hits collection, 2010’s Time Flies – 1994-2009.

For frontman Damon Albarn, a second No. 1 of the year after his other band, Gorillaz, reigned over the Official U.K. Albums Chart in March with Cracker Island, a feat that places him in rare company. The likes of ABBA, Taylor Swift, The Beatles, Diana Ross and Robbie Williams have also landed two chart-toppers in a calendar year.

Meanwhile, American rockers Greta Van Fleet snag a second top 10 album with Starcatcher (EMI), new at No. 8. That’s an equal career high, matching the No. 8 best for 2021’s The Battle at Garden’s Gate, and beating the No. 12 peak for their 2018 debut Anthem of a Peaceful Army.

Finally, As December Falls enjoys its first appearance on the U.K. chart with Join The Club (ADF), new at No. 11, while K-pop girl group NewJeans land at No. 15 with their second EP Get Up.

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