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Madness on Target For U.K. No. 1 With ‘Theatre of the Absurd’

Madness is hoping 13 proves to be their lucky number as Theatre of the Absurd presents C’est La Vie (via BMG) moves into title contention in the U.K.

Theatre of the Absurd is the British ska and pop band’s 13th studio album, and, if it holds its course, would mark their 11th top 10 and first-ever U.K. No. 1 studio album, following chart-topping career retrospectives Complete Madness (from 1982) and Divine Madness (1992).

Led by Graham “Suggs” McPherson, the north London band has got close to the U.K. chart’s holy grail on more than one occasion. Their 1979 debut album One Step Beyond peaked at No. 2 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, as did their sophomore set from 1980, Absolutely.

Taylor Swift’s current chart champion 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (via EMI) is a clear-and-present contender, close behind at No. 2.

Meanwhile, Dolly Parton could snag her fourth U.K. top 10 with Rockstar (Big Machine), her features-stacked collection of covers. It’s new at No. 3 on the Official Chart Update, and is forecast to be be the country legend’s best performing studio effort since 2016’s Pure & Simple peaked at No. 2.

Also flying on the chart blast is the deluxe Scary Hours edition of Drake’s former leader For All the Dogs (OVO/Republic Records). It’s set to bounce 32-4.

U.S. alternative rock favorites the National could score their second top 5 album of 2023, with Laugh Track (4AD), set for a No. 5 start. It’s the followup to First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which entered the national chart at No. 4 in May of this year.

Finally, Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu could bag his 14th top U.K. 10 LP with Jewels of Romance (Decca), recorded with the Johann Strauss Orchestra. It’s new at No. 8 on the Official Chart Update.

All will be revealed when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published late Friday, Nov. 24.

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