When Taylor Swift released “Speak Now (Taylor Version)” this month, there was no doubt that it would debut at No. 1. The only questions were how strong he would be at breaking records, how many mountains of vinyl he would sell and how low Swift’s chart catalog would push everyone.
“Speak Now (Taylor Version),” the third installment in Swift’s series of re-recorded albums—this one recreates “Speak Now” from 2010, with a thick appendix of tracks revisited from the cutting room floor—is her biggest album ever. New Musician of the Year, achieving the equivalent of 716,000 sales in the United States. It easily topped Morgan Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time,” which opened with 501,000 in March.
but this is not all. It is Swift’s 12th album, surpassing Barbra Streisand for the most chart-topping albums by a woman. Drake also has 12 No. 1 albums, but the only acts with more are Jay-Z (14) and The Beatles (19).
The popularity of Swift’s Eras Tour has lifted her entire catalog, and this week, in addition to the new “Speak Now,” she has three more titles in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart: “Midnights” (No. 5), “Lover” (No. 7) and “Folklore.” (No. 10). Swift is the first live act to have four albums in the Top 10 since then Herb Albert in 1966. (Prince had five children after his death in 2016. For many years Billboard banned older “catalog” albums from appearing on the main chart—a rule that was change After the death of Michael Jackson in 2009.)
Swift’s efforts to remake her first six albums began after her old record label was sold without her involvement, as a way for Swift to regain and control her past work. But the project has morphed into a phenomenon of its own, as fans have seized the opportunity to reconsider their own relationship to music, and critics have scoured new recordings for rare — but notable — tweaks, such as a change in one of the song’s lyrics on the track “Better Than Revenge” from “Speak”. now” that has become considered obsolete or worst.
The remake of “Speak Now” had a larger opening than the previous two recordings, “Red” (605,000) and “Fearless” (291,000).
“Equivalent” sales of 716,000 for a new “Speak Now”—a measurement by Billboard and data service Luminate that reconciles the different ways fans consume music now—includes 269 million streams and 507,000 copies sold as a complete package. It also includes 268,500 copies on vinyl, the second-biggest week for any vinyl album since Luminate’s predecessors began holding reliable sales records in 1991—the biggest being Swift’s “Midnights,” which opened with 575,000 copies sold on LP back in October. .
“Speak Now” continues a surprisingly productive tour for Swift. It’s her sixth studio album in three years, and according to Billboard she’s the only female artist to have a number one hit on new albums in each of the past five years: “Lover” (2019); “Folklore” and “Forever” (2020); “Fear (Taylor Version)” and “Red (Taylor Version)” (2021); “Midnight” (2022); And now “Speak now (Taylor version).”
Also this week, Wallin’s “One Thing” ranked at number two; Last week’s top album, Lil Uzi Vert’s “Pink Tape,” was ranked third. And “Genesis” by Besso Bluma is No. 4.