Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now MRC Data. Pure album sales were the measurement solely utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. The new April 24-dated Top Album Sales chart (where Fearless [Taylor’s Version] debuts to No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's website on April 20. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Fearless [Taylor’s Version]’s debut sales of 179,000, physical album sales comprise 98,000 of that figure (all in CD sales) while digital album sales comprise 81,000. The album’s first-week sales were enhanced by the availability of a Target-exclusive edition of the CD with expanded packaging.
Fearless [Taylor’s Version] is due out on cassette tape in June, with its vinyl LP release slated for Nov. 19. It’s not unusual for some albums to have their vinyl and cassette editions arrive months after a set’s initial commercial release on CD and download – like Fearless [Taylor’s Version] – due to the lengthy manufacturing time required.
Speaking of belated physical arrivals… Ariana Grande’s former No. 1 Positions zooms 79-2 on Top Album Sales thanks to its vinyl LP and cassette tape release on April 9. The album was initially released on CD and digital download, and via streaming services, on Oct. 30, 2020.
Positions sold 35,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending April 15 – up 1,614% compared to the previous week’s sales (2,000). The majority of the album’s sales in the most recent week were from its vinyl LP, with a little over 32,000 sold via the format (across a couple of colorful variants, including a glow-in-the-dark version exclusive to Target).
Meanwhile, Positions’ CD sales totaled nearly 2,000 for the week, its cassette sold 900 copies, while downloads comprised under 200 copies. Positions tallies the third-largest sales week for a vinyl album since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991.
Strikingly, three of the top five biggest vinyl sales weeks in the MRC Data era have all occurred in the last four months. The biggest vinyl week is owned by the opening frame of Jack White’s Lazaretto (40,000; June 28, 2014-dated chart). It’s followed by the debut vinyl stanzas of Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy (nearly 34,000; Dec. 10, 1994), Positions (a little over 32,000), Paul McCartney’s McCartney III (nearly 32,000; Jan. 2, 2021) and Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over the Country Club (just under 32,000; April 3). Positions also bows at No. 1 on the weekly Vinyl Albums chart.
At No. 3 on Top Album Sales, BrockHampton’s new studio album Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine debuts with a little more than 15,000 copies sold. It’s just ahead of Carrie Underwood’s former No. 1 My Savior, with 15,000 sold (down 51% in its third week). My Savior is also the third-biggest selling album of 2021, with 114,000 copies sold. Ahead of it are Fearless (Taylor’s Version), with 179,000 and Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album with 218,000.
DMX’s The Best of DMX, released in 2010, makes its chart debut at No. 5 with 9,000 copies sold (up 733%). The greatest hits album bows on the list in the wake of DMX’s death on April 9. In total, the set has sold 248,000 copies since its release.
Luke Bryan’s Born Here Live Here Die Here re-enters Top Album Sales at No. 6 with 8,000 sold (up 1,696%) after it was reissued on April 9 with six bonus tracks. The album was first released as a 10-song album on Aug. 7, 2020.
Cheap Trick’s new studio album In Another World arrives at No. 7 on Top Album Sales with 7,500 copies sold. It marks the highest-charting album and first top 10 for the band in the 29-year history of the Top Album Sales chart. In Another World is also the week’s top-selling rock album.
On the Billboard 200, In Another World debuts at No. 142, marking the group’s 22nd chart entry – dating back to 1977’s In Color.
Back on Top Album Sales, Harry Styles’ former No. 1 Fine Line is pushed down 5-8 despite a gain, selling 7,000 copies (up 7%). Demi Lovato’s Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over falls 1-9 in its second week with a little over 6,000 sold (down 83%). Taylor Swift places a second title in the top 10, as her previous No. 1, Evermore, rises 26-10 with 6,000 sold (up 67%).