Taylor Swift storms in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart dated Nov. 27 with Red (Taylor’s Version), her re-recording of her 2012 album, Red, which led the list for seven weeks in 2012-13.
The new 30-track release, which adds a bevy of previously unheard “From the Vault” songs, gives Swift a milestone 10th No. 1 on the chart, making her just the second woman with 10 or more No. 1s in chart’s 65-year history. Barbra Streisand has the most No. 1s among women, with 11.
Red (Taylor’s Version) earned 605,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 18, according to MRC Data. That marks the second-largest week of the year, trailing only the debut frame of Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, which racked up 613,000 units in the week ending Sept. 9. Red (Taylor’s Version) also launches with the best week of the year in terms of traditional album sales: 369,000.
Red (Taylor’s Version) is Swift’s second re-recorded album, following Fearless (Taylor’s Version), which also debuted at No. 1, in April.
Also in the new top 10: Silk Sonic — the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — enters at No. 2 with their debut collaborative project, An Evening With Silk Sonic; TWICE’s Formula of Love: O+T=<3 starts at No. 3; and Jason Aldean’s Macon bows at No. 8.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Nov. 27, 2021-dated chart (where Red [Taylor’s Version] debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Nov. 23. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Red (Taylor’s Version)’s 605,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 18, album sales comprise 369,000, SEA units comprise 227,000 (equaling 303.23 million on-demand streams of the set’s 30 tracks), and TEA units comprise 9,000 units.
Red (Taylor’s Version) contains new versions of the original album’s 16 songs, along with its four deluxe edition bonus tracks and the 2012 charity single “Ronan.” Nine additional “From the Vault” recordings complete the new project: six previously unreleased tracks that were written for Red, a 10-minute version of the album’s “All Too Well,” and Swift’s solo renditions of the songs “Better Man” and “Babe.” The latter two tracks were written for Red, but not released by Swift at the time and later recorded and released by Little Big Town and Sugarland, respectively.
Red (Taylor’s Version) was announced on June 18 for release on Nov. 19. On Sept. 30, the release date was moved up a week to Nov. 12. Swift ushered in the album with appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers (both on Nov. 11), followed by a performance on Saturday Night Live on Nov. 13. On the latter, she performed the 10-minute version of the album’s “All Too Well.”
“All Too Well” also garnered its own 15-minute short film, which doubled as its music video, directed by Swift and starring Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink. Swift dropped an official video for one of the album’s “From the Vault” tracks “I Bet You Think About Me,” featuring Chris Stapleton. The clip was directed by Blake Lively and co-stars Miles Teller.
Swift additionally partnered with Starbucks, where the coffee giant promoted Swift’s favorite Starbucks beverage while also playing her music inside stores. The chain did not sell the CD, however (although Starbucks used to regularly sell CDs in its stores). Customers could order Swift’s fave Starbucks drink: a Grande Caramel Nonfat Latte … by asking for a Taylor’s Latte or a Taylor’s Version.
Let’s take a look at some of the feats that Swift achieves with the debut of Red (Taylor’s Version):
10 No. 1 Albums: Red (Taylor’s Version) is Swift’s 10th No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. She becomes just the second woman to achieve at least 10 No. 1s, following Barbra Streisand, who has 11.
Among all acts, The Beatles continue to have the most No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, with 19, dating back to when the list began regularly publishing on a weekly basis in March of 1956.
Most Billboard 200 No. 1s:
19, The Beatles
11, Bruce Springsteen
11, Barbra Streisand
10, Elvis Presley
10, Taylor Swift
10, Kanye West
Swift garnered her first No. 1 with Fearless, her second studio LP, which debuted atop the chart dated Nov. 29, 2008.
Fastest Accumulation of Four No. 1 Albums by a Solo Artist: Swift has… swiftly earned four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, in just a little under 16 months (or, 68 weeks). That’s the fastest that a solo artist has accumulated four No. 1s since the Billboard 200 began regularly publishing on a weekly basis in March of 1956.
Previously, among soloists, Elton John earned four No. 1s the fastest, with just 69 weeks between his final four No. 1s in 1974-75.
Swift’s four-pack of No. 1s began slightly less than a year and four months ago, when Folklore debuted at No. 1 on the chart dated Aug. 8, 2020. She followed it with the chart-topping arrivals of Evermore (Dec. 26, 2020-dated chart), Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (April 24, 2021) and now Red (Taylor’s Version) (Nov. 27, 2021).
John’s hot-streak of four No. 1s (of his total seven), started with Caribou (July 14, 1974) and was followed by Greatest Hits (Nov. 30, 1974), Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (June 7, 1975) and Rock of the Westies (Nov. 8, 1975). (All seven of John’s No. 1s came between July 15, 1972 and Nov. 8, 1975.)
Among all artists, including duos and groups, the last act to collect four No. 1s faster than Swift was The Monkees in 1967. The quartet collected all four of its No. 1s in just 13 months (55 weeks).
The made-for-TV band notched all four of its No. 1s in quick succession, with its self-titled album (it peaked at No. 1 on Nov. 12, 1966), More of the Monkees (Feb. 11, 1967), Headquarters (June 24, 1967) and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones LTD. (Dec. 2, 1967).
Largest Sales Week of 2021: With 369,000 copies sold, Red (Taylor’s Version) logs the biggest sales week for any album in 2021. The previous largest sales week of the year was held by Swift’s latest studio album of all-original material, Evermore, when it sold 192,000 copies in the week ending June 3, following its release on vinyl LP.
Helping sales of Red (Taylor’s Version) is its release on CD, digital download and vinyl LP all on Nov. 12. That’s unlike Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Evermore, which both saw staggered releases for its formats, with their hefty-selling vinyl LPs arriving months after the album’s original release.
