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Studio album by Adele
Released January 28, 2008
Recorded 2006–2007
Genre Blue-eyed soul
Length 43:41
Label XL Recordings, Columbia Records
Producer(s) Jim Abbiss, Mark Ronson, Eg White
Adele chronology
Adele-19-gal 600px-ITunes Live from SoHo (ADELE)
(2008) (2009)
Singles from 19
  1. Hometown Glory
    Released: October 22, 2007
  2. Chasing Pavements
    Released: January 11, 2008
  3. Cold Shoulder
    Released: April 21, 2008
  4. Make You Feel My Love
    Released: October 27, 2008
Alternative cover
Deluxe edition cover

19 is the debut studio album by British singer Adele. It was first released on January 28, 2008, through XL Recordings. Following Adele’s graduation from the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in May 2006, she began publishing songs and recorded a three-song demo for a class project and gave it to a friend. The friend posted the demo on MySpace, where it became very successful and led to interest from XL Recordings. This led to Adele signing a recording contract with the label and providing vocals for Jack Peñate; during this session for Peñate’s song, Adele met producer Jim Abbiss, who would go on to produce the majority of her debut album.

Adele wrote most of the album’s material solely, but did work with a select few writers and producers, including Jim Abbiss, Eg White, and Sacha Skarbek. Their collaborations created a blue-eyed soul album with lyrics describing heartbreak and relationships. Upon release, 19 received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the singer’s vocals and noting her as having the “potential to become among the most respected and inspiring international artists of her generation.” 19 also won and was nominated for numerous accolades including a Mercury Prize, and the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. The second single, “Chasing Pavements,” also won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards.

19 was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the UK charts during its release, and peaking at number four on the US Billboard 200 in 2012. The album is certified 7× Platinum in the UK, and 3× Platinum in the US. Worldwide sales for the album are at an estimated 10 million copies.


Adele graduated from the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon in May 2006, where she was a classmate of Leona Lewis and Jessie J. Adele credits the school with nurturing her talent even though, at the time, she was more interested in going into A&R and hoped to launch other people’s careers. Four months after graduation, she published two songs on the fourth issue of the online arts publication She had recorded a three-song demo for a class project and given it to a friend. The friend posted the demo on MySpace, where it became very successful and led to a phone call from Richard Russell, boss of the music label XL Recordings. She doubted if the offer was real because the only record company she knew was Virgin Records, and she took a friend with her to the meeting.

Nick Huggett, at XL, recommended Adele to manager Jonathan Dickins at September Management, and in June 2006, Dickins became her official representative. September was managing Jamie T at the time and this proved a major draw for Adele, a big fan of the British singer-songwriter. Huggett then signed Adele to XL in September 2006. Adele provided vocals for Jack Peñate's song “My Yvonne,” for his debut album, and it was during this session she first met producer Jim Abbiss, who would go on to produce both the majority of her debut album, 19, as well as some of the tracks on 21. Adele recorded a cover of Bob Dylan’sMake You Feel My Love” under the recommendation of Dickins, who loved the song.

The first single released from 19 was “Chasing Pavements,” which Adele wrote in collaboration with Eg White. “Chasing Pavements” was inspired by an incident Adele had with a former boyfriend of six months. After learning he had cheated on her, she went to the bar he was at and punched him in the face. After being thrown out, Adele walked down the street alone and thought to herself, “What is it you're chasing? You're chasing an empty pavement.” She sang and recorded it on her mobile phone and arranged the chords when she got home. Adele and White co-wrote two other songs for the album: “Melt My Heart to Stone” and “Tired.” She also collaborated with Sacha Skarbek on the single “Cold Shoulder.” However, most of the songs were written solely by Adele, including “Best for Last,” “Crazy for You,” “First Love,” and “My Same,” as well as her debut single, “Hometown Glory,” which was written by Adele in 10 minutes after her mother tried to persuade her to leave her home town of West Norwood in London for university.



