It's no secret that Adele is the biggest star to hit the British charts in a long time, but here's some perspective: By securing an 18th week at No. 1 on this week's tally, her "21" is now tied with the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack from 1977 as the longest-running chart-topper in 40 years, since Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" racked up a 41st week at No. 1 in September 1971.
By reaching the 18-week mark with "21," Adele ranks fourth among artists with the lengthiest stays at No. 1 on the U.K. album chart. Only the Beatles and Elvis Presley, along with Simon and Garfunkel, have had albums that have spent more time in first place.
There are eight albums that have been No. 1 longer than "21." The next plateau for Adele to reach will be, ironically, 21 weeks, if her second album can collect three more frames on top. The Beatles' "With the Beatles" (1963) and "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack (1964) both reigned for 21 weeks. Presley's "G.I." Blues" soundtrack (1960) was No. 1 for 22 weeks.
The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (1967) ruled for 27 weeks, while their debut album, "Please Please Me" (1963), stayed on top for 30 weeks. Only two albums occupied the penthouse longer than the 41-week run of "Bridge Over Troubled Water": the soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" (1965) was No. 1 for 70 weeks and the soundtrack to "South Pacific" (1958) shored up a 115-week run on top.
"21" and "Saturday Night Fever" are also tied with Presley's "Blue Hawaii" soundtrack (1961) at 18 weeks.
Fittingly, "21" is clearly the longest-running No. 1 album of the 21st century. The lengthiest reign for a No. 1 album in the '90s was 15 weeks, for "Spice," the 1996 debut album by the Spice Girls. The '80s champ is Phil Collins' "…But Seriously" (1989), also with 15 weeks on top. Collins held the record for the longest-running No. 1 by a British solo artist until Adele took his title.