Yard Act and Years & Years in close race for this week’s UK Number One album

Approximately 400 sales separate them, with Yard Act leading the way on physical formats

Yard Act and Years & Years are in a close race for this week’s UK Number One album, with just 400 sales separating them.

Last Friday (January 21) saw the rising Leeds band release their debut record ‘The Overload’ as Olly Alexander dropped Years & Years’ third studio effort ‘Night Call’. Both albums were awarded four stars by NME.

As the Official Charts Company reports today (January 25), Yard Act are edging closer to securing their first Number One in the UK albums chart on Friday (January 28).

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Should the group achieve the victory, they would become the first act of 2022 to land at the top spot with their debut full-length.

Fewer than 400 sales separate Yard Act and Years & Years in the chart battle as of today. The former’s sales are largely made up of physical units: 93 per cent of their total is made up of CD, vinyl and cassette copies.

Despite Years & Years being outsold by the band on physical formats, ‘Night Call’ is currently performing strongly across digital download and online streaming services.

As the race heats up, Yard Act have shared a spoof video on social media in a bid to get fans to “invest in records, CDs, cassettes and downloads and take The Overload to the very top”.

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The Official Charts Company also notes that some of Meat Loaf‘s most popular material has re-entered the chart following the legendary musician’s death last week. At the time of writing, his 1977 debut album ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ is set to re-enter the albums chart at Number Three.

Sharing a screenshot of the latest chart update, Yard Act said: “[We’re] secretly rooting for 4 meatloaf albums to rush past at the last minute and crush both ours and @yearsandyears coz honestly, that would be funniest. Respect 2 Olly + Loaf.”

Yesterday (January 24) the band wrote: “We want a number 1. Not gonna play it cool.”

Yard Act’s bid for Number One comes amid a recent shift towards high-charting guitar-based acts. Last October, analysis from the UK record labels association the BPI suggested that 2021 was on course to becoming the best year for British bands in the UK charts in over a decade.

Years & Years
Years & Years (Picture: Hugo Yanguela / NME)

Newcomers The Lathums and The Snuts both bagged UK Number Ones with their respective 2021 debut albums, ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’ and ‘W.L’. Indie label-signees such as Architects (‘For Those That Wish To Exist’), Mogwai (‘As The Love Continues’) and Wolf Alice (‘Blue Weekend’) also reached the top spot last year.

Last Friday’s chart run-down, meanwhile, saw The Wombats achieve the first Number One of their career with their fifth record ‘Fix Yourself, Not The World’.

Speaking in a recent interview with NME, Yard Act frontman James Smith explained that the group weren’t shying away from chart success.

“You’ve got to stare at your career head-on and be real about why you’re doing it,” he explained. “As long as you’re not starting to change the songs you make because of it then it’s alright.”

Smith continued: “We’re making music that’s made a connection. It’s off the beaten track, but it fits in with the world of pop music. It’s on the radio and it’s got choruses, so why shouldn’t you try for [chart success]?”

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