Record-Breaking Vinyl Sales in Three Days for ‘Tortured Poets Department’, While Taylor Swift Sells 700,000 LPs in a Weekend

Getting a Taylor Swift shout-out in “The Black Dog,” 22 years after the pop-punk band’s breakout, is described as an unexpected showering of love.

Taylor Swift has once again broken her own record for the highest number of album sales in a single week. Previously, the record was held by her release from last October, “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” which sold 693,000 copies over a seven-day period. Billboard reported that Swift has surpassed this recent milestone.

Before “1989” surpassed it last year, the record for weekly vinyl sales was held by Taylor Swift herself. When “Midnights” was released in October 2022, it set a new record with an impressive 570,000 copies sold in the LP format.

Five months before the release of “Midnights,” Harry Styles made headlines for setting a new record. His album, “Harry’s House,” sold an impressive 372,000 vinyl copies in its first week, surpassing all previous weekly records. This achievement was significant as it temporarily dethroned Taylor Swift, who is known for her chart-topping success.

It is important to note that these record-breaking sales figures are specific to what is commonly referred to as the “modern era”. This era began in 1991 when SoundScan started meticulously tracking album sales across various formats, including vinyl, CD, cassette, and digital downloads. While it is possible that there were albums in the 1960s, 1970s, or early 1980s that sold more than 700,000 vinyl copies in a week when LPs were the dominant music format, this data was not collected at the time. Nevertheless, no other artist has even come close to matching Swift’s impressive debut album sales in the past 33 years.

Vinyl enthusiasts and industry analysts alike are eagerly anticipating the sales performance of “Tortured Poets” as it enters its seventh day on the market. It will be interesting to see how high its sales figures climb once a full week’s worth of sales is taken into account, rather than just the initial three days.

The Swift album is benefiting from a significant number of Swifties purchasing multiple copies of different editions. The new release offers four distinct versions, each with its own unique subtitle, bonus track, and cover art. Initially marketed as limited editions exclusively sold on Swift’s webstore, three of the four vinyl variants were later re-released for sale on the website and made available to physical retailers. Additionally, there is a Target edition that features the same track listing as the primary edition but on clear vinyl.

Taylor Swift recently provided insight into the meanings behind several of her songs in a commentary for Amazon Music. In this commentary, she discusses the tracks from her album “Tortured Poets Department” and sheds light on the inspiration and stories behind them. Some of the songs she delves into include “Fortnight,” “Clara Bow,” and “Florida!!!” Through her commentary, Taylor Swift invites listeners to gain a deeper understanding of her creative process and the emotions that drive her music.

According to Billboard, “The Tortured Poets Department” by Taylor Swift has achieved overall sales of 1.5 million in the first three days. While this includes CD, cassette, and download sales, vinyl records account for a significant portion of these sales. In fact, LPs make up almost half of the total sales, with the remaining 800,000 coming from other formats.

It seems highly likely that “The Tortured Poets Department” will easily exceed 2 million album-equivalent units for the week, considering there are still four more days of sales and a week’s worth of streaming numbers to be included. If it achieves this feat, it will be the first album to surpass 2 million units since Adele’s “25” in 2015. However, it may be challenging to surpass Adele’s overall unit milestone of 3.38 million, as streaming, which only accounts for a fraction of sales, has largely replaced traditional album sales in the chart formula.

In the modern age of LPs, it is still a fairly recent phenomenon that pop superstars have become the kings and queens of the vinyl market. Just ten years ago, in June 2014, it was rocker Jack White who made headlines for setting a new record for the highest number of vinyl sales in a week. His second solo album, “Lazaretto,” shattered expectations by selling a staggering 40,000 LPs in its first week. This achievement left everyone amazed.

Taylor Swift’s latest album “Tortured Poets” had an exceptional first day at Spotify, breaking records with over 200 million streams. However, the success didn’t stop there. In fact, it surpassed expectations and reached an astonishing 300 million streams. This achievement showcases the immense popularity and demand for Taylor Swift’s music among her dedicated fanbase.

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MBS Staff
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