Adele revealed that the majority of the album was inspired by her first proper relationship. When asked about the album, Adele stated:

My debut album is about being between 18 and 19; about love. [...] It’s quite a sad album, [with songs about] being cheated on and not getting what you want.[1]

She further commented on the lyrical inspiration for the album in an interview with Blues & Soul:

It was simply that I got into a relationship that went very sour. And, if I’d been in the same frame of mind as I am when I'm talking to you now — i.e. sober! — I probably wouldn’t have written any of it! But yeah, as cheesy as it sounds, I did write to kinda cleanse myself and get it all out of my system really. You know, I hate — I’m actually offended by — literal easy lyrics that have no thought behind them and are purely written because they rhyme. So I do always want my lyrics to be mature and thoughtful. And, while I’ve personally now stopped listening to my album because I sing it every day, ultimately I do think it is sincere. Apart from ‘Hometown Glory,’ ‘Daydreamer,’ and ‘My Same’ — which were all written earlier, when I was between 16 and 18 — the whole album is all about one boy. So I was very sad when I wrote it. And I think that genuinely does come through in the music.[2]

In regard to the musical style of the album, Adele revealed that she originally had no idea what she wanted it to sound like:

I had no specific plans for my album. In fact, I still don’t know exactly what kind of artist I want to be! You know, for me the album was just about making a record of songs to get a boy off my chest and include all the different kinds of music that I love. So there’s pop; there’s a bit of electro; there’s jazz; there’s folk; and of course there’s soul... But, at the same time, while there are those obvious elements of soul in my music and certainly in my voice, I never at any stage thought, ‘Ooh, I’m gonna be a white soul girl!’ You know, the album genuinely did just come together very naturally and very organically.[2]

The only track on the album that was not an original song was Adele's cover of Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love.”


When asked about the album’s title, Adele initially stated that she could not think of another title, but later added on that she felt it “very much” represented her age and felt that she had become “a bit of a woman” at the time of the events inspiring the album and its composition. She also indicated that she thinks any album’s title — especially a debut album — should be meaningful, and that the album’s title is very important. In an interview with Blues & Soul, she discussed the album title more in depth:

[I titled the album 19 because] I couldn’t come up with anything else! I always think debut album titles are really important. The best ones for me are Debut by Bjork and Lauryn Hill's Miseducation. They’re ones that everyone just knows, that don’t make you think too much, and are just quite obvious. And to me, this album does very much represent my age. I was only 19 years old when I was writing it, and I just kinda remember becoming a bit of a woman during that time. And I think that is definitely documented in the songs. So, while some people think I was trying to use my age as like a selling-point, I really wasn’t at all. You know, when I was signed at 18, I only had three songs to my name. But yet, literally within a month of turning 19, a load more just suddenly came out of me. Which really reflects how I was feeling at that age.[2]

The concept of naming her albums after her age at the time she wrote them became a recurring theme in Adele’s discography, as she went on to name her second, third and fourth albums 21, 25 and 30, respectively.


Critical reception[]

19 received generally positive reviews from critics. The album holds a 68 out of 100 rating based on 19 critical reviews indicating “generally favorable reviews” from Metacritic. The album was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Prize in the category of Best Album. On December 3, 2008, the album spawned four Grammy nominations: Best New Artist, and Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Chasing Pavements.” The following year, she received a second consecutive nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, for “Hometown Glory,” but lost to “Halo” by Beyoncé.

The Guardian gave the album a positive review: “The way she stretched the vowels, her wonderful soulful phrasing, the sheer unadulterated pleasure of her voice, stood out all the more; little doubt that she’s a rare singer, which another track first available on her MySpace site, ‘Daydreamer,’ confirmed.” They gave the album a five star response. BBC Music was also very positive, writing, “Pitching up somewhere between blues, folk and jazz, she’s included something for everyone without ever pandering to a particular trend. Her melodies exude warmth, her singing is occasionally stunning and, in the dramatic ‘Hometown Glory,’ the spiky cool of ‘Cold Shoulder’ (which is unexpectedly reminiscent of Shara Nelson-era Massive Attack) and the piano epic ‘Make You Feel My Love,’ she has tracks that make Lily Allen and Kate Nash sound every bit as ordinary as they are.” AllMusic offered a similarly favorable review, deeming “Daydreamer,” “Chasing Pavements,” “Melt My Heart to Stone” and “Right as Rain” as album highlights.

