Well, here’s a first—as noted by Billboard, for the first time since Nielsen SoundScan began keeping track of music sales way back in 1991, the same album remained the bestselling album in the United States for two years in a row.  That’s right, Adele’s 21 was the number one bestselling album in the United States in 2012… just like it was in 2011.

The album managed to sell 4.41 million copies in 2012, down just a bit from the 5.82 million units it moved in 2011.  The album debuted at the top spot of Billboard’s 200 chart on March 21, 2011, and has not left the Top 40 ever since.

Unsurprisingly, Taylor Swift took the number two spot with Red, which tallied 3.11 million units sold, thanks in part to an unspeakably catchy lead single.

Newest symbol of the apocalypse, One Direction grabbed the third highest selling slot of the year with their debut album, Up All Night, which managed 1.62 million units sold; elsewhere, their second album, Take Me Home, scored the fifth highest selling album with 1.34 million.  And, speaking of broken records, Billboard also notes that this is the first time since SoundScan debuted in 1991 that a band has had two of the year’s top five bestselling albums.

And, rounding things out, Mumford & Sons landed the fourth bestselling album of 2012 with Babel, with 1.46 million copies sold.

What were your five favorite albums of the year?

Source: Billboard