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SPOTIFY SINGS A SONG OF ONG
Meet the streamer's new editor in chief. (10/21a)
TOP 20: LOVER IS A FIGHTER
It's neck-and-neck heading into the final day of the sales week. (10/21a)
GRAMMY COUNTRY ALBUM CONTENDERS
With Kacey out, who's a likely nominee? (10/21a)
"EASY" IMPACT: ADELE'S AIRWAVE TAKEOVER
Another domino falls. (10/18a)
A MOVING HITS LIST
For Adele, it's "Easy," for the Grammys, not so much. (10/20a)
ADELE ADELE ADELE
Adele; Adele Adele?
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
A... dele?
ADELE ADELE
Adele Adele; Adele.
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
(Adele.)
Blighty Beat
BIGGEST ALBUMS IN BLIGHTY 2015
1/6/16

The U.K. Official Charts biggest albums of 2015 list throws up some interesting observations, most notably, the paucity of 2016 releases. Adele is of course #1 with 25 (XL/Columbia) racking up 2.496 million copies, but she’s joined by just five others who released an album last year. The rest are all 2014 alumni.

2014's Top 10 exclusively featured albums released that same year; 25 aside, was 2015 simply lacking in the amount of blockbusters its predecessor spawned, or is streaming lengthening the album’s shelf life? For the first time, the Top 40 includes streams after being incorporated into the Official Albums Chart in March.

Blighty’s big three—Max Lousada’s Warner, David Joseph’s Universal and Jason Iley’s Sony—get a good part of their marketshare from homegrown bestsellers.

After sitting at #1 on 2014’s tally, Warner’s Ed Sheeran is down one place to #2 with second album x (released in June 2014), which finished the year on 971k combined sales (2.66m across its lifetime). Debut Atlantic act Jess Glynne also features on the list, with I Cry When I Laugh (August 2015) at #7 on over a half-million combined sales. Miles Leonard’s Parlophone (a WMG label), gets a mention with Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams at #9.

UMG’s Capitol crooner Sam Smith, who featured in 2014’s Top 10 behind Sheeran at #2, is bumped one place to #3 on 893k combined sales (2.14 million in total) of In the Lonely Hour (May 2014). Virgin EMI’s James Bay, meanwhile, is at #8 with his debut out last year, Chaos and the Calm. In terms of U.S. born UMG acts, Justin Bieber’s Purpose (Def Jam) is at #5 with combined sales of 645k.

On the Sony side of the fence, Columbia singer George Ezra, who released his debut Wanted on Voyage in June 2014, is at #10, moving down seven places from #3 in 2014. And huge Elvis album If I Can Dream (Sony Music CG), released in October last year, is at #4 having just reached triple-platinum status in Blighty (900k sales).

Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Big Machine) has actually improved five places to #6 after reaching #11 in 2014’s year-end tally, having been released just a few months before.

Here’s the Top 10 for your viewing pleasure:

  1. 25 Adele (XL/Columbia) 11/2015
  2. x Ed Sheeran (Atlantic) 6/2014
  3. In the Lonely Hour Sam Smith (Capitol) 5/2014
  4. If I Can Dream Elvis Presley (Sony Music CG) 10/2015
  5. Purpose Justin Bieber (Def Jam) 11/2015
  6. 1989 Taylor Swift (Big Machine) 10/2014
  7. I Cry When I Laugh Jess Glynne (Atlantic) 8/2015
  8. Chaos and the Calm James Bay (Virgin EMI) 3/2015
  9. A Head Full of Dreams Coldplay (Parlophone) 12/2015
  10. Wanted on Voyage George Ezra (Columbia) 6/2014