Adele returns to No. 1 spot

Singer's 24th week at the top equals runs by Prince, Bee Gees

Adele toppled another chart milestone last week, as “21” returned to No. 1 for a 24th non-consecutive week, equaling the pinnacle run of the “Saturday Night Fever” and “Purple Rain” soundtracks.

The British singer pulled off the feat with a 75,000-unit week (up 30%), according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ended June 10. Gain was no doubt sparked by the vocalist’s NBC concert special, a June 3 ratings winner.

“21” matched chart marks that have stood for decades. Prince’s “Purple Rain” reigned atop the list in 1984-85, while the Bee Gees’ “Saturday Night Fever” ruled in 1977-78.

Only five albums in history have spent more time at No. 1. Harry Belafonte’s “Calypso” (1956), the “South Pacific” soundtrack (1958) and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” (1977) all logged 31 weeks at the apex; Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (1983) held the top for 37 weeks; and the “West Side Story” soundtrack (1962) ruled for a record 54 weeks.

While this is good news for Adele, it may not be good news for the record business, for none of the six albums debuting on the chart last week could top the 68-week-old album. In fact, none of the week’s new releases came close to topping sales of 100,000.

Country vet Alan Jackson made the top bow, as his “Thirty Miles West” (Capitol Nashville) entered at No. 2 with 73,000 sold. Set bested the performance of 2010’s “Freight Train,” Jackson’s last for long-time label Arista Nashville, which peaked at No. 7.

The reunited Beach Boys arrived at No. 3 with their collection of new material “That’s Why God Made the Radio” (Capitol), selling 61,000. It’s the venerable and venerated California rock act’s highest-charting studio album since “Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!)” reached No. 2 in 1965. Their last top-10 album, “15 Big Ones,” rose to No. 8 in 1976. The hits comp “Endless Summer” reached No. 1 in 1974.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s “Americana” (Warner Bros.) entered at No. 4 with a 44,000-unit tally. The veteran rocker last collaborated with his long-term backing band on 2003’s “Greendale,” which peaked at No. 22. Young’s last top-five release was “Mirror Ball,” his 1995 set with Pearl Jam, which topped out at No. 5.

Rapper Big K.R.I.T.’s “Live From the Underground” (Def Jam) stepped in at No. 5, shifting 40,000. It’s the mixtape vet’s first album. K.R.I.T.’s sometime stagemate Curren$y moved in at No. 8 with “The Stoned Immaculate” (Warner Bros.), which shifted 36,000.

Bringing up the rear among the debuts was Brandi Carlile’s “Bear Creek” (Columbia), which arrived at No. 10 with 27,000 sold. The Seattle singer-songwriter’s previous personal best was “Give Up the Ghost,” which peaked at No. 26 in 2009.

The week’s top-10 holdovers were One Direction’s “Up All Night” (No. 6, 40,000 sold, down 14%), John Mayer’s “Born and Raised” (No. 7, 39,000, off 41%) and Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” (No. 9, 27,000, down 13%).

Supplying some much-needed early summer sales lift, Usher’s new “Looking 4 Myself” should easily top the chart in the coming week.