❚ 2011 WAS THE BIGGEST YEAR for single sales in the history of the Official Charts (founded 1997), according to Official Charts Company data released by the BPI, which operates the OCC jointly with the Entertainment Retailers Association. Over the past seven years, the singles market has been redefined to include legitimate downloads. Since 2004, sales of singles have increased by more than five times, from 32m in 2004 to a record 177.9 million in 2011. The vast majority (99.3%) were sold as digital tracks and bundles. Last year, 1.1m CD singles were sold, representing just 0.6% of the total. All of the top 20 best-selling singles of 2011 sold more than 500,000 copies apiece.
Adele bagged two places in the 2011 year-end singles chart. The recorded and live performance of Someone Like You — recorded at the BRIT Awards — together sold 1.2m copies to become the top-selling single of 2011 overall, with Rolling In The Deep ending the year at No 9. Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera’s mega-seller, Moves Like Jagger, finished the year in second place and has now sold over a million copies despite never actually reaching No 1. LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem comes in at No 3. For all Lady Gaga’s exposure [above], Born This Way made only No 14.
GOVT ATTACKED FOR UK ALBUM SALES SLUMP
❏ Overall sales of albums fell by 5.6% in 2011 to just 113.2m, and the UK has fallen behind Germany as a music market. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “While other countries take positive steps to protect their creative sector, our government is taking too long to act on piracy.”
In the UK Adele’s 21 was by far the biggest selling album of 2011, ending the year with nearly 3.8m copies sold — more than double the 1.8m sales achieved by 2010’s top album, Take That’s Progress. 21 became the highest-selling album of the 21st century in December, achieving more sales in a single calendar year than any other album in British chart history. 2011 ended with Adele’s debut album, 19, in fourth place, alongside Top 10 placings for Michael Bublé [above], Bruno Mars and Coldplay.
BRITS DOMINATE TOP-SELLING DEBUT ALBUMS
❏ Out of all the debut albums released last year in the UK, eight of the Top 10 are by British acts, topped by award-winning London singer Jessie J’s Who You Are [right] and Ed Sheeran’s +, which holds the record for the fast selling digital debut album in Official Charts Company history.
HMV’S ALTERNATIVE ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
❏ Totally at odds with the official year-ending charts, retailer HMV’s Poll of Polls announces its own Top 50 albums of the year, headed by an entirely different Top 10 for 2011 led by P J Harvey, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes… The Dorset-born musician and singer-songwriter Harvey, who in September claimed a second Mercury Prize for her tenth studio album Let England Shake, scored an impressive 21 nominations in total from the 35 media outlets surveyed, including “album of the year” selections from NME, Mojo, Uncut, The Sunday Times and BBC music writers.