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Madness Prevails on U.K. Chart With ‘Theatre of the Absurd’

The U.K. has had a week of Madness, as Theatre of the Absurd Presents C’est La Vie (via BMG) debuts at No. 1.

Theatre of the Absurd is the pop-ska band’s lucky thirteenth studio album. The leader at the midweek stage of the chart cycle, Theatre of the Absurd is the north London act’s 11th top 10, third leader, and first-ever U.K. No. 1 studio album.

Suggs and Co. previously reigned over the chart with career retrospectives Complete Madness (from 1982) and Divine Madness (1992).

Theatre of the Absurd manages to go one better than Madness’ 1979 debut album, One Step Beyond, which peaked at No. 2 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, as did their sophomore set from 1980, Absolutely.

With Madness sweeping the nation, Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (via EMI) is deposed after a three-week stint at No. 1. Swift’s fourth re-recording project dips 1-2 on the national tally.

Meanwhile, Drake’s chart-topping For All the Dogs (OVO/Republic Records) rockets 21-3 following the release of its deluxe Scary Hours Edition.

Dolly Parton proves herself a rockstar once more with her latest LP, Rockstar, starting at No. 5 (Big Machine), for her fifth U.K. top 10 album. Inspired by her induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, Rockstar is a collection of rock cover versions, with assists from Miley Cyrus, Sting, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and others.

Further down the list, violinist and showman André Rieu’s Jewels of Romance (Decca) with Johann Strauss Orchestra bows at No. 12 on the Official Chart, published Friday Nov. 24, for the Dutchman’s 20th U.K. top 40.

As the festive season nears, Michael Bublé’s Christmas is heating up again, rising 32-16. Also, U.S. alternative rock act the National snag a sixth U.K. 40 album — and second this year — with Laugh Track (4AD), new at No. 24. It’s the followup to First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which peaked at No. 4 in May.

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