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James Arthur Takes Lead In U.K. Chart Race With ‘Bitter Sweet Love’

And just like that, James Arthur is the frontrunner in the race for the U.K. albums chart crown.

Arthur, the former X Factor U.K. champion, enters the lead with Bitter Sweet Love (Columbia), his fifth studio album, following the release of a “Digital Deluxe” version on Saturday (Jan. 27), including three live recordings cut in Hamburg with the Lufthansa Orchestra, and four bonus tracks.

The pop singer promoted his new release on the weekend, performing the title track for Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on BBC One.

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What a difference a day makes. Prior to the Official Chart Company’s latest update, Radiohead spin-off the Smile was in pole position with Wall of Eyes (XL Recordings), which held a lead of just 200 chart units over indie rockers the Reytons’ Ballad of a Bystander (The Reytons), in second spot.

Now, Arthur’s Bitter Sweet Love roars ahead with an additional 5,000 chart units collected overnight, mostly physical sales, the OCC reports. With its rocket boosters on full blast, Bitter Sweet Love moves 4,000 chart units ahead of its nearest competition, the Smile’s Wall of Eyes.

The winner of X Factor back in 2012, Arthur has cracked the top 3 with all his previous releases including a leader with 2016’s Back From the Edge, a collection that featured his No. 1 single “Say You Won’t Let Go.”
Arthur also entered the U.K. top 10 with his 2013 self-titled debut (at No. 2), 2019’s You (No. 2) and his most recent LP, 2021’s It’ll All Make Sense In The End (No. 3).

As it stands, a slew of new releases are on track for top 10 berths, including Future Islands‘ People Who Aren’t There Anymore (at No. 6 via 4AD), Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes‘ Dark Rainbow (No. 8 via International Death Cult), New Model Army’s Unbroken (No. 9 via Ear Music), and Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys‘s Sadness Sets Me Free (No. 10 via Rough Trade).

All will be revealed when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published Friday, Feb. 2.

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