THE BLOG

More Than 800,000 Reasons Why It's All About Adele

27/11/2015 19:56 GMT | Updated 27/11/2016 10:12 GMT

We're used to Adele shattering records. Her last album, 21, virtually has a page in the history books all to itself, after all.

But in the past week, Adele has begun to turn that page into a chapter. Today she was confirmed at the top of the UK's Official Albums Chart (no surprise there) - but with a sales total which is breath-taking.

In seven days, her third album 25 sold 800,307 copies. To reiterate, that is the highest total for any Number 1 album ever. That's ever. Including any album released by The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Madonna, U2, Rolling Stones. Anyone.

In the past seven days, 25 has sold almost 550,000 physical albums (all but 5,000 of them on CD - the rest were vinyl). Remarkably, for an artist who is multi-generational in her appeal, the biggest noise should be saved for her digital performance though - before this week, no album had ever sold more than 100,000 album downloads in one week in the UK. But then Adele came along and sold 242,000.

For this 27-year-old singer from Tottenham, ordinary rules clearly do not apply.

Earlier today I read an exchange on Twitter, commenting on the ballsiness of an album campaign which involved minimal (if any) Twitter promotion, largely side-stepped Facebook and (as is well established by now) also avoided streaming services. It was argued that such an approach highlighted an arrogance at the heart of the Adele campaign.

Arrogance? Or just supreme self-confidence? And who wouldn't be self confident with a 4.8m album under her belt (that's 21, the second biggest selling studio album of all time - behind only Sgt Pepper).

The question for 25 is now, what next? Having laid waste to all before her in the past week, what is in store for 25 through to the end of the year? Surely, it has to be the safest Christmas gift of the festive season to come - suitable for kids, mums, dads, aunties, uncles, grandmas and granddads? Surely 1million sales is just around the corner, then 2million - then, the chance to become the biggest selling album of all time in the UK?

Indeed, 1million should be less than a week away, with the potential to create a new land speed record - the fastest million-seller to date is Oasis's Be Here Now, which reached the target in 11 days, back in a pre-digital 1997.

But Be Here Now should provide a note of caution for anyone who assumes that the door to the all-time Top 10 albums is ajar, ready to be kicked open and for 25 to assume its rightful place. It really isn't as simple as that. Momentum is the thing. And for any record to rack up the kind of sales required for one of those Top 10 places (4million sales, since you're asking) it has to sell and sell and sell.

There is a strong chance that 25 will do just that. But it isn't guaranteed by any means. Remember that Oasis album? Be Here Now was the 25 of its era, a huge monster of a hit album, 696,000 in its first three days (it was released on a Thursday), it was equally huge.

It reached 1million sales before a fortnight had passed and looked set on a similar path to the top of the all-time lists. But it faltered. It stalled. It did pass 1.5million, but it never reached the 2million mark. It sits today at just over 1.8million sales, some way outside the all-time Top 100 biggest selling albums of all time.

But if that makes you feel a little sorry for Oasis - please don't. They've all done pretty well for themselves. Besides, if you have any sympathy spare this weekend, share some of it for a couple of other young lads.

Because, while Adele was pulling up trees and hogging all the headlines this week, Benjamin Clementine's At Least For Now quietly followed up his Mercury Music Prize victory last Friday by entering the Official Albums Top 40 for the first time, while Justin Bieber claimed positions 1 and 2 in the Official Singles Chart (the first artist to do so since Madonna in 1985).

Both huge achievements, in their own way, but which went largely unnoticed.

Poor fellas. But sometimes you have to accept the realities of life.

And, this week, it's all about Adele.