Adele's Rumored Nov. 20 Album: Sony's Lips Are Zipped, Sources Remain Divided

Adele

Lauren Dukoff

While the music industry rumor mill is working overtime to issue the anxiously awaited Adele album on the Nov. 20 street date, Sony Music Entertainment executives are still playing their cards close to their chest.

Whether an Adele album is coming has been a hot subject all year, and if it is being issued, most industry executives believe it will come in November, with Nov. 20 being the most likely date.

When One Direction announced their new album would come out on Nov. 13, that further fueled the rumor that Adele would come out on Nov. 20. Sony Music executives in the U.S. had been telling accounts that the One Direction album would have a Nov. 20 street date. So the switch to Nov. 13 not only caught music retailers, wholesalers and digital services by surprise, it also tripped up some Sony executives who, this week after the announcement, still mistakenly thought that the announced release date was Nov. 20. That sudden change fueled rumors throughout the music industry that it was made to accommodate the release of the Adele album.

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The Adele Nov. 20 street date was further fueled by a report in Hits magazine that cited that date and other credible looking details that looked like they could have only come from either on-high in Sony or from Adele’s management.

Sony Music Entertainment’s distribution executives have been inundated with requests for information from the U.S. account base, all wanting to know the answer if the Nov. 20 date is true, sources say. Yet, Sony’s senior management and field staff are either denying the street date or saying they still don’t know if it's coming that day -- or if it's coming at all this year. 

One music merchandiser says he's talked to a lot of people who would and should know the street date because of their positions within Sony or in or around the Adele camp -- and he says they are divided in what they are telling him. Some are saying, “Yes, definitely Nov. 20," while others are saying, "No way that date has been set, we would know if it was set," he says.

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For its part, Sony corporate referred a call to Columbia who referred calls to Adele's independent publicist, who declined to comment.

So overall, the Sony sales and distribution staff mainly appear, as one retailer put it, to be in Sgt. Schultz mode -- the Hogan’s Heroes character who introduced to the popular lexicon the catchphrase, “I know nuffink!”