By Ankur Bhelawe.
Chase pavements, turn tables, roll in the deep. Set fire to the rain, if you will. But, rumor has it, you won’t find someone like her even if the sky falls.
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards, held at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S. on February 12 2017, saw Adele sweeping all of the evening’s biggest awards, including Album of the Year for her smash hit ‘25‘. Adele opened the 2017 Grammys by staging a heart rending performance of her blockbuster hit, Record and Song of the Year winning ‘Hello’, completely winning over the cheering audience. Later on, she paid an emotional tribute to George Michael, moving the audience with her powerful vocals and bringing many on the verge of tears.
The English singer-songwriter Adele has received 142 awards from 284 nominations. She is the recipient of a BT Digital Music Award, 8 Brit Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, 15 Grammy Awards, 18 Billboard Music Awards, 5 American Music Awards, and 2 Ivor Novello Awards for Songwriter of the Year.
Ignore her? Oh, you just can’t.
As of February 2017, her album 21 remains the biggest-selling album of the 21st century in the UK (and fourth best-selling ever), having sold over 4,940,000 copies, overtaking Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black.
“Hello” is the most-viewed music video of all time. In its first 24 hours, Adele’s new video for “Hello” got 27.7 million views on Vevo, beating Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”. It sold the most downloads in a week – 1.11 million. She is the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top 10 singles as a lead artist. Adele is the first female artist to have two singles and two albums in the UK top five at the same time. She holds three Guinness world records! She has recorded a song for the James Bond movie series. Her song “Skyfall” is the first Bond theme to win an Oscar. The list of the records she set and the accolades she achieved is virtually endless.
Here is our ranking of the best of Adele. List your favorites in the comments below!
From her debut album 19, “Chasing Pavements” went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. An incident Adele had with a former boyfriend inspired this song. When she learned that he had cheated on her, “I went to the pub [where he was] and punched him in the face,” Adele recounts. After she was thrown out, Adele walked down the street alone and thought to herself, “What is it you’re chasing? You’re chasing an empty pavement.” With this song she displayed a vocal maturity far beyond her years.
“Turning Tables” is a pop ballad; its instrumentation consists of piano, “Broadway-worthy” strings and guitar. A soulful song, beautifully composed, it tells of her escape from a dominating and whimsical lover.
“ I can’t keep up with your turning tables,
Under your thumb I can’t breathe,
So, I won’t let you close enough to hurt me…”
“Rolling in the Deep”
Adele describes this song as a “dark blues-y gospel disco tune”. Lamb gave it a perfect score of 5, saying: “‘Rolling in the Deep’ […] wastes no time in presenting the stunning bluesy authority of her voice. Less than five seconds in she begins proclaiming the rise of emotion that results in fantasies of revenge against a lover who has done her wrong. Here is a voice that can raise chills up the spine, and, when she is in a mood like this, the sense of foreboding will rivet your attention.” It is the largest crossover hit in the United States from the past 25 years. “Rolling in the Deep” propelled Adele to international fame. It received the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Short Form Music Video at the 54th annual ceremony. Balladry doesn’t get any better.
“All I Ask”
From her album 25, “All I Ask” is a powerful, heart wrenching song with a resonating finality, sung by a lover who knows that it is the last night of their relationship and accepts it, doubting if she would ever “love again”.
“Rumor Has It”
“Rumor Has It” is as upbeat as it is famous. The amazing instrumental and her sultry vocals can pep up any dance floor! From her album 21, the catchy number was a smash hit. The song received critical acclaim and a Double Platinum certification by the RIAA for sales exceeding 2 million units in the United States.
With this soulful, moving, evocative jazz number, Adele skilfully captures the theme and mood of Bond movies. Both lovely and dramatic, with menacing lyrics (“You may have my number, you can take my name, but you’ll never have my heart”), grand scope (“Let the sky fall..”) and a lushly orchestrated piano background, the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
“When We Were Young”
Adele says the song “was based on us being older, and being at a party at this house, and seeing everyone that you’ve ever fallen out with, everyone that you’ve ever loved, everyone that you’ve never loved, and stuff like that, where you can’t find the time to be in each others lives. And you’re all thrown together at this party when you’re like 50, and it doesn’t matter and you have so much fun and you feel like you’re 15 again. So that’s the kind of vibe of it really.” A beautiful, nostalgic melody, it is one of our very favorites.
“Set Fire to the Rain”
From Adele’s second studio album 21, the powerful song won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. The melancholy theme is a melody to sooth broken hearts.
“I set fire to the rain,
Watched it pour as I touched your face,
Well, it burned while I cried,
‘Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name…”
“Someone Like You”
Adele said that “Rumor Has It” and “Rolling in the Deep” were lyrically opposite of “Someone Like You”. She said that she wrote “Someone Like You” after she was tired of “being such a bitch” with “Rolling in the Deep” and “Rumor Has It.” A truly touching song, it reduces even rocks to tears. Dubbed her most emotional song, “Someone Like You” delivers feelings beyond simply breaking… the song is devastating. The song lyrically speaks of Adele’s coming to terms with a broken relationship. Almost every time she rendered this song live, the audience cried with her. At an interview after a live performance she said, “I was really emotional by the end because I’m quite overwhelmed by everything anyway, and then I had a vision of my ex, of him watching me at home and he’s going to be laughing at me because he knows I’m crying because of him, with him thinking, ‘Yep, she’s still wrapped around my finger’. Then everyone stood up, so I was overwhelmed.” “Someone like You” became Adele’s first number-one single in the United Kingdom and it stayed on the top of the chart for five weeks. The song also topped the charts in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Italy, France and Switzerland, and has become Adele’s second number one in the United States.
From her latest album 25, “Hello” achieved international commercial success. It won the 2017 Grammy Award for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, much to the elation of millions of her fans worldwide.
In the United States, “Hello” debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Adele’s fourth number-one on the chart and breaking several records, including becoming the first song to sell over a million digital copies in a week. It ranked number one in almost every country it charted in, including the United Kingdom, where it became her second UK number-one single, following “Someone like You”, and has the largest opening week sales in three years.
The music video for the song broke the Vevo Record by achieving over 27.7 million views within a single day, held previously by Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” which accumulated 20.1 million views in that duration of time. It was the first music video in IMAX format. It also broke the record for shortest time to attain 100 million Vevo views, previously held by Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”, as well as shortest time to reach 1 billion YouTube views (88 days).
Needless to say, it deserves its place as the Best Adele Song till date.
“Hello from the other side (other side)
I must have called a thousand times (thousand times)
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done,
But when I call you never seem to be home;
Hello from the outside (outside)
At least I can say that I’ve tried (I’ve tried)
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart,
But it don’t matter. It clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore…”
Crying already? That is the legacy of Adele.
Featured Image: This image was originally posted to Flickr by Tammy Breece. The image has been licensed for fair use by the creator under the Creative Commons licence – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). No changes have been made.