Taylor Swift had made some serious ground with her new album Midnights, released via Republic Records. This is her 11th No.1 and she means business. And by that I mean achieving the highest first week sales in 7 years. She is the sixth artist with more than 10 LPs to top the Billboard 200 chart – that title held by the Beatles, Drake, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, and Streisand. Now isn’t that something to shout about? Taylor Swift’s new album demonstrates how much her fans love her music and the artist behind the catchy melodies.
Music can be subjective and not everyone is going to be superfans but I think that it is really important to highlight achievements like this in the music industry when they come about.
She has sold more than a million copies of the album since its release on the 21st of October which includes more than half a million vinyl sales. There have been 1.578 million equivalent album units sold (there have probably been more as you read this), which over the last 7 years equates it to the biggest selling album. She just keeps knocking them out of the park. An album which has made a bigger taking was Adele for her album 25, when it bowed with 3.482 million units.
These figures were published by Luminate, the provider of music sales data. Established by Mike Fine and Mike Shalett in 1991, data is collected weekly and made available every Sunday and every Monday to subscribers, which include record companies, publishing firms, music retailers, independent promoters, film and TV companies, and artist managers.
Amongst other female artists, only Barbara Streisand ties with Taylor for the coveted title of selling the most No.1s. Taylor stated she would release the album back in August of this year at the MTV Video Music Awards, but fans would have to wait until anything dropped. Which it did on the 21st of October in the form of a music video. This was the music video for ‘Anti-Hero’, for which afterwards many people recorded their own take, including Penn Badgley posting on his Instagram page.
Initially Swift released 10th 13 track album which was followed 3 hours later by her deluxe album, and this included 7 bonus tracks. Her sixth studio album, reputation, which she released back in 2017 garnered the same amount of sales for Midnights and it also should be said that this is the third-largest streaming week ever for an album, and secured the biggest sales week for a vinyl album. The fact that she has shifted more than 500,000 LPs, sparked the debate about the revival of vinyl. We know that there has been a shift back towards vinyls due to the millennial and Gen Z consumers, so she really thought this through and strengthened her relationship with her fans. She also released a standard digital album, an iTunes-exclusive version with a bonus track, four standard CD and vinyl editions (each with a different cover, and different-colored records; the CDs are available in explicit and censored versions), a cassette tape, and even a Target-exclusive “Lavender” edition of the album on CD and colored-vinyl LP, with three bonus tracks on the CD. She also sold autographed versions of the four explicit CDs and the four vinyl LPs on her web store.
There being four different covers was due to the fact that the back covers of the four albums fit together like a puzzle to display a clock face and Taylor even referenced this on social media back in September. “If you put all the back covers together, she’s a clock. It’s a clock… It makes a clock.”
In terms of UK sales of 204,000 and doubling the numbers of the previous title-holder, Harry’s House, the third solo album by Harry Styles it has been a whirlwind for Taylor and it is rumored that one of the songs, Sweet Nothing, was co-written with her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, under the pseudonym William Bowery. In relation to first-week streams of the year, it came in pretty high at 72.5m, once again beating Styles’ figures of 53.9m. There’s no stopping Taylor!
The 32-year-old US musician overtook Madonna setting a new all-time UK chart record for the fastest succession of nine UK No 1 albums of any female artist.
Anymore for anymore? Her sales have certainly confirmed she had strategized this plan down to a tee and she really considered what would work in terms of marketing.
There has been some controversy however surrounding her Anti-Hero video that was released alongside her album. There was a scene in which she steps on some scales and the audience can read the word ‘fat’, which caused some anger. Therefore, she amended the video to remove the word.
One of the singles – Snow On The Ground – even features the very well known artist Lana Del Ray, and made its way to No.4 on the charts.
This is the latest album since Folklore and Evermore in 2020, but she has also been very busy re-recording her first 6 studio albums due to the fact that she wanted to own them again after the master recordings were sold to music mogul, Scooter Braun. There are bound to be plenty of mixed reviews delivered from the industry critics, but I think the sales are all you need to look at to deem this album a success.
I mean I could go on, but there are just too many to mention here, so I would suggest you seek the rest out for yourself. You can see the span of her music career, from her first single Tim McCraw, released by by Big Machine Records back in 2006 right up until the Midnights.
So it is very clear that Taylor is taking the world by storm right now and her supporters just can’t get enough. Whether it be through physical vinyl purchases or streams on Spotify, Taylor’s music is the gift that just keeps on giving and she is not likely to stop anytime soon. With a music triumph this apparent, we can’t wait to see what she brings us next. She not only empowers women, but she shows us how we can really achieve something if we commit to it 100% and put in the time and effort. She has even donated such a considerable portion of her wealth towards education, wildlife, disaster management, uplifting victims of gender-based violence, and LGBTQIA+.