As you may have read in the past few days, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter called Adele Adkins has a new album that is selling quite well.
Her third album, 25, smashed past 3m sales in its first week in the US on Wednesday (November 25), destroying previous records.
In the UK, however, its record-breaking status needed a few footnotes. Allow MBW to explain.
Until 25 was released last Friday (November 20), the fastest-selling album in UK history was Oasis’s Be Here Now.
The British band’s bombastic third record officially sold 696,000 in its first chart week on sale in the UK.
However, because Be Here Now was released on a Thursday – back when the Official Album Chart was revealed on a Sunday – it actually only had three days to clock up this figure.
Adele’s 25, on the other hand, has had a full seven days – from last Friday to yesterday (Thursday, November 26) – to rack up its first chart week sales.
As such, 25 surpassed Oasis’s first chart week tally on Wednesday, bursting to 727,000 sales in six days.
UPDATE: However, things are different when you look at both albums’ first full sales week – ie. the first seven days they were both on sale.
Oasis sold 813,000 copies of Be Here Now in the record’s first seven days on sale, according to Official Charts data from the time – ie. the album’s first full week.
25’s full week tally (to the end of play on Thurdsay) was just over 803,000 sales, according to the Official Charts Company.
MBW originally raised the point, informed by industry experts, that ‘panel sales’ may have boosted Oasis’s tally – and because Adele operates in an era where these don’t exist, they may have unfairly weighed in Be Here Now’s favour.
‘Panel sales’ were essentially an approximation of an album’s performance across retailers who did not report their data to the OCC.
However, Official Charts Company data experts have now told MBW that ‘panel sales’ were not part of Be Here Now’s sales, as the practice had died out by the time the LP arrived in August 1997.
So there you have it: in terms of an opening ‘chart week’, Adele is the fastest-selling album in UK history. But on the basis of a ‘full week’, says the Official Charts Company, the king is still Oasis’s Be Here Now.
(Not that Noel Gallagher will probably mind Be Here Now being scrubbed from the history books. He once said: “I can’t listen to fuckin’ any of that album now”, admitting that he and brother Liam were “taking all the cocaine we could possibly find” during its recording.)
Ben Beardsworth, MD of Adele’s label XL – part of Beggars Group – told MBW of 25’s momentous week:
“It’s a triumph. Adele really is in a lane of her own. It feels like she’s been building towards this moment for the entire nine years we’ve known her.
“It represents nine years of her always knowing exactly what she wants to do and exactly how she wants to do it, and making the right call every time.”Music Business Worldwide