Google Images

The success of Adele's smash new album 25 is unprecedented, for a couple of reasons.

Advertisement

According to Nielsen SoundScan data, it has sold more copies—nearly 3.4 million—in its first week of release than any album released since 1991, the year sales tracking began. And not just by a little bit: by 40% more than the previous No. 1.

25 is also just the 20th album to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week of release since 1991.

Advertisement

Going through the other albums on that list will make you nostalgic for a simpler time in the world. Below is the list, in ascending order of units sold, compiled from Nielsen Soundscan data. And here is a Spotify playlist featuring the leading singles from each album (non-Spotify artists' songs have been replaced with tasteful covers):

20.  Lil Wayne — "Tha Carter III"

Year released: 2008

Sponsored

One-week units sold: 1,006,000

Lead single: "Lollipop"

19.  Norah Jones — "Feels Like Home"

Year released: 2004

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,022,000

Lead single: "Sunrise"

18.  Taylor Swift — "Speak Now"

Year released: 2010

One-week units sold: 1,047,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "Mine"

17.  Limp Bizkit — "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

Year released: 2000

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,055,000

Lead single: "Take A Look Around"

16.  Whitney Houston — "The Bodyguard" Official Soundtrack

Year released: 1992

One-week units sold: 1,061,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "I Will Always Love You"

15.  Garth Brooks — "Double Live"

Year released: 1998

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,085,000

Lead single: n/a — but here's his live version of the Billy Joel song "Shameless" which went to No. 1 on the U.S. and Canadian Country charts and No. 71 in the U.K.

14.  Usher — "Confessions"

Year released: 2004

One-week units sold: 1,096,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "Yeah!"

13.  Lady Gaga — "Born This Way"

Year released: 2011

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,108,000

Lead single: "Born This Way"

12.  Backstreet Boys — "Millennium"

Year released: 1999

One-week units sold: 1,134,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "I Want It That Way"

11.  50 Cent — "The Massacre"

Year released: 2005

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,141,000

Lead single: "Disco Inferno"

10.  Taylor Swift — "Red"

Year released: 2012

One-week units sold: 1,208,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

9.  The Beatles — "1"

Year released: 2000

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,259,000

Lead single: n/a — but here's "She Loves You" live in color from 1963

8.  Taylor Swift — "1989"

Year released: 2014

One-week units sold: 1,287,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "Shake It Off"

7.  Britney Spears — "Oops!…I Did It Again"

Year released: 2000

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,319,000

Lead single: "Oops!…I Did It Again"

6.  Eminem — "The Eminem Show"

Year released: 2002

One-week units sold: 1,322,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "Without Me"

5.  Backstreet Boys — "Black & Blue"

Year released: 2000

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,591,000

Lead single: "Shape Of My Heart"

4.  Eminem — "The Marshall Mathers LP"

Year released: 2000

One-week units sold: 1,760,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "The Real Slim Shady"

3.  NSYNC — "Celebrity"

Year released: 2001

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 1,880,000

Lead single: "Pop"

2.  NSYNC — "No Strings Attached"

Year released: 2000

One-week units sold: 2,416,000

Advertisement

Lead single: "Bye Bye Bye"

1.  Adele — "25"

Year released: 2015

Advertisement

One-week units sold: 3,378,000

Lead single: "Hello"

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.