Leap year: Breaking down Taylor Swift's numbers and chart records for 1989 (Taylor's Version)

Leap year: Breaking down Taylor Swift's numbers and chart records for 1989 (Taylor's Version)

Taylor Swift has done it again.

After scoring the biggest opening week of 2022 with Midnights (204,501 sales in October last year), Swift has come out on top in 2023 with 1989 (Taylor’s Version).

Based on just three days on sale (and only two days of streaming data) for the Official Charts Company’s Midweek sales flash, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) released via EMI has sales of 147,683. Breaking it down by format, the latest of Swift’s re-recording projects has so far moved 125,262 physical copies, 3,398 downloads and 19,023 sales-equivalent streams. It would be her 11th overall UK No.1 album.

Lewis Capaldi previously had the biggest opening week when he managed sales of 95,882 in a week back in May. 

Swift’s 21-track album of new recordings, released via EMI, is the fourth instalment of the Taylor’s Version albums. The new edition features five never before released songs: “Slut!”, Say Don’t Go, Now That We Don’t Talk, Suburban Legends and Is It Over Now? The deluxe edition features a re-recording of Bad Blood featuring Kendrick Lamar.

Swift has already beaten herself with the new version of the album. The original version of 1989 opened with 90,336 sales in November 2014.

1989 (Taylor’s Version) – which has broken Spotify records – is on course to become the album with the most streams in a single week during 2023. Up to this point, Drake secured the biggest weekly streaming total for an album this year when For The Dogs opened with 28,953 sales-equivalent streams earlier this month. 

The more ambitious target is whether 1989 (Taylor’s Version) can beat Midnights and even the long-standing streaming record held by Ed Sheeran’s ÷ since 2017.

With 57,964 sales-equivalent streams, Midnights has the third biggest weekly streaming total ever behind Ed Sheeran’s second week at No.1 with ÷ in 2017 (58,280). Midnights racked up 72.5 million streams in seven days in October 2022, surpassing Harry Styles’ 53.9m with Harry’s House earlier that year.

If Swift is going to claim Sheeran’s streaming crown, the album will need to amass more than 78,944 sales-equivalent streams this week.

In terms of physical sales, Midnights is the most recent benchmark too. It registered 139,450 physical units in week one, and the new version of 1989 could surpass that result.

The Rolling Stones claimed the biggest vinyl sales of 2023 last week (27,371), but the stellar performance of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) means that record for the Stones’ Hackney Diamonds will only last seven days. 

Across all formats, Midnights was the first LP to top 200,000 sales since Adele’s 30 in December 2021 racked up 261,856, which was itself the biggest weekly sale since Ed Sheeran’s ÷ posted 206,411 in its third week at No.1 in March 2017.

In the singles chart, Taylor Swift is chasing a hat-trick with No.1, 2 and 3 with, respectively, Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) on 15,880, “Slut” (Taylor’s Version) on 14,670 and Style (Taylor’s Version) on 14,213. 

Under chart rules, primary artists are only allowed three entries – a change made after Ed Sheeran tracks flooded the singles chart in 2017. Based on raw streaming data, Swift would have claimed the Top 8 singles in the Midweeks.

In an update via social media based on consumption during release day (October 27) for 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Spotify confirmed that Taylor Swift became the most streamed artist in a single day in Spotify history, and 1989 (Taylor's Version) became Spotify's most streamed album in a single day in 2023 so far.

1989 was released in 2014 and saw Swift pivot from country to pop in triumphant fashion. The original version of 1989, which debuted at No.1, has UK sales to date of 1,729,478 over the last nine years, according to the Official Charts Company. It is her biggest-selling album to date in the UK. 

The Taylor’s Version project enables Swift to regain control of her work as re-recordings. Her former label, Big Machine, was acquired by Scooter Braun in 2019. Swift signed a new deal with Republic and Universal Music Group in 2018, with 2019’s Lover album the first release under that partnership.

PHOTO: Beth Garrabrant 


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