Both released their latest full-length albums last Friday (June 2), and as it stands, they are competing to top the charts in a race that is too close to call.
The competition is one of the closest chart battles in recent years, and sees Foo Fighters’ ‘But Here We Are’ — their first album since the sudden death of Taylor Hawkins last March — take on ‘Council Skies’, the fourth studio effort from Noel Gallagher’s solo project.
First reported by NME on Tuesday (June 6), the midweek mark showed that Gallagher had only just claimed the Number One position and that Dave Grohl and co. were sitting in second place — although just 200 units separated the two.
Now, just one day before this week’s Official Number One album is revealed on BBC Radio 1’s The Official Chart (June 9, from 4pm BST), the American rock veterans have surpassed the former Oasis member, and are currently in peak position.
Foo Fighters performs onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty
Although the five-piece are close to being certified the chart toppers with ‘But Here We Are’, the race is still too close to call as, at time of writing, they are only in the lead by a mere 500 units.
A lot is at stake for both artists. If Foo Fighters were to claim the victory tomorrow, it would mark their sixth UK chart-topping LP. Previously, the band reached the summit with five of their albums: ‘One By One (2002), ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’ (2007), ‘Wasting Light’ (2011), ‘Concrete And Gold’ (2017) and ‘Medicine At Midnight’ (2021).
That being said, if Gallagher was to take the pole position with ‘Council Skies’, it would continue his impressive unbroken streak of Number 1 LPs across his career — including his albums with Oasis and High Flying Birds. This would mean that every single release of his 11 album discography went on to top the charts.
As reported earlier this week, other new entries set to complete the Top Five by the end of this week include Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s ‘Hana’, which quickly became the artist’s fifth album to make the Top 10, and Bob Dylan’s 40th LP, ‘Shadow Kingdom’, which is comprised of re-recorded songs from his early discography.
Noel Gallagher CREDIT: Matt Crockett
Elsewhere, the remainder of the Top 10 is set to be filled by releases from the likes of Louise with her retrospective ‘Greatest Hits’ album, Jake Shears’ second LP since leaving Scissor Sisters ‘Last Man Standing’, and ‘Life Is But A Dream…’, the experimental new venture from American metal band Avenged Sevenfold.
Noel Gallagher recently discussed the making of ‘Council Skies’ in a new interview with NME, and explained that the album was written during a period of reflection.
“You’d have to take the album on a track-by-track basis, really. If there’s one overriding word to describe it, it’s ‘reflective’. All the dreams I had growing up underneath the council skies sparked off a lot of things for me, but it was written in that god-awful period in lockdown,” he told NME.
“In isolation in those nine months where there was nothing to do, nowhere to go and no one to see. Everybody dealt with it personally differently. I came on to my own personal life, asking ‘How have I got here?’ It’s reflective more than anything about childhood.”
The new interview with NME also saw Gallagher discuss the making of his new album, working with Johnny Marr and The Cure‘s Robert Smith, his thoughts on the AI-generated Oasis album, Brit-pop reunions, Brexit Britain and his thoughts on modern rock and The 1975. He also proceeded to highlight all the “flaws” he sees in his previous releases, both with Oasis and with his solo endeavours.
Foo Fighters’ latest 11th studio album received a five-star review from NME, who hailed it as being “a beautiful, noisy celebration of brotherhood and a stark, painful exploration of loss.”
“It is messy, gut-wrenching, ambitious and gorgeous, as the remaining members of Foo Fighters push themselves to their limits and beyond,” it read. “Through it all, ‘But Here We Are’ is an undeniable reminder of the healing, unifying power of music.”
The band recently began their 2023 comeback tour, and are rumoured to be making a surprise appearance at Glastonbury 2023 as The Churnups. Earlier this week, Grohl and co. also teased details of a “soon-to-be-announced” UK tour.
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