However, some critics responded less favorably to the album, particularly for its similarities to the work of Amy Winehouse. Uncut said, “Allowed this gnarled rock-scribe veteran a measure of skepticism. Adele can certainly sing, but 19 reeks of some A&R trendhound making it his/her biz to sign The New Amy and not resting till s/he’s found the right chick from South London to fit the bill.” NME agreed, writing, “Indeed, as 19 reveals itself, it’s clear that the Amy associations are little more than empty mediaspeak without any real weight. Despite the early indicators, there’s precious little on the album that prevents it from collapsing under the weight of its own expectation.”

People magazine gave the album all four stars, saying, “With a knockout voice that’s rich and supple, robust and sultry, it’s hard to believe that this singer-songwriter is barely out of her teens.” Giving the album a B-, Entertainment Weekly remarked that, “Adele’s songs aren’t as sharp as Duffy’s... Still, her singing throughout is a thing to behold.” Chuck Taylor, in a positive review from Billboard magazine, said that “Adele truly has potential to become among the most respected and inspiring international artists of her generation.”

Chart performance[]

In the United States, 19 debuted at #56 and remained in the lower ends of the Billboard 200 for many proceeding weeks. After a performance on the U.S. show Saturday Night Live, it rose to #46 and, a week later, to #11, with sales of 25,000+ copies sold. In 2009, after winning two Grammy Awards, the album rose to a new peak of #10 on the Billboard 200 and total sales reached 843,880. The album is now certified platinum by the RIAA. As of January 2013, the album has sold 2.45 million copies in the United States.

As of the week ending April 24, 2011, 19 was #1 on the Top Pop Catalog Albums for 9 weeks, making it only the third album by a female artist to top that chart at least that long in the past 20 years. The following week, it stayed at #1 on that chart, making it the first studio album to do so since Michael Jackson's Thriller 25 was at #1 for 11 weeks in 2008. Two months later, it moved up from #27 to #16 on the Billboard 200, topping the Top Pop Catalog Albums for a 16th week.

Thanks to the then-upcoming release of Adele’s second album 21, 19 could re-enter the German Albums Chart at #42 in January 2011. 19 has sold 6 million copies worldwide. In the same week as 21 was released, 19 re-entered the UK album chart at #4 with sales of 25,419. The following week, on February 6, 2011, the album remained on the chart at #4 with strengthening sales of 27,660. It is currently the second best selling album of 2011 in the UK, just behind 21, as it tripled its 2008 seven non-consecutive week long top 10-visit with 21 straight weeks. As of July 17, 2011, 19 has sold 1,594,001 copies in the UK. In Ireland, due to the success of 21, the album returned to its peak position of #3 on the week ending March 18, 2011, three years after it originally peaked, just to set a new high at #2 the following week and to stay there for six non-consecutive weeks, just behind 21. The album debuted at #16 on the New Zealand Albums Chart, due to the success of 21 and has peaked at #3.

Album artwork[]

