Taylor Swift has the biggest weekly album sale of the year, and she’s done it in some style. She has also achieved a chart double with No.1 single Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version).
1989 (Taylor’s Version), the fourth release in her remake series, became her 11th No.1 album with opening sales of 184,965 (Official Charts Company). That’s almost double the total for 2023’s previous week one record holder, Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent by Lewis Capaldi, as well as more than double the opening sale for the original version of 1989 in 2014.
Incredibly, Taylor Swift’s latest release outsold the rest of the top 32 albums. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) had 138,923 physical sales, as well as 3,892 downloads and 42,150 sales-equivalent streams.
The result helped EMI achieve a 15.8% market share, based on the All Music - All Albums metric, 6.5 percentage points ahead of their nearest rival. For the Top 75 artist albums, EMI had a 50.2% share of the market.
The result extends Swift’s own record as the woman with the most UK No.1 albums this century. She is chasing Madonna (12) for the title of female artist with most No.1 albums, and The Beatles as overall leaders on 16.
As revealed in Alan Jones’ charts analysis, Swift is the solo artist who went from zero to 11 No.1 albums quickest, trimming more than four years off the previous record, as set by Robbie Williams. She has had seven No.1 albums in the 2020s, which is three more than nearest challenger Drake.
Swift also joins The Beatles, Robbie Williams, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones in a five-way tie as the acts with most No.1 studio albums.
Swift achieved the chart double with a No.1 finish in the singles chart for Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) (45,360 sales). Is It Over Now? is her third No.1 single, and is joined in the Top 5 by Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) at No.2 (36.549) and “Slut” (Taylor’s Version) at No.5 (34,454).
At one point, it looked as if Swift might have all Top 3 singles. Under singles chart rules, primary artists are only permitted three entries, otherwise 1989 (Taylor’s Version) would have yielded 13 of the Top 20 singles, while recent hit Cruel Summer (now disqualified would also have made the Top 20).
The Beatles did stage a very late challenge on Thursday (November 2) with Now And Then, with just 10 hours of the chart week remaining. Downloads helped the band’s final single to chart at No.42 (7,545 sales), though expect it to go higher next week with a full seven days' consumption.
Back to Taylor Swift, whose latest chart achievement arrived just slightly over a year since her last studio album, Midnights, opened at the summit with sales of 204,501. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) couldn’t quite match that result, but it secures the biggest weekly sale for any album since Midnights.
As well as the biggest weekly overall total, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) has bested Drake’s For The Dogs with the biggest weekly streaming total of 2023 so far (42,150 sales-equivalent streams). Again, that’s not quite up to the week one streaming consumption for Midnights (57,964), but it is the highest streaming result since that LP was released in October 2022.
Of course, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) also has the biggest physical sale of the year. Thanks to multiple editions, the vinyl total was 61,791. The Rolling Stones’ Hackney Diamonds was previously the year’s biggest weekly sale on vinyl (27,371).
Swift’s physical sales also included 75,672 CDs and 1,460 cassettes.
Physical sales accounted for 19.5% of the albums market in the past week, up from 15.7% in the prior week and 13.9% a fortnight ago.
Midnights broke 21st century records with its vinyl sale of 61,948 last October. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was just 157 sales behind, suggesting that she has a loyal and consistent fan base for her biggest releases at this point in her career.
The original version of 1989 is her No.1 seller in the UK with 1,733,302 units sold. It moved 8-28 in the albums chart as fans switched to the new version. The Taylor’s Version series enables Swift to regain control of her recordings.
Midnights is currently No.2 in the rankings for biggest sales of 2023, behind The Highlights by The Weeknd. In total, Midnights has sales to date of 709,801.
In terms of week one, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) also outsold each of the three previous releases in the series: Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) – 67,112, Red (Taylor’s Version) – 72,319, and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) 21,145.
PHOTO: Beth Garrabrant