If she was even allowed to talk, Adele might scream for joy at the final tally of iTunes album and single sales released this week. The British soul singer, currently rendered mute following surgery to repair her vocal cords , erased any doubt that 2011 has been the year of 21.
Her Grammy-nominated smash second album, which has sold more copies than any other disc released in the U.S. over the past 11-plus months, took the top spot on the year-end iTunes albums chart, as well as the singles chart thanks to her huge hit "Rolling in the Deep."
iTunes, which does not release sales figures, made it clear that Adele was very good for business, naming her its Artist of the Year as well.
It was the first time one artist has swept the download site's top three awards. "I'm thrilled to top the iTunes album and song charts for 2011 and to be iTunes Artist of the Year is just amazing," Adele said in a statement.
Though it didn't make the final top 10 list, iTunes named Foo Fighters' Wasting Light its Album of the Year, prompting Foos leader Dave Grohl to quip that it was inspiring, and ironic to get the award for "an album made in my garage, totally analog to tape, without the help of any computers at all."
Nicki Minaj was named Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Foster the People snagged Song of the Year for their unshakable ditty "Pumped Up Kicks."
You can bet the competition on the singles chart was pretty tight, as Adele had company from some of the most ubiquitous songs out there this year. Coming in at #2 was LMFAO's inescapable "Party Rock Anthem," followed by Katy Perry's "Firework," Bruno Mars' "Grenade," Cee Lo Green's "Forget You," Pitbull's "Give Me Everything" and Perry's "E.T." Rounding out the top 10: Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger," Foster's "Pumped up Kicks" and Minaj's "Super Bass."
Over on the iTunes albums chart, Adele was followed by Mumford & Sons' steady-selling Sigh No More, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV, Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto, and Lady Gaga's Born This Way. Rihanna landed at #7 with Loud, ahead of Drake's Take Care, Perry's Teenage Dream and Mars' Doo-Wops & Hooligans.
Well, I decided to put of some of our favorite albums of 2011 up a little early this year. I have to say there were some pretty big disappoints for me from some of my favorite bands The Rapture (normally my favorite band to snowboard to), The Beastie Boys, Arctic Monkeys, Dredg had an amazingly awful album, Cold War Kids lost the piano I loved in their songs and my attention with it, The Decemberists surprised me with the most boring thing I heard all year with "The King Is Dead." On the other hand, I was surprised how much I enjoyed Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" though I was prepared to hate it. I was bummed by The White Stripes official break-up as my Facebook was flooded with condolences from friends only to have Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears fill in the bluesy hole in my heart. I could go on and on. I am X96's cranky critic and music director. 2011 is a year where folk-rock launched into the cosmos with Mumford and Sons and a sing-songy English woman couldn't not be avoided no matter where you went. Here are the top ten albums of 2011 from some of our staff. We argue over music all the time. I will follow up this blog with some favorite picks from some folks in Utah that influence some of my music tastes. -Corey
Corey O'Brien Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears "Scandalous" Bright Eyes "The People's Key" Cage the Elephant "Happy Birthday, Thank You" Grouplove "Never Trust a Happy Song" Does It Offend You Yeah? "Don't Say We Didn't Warn You" Pendulum "Immersion" The Strokes "Angles" Foster the People "Torches" Spank Rock Everything Is Boring and Everyone is a F**king Liar" Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" (if I had heard the Black Keys album "El Camino" I am sure it would have made it)
Todd Nuke'em Blink 182 "Neighborhoods" Cage the Elephant "Happy Birthday, Thank You" Coldplay "Mylo Xyloto" Foo Fighters "Wasting Light" Foster the People "Torches" Brogan Kelby "Skylights" Panic at the Disco "Vices and Virtues" Rise Against "Endgame" Switchfoot "Vice Verses" Yellowcard "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes" Richie T. Blink 182 "Neighborhoods" Coldplay "Mylo Xyloto" Flogging Molly "Speed of Darkness" Manchester Orchestra "Simple Math" New Found Glory "Radiosurgery" Panic at the Disco "Vices and Virtues" Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" Rise Against "Endgame" She Wants Revenge "Valleyheart" Various Artists "Rave On, Buddy Holly: A Tribute"
Heidi: the Sales Princess Adele "21" Angels and Airwaves "Love Part II (To The Stars)" The Black Keys "El Camino" Bright Eyes "The People's Key" Fleet Foxes "Helplessness Blues" Foster the People "Torches" Hollywood Undead "American Tragedy" The Naked & Famous "Passive Me, Aggressive You" The Strokes "Angles" Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman "World Wide Revel Songs" Kandy Kane: The Self-Proclaimed Sales Queen The Airborne Toxic Event "All At Once" Angels and Airwaves "Love Part II (To The Stars)" Cage the Elephant "Happy Birthday, Thank You" Florence and the Machine "Ceremonials" Foster the People "Torches" Grouplove "Never Trust a Happy Song" The Joy Formidible "The Big Roar" The Naked & Famous "Passive Me, Aggressive You" Switchfoot "Vice Verses" Broken Bells "Meyrin Fields" El "Mike" Jefe Adele "21" The Airborne Toxic Event "All At Once" Awolnation "Megalithic Symphony" Beastie Boys "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two" Cage the Elephant "Happy Birthday, Thank You" Foster the People "Torches" Green Day "Awesome As F**k" The Naked & Famous "Passive You, Aggressive Me" Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm With You" Blink 182 "Neighborhoods" Dude Buddy Adam Arctic Monkeys "Suck It and See"
Awolnation "MEgalithic Symphony"
Ben Harper "Give Till It Hurts"
Cake "Showroom of Compassion"
Cole War Kids "Mine Is Yours"
Death Cab For Cutie "Codes and Keys"
Eddie Vedder "Ukulele Songs"
Flogging Molly "Speed of Darkness"
Radiohead "The King of Limbs"
Social Distortion "Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes"