For decades, British singers and bands have packed up their instruments and wellies and jetted to New York with high hopes of conquering America. Most of them have been sent back with their guitar cases between their legs, defeated by the disinterested Yankee public and intimidated by the expanse of the nation’s sprawling music market.
But not Adele. The U.K. songbird has not only planted the Union Jack on these shores, she’s damn near set up house in the country that has adopted her soulful tunes as their own. In a week when all but one of the top 15 albums on the Billboard 200 albums chart saw double-digit sales dips, Adele’s 21 sold more than enough copies to hold on to the #1 spot yet again, despite a 19 percent drop-off from the previous week. With 124,000 units moved, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan, Adele is poised to cross the 1.4 million mark in the U.S. after two and a half months.
With no new entries, the top 10 consists of a reshuffling of the usual suspects, with the Foo Fighters climbing a notch to #2 with Wasting Light, despite a 52 percent sales slide, followed by the indefatigable Mumford & Sons, whose Sigh No More continues to impress, moving up four spots to #3 on sales of 32,000 after more than a year on the charts.
The rest of the top 10: Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale (#4, 30,000, down 34 percent), Lemonade Mouth (#5, 30,000, down 57 percent), Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E. (#6, 28,000, down 22 percent), Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers (#7, 28,000, down 68 percent), Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream (#8, 24,000, down 31 percent), Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers (#9, 24,000, down 30 percent) and Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What (#10, 24,000, down 36 percent).
Austin, Texas, instrumental rockers Explosions in the Sky hits #16 with Take Care Take Care Take Care (19,000), the Airborne Toxic Event are just behind at #17 with All at Once (18,000) and veteran country icon Emmylou Harris slips in at #18 with Hard Bargain (17,000).
In a top 50 in which every album (except new releases) saw a sales drop, the one album to pick up some momentum is Cee Lo Green’s Lady Killer, which is up 4 percent, pushing it 24 spots to #48, likely a result of the debut of “The Voice” singing competition show, on which he serves as a judge.
Adele is also the story on the iTunes album and singles charts. She sits atop the singles tally with “Rolling in the Deep,” followed by Katy Perry’s “E.T.,” Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song,” Britney’s “Till the World Ends” remix, the Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough,” Tinie Tempah’s “Written in the Stars,” Ke$ha’s “Blow,” Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor,” Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” and Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything.”
21 also rules the iTunes albums chart, beating out Mumford & Sons, Spears, Rihanna’s Loud, the “American Idol” top six digital collection, the latest “Glee” album, Lemonade Mouth, Perry, Brown and the Foo Fighters.
The charts should get a big shake-up next week with new albums by the Beastie Boys , Lopez, Fleet Foxes, Shinedown, Barry Manilow and Musiq Soulchild.