An Album A Day #3: Adele's 21 [2011]

HERC looked it up, just to be sure because he doesn't trust his memory sometimes.  What was the reason for the Google query?  When was the very first time he heard Adele's "Rolling In The Deep"?  How would Google know THAT?  HERC did remember he first read about the track on Lefsetz's Letter so that's what he searched for Lefsetz + Adele and there it was, the third result down.  HERC read the column that day and clicked the link. listened to the song on YouTube.  The date was November 19, 2010.  The single wouldn't be serviced to radio for another 10 days after that but Lefsetz had led hundreds maybe thousands of people to the video just by writing about it.  Today as HERC composes this, that original video of studio footage has more than 19 million views.  The official video (below) was posted when the single was released and right now it has more than 391 million views.

Just before Christmas 2010, an advance copy of the song's parent album 21 showed up in HERC's inbox and within an hour, lossless files of it were on his Touch and he was walking south of The Hideaway with his trusty Philips earphones piping it all directly into his earholes.  It was a good walk, better than usual and the music was a major reason why.  While it's not the most upbeat of albums, there are a few surprising uptempo songs and even the slower ones are nearly hypnotic while walking.  HERC played the album incessantly: in the car, out by the water and even at work.  Almost everyone asked who the artist was.

The album was released in January 2011 across Europe and then in North America the following month.  The second single "Someone Like You" was also released in January and became Adele Adkins' second consecutive world-wide chart-topper.  Three more singles were spun off the album and it went on to become the biggest selling album of both 2011 and 2012.  Sales were so big in America that 21 became the first Diamond-certified seller in seven years, signifying sales of over 10 million copies.

HERC's most pleasant surprise during that initial listen was a cover of The Cure's "Lovesong".  It is the only song on the album Ms. Adkins didn't co-write but she makes it her own, as it fits in perfectly with her other tales, all of which were inspired by her recent break-up.  The heartache, anger, revenge and ultimately, forgiveness Adele wrote and sang about proved to be universal amongst listeners of all ages.


  1. Outside of the two songs I hear on the radio, I have never heard the rest of the music and for now, don't plan on doing so. I'll have to wait until my elitist heart feels it is ready. Maybe one day, maybe not. I do like some of the parodies I've heard, though.

  2. John, Thanks for your comment. Being a self-proclaimed elitist/music snob myself, I can assure you Adele's work is worth your time. She is immensely talented and I can recommend her first album (19) as well. I neglected to mention that her album titles refer to her age at the time of recording, which makes her even more amazing. While I have yet to hear her stuff on the radio - my go to classic rock and oldies stations don't play her music - the production matches the performance and it all sounds glorious to me. Recently acquired 24/96 vinyl rips of her 2 albums and it sounds like she's sitting in the room, telling me her troubles. Tito, pass me a tissue.