Taylor Swift, the queen of pop, has once again taken the music world by storm with her latest album, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)”, skyrocketing to No. 1 in its opening week, marking the most significant debut of the year. This success has echoed throughout her discography, with three other albums reappearing within the top 10.
The launch of “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” was an unquestionable assurance of its destined No. 1 spot. The anticipation and intrigue surrounded not just the intensity of its record-breaking potential, but also the sheer volume of vinyl sales it would generate and the ripple effect on Swift’s previous records.
“Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)”, the third in a sequence of Swift’s reimagined albums— a nostalgic revisit to 2010’s “Speak Now”, bolstered with a generous bonus of previously unreleased tracks— has emerged as this year’s biggest debut album, registering a staggering 716,000 sales equivalents in the US. It comfortably outperformed Morgan Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time”, which recorded 501,000 in its opening week in March.
But Swift’s achievements don’t stop there. This marks her 12th No. 1 album, eclipsing Barbra Streisand’s record for the most chart-topping albums by a female artist. Only three acts, Drake (12), Jay-Z (14), and the Beatles (19), boast more No. 1 albums.
Swift’s Era Tour has fueled the resurgence of her entire discography. Besides the freshly minted “Speak Now”, three other albums, “Midnights” (No. 5), “Lover” (No. 7) and “Folklore” (No. 10), made the cut in this week’s Billboard 200 top 10. Swift is the first living artist to secure four albums in the top 10 since Herb Alpert in 1966.
Swift’s journey of remaking her first six albums began when her old record label changed hands without her involvement. Initially a means for Swift to repossess and manage her earlier works, this endeavor has evolved into a cultural spectacle. Fans have eagerly engaged, reassessing their connection with Swift’s music, while critics delve into the new renditions for rare, yet striking modifications, such as an altered lyric in “Better Than Revenge”.
The “Speak Now” revamp outperformed the first week sales of her two prior re-recordings, “Red” (605,000) and “Fearless” (291,000).
With 716,000 “equivalent” sales, the newly reinvented “Speak Now” comprises 269 million streams and 507,000 complete album sales, including a considerable 268,500 vinyl copies. This marks the second-largest week for any vinyl album since Luminate started reliable sales records in 1991. Swift’s own “Midnights” holds the record with a stunning 575,000 vinyl sales in its opening week in October.
Swift’s incredible run continues with “Speak Now”. She has released six studio albums in just three years. According to Billboard, she is the only artist to secure new No. 1 albums in each of the last five consecutive years.
This week also witnessed Morgan Wallen’s “One Thing” retaining its No. 2 position, Lil Uzi Vert’s “Pink Tape” falling to No. 3, and Peso Pluma’s “Génesis” holding steady at No. 4. As Swift continues to make history, the music world eagerly awaits what comes next.