NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Adele's Grammy-winning 2011 release, 21, was deemed by Billboard magazine the greatest album of all time based on chart position and the soundtrack of the 1965 Julie Andrews movie The Sound Of Music came in second.
The British singer racked up the most weeks - 24 - for an album by a woman atop the Billboard 200 album charts and saw 78 weeks in the top 10, Billboard said in a ranking released this week based on chart positions dating to 1963.
Adele's follow-up album, 25, is due to be released on Nov 20.
The first single, Hello, has already broken records for digital sales and music video views.
The Billboard rankings used a descending point system that awarded the highest value for weeks that an album spent at No. 1 with consideration for changes in chart-ranking methodology over the years.
Despite having a record 19 No. 1 hits, The Beatles placed only 54th on the all-time great album rankings with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which spent 15 straight weeks at the top in 1967.
But the Fab Four from Liverpool were named the top all-time act, followed by The Rolling Stones.
Country-turned-pop singer Taylor Swift, who has had four albums hit No. 1 since 2006, gave her a No. 8 ranking in the greatest acts.
Billboard noted she was the only act among the all-time top 30 to have started a chart career since 2000.
The Oscar-winning Sound Of Music soundtrack spent a record 109 weeks in the Billboard 200 top 10 and was a regular presence there from 1965 to early 1968.