Ed Sheeran's "Autumn Variations" Poised for No. 1 on U.K. Chart


Ed Sheeran, the acclaimed English singer and songwriter, is on track to claim the top spot on the U.K. chart with his latest release, "Autumn Variations" (via Gingerbread Man). The album, which hit the shelves last Friday (Sept. 29), marks Sheeran's second full-length release of the year.

According to data from the Official Charts Company, "Autumn Variations" is surpassing its closest competitor by a margin of more than two-to-one, positioning it as the leading contender for the chart's top position.

If the album maintains its momentum, Sheeran will continue his remarkable streak of achieving No. 1 studio albums, extending it to seven consecutive releases. This impressive run began with his debut LP, "+ (plus)," in 2011.

Collaboratively produced with Aaron Dessner, "Autumn Variations" is poised to secure Sheeran his second chart-topping album on the Official U.K. Albums Chart for 2023. His previous album, "- (subtract)," claimed the summit for two weeks in June.

Securing the No. 2 spot on the latest Official Chart Update is Steven Wilson, a member of Porcupine Tree, with his solo project "The Harmony Codex" (SW Records). If it maintains its trajectory, this album will mark Wilson's highest-charting solo effort, surpassing the peaks of "To The Bone" (No. 3) in 2017 and "The Future Bites" (No. 4) in 2021.

Rounding out the top three at the midweek stage is British R&B artist Jorja Smith's sophomore album, "Falling Or Flying" (FAMM). Debuting at No. 3 on the chart, this album is set to give the BRITs Critics Choice award winner her third appearance in the U.K. top 10.

Further down the chart, Kentucky rock group Black Stone Cherry is poised to secure their fourth U.K. top 10 with "Screamin’ At The Sky" (Mascot), anticipated to debut at No. 5. U.K. retro synth-pop trio Gunship might also clinch their first U.K. top 10 with the concept album "Unicorn" (Horsie In The Hedge), positioned for a No. 7 start. Additionally, British soul veteran Beverley Knight could achieve her fifth top 10 with "The Fifth Chapter" (Tag8), projected to begin at No. 10.

Watch out for potential top 40 entries from Anna Lapwood ("LUNA" at No. 26 via Sony Classical), Wilco ("Cousin" at No. 29 via Sony Music CG), Orb & David Gilmour ("Metallic Spheres In Colour" at No. 31 via Sony Music CG), Hawkwind ("Space Ritual" at No. 32 via Atomhenge/Cherry Red), 2023 U.K. Eurovision representative Mae Muller ("Sorry I’m Late" at No. 33 via Capitol), and Andrew Cushin ("Waiting For The Rain" at No. 35 via Strap Originals).

The final standings will be unveiled when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published on Friday, Oct. 6.