Adele, the most famous and successful anonymous person in music since Prince, is living another moment.
Her 30 The album, released Friday, set a pre-order record of over one million on iTunes. Sony, his label, placed an order for 500,000 vinyl records more than six months ago in order to meet the expected demand. This has exacerbated the already severe shortage of polyvinyl chloride that has plagued the recorded music industry for the past 18 months. Sony’s gigantic order has forced countless other artists to seek out pressing factories overseas, delaying their vinyl projects by months.
Adele is back – and first single from her new album is full of Quebec connections
Her Only one night The TV special with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month (November 12) drew more attention than the Grammys and Oscars. We haven’t seen this kind of prime-time attention for a single artist since ABC-TV moved ahead of the prime-time programming for the start of the season. Scream Michael Jackson video in June 1995.
The white pantsuit she wore for the interview is hailed as a masterstroke of clothing for power by chatty fashionistas. If you’ve been in line at the drugstore lately, you’ll have seen it on the covers of half a dozen pretty glamorous magazines.
When she goes on tour, the demand for tickets will be as high, if not crazier, than anything that has happened before. (On the last tour, The Wife told me if I didn’t get tickets I would sleep on the couch for a week. I failed, but I was able to negotiate this transgression until something less uncomfortable.)
Adele is the biggest anomaly in all of recorded music today. Other than Taylor Swift (and maybe BTS), no one is able to move more physical products into an industry where 85% of all revenue now comes from streaming. Don’t quote me Drake, The Weeknd or Justin Bieber; it transcends their fame by a factor of 10, maybe more.
Adele is mass appeal in the old school sense, the kind of artist we used to see in the pre-internet age where you could have a global consensus that someone was worth it. to be listened to. It’s a feeling that runs through all the demos.
But why? Yes, she has a divine voice that seems at odds with her North London / Cockney accent. And yes, she is an accomplished composer who knows how to choose the perfect collaborators. Her record company gives her a space and a chance to bring together new experiences to sing.
But I think the essence of Adele’s popularity is simple. She is so nice.
Whenever the woman appears in public, she is pure delight, bubbly, funny, sometimes self-deprecating and just enough profane to make you wish you could spend a night in the pub listening to her tell stories. Even though she has sold over 120 million albums, her public image is that of a human being with whom one can relate. Unlike Tay-Tay, who can be a polarizing figure, Adele doesn’t have such a background. It comes across as familiar and fun in an intimate way that few artists have ever achieved.
She’s so endearing that you don’t even have to love her music to love Adele.
Check out this time she faked some fans playing an Adele impersonator. Who wouldn’t want to date this person?
Then there’s this clip of her photobombing fans.
Here’s something that hasn’t been discussed much: Adele isn’t looking to expand her brand through product recommendations and other non-music revenue streams. By sticking only to her music, she turns out to be more authentic than all of her contemporaries who sell various products.
Another thing about The Adele Factor: We need to take a look at what happened when it broke into the business over ten years ago. Adele began her career at the end of the CD era. Many of those who bought her first record were the kind of music consumers who bought two or three CDs a year, usually in a department store or over the counter in a coffee shop. And when streaming took off, those early fans continued to prefer buying CDs, perhaps out of habit. Meanwhile, young fans have flocked to download his music from iTunes. (Hello, the first single from 25, sold a million digital tracks in one week in 2015.)
Today, her older fans buy CDs, hardcore devotees buy her vinyl, the slightly more tech-savvy iTunes store, and the streaming generation is devouring her on Spotify, Apple Music, et al. In other words, it covers the entire age range of music consumers who are enjoying all the different ways of acquiring music. How many artists besides Taylor Swift can do this these days? Answer: nobody.
Damn, I bet Taylor scheduled her re-recording to release Red album for early November just so she doesn’t have to compete with 30.
Here’s another thought: After 20 months of COVID-19, the world needs a hero (ine), a good-humored superstar who can bring everyone together. Adele might be the one doing it.
The release of an Adele album is an EVENT. This record marks his comeback after five years out of the limelight. There is tremendous pressure to 30 up to the success of his previous albums. (Note: Adele is 33 years old. Name the album 30 follows his tradition of naming his albums after the time when the majority of songs have been written.)
I find it interesting that there was only one single released before the album. These days, labels tend to drop two, three or more singles before the full album is released. I’m surprised a second single didn’t premiere on the Oprah special. Why did Sony hold back? Maybe because the label thinks that by releasing just one single, fans will rush out and have the whole album to see what else is there.
This is just the start of what will be many months of watching Adele. There will be more stories about her 100-pound weight loss, divorce, being a single mom, and sobriety. She will continue to cover magazines. Industry watchers will analyze sales, downloads, and feeds looking for meaning in the Matrix. But these are the 12 songs that will have to carry this album.
Will 30 be another artistic masterstroke for her and another godsend for Sony? I wouldn’t bet against.
Alain Croix is a broadcaster with Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.
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