Track listing[]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. Daydreamer Adele Adkins Jim Abbiss 3:41
2. Best for Last Adkins Abbiss 4:19
3. Chasing Pavements Adkins, Eg White Eg White 3:31
4. Cold Shoulder Adkins, Sacha Skarbek Mark Ronson 3:12
5. Crazy for You Adkins Abbiss 3:28
6. Melt My Heart to Stone Adkins, White White 3:24
7. First Love Adkins Abbiss 3:10
8. Right as Rain Adkins, Leon Michels, Jeff Silverman, Nick Movshon, Clay Holley Abbiss 3:17
9. Make You Feel My Love Bob Dylan Abbiss 3:32
10. My Same Adkins Abbiss 3:16
11. Tired Adkins, White White 4:19
12. Hometown Glory Adkins Abbiss 4:31
Taiwan special edition
No. Title Length
13. Chasing Pavements(bonus enhanced video)
Japanese edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. Painting Pictures Adkins 3:34
14. Now and Then Adkins 3:24
15. That’s It, I Quit, I’m Movin’ On(Sam Cooke cover) Del Serino, Roy Alfred 2:12
US limited edition bonus disc
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Right as Rain” (live) Adkins, Leon Michels, Jeff Silverman, Nick Movshon, Clay Holley 3:28
2. “Melt My Heart to Stone” (live) Adkins, White 3:21
3. “My Same” (live) Adkins 3:02
4. “That’s It, I Quit, I’m Movin’ On” (live) Del Serino, Roy Alfred 2:21
5. “Chasing Pavements” (live) Adkins, White 3:49

2009 Expanded edition[]

Disc 1
  1. “Daydreamer”
  2. “Best for Last”
  3. “Chasing Pavements”
  4. “Cold Shoulder”
  5. “Crazy for You”
  6. “Melt My Heart to Stone”
  7. “First Love”
  8. “Right as Rain”
  9. “Make You Feel My Love”
  10. “My Same”
  11. “Tired”
  12. “Hometown Glory”
Disc 2 – Acoustic Set Live from Hotel Café, Los Angeles
  1. “Chasing Pavements”
  2. “Melt My Heart to Stone”
  3. “That’s It, I Quit, I’m Movin’ On”
  4. “Crazy for You”
  5. “Right as Rain”
  6. “My Same”
  7. “Make You Feel My Love”
  8. “Daydreamer”
  9. “Hometown Glory”
  10. Many Shades of Black” — Bonus Track Performed by Adele and The Raconteurs


A song titled registered “Run Away” was registered on Adele’s BMI and is rumored to be a cut from 19 due to its songwriting credits.


There were four overall singles released from 19, although “Hometown Glory” was re-released at the end of the era. The four singles were released differently in every country; the only song that was released as a single internationally was “Chasing Pavements.” Additionally, “Right as Rain” was intended to be released as a single, but was cancelled in favor of "Cold Shoulder." It was sent to radio as a promotional single instead.


United Kingdom[]

  • “Chasing Pavements”
  • “Cold Shoulder”
  • “Hometown Glory”
  • “Make You Feel My Love”

Europe, Australia and Japan[]

  • “Chasing Pavements”
  • “Cold Shoulder”

Canada and USA[]

  • “Hometown Glory”
  • “Chasing Pavements”


  • “Chasing Pavements”


  • “Chasing Pavements”


  • “Chasing Pavements”
  • “Cold Shoulder”
  • “Make You Feel My Love”
  • “Hometown Glory”


The gallery below is a digital copy of the booklet.


All credits taken from CD Universe.[3]

  • Adele (vocals, guitar)
  • Matt Allchin, Ben Thomas, Michael Tighe (guitar)
  • Neil Cowley (piano, Hammond b-3 organ, Wurlitzer organ)
  • Jason Silver (keyboards)
  • Sam Koppelman (glockenspiel)
  • Tom Driessler (bass guitar, tambourine)
  • Stuart Zender (bass guitar)
  • Seb Rochford, Louis "Kayel" Sharpe, Pete Biggins, Louis Sharpe (drums)
  • Liam Howe (programming)
  • Jack Peñate, Life Gospel Choir (background vocals)


Release history[]

Region Date Format Label
Europe 25 January 2008
  • CD
  • digital download
XL Recordings
Australia 26 January 2008
United Kingdom 28 January 2008
United States 10 June 2008 Columbia Records
Poland 24 November 2008 XL Recordings
Brazil 6 June 2011 Sony Music
China 13 March 2013 CD 星外星唱片 (Starsing Records)