Manic Street Preachers: Welsh rock band beat Steps (again) to top album charts

Image source, Alex Lake
Image caption, Welsh rock outfit Manic Street Preachers last topped the charts 23 years ago

Manic Street Preachers are celebrating their first number one album in 23 years after a re-run of their 90s chart battle with pop group Steps.

The Welsh rock group won out by securing 27,000 chart sales of their 14th studio album, The Ultra Vivid Lament, according to the Official Charts Company.

Only 2,000 sales separated them from Steps' What The Future Holds Pt. 2.

The Manics are "over the moon" to win another "titanic chart battle".

They also thanked fans for "keeping the faith" during the intervening two decades.

The two groups first went head-to-head for the number one album spot in September 1998. On that occasion Manic Street Preachers' This Is My Truth Now Tell Me Yours beat Steps' Step One by 95,000 sales.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, Steps, pictured in 1998 amid their first chart battle with the Manics, originally reformed in 2012

The result comes as the Manics are set to play two rescheduled NHS charity shows at the Cardiff International Arena.

About 10,000 people are expected in the Welsh capital to see singer James Bradfield, drummer Sean Moore and bassist Nicky Wire perform across Sunday and Monday.

Sheeran replaces himself on top spot

The 90s rematch means Drake's highly anticipated new album Certified Lover Boy dropped back from the top spot last week down to number three.

Two more new releases have made the top five, with Dark Matters by rock band The Stranglers taking fourth place, their first top 10 album since 1990. Indie rock band The Vaccines came in at number five with Back In Love City.

Arlo Parks' debut studio album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, also re-entered the top 40 at number 36 after winning the Mercury Prize for best album last week prompted a 253% boost in sales.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, Sheeran appears to currently be fighting a chart singles battle all of his own

Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits finally lost its pole position in the singles chart after 11 weeks at the summit, but only to be replaced by his new track Shivers.

It secured 59,000 chart sales to become Sheeran's 11th number one single.

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