Adele has scored the highest opening week for an album in 2021, beating Abba’s recent blockbuster return.
Her fourth album, 30, notched chart sales of 261,000, a figure derived from streaming, downloads and physical sales (including 16,700 copies shifted on vinyl). It’s the biggest first week sales figure since Ed Sheeran’s Divide in 2017, and beats Abba’s 204,000 figure for Voyage.
No other female act has had as many albums all go to No 1 in the UK. That back catalogue is well represented in this week’s chart with 19 at No 31, 21 at No 18, and 25 at No 15.
30’s lead single, Easy on Me, continues its reign at the top of the singles chart, earning its sixth week at No 1, making it Adele’s longest-running chart-topper. She missed out, though, on being the first woman to place at No 1, 2 and 3 on the singles chart – Oh My God is at No 2 but I Drink Wine reached No 4.
In the US, Adele’s sales have been even more spectacular, and 30 became the biggest selling album of the year after just three days. In the UK, that title is still held by Olivia Rodrigo and her album Sour, which has 320,000 chart sales according to the last count by the Official Charts Company in October.
Christmas has also arrived, at least in the UK charts: Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You is at No 24 and Wham!’s Last Christmas is at No 28. Michael Bublé’s perennially popular 2011 Christmas LP rejoins the album chart, at No 17.
Chart-watchers are starting to eye the Christmas No 1 race, with a new, as yet unreleased festive song by Sheeran and Elton John expected to feature highly – one of three Christmas songs the pair have written together. LadBaby, the YouTube star who has had the last three Christmas No 1s, hasn’t announced if he will be attempting a fourth.