Chartwatch – The Adele Sales Juggernaut Rolls On

The Official Charts Company collates all sales of CDs and downloads in the UK and, in doing so, creates the UK’s Official Singles and Albums charts – the charts broadcast by Radio One and Radio Two. And, from this week, we’ll be providing weekly analysis for NME.COM

It’s impossible to avoid Adele right now. This week sees the singer add another page to her own personal record book, making it 11 weeks at Number One in the Official Albums Chart with ’21’, the second album of her short career. This week she sold more than 150,000 albums (across both 21 and 19, her debut), with ’21’ now on almost 1.9m for the year.

The album which pushed her closest this week is Katy B’s new album ‘On A Mission’, which received pretty decent reviews, even among the broadsheets, and translated this into a decent first week for the album – with 40,000 copies sold. The other big new arrival of the week is Glasvegas’s ‘Euphoric Heartbreak’, which arrives a little behind B in 10th with 10,000 copies sold.

The first four months of the year are never the busiest for album sales, but this year has been pretty healthy – helped by big name albums from the likes of Elbow, Radiohead, Britney and The Strokes, among others. Adele has been the biggest contributor though – she has now sold 2.3m albums in total this year. Otherwise, the two other biggest new albums of the year so far have been Jessie J’s ‘Who You Are’ and Bruno Mars, ‘Doo Wops & Hooligans’, selling 250,000 and 400,000 each.

Adele is closing fast on Take That’s ‘Progress’ too. Released before Christmas, the man band’s latest album reached 1m sales in 23 days before Christmas – one of the all-time fastest races to the million mark. Last week, it reached 2m sales in its 21st week on sale.

As for the Official Singles Chart, it’s another week on top for J.Lo and Pitbull’s ‘On The Floor’, which is already one of the biggest singles of the year so far, topping the 200,000 mark in just two weeks.

Since Universal and Sony launched their On Air, On Sale initiative (making downloads available to buy the moment they are available to hear on the radio – rather than allowing demand to accumulate ahead of release), the number of brand new entries to the Official Singles Chart has declined rapidly.

This week is no exception, the biggest mover at the top end of the singles rundown is Katy Perry Ft Kanye West’s ‘ET’, which moves up from 12 last week to 5 this week. Close behind it too is Mann Ft 50 Cent’s ‘Buzzin’, which arrives at 6, up from 11 last week.

The Official Singles Chart is unveiled every Sunday on BBC Radio 1’s The Chart Show with Reggie Yates, from 4pm to 7pm; the half-time positions are rundown on The Official Chart Rundown with Greg James, from 3.30pm to 4pm each Wednesday on BBC Radio 1.

In turn, Jo Whiley provides a weekly summary of the Official Albums Chart every Monday between 8pm and 9pm on her BBC Radio 2 show.