Official Chart Flashback 2015: Hello! It's Adele making a record-setting Number 1 debut

Adele's comeback shook the foundations of pop.
adele hello flashback's me...

So goes Adele's re-introduction into her world on Hello, the first official single from her third album, and her comeback single after her second record, 21, had made her a global superstar and the James Bond theme Skyfall had made her an Oscar-winner. 

The story behind the making of Hello, however, is almost as engaging as the song (a bombastic, punch-to-the-gut ballad with a vocal performance big enough to shake the foundations of the earth) itself.

For that, though, we have to go back to the point where 21 made Adele one of the biggest (the biggest?) superstars of her generation. A break-up record of game-changing proportions, it became one of the best-selling albums of all time on the Official Albums Chart and contained an enviable roster of hits, including Adele's first Number 1 single, Someone Like You.

MORE: Adele's Official Top 20 biggest songs in the UK

But how do you follow-up the biggest hit of your career? Adele faced that very same question, and had admitted in the past that, yes, 21 was a very high bar for her to overcome artistically. 

Originally, she was hell-bent on making a record that centred on the birth of her son, Angelo (born in 2012), but when she played her new set of songs of super-producer Rick Rubin, he was ambivalent, and suggested she start over again and really find the heart of the music, what she truly wanted to say.

Hello was born out of these sessions in an effort to restart, but even getting it to the finish line proved difficult. Adele had originally started to work on the song with its producer, Greg Kurstin (better known for his work with Sia and Lily Allen), having worked mainly with Paul Epworth across her first two albums, 19 and 21. 

But from that original session, it took a further six months for Adele and Kurstin to actually finish the track, given the stop-start nature of the sessions for 25.

But when Hello arrived, it arrived like a comet from the sky. First teased with a (very iconic) trailer during The X Factor (2015...what a time), Hello arrived a week later, carried with an instantly iconic blockbuster music video filmed in IMAX by acclaimed Canadian director Xavier Dolan (who would go on the reunite with Adele on the music video for her next comeback single, Easy On Me in 2021). 

As expected of a superstar of Adele's status, Hello's first week on the Official Singles Chart blew all the competition away, Hello debuted at Number 1, securing Adele her second overall Number 1 single and with a then-record-breaking 7.32 million streams, setting a record for the most streams in a single week in UK chart history (Adele would go on to set this record again with Easy On Me, which debuted with a staggering 24 million streams in total).

Hello would ultimately stay at Number 1 for 3 weeks and spend a total of 23 weeks in the UK Top 40. It was the first of three Top 10 singles to be taken from 25, also including the Max Martin and Shellback produced Send My Love (To Your New Lover) (5) and wistful ballad When We Were Young (9).

According to Official Charts Company data, Hello has accumulated 3 million chart units in total, including 232 million streams, making it one of the most-streamed songs of all time in the UK

Hello's physical sales are also very impressive, clocking in with 981,000 downloads, which means that its now less than 20,000 'pure' sales away from becoming a member of the hallowed million-sellers club in the UK, with the potential to become of the best-selling singles in the history of the Official Chart.

Also in the chart this week in 2015: Justin Bieber had to settle for a second-place debut with Sorry (2), Drake moved up to a new peak with Hotline Bling (3) , as did MNEK and Zara Larsson on Never Forget You (11). 

View the Top 100 Official Singles Chart from this week in 2015.

Listen to the UK Top 40 from this week in 2015 below:

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