Taylor Swift Collects Fourth No. 1 Album, 'Now 52' Debuts at No. 2
11/5/2014 by Keith Caulfield
As reported earlier, Taylor Swift's 1989 debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with the largest sales week in over 12 years.
1989 sold 1.287 million copies in the week ending Nov. 2, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's the largest week for any album since Eminem's The Eminem Show sold 1.322 million its second chart week (ending June 2, 2002).
1989's first-week sum also makes it the biggest selling album released in 2014, outpacing Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour (746,000). 1989 is also immediately the second-biggest selling album of the year (following the Frozen soundtrack, which was released in 2013, and has sold 3.2 million in 2014).
1989's debut was so huge, it comprised 22 percent of the entire album market for the week (5.79 million total albums were sold in the week). Another way to look at it: of the top selling albums on the Billboard 200 chart for the week, 1989 sold more than Nos. 2-107 combined.
Or, yet another way to view 1989's massive bow: It debuts with more copies sold than the combined first-weeks of the last eight No. 1-debuting albums (Slipknot's .5: The Gray Chapter, Florida Georgia Line's Anything Goes, Jason Aldean's Old Boots, New Dirt, Blake Shelton's Bringing Back the Sunshine, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga's Cheek to Cheek, Barbra Streisand's Partners, Lecrae's Anomaly and Maroon 5's V).
Swift's first-week sales were about evenly split between digital downloads and physical CDs, though 1989 sold slightly more physical copies (647,000) than digital downloads (640,000). 1989 logs the largest week for a physical album since Swift's last album, Red, launched with 743,000 physical copies in 2012. 1989's digital bow is the second-biggest week for a download album ever, behind only Lady Gaga's arrival with Born This Way in 2011 (662,000). (The latter's sales were amplified by deep discounting through the Amazon MP3 store, which temporarily lowered the price of Born This Way to 99 cents.)
Swift's 1989 was briefly on sale for 99 cents during its release week through the Microsoft's Music Deals app, but those sales were not counted by SoundScan. Unit sales for albums priced below $3.49 during their first four weeks of release will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts and will not count towards sales data presented by Nielsen SoundScan. The pricing policy was established in late 2011, after Born This Way's debut.
As for the rest of the new Billboard 200 chart, the Now 52 compilation debuts at No. 2, selling 103,000 copies. All 52 of the numbered Now compilations have reached the top 10, and every volume since the second has debuted in the top 10. Now 52's sales arrival beats that of Now 51, which launched with 94,000.
Country singer Sam Hunt bows at No. 3 with his debut album, Motevallo (70,000). It also starts at No. 1 on Top Country Albums. The album is powered by his hit single "Leave the Night On," which concurrently rises to No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart.
Barry Manilow rounds out the top four on the Billboard 200, as his new release, My Dream Duets, starts at No. 4 with 51,000. The collaborations album — which pairs Manilow with deceased artists like Whitney Houston and Judy Garland — logs Manilow his biggest sales week since 2010 (when The Greatest Love Songs of All Time bowed with 57,000).
My Dream Duets saw a sizable chunk of its first-week sales come from QVC, which sold an exclusive version of the album and hosted Manilow for an hour-long concert on Oct. 17. My Dream Duets is Manilow's 15th top 10 album.
Following its deluxe reissue last week, Led Zeppelin's Led Leppelin IV album — originally released in 1971 — bounds back on to the chart at No. 7 with 35,000 (up 3,042 percent). The former No. 2-peaking album is one of two Led Zeppelin reissues to climb up the list this week, as the band's Houses of the Holy (released in 1973) also returns, re-entering at No. 12 with 29,000 (up 4,828 percent).
Led Zeppelin IV was last in the top 10 on the chart dated March 4, 1972. Houses of the Holy, which spent two weeks at No. 1 in May of 1973, last ranked in the top 10 on July 21, 1973.
Chris Tomlin's Love Ran Red debuts at No. 8 with 35,000 (and also comes in at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums), marking Tomlin's third top 10 effort on the Billboard 200. His last entry, 2013's Burning Lights, debuted at No. 1 with 73,000 sold in its first week.
Last week's No. 1, Slipknot's .5: The Gray Chapter, falls to No. 9 with 34,000 (down 75 percent).
Another rock act, Black Veil Brides, closes out the top 10 as its new self-titled effort debuts at No. 10 with 30,000. It's the group's second top 10 effort, following their last release, 2013's Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, which bowed at No. 7 with 42,000.
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Taylor Swift debuts at No. 1 with "Blank Space" (155,000 downloads), notching her ninth leader on the tally. It's her third No. 1 from the 1989 album, following "Shake It Off" and "Out of the Woods."
Swift also places another entry in the top 10, as the album's "Style" starts at No. 8 with 74,000.
Back up at No. 2, Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" slips 1-2 with 133,000 (down 8 percent) and Maroon 5's "Animals" holds at No. 3 with 110,000 (down 6 percent). Hozier's "Take Me To Church" falls 2-4 with 105,000 (down 20 percent) and Tove Lo's "Habits (Stay High)" descends 4-5 with 79,000 (down 11 percent).
Rounding out the top 10 are Jason Derulo's "Trumpets" (down two rungs with 72,000; down 11 percent) and "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Minaj (down four places to No. 10 with 71,000; down 13 percent).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Nov. 2) totaled 5.79 million units, up 30 percent compared with the sum last week (4.47 million) and up 23 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (4.70 million). Year to date album sales stand at 199.19 million, down 13 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (228.65 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 17.29 million downloads, up less than 1 percent compared with last week (17.22 million) and down 15 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (20.41 million). Year to date track sales are at 935.37 million, down 13 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (1.07 billion).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 debuted at No. 1 with 792,000 sold. Celine Dion's Loved Me Back to Life started at No. 2 with 77,000.