Thursday, May 30, 2024

Adele Faces Sixth Anniversary of No New Music, Still Second to Sade in Release Intervals


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.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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