Artist News

Taylor Swift album has mega-sales Stateside, though still a long way off beating Adele

By | Published on Thursday 1 November 2012

Taylor Swift

So, Taylor Swift’s new album is selling rather well, and not just to pizza fans. Having topped the UK album charts last weekend, the new Swift long-player, ‘Red’, has also gone number one Stateside in both the Billboard 200 and the Country Albums Chart, the latter a double achievement, [a] because of the impressive first week sales, and [b] because that’s definitely not a country album.

First week sales in the US in excess of 1.2 million are the eighth biggest single-week-sales scored by an album in the US since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking such things in 1991, and the biggest sales scored in one week since 2002’s ‘The Eminem Show’. It also means she already has the third biggest selling album of the year behind Adele’s ’21’ and One Direction’s ‘Up All Night’.

‘Up All Night’ has sold just over 1.3 million copies, meaning Swift will likely outsell the boy band’s debut longer player, released in the US back in March, by the end of the year, unless the release of the second 1D album later this month results in renewed interest in the ‘X-Factor’ alumni’s debut.

Adele’s ’21’, despite being released in America in February 2011, and despite the singer doing almost zero promotional work in the last twelve months (what with the poorly throat and pregnancy), has sold an off the wall 4.1 million units in the US this year alone, making it unlikely Swift will end 2012 with the best selling album overall, however much pizza she bundles in with the record.

Even if Swift does out perform 1D by the end of December, that will still be two British acts in the top three best selling albums of the year in the US, which is quite an achievement for UK music. Plus if the top two best sellers of the year are Adele and Swift, that will be two independently released albums at the top (even if Sony did handle distribution of the former in the US).

And, of course, if the three biggest albums in the US in 2012 are from Adele (Beggars released, Sony distributed), Swift (Big Machine released) and 1D (Sony released), well, perhaps we don’t need to worry about the Universal/EMI merger after all. Given neither major is seemingly capable of releasing a best-selling album in America anymore. Or perhaps the mega-major just wasn’t trying in a bid to fool those ‘market dominance’ obsessed regulators. Though now that pretence is no longer required, fingers crossed for Gaga in 2013, I guess.