Flip open the calendar. In two months it will be mid November 2021. The last time Adele released a new album was November 20, 2015, six years ago.
That’s right. Adele Laurie Blue Adkins has only released three albums in her career: numbered 19, 21, and 25. The latter album sold millions of copies when it was released, and launched hit singles including “Hello” and “When I Was Young.”
She followed that album with a world tour that also made her millions. A few months later she released a separate single, the James Bond movie theme for “Skyfall.” And then she fell — off the career map.
Now Adele faces an ignominious anniversary. New new album in six years. I’d say it’s “a record” but actually her Sony Music labelmate is much worse. Sade hasn’t released a new album in almost 11 years. And it was eight years in between her last two releases.
Does it matter? Kinda, yeah. Sade also released three albums in a short period, establishing her career and her hits. But Sade also learned that spacing out releases like this makes it harder and harder to sell records no matter how famous or popular you are. You simply lose your age group. The fans outgrow buying your records.
The preponderance of “classic” rock and pop acts from the 60s, 70s and early 80s released record after record for five or six years in a row. They built their own demographic. Adele has completely ignored all that. When she does return, she’ll have a big opening week or two, but sales and interest will cool off quickly. And the longer she waits, the worse it will get.
So Adele, wherever you are, it’s time to get going. The kids who bought “Hello” in 2015, if they were 15, are now finishing college. All your peers– Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Miley, Halsey, Ariana, etc — have released dozens of records in that time, songs they will be able to go back to 20 years from now when their fans are nostalgic. I think you may be sorry you didn’t keep up with them.