In a piece of data that may have gone unnoticed due to the holiday, SoundScan announced the leading album and singles for the year so far. And while it might not be surprising considering their songs are literally everywhere, Adele and Gotye are leading the pack on the strength of songs that, frankly, everyone should've finished buying a long time ago.
Undoubtedly helped by her ridiculous Grammy collection, the British songstress has a sold a stellar 3.69 million copies of 21 so far in 2012. Not too shabby. But c'mon people, that album came out in February of 2011! There's been some great music that's come out since and the fact that this record still has legs says something about the longevity and connection people have to this album. But seriously, half of the people who already own 21 must be A)storing multiple copies in case of the apocalypse or B) they've found some weird new use for a the album that we just haven't figured out yet.
According to Billboard, no album has been the top seller in the first half of any two years. At the rate it's going, 21 could be the best seller of 2012, making it the first album to top the year-end charts twice in the SoundScan era. Yes, you read correctly
The next biggest selling album is Lionel Richie's Tuskegee, which has moved 912,000 copies. Raise your hand if you knew Richie had an album out because we sure as hell didn't.
It gets worse on the single side. Racking up a whopping 5.50 million sales for his annoyingly crappy single “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye is blowing away the competition in this department. This song was cool the first thousand times we heard it (actually, It was annoying from the jump). Yet 5.50 million fans can't seem to get enough. This is yet another record and what makes it even more ludicrous is that before this year, no single had ever sold over 5 million downloads in the first six months of the year. In 2012, it's been done twice now by two equally annoying songs. For those of you who can't figure out what the second is, I'll save you the trouble, it's fun.'s “We Are Young.”
So what does this mean? On one hand, it's super awesome that people are starting to buy music again, at least singles, which are up six percent versus last year. Contrarily, with so many bands putting out great music on their own, it's time to discover music on our own, or else recycled hits (Adele) are going to keep paving the way on the album charts while crappy (and most likely) one-hit wonders are going to shatter records on the singles charts.