Until this week the fastest-selling album in British chart history was a record released at both the height of the Britpop movement and at the peak of the career of the act in question. Be Here Now by Oasis was released on Thursday August 21st 1997 and by the end of its first day on sale it was reported to have sold 424,000 copies. Three days later the chart week ended. During the course of those 72 hours the album had sold just shy of 696,000 units - the highest ever one week total ever. As time went on it appeared to be a record that was unlikely ever to be approached, never mind broken, particularly as the digital download and streaming era eroded the audience for full-length albums to raise series questions as to the long-term viability of the entire format.
But that was to reckon without the musical phenomenon that is Adele. After worldwide sales of over 30 million for her 2011 album 21 it almost went without saying that its follow-up - regardless of quality - was in the first instance going to satisfy a huge pent-up demand for more material from the North London-born singer.
The new concept of Global Release Day meant that Friday November 20th was #Adele25 day across the world - and none more so in her home country where special display stands were erected in music retailers and supermarket chains across the country, most of which were stripped of stock within hours. Weeks prior to its release I'd heard idle speculation that 25 may be the first record in a generation to stand a chance of beating the Oasis record, but what Adele achieved this week I suspect exceeded even the most fantastic of assumptions.
After just one day on sale 25 had sold over 300,000 copies. By Monday it had comfortably sailed past half a million and on Thursday - one day before the end of the sales week - it was confirmed the disc had shattered the 18-year-old chart record and was guaranteed the honour of the biggest ever opening week sale in British music history. Adele's final sales total this week was confirmed to be 800,307 - easily smashing the record but notably coming slightly short of the all-time seven-day sales record which for now is still held by the aforementioned Be Here Now which clocked up 813,000 during its first seven days.
It is a once in a generation moment, the kind of album which it seems just about everyone needs to own a copy of - even if her brand of pop-soul is a world removed from the kind of cutting edge British rock music that Oasis represented back when they were the record-holders. In an age when nobody purchases albums any more, Adele has sold close to a million of them in a week, and in an age when apparently we all consume music via online streams rather than purchases, she has stuck to her guns, declined to offer 25 for streaming and made everyone buy a copy anyway.
So 25 is the Number One album of the week on the Official UK Albums chart, duh. Over on the singles countdown it was a rather more intriguing tussle, for whilst Hello remains the overall paid-for sales leader it once more wilts against the might of the Justin Bieber phenomenon. The Canadian star this week manages something no act has done for over 30 years - holding down positions 1 and 2 together on the Official UK Singles chart. Sorry is the chart leader once more, with Love Yourself in the runners-up slot.
Three acts pulled off this ultimate singles chart double in the 1980s. John Lennon came first in the early weeks of 1981, Frankie Goes To Hollywood in the summer of 1984 and then a year later it was Madonna - top of the charts with Into The Groove and second place with Holiday. It is into such exulted company that Justin Bieber is this week elevated.
Bieber further extends his Top 40 domination this week as album track No Pressure rises to Number 38, giving him a grand total of nine singles on the countdown.
Adele's absence from streaming services means she was always swimming against the tide in terms of landing chart singles with tracks from 25, but one does manage to land itself a Top 40 place, When We Were Young sitting at Number 29.
Against this background we have to extend small commiserations to former The Wanted singer Nathan Sykes who sees his solo debut Over And Over Again chart at Number 9 to what is pretty much widespread indifference.
There are also notable chart moves for Olly Murs' current single Kiss Me which benefitted from a live performance on his own show by the current X Factor host and which moves 22-13 to grab its highest chart placing to date. Rudimental and Ed Sheeran also are on the rise, moving 19-12 with Lay It All On Me which once again is a new peak.
We should also take time out to note the belated British chart debut of the sensational cover of You Don't Own Me by Australian singer Grace featuring G-Eazy at Number 44. A massive smash hit in her home country at the start of the year, the single is notable for featuring a production credit for Quincy Jones - the same man who crafted Lesley Gore's original version in the 1960s. It arrives here on the back of featuring in TV commercials for House Of Fraser stores - and it must be noted would easily be a Top 40 hit this week but for Justin Bieber tracks clogging things up above her.