This what annoys me about the music business. It’s getting better but on the whole they don’t get the respect they deserve and are still treated as a joke and the music industry would rather they didn’t exist still too this day!

On another note it just dawned on me how lucky we are to have someone with a belter of a voice like Claire in Steps considering Steps where only meant to only formed for the line dancing 5678 and Claire doesn’t really belt out anything on 5678 so I love by fate we got a vocalist like her.

Why do I now have images of Claire being asked to yodel at the auditions and that's how they knew she had a powerful voice
I can't picture a world where the Manics are congratulating any other acts in the charts at the same time as them. I don't think it's a slant at Steps particularly just that the Manics operate in their own space really
Same can be said for most male rockbands (Coldplay aside).
I just took a quick look over a few dates of the tour and the recent promo/rebrand seems to have done it's job as there's definitely a lot less tickets. Manchester bizarrely seems to be the worst sold and the second night they've closed off the top tiers. Liverpool and Leeds are nearly sold out, Newcastle isn't far off.
To think after 23 years they're still playing to 18 arenas and getting number 2 albums is amazing really.
I think maybe some of you need to chill about that Manics statement – artists aren't obliged to tag or talk about any other act that released albums this week, in the same way a big pop girl would never post "thank you to *insert artist I sold more records than*".. it's not realistic.

Music fans everywhere should be celebrating that two pretty well respected legacy acts well into their second and third decade can still push 25k albums of new material in the current climate, regardless of who you're a fan of.
From Music Week

The last time the Manic Street Preachers were No.1 it was September 1998, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours beating Step One by Steps to the summit by the small matter of 95,000 copies.

Almost 23 years to the week since that chart battle, the Welsh icons finally top the charts for the second time and by an extraordinary coincidence they beat the same act once again. This time around though the competition was far tougher and indeed a mere 330 chart sales separated the two acts by the final midweek update on Thursday. Their 14th studio album, The Ultra Vivid Lament did eventually come good and sits proudly at the top of the charts, notching up 27,345 chart sales of which 24,881 were physical. After six further Top 3 albums (including two No.2 records with their last two releases), the Manic Street Preachers are finally back at the top of the charts once more.

Commiserations then to Steps, who nonetheless fought strongly and eventually finished just over 2,000 copies behind on 25,285 sales. Originally envisaged as the deluxe version of its predecessor which coincidentally also peaked at No.2 when released last December, What The Future Holds - Pt2 has been issued in its own right as their seventh studio album. Steps were looking for their fourth career No.1 but also oddly enough only their second with a full studio album, their second album Steptacular from 1999 the only non-hits release in their catalogue to make it to the top of the charts.
I think what upsets me most is this was sort of their last opportunity for a number one studio album, but then I sort of realise it doesn’t matter, some of their best work has peaked at #2, and it’s a familiar situation from them.

Baffled how it went from 300 copies between acts to 2000+ though, in a day.

If they do release another greatest hits and have another number one on their hands with it, that’s great, but with recent rebranding of Gold to include The Last Dance material, and the removal of The Ultimate Collection (a wise choice), I don’t see why we need another greatest hits collection. I’d rather they find other ways to celebrate to be honest. I also don’t think we’ll get a greatest hits tour, because it’ll be too soon for the casuals, and obviously this tour hasn’t sold out, possibly due in part to Covid feats and media hysteria. Maybe we’ll finally get that Live at the Royal Albert Hall they always mentioned was their initial plan.

Wouldn’t mind if they pulled a Kylie and hyped things up with a greatest hits next year followed by a studio album the year after, but that’s unlikely given Claire is surely eager to get her second solo album recorded and out there.
Gutted that they didn’t get the number one, but so happy for another top two album! This whole campaign has been so much fun to observe and be a part of. I had to remind myself yesterday that the album only came out last Friday because it feels like so much has happened in Steps world since then. And of course we’ve still got the rest of Steptember to go, so let’s celebrate that!

And this thread has been so much fun to visit! You all made the lead up to the album release - and the last week - so much fun! Steps fans really are the best!

I also have absolutely no idea why I’m wording this in such a dramatic way, as though this thread is closing tomorrow or something, but we’ll go with it haha!