Van Halen, Paul McCartney and Whitney Houston Albums Go Top 10, But Nobody Can Beat Adele

The once thought close race between Adele and Van Halen for the number one album in the U.S. seems to not have been so close after all.

Hits Daily Double's Building Album Sales Chart, an estimate based on sampling of retailers throughout the U.S., has Adele well ahead of Van Halen with the big Grammy winner pushing about 242,000 copies of her album 21 in the last week versus 187,000 for Van Halen (final numbers will be released later in the week).

That opening is still an amazing number for the hard rockers, just short of the opening week of their last album, 1998's Van Halen III, which sold 191,000 copies. It's even more impressive when you figure that record industry sales of albums are down 50% since that album was released fourteen years ago.

Paul McCartney has also done well in his first week out with the standards album Kisses on the Bottom. Considering the old time, small jazz combo feel of the album, opening week sales of almost 75,000 is quite an accomplishment. It looks like it should come in at number five.

Even more impressive is that Whitney: The Greatest Hits by Whitney Houston will surge to number six with 60,000 in sales. The vast majority of that number were sold during the last 30 hours of the sales week after the announcement of her passing on Saturday. It looks like it will jump back onto the top 200 at number 6.

Also look for Houston's albums Whitney Houston (1986), The Bodyguard soundtrack (1992), I Look to You (2009), Whitney (1987) and The Preacher's Wife soundtrack (1996) to reappear in the top 200 Albums. Overall, according to Billboard, Houston sold more albums last week (and mainly in the final 1-1/2 days of the week) than she sold in 2011 and 2012 to-date combined.

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