Adele's '21' becomes fourth biggest-selling album of all time...and jumps ahead of Oasis

 

Noel Gallagher claimed she wouldn’t last and said he felt sorry for her.

Now it’s Adele’s turn to offer sympathies to the former Oasis guitarist and chief songwriter, with her second album overtaking the mouthy Mancunian’s second record to become the fourth biggest selling album in British chart history.

The 24-year-old Tottenham singer’s album, 21, has now sold in excess of 4,562,000 copies in Britain according to the Official Charts Company, moving ahead of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? released by Oasis in 1995.

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles remains the only original studio album ahead of 21 in the sales table, sandwiched in second place between compilation albums by Abba and Queen. It overtook Michael Jackson’s Thriller earlier this year, having already surpassed Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

It was less than a year ago that the elder of the two Gallagher brothers declared that Adele would be quickly forgotten.

“I feel sorry for girls in the music industry,” he said in a newspaper interview in February. “They do have a very short shelf life. For instance, Duffy: who? Gone. She was massive. And I don’t doubt for a second that the same thing will happen to Adele.”

Gallagher had earlier claimed to have not heard 21, adding that he had “no desire” to listen it and knew nobody who had bought it.

But with a James Bond song to her name – albeit, in “Skyfall”, one that has received largely lukewarm reviews and failed to break the franchise’s curse of never securing a British number one – still Adele marches on.

It is likely 21 will finish as the second biggest selling album of 2012 despite being released almost two years ago, coming behind only Emile Sande’s Our Version of Events – and in the US it was the most downloaded album on iTunes for the second year running.

Her ubiquitous hit “Someone Like You” was named as the most popular song choice among users of the Lucky Voice karaoke website in the last 12 months. And such is her popularity, the singer is reportedly attempting to trademark her own name.

In an age of dwindling physical album sales in the face of the ever-increasing popularity of downloads, Adele has proved a rare source of reliable income for record shops, with highstreet chain HMV announcing that it had sold its one millionth copy of 21 over the Christmas period.

HMV’s chart manager, John Hirst, said: “It’s incredible to think that even with relatively little promotion this year, 21 continues to sell as well as it does, though obviously it will have been boosted by the release of Skyfall in recent weeks. The album has become a classic that a lot of people clearly feel they should have in their record collection, and at this rate it’s going to be among the best sellers in 2013 as well.”

It is not universally popular, however – the website music Magpie reported that 47,315 unwanted Christmas gifts of 21 had been traded in online, more than any other album.

Adele, who gave birth to her first child in October, is reported to be working on new material but no date for an album release in 2013 has yet been scheduled.

Best selling albums

Queen

Greatest Hits: 5,866,000

Despite being the biggest-selling album in the UK, it does not even feature in the worldwide top 40, which is topped by Michael Jackson’s Thriller with sales of at least 50 million.

The Beatles

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:  5,059,000

Often named as the greatest album in pop music history, notably topping Rolling Stone magazine's list in 2005 and a Music of the Millenium poll in 1997.

Abba

Gold – Greatest Hits: 5,046,000

The biggest-selling album in CD format, with 80 per cent of sales coming in discs, it has been helped up the table by boosts from several re-releases over the years.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence