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Blink-182 vs. The Rolling Stones: Will It Be a Battle of the Bands Atop the Billboard 200? 

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The Contenders is a midweek column that looks at artists aiming for the top of the Billboard charts, and the strategies behind their efforts. This week (for the upcoming charts dated Nov. 4), new albums by rock greats Blink-182 and The Rolling Stones vie for the Billboard 200’s top spot, along with the last two albums to have topped the chart. 

Blink-182, One More Time… (Columbia): The latest album from pop-punk paragons Blink-182 is the 10th of the band’s career — counting 1994’s independently released Buddha, andfollowing 2019’s appropriately titled Nine. But it’s also the first since 2011’s California to feature guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge, who reconnected with the trio’s other two members after co-leader Mark Hoppus was diagnosed with cancer in 2021, undergoing successful treatment and recovery.  

Riding the excitement of the reunion of the group’s classic lineup, One More Time has already spawned a pair of Billboard Hot 100 hits in “Edging” and the title track, reaching Nos. 61 and 62 respectively – the group’s highest Hot 100 entries since 2004’s “I Miss You” (No. 42). The album is expected to sell well — helped by 11 different vinyl variants, standard CD and cassette editions, and a deluxe box set with a branded shirt and CD contained inside – and should get extra exposure from a recently announced 2024 U.S. tour, taking them to arenas and stadiums throughout next summer. (The trio also released a new digital edition of the album on their webstore on Wednesday, featuring two new bonus tracks.) 

The Rolling Stones, Hackney Diamonds (Geffen/Polydor): Though they’ve remained a consistent top-drawing live act and released the blues covers set Blue & Lonesome in 2016, this month’s Hackney Diamonds is the first album of originals from Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Rolling Stones since 2005’s A Bigger Bang. Produced by contemporary pop-rock hitmaker Andrew Watt, who’s previously worked with rock legends Elton John and Ozzy Osbourne, Diamonds has been hailed by critics and fans as one of the group’s best later-period works. (John also plays on two of Diamonds‘ 12 tracks, with other huge-name guests on the album including Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney.)

Will it be enough to score the band their 10th No. 1 album on the Billboard 200? The Stones will certainly be giving fans plenty of options for purchase, with a whopping 30+ vinyl variants, as well as two deluxe box sets (with either a branded shirt or a hat, plus a CD), a digipack CD and a CD/Blu-ray box set. The band is fighting against their recent history a little, however, as they haven’t topped the chart since the classic Tattoo You in 1981. (Blink’s most recent No. 1 came in 2016 with California.) If the album hits the Billboard 200’s top 10, it will extend the band’s already-record-setting number of top 10 entries on the chart to 38.

Drake, For All the Dogs (OVO/Republic) & Bad Bunny, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana (Rimas): The previous two No. 1s on the Billboard 200 (for the charts dated Oct. 21 & 28, respectively) are still putting up big streaming numbers on a daily basis, currently responsible for a combined 14 of the top 20 spots on the realtime Apple Music chart. Despite being the older release, Drake‘s For All the Dogs probably has the advantage between the two sets, with both a stronger across-the-board showing for its 24 tracks and the current No. 1 song on both the Apple Music chart and the Spotify U.S. Daily Top Songs listing, with the Yeat-featuring “IDGAF.” Dogs earned 164,000 equivalent album units in its second week, so it’s likely that Blink or the Stones will have to post a first-week number comfortably in the six digits to pass it in its third frame.  

IN THE MIX 

Tyler, the Creator, Wolf (Odd Future): The beloved rapper’s second album, 2013’s Wolf, received a 10th anniversary vinyl reissue pressing earlier this month. Given Tyler’s strong presence in the vinyl market – which helped return his Call Me If You Get Lost to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in April 2022, nine months after its initial debut, following its belated vinyl release – it should result in Wolf making a strong return to next week’s chart. The album initially debuted and peaked at No. 3 in April 2013.  

Fuerza Regida, Pa Las Baby’s Y Belikeada (Sony Music Latin/Street Mob/Rancho Humilde): One of the biggest names from the recent boom in regional Mexican music just released one of its biggest albums: Fuerza Regida’s new Pa Las Baby’s set is a whopping 30 tracks, featuring guest appearances from fellow música Mexicana hitmakers Chino Pacas, Gabito Ballesteros and Manuel Torizo, as well as American EDM star producer Marshmello. The set’s chart performance will come almost entirely through its streaming numbers, as the album does not yet have a physical release.  

Cher, Cher Christmas (Warner): Cher’s first-ever Christmas album includes covers of holiday standards like “Santa Baby” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” as well as the set-leading original “DJ Play a Christmas Song,” and guest appearances from fellow stars Michael Bublé, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Wonder and (of course) Tyga. The album is currently available through four CD variants (each with different covers), though its vinyl issue isn’t expected until later this year. If the album reaches the top 40 – possible for either next week or following its vinyl release – it would give the pop icon a seventh straight decade of charting at least one solo album in the Billboard 200’s top 40, dating back to the 1960s.   

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