Adele just keeps rolling up records. The singer’s sophomore album, 21, may finally have lost its perch at the top of the U.S. albums chart, but its continued strong sales in England have helped catapult it above one of the all-time greats on the list of the U.K.’s best-selling albums in history.
According to the Official Charts Company, after recently moving ahead of Michael Jackson’s Bad, Adele scooted up another notch on the U.K. list when 21 jumped up to #7, passing Pink Floyd’s 1973 prog rock masterpiece, The Dark Side of the Moon. To date, 21 has sold 4.14 million copies in the U.K., putting it within spitting distance of the #6 album, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms, which is just 12,000 copies ahead. Adele is moving units so fast that the Official Charts Company speculated that she could overtake Straits by week’s end.
At that point, though, she could run into some trouble challenging the top five sellers, which have remained virtually untouchable for more than a decade. Queen’s Greatest Hits, which has sold 5.83 million, is #1 on the list, with the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band just behind at #2 with sales of 5.04 million. At #3 is Abba’s Gold (4.99 million), followed by Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (4.52 million) and Jackson’s Thriller (4.27 million).
NME reported that Adele’s 21 and her debut, 19, also helped British artists snag their biggest share of U.S. album sales in a decade. With combined sales of more than 6.65 million, Adele, along with Mumford and Sons (1.4 million) and several others helped account for an 11.7 percent share of all albums sold in the U.S. in 2011. Also helping to goose that figure were albums by Coldplay and Florence and the Machine.