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Taylor Swift Staves Off Strong Paