The Adele album climbs a place to spend its first week leading the survey in 14 weeks, despite only selling 75,000 copies last week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That was enough, though, to move it further up the table of the most weeks at number one in history, now tying it with the Bee Gees-led and Prince and the Revolution soundtracks and behind only five other albums.
Next in 21's sights will be Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, the South Pacific soundtrack and Harry Belafonte's Calypso, which each spent 31 weeks heading the chart. The West Side Story soundtrack has achieved the longest run with 54 weeks at the top, followed by Michael Jackson's Thriller with 37 weeks.
Adele will very likely lose her crown next week with Usher's Looking 4 Myself on course to give him a fourth chart-topper with around 120-130,000 sales. Also set to make a high new entry is Ed Sheeran's + with its first-week US sales forecast to be around the 40,000 mark.
On this week's chart 21 finished just a couple of thousand sales ahead of country superstar Alan Jackson's newly-issued Thirty Miles West, which debuts at two.
Immediately below Adele and Jackson the chart starts to resemble a countdown from the early 1970s rather than from 2012 with both the Beach Boys and Neil Young debuting.
For the Beach Boys the number three entry for That's Why God Made The Radio on the back of 61,000 sales gives the reformed band their highest-placed album on the survey since best of Endless Summer reached number one in 1974. In terms of studio albums, this is their highest charting since Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) attained runner-up position way back in 1965.
Neil Young also achieves his best position on the Billboard 200 since the early Seventies and his second best showing overall with Americana starting in fourth position with 44,000 sales. Only the chart-topping Harvest in 1972 has landed higher on the chart for the veteran Canadian.
A fourth new entry completes the top five with rapper Big K.R.I.T. arriving in fifth position with debut Live From The Underground, which sold 41,000 copies last week.
One Direction's Up All Night drops 4-6, although sales are only moderately down by 4% to 40,000 as their single What Makes You Beautiful returns to the Hot 100's top five, progressing 6-5.
After spending its first two weeks at number one, John Mayer's Born and Raised now drops to to seven with sales slipping 41% to 39,000, while rapper Curren$ly starts in eight position thanks to 36,000 sales of The Stoned Immaculate.
Carrie Underwood's former number one Blown Away, which is released in the UK next week, drops 6-9 as sales decline 13% to 27,000 and Brandi Carlile scores her first ever Top 10 hit with Bear Creek debuting at 10 after selling 27,000 copies.
A week after Rebecca Ferguson entered in 23rd place with Heaven, the Billboard 200 welcomes another debuting British female artist with Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events new at 28. Its appearance follows a promotional visit by Sande to the States, including playing the Bowery Ballroom in New York on June 4, while she will be returning next month to support Coldplay on their North American tour. Meanwhile, Ferguson's own album makes a rapid descent this week, dropping to 113.
Having debuted and peaked at 15 in 1999 when first released, The Beatles' Yellow Submarine Songtrack returns in 55th position this week after being revived at the same time as a polished-up version of the movie has come out on DVD and Blu-ray. This Yellow Submarine album differs from the one that was originally issued with the film back in 1969 and reached number two on the Billboard 200 in that it includes all the Beatles tracks featured in the movie, while the first album was a soundtrack combining some Beatles songs in the film and George Martin's score.
After eight weeks, Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra leaves the top of the Hot 100 and is replaced by another former UK number one, Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe. The Canadian's track remains the top download seller for a fourth successive week after selling a further 296,000 copies last week, a 4% rise, while it moves 4-2 on Billboard's Radio Songs chart behind Gotye. Among the Brit contingent, The Wanted's Glad You Came is now out of the Top 10, falling 10-11, although follow-up Chasing The Sun climbs 93-91. Besides What Makes You Beautiful, One Direction also have a second Hot 100 hit with One Thing climbing 51-54 and Calvin Harris is represented twice with Feel So Close (down 12-23) and Let's Go (up 60-58), while Ellie Goulding's Lights progresses 14-13.
On the Hot100 Somebody That I Used To Know is now in runner-up position, while Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa's Payhone and We Are Young by fun featuring Janelle Monae hold at three and four respectively.
US album sales were up 4.8% week-on-week last week to 5.26 million units, but 4.5% lower than the same week last year, while year-to-date sales are now 2.9% behind 2011's total with 132.96 million albums having been sold so far in 2012.
The digital one-track market fell 1.0% on the week but was up 3.0% compared to the equivalent week last year to 25.32 million units, while sales across the whole year so far are 6.4% ahead of 2011 with 622.18 million singles having been sold.