Many of us anticipated a triumph, and so it came to pass: after only one week, Adele’s latest album, 25, sold a seismic 3.38 million copies in the United States alone. No artist has approached such wild numbers since Nielsen Music (and before them SoundScan) began measuring record sales in 1991.
According to the New York Times, Adele now holds the record for first-week sales, not so much ousting but hurtling N’Sync from the throne they’ve claimed since 2000. That was the year No Strings Attached sold 2.4 million copies in the first week of its release— an impressive number, but one 25 bested by nearly one million copies.
(Incidentally, I purchased both 25 and No Strings Attached immediately after their respective releases which I think firmly establishes me as a great influencer of history.)
Adele’s feat is all the more impressive given that this “climate [is] far less hospitable to blockbusters.” The Times notes that “at the turn of the millennium [when N’Sync released NSA] retailers were selling about 700 million CDs a year, while last year just 247 million albums were sold in CDs and downloads combined.”
But we Adele fans are a loyal crew. Hell, I was ever-so-briefly disappointed by my marriage’s stability; it’s a rather undramatic context for listening to both 21 and 25. I heard much talk—as perhaps you did—of premeditated breakups and divorces in the weeks leading up to 25’s release. (Did anybody actually follow through, I wonder!)
On a less demented note, we fans have waited (relatively) patiently as Adele tucked herself away for several years and nourished our cravings with the solitary release of “Skyfall,” title song of the 2012 James Bond film. And on October 23, 2015, we were rewarded with the heady, succulent single “Hello,” which according to the Times “shot to No.1 on the Billboard singles chart and has not budged since.” It sold over one million downloads in the first week, “nearly doubling the previous record of 636,000, held by Flo Rida’s ‘Right Round.’”
Oh, and if you’re weary of Taylor Swift and her #squadgoals you may be interested to know that, thanks to Adele, 1989 is no longer the best-selling album of 2015. Billboard reports that 25 now claims that title, and if the album can maintain its momentum for just one more month, it will keep it. Slay Adele, slay.
I sign off now with my current favorite version of “Hello,” because while I may have resisted incorporating its opening lyrics into this post, I cannot conclude without paying proper homage to their origin.
In the meantime, I hope that you’re well.
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Image via Getty. Video via YouTube.