Sales of Red (Taylor’s Version) were also enhanced by the availability of CDs signed by Swift in her official webstore and at independent retailers.
Modern-Era Record Vinyl Sales Week… Again: Red (Taylor’s Version) sold 114,000 copies on vinyl in the week ending Nov. 18 — a new single-week record for a vinyl album since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991. It beats the previous record, set when Swift’s own Evermore sold 102,000 copies on vinyl LP in the week ending June 3.
The vinyl sales are particularly impressive, as the Red (Taylor’s Version) vinyl release is a 4-LP set that sells for hefty $49.99. It was available in two editions: a standard black release and a red-colored variant sold exclusively through Target stores. The vinyl LP went up for pre-order in Swift’s webstore in August.
Second-Largest Streaming Week for an Album by a Woman: Red (Taylor’s Version) debuts with 227,000 SEA units — totaling 303.23 million on-demand streams of the album’s 30 tracks. That’s the largest streaming week of 2021 for an album by a woman, and the second-largest ever for a female artist. Among women, only the debut frame of Ariana Grande’s 2019 album Thank U, Next scored a bigger week, with 307.1 million streams for its songs in its opening frame. (Notably, Thank U, Next’s streaming sum was powered by only 12 songs on its tracklist, whereas Red [Taylor’s Version] had a whopping 30 tracks assisting its streaming total.)
Red (Taylor’s Version) also now holds the biggest streaming week for a country album, surpassing the debut frame of Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album in January (240.18 million from its 30 tracks).
Biggest Sales Week for a Country Album in Eight Years: Red (Taylor’s Version) sold 368,000 copies in its first week — the largest sales week for a country album since Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party sold 528,000 copies in its opening week (chart dated Aug. 31, 2013).
Red (Taylor’s Version) also logs the biggest week for a country album since the Billboard 200 began ranking titles by equivalent album units (instead of just pure album sales) in December of 2014.
Three country albums have topped the Billboard 200 in 2021: Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album (which reigned for 10 weeks), Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and now Red (Taylor’s Version). (Country albums are defined as those that have hit Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.)
Swift’s original Red album spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and finished 2012 and 2013 as the year-end Top Country Album.
Silk Sonic arrives at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with the pair’s first album, An Evening With Silk Sonic. The set bows with 104,000 equivalent album units earned. It’s the fourth top 10 for Mars, all of which have reached the top three on the list. It’s the second top 10, and highest charting album yet, for Anderson .Paak, who previously hit a No. 4 high with Ventura in 2019.
Of An Evening With’s starting sum of 104,000, SEA units comprise 60,000 (equaling 82.6 million on-demand streams of the set’s nine tracks), album sales comprise 42,000 and TEA units comprise 2,000.
Coincidentally, Mars’ last two albums both debuted at No. 2 — and one of them also arrived behind a Swift album. Mars’ 24K Magic debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Dec. 10, 2016-dated chart, behind Metallica’s also-debuting Hardwired… To Self-Destruct. Before that, Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox debuted at No. 2 on the Dec. 29, 2012-dated chart behind Taylor Swift’s Red, which was in its fifth nonconsecutive week at No. 1. Unorthodox Jukebox eventually climbed to No. 1, on the list dated March 16, 2013.
An Evening With was preceded by a trio of top 20-charting songs on the Billboard Hot 100: “Leave the Door Open” (No. 1 for two weeks in April), “Skate” (No. 14) and “Smokin Out the Window” (No. 8).
TWICE captures its second top 10 album on the Billboard 200, and highest charting effort yet, as Formula of Love: O+T=<3 debuts at No. 3 with 66,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 58,000, SEA units comprise 8,000 (equaling 12 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum. Like many K-pop releases, the CD edition of the new album was issued in multiple collectible packages (six, including two Target-exclusive editions).
The South Korean girl group hit the top 10 earlier in 2021 with the No. 6-peaking Taste of Love: The 10th Mini Album.
The new album was preceded by the track “The Feels,” which became the group’s first charting effort on the Hot 100, spending a week at No. 83 on the Oct. 16-dated list.
Summer Walker’s Still Over It falls from No. 1 to No. 4 in its second week on the Billboard 200, earning 64,000 equivalent album units (down 61%). Drake’s former No. 1 Certified Lover Boy dips 3-5 with 57,000 units (down 8%), Wallen’s chart-topping Dangerous: The Double Album descends 5-6 with 45,000 units (though up 5%) and Ed Sheeran’s former No. 1 = drops 4-7 with 38,000 units (down 25%).
Jason Aldean’s Macon debuts at No. 8 on the Billboard 200, marking his ninth top 10 on the chart. Macon launches with 37,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 19,000, SEA units comprise 16,000 (equaling 21.62 million streams of the set’s 15 tracks) and TEA units comprise 2,000 units.
Macon was led by the No. 1 Country Airplay hit “If I Didn’t Love You,” with Carrie Underwood, which has spent three weeks atop the list (as of the most recently published chart, dated Nov. 20). It’s Aldean’s first three-week No. 1 since 2014’s “When She Says Baby” also logged three weeks at No. 1. (All told, “If I Didn’t Love You” is Aldean’s 24th No. 1, as well as Underwood’s 16th leader.)
Rounding out the Billboard 200’s new top 10 are Kanye West’s former No. 1 Donda, up 13-9 with nearly 37,000 equivalent album units, up 46% thanks to its Nov. 13 deluxe reissue with additional tracks, and Doja Cat’s Planet Her, falling 6-10 with 35,000 units (down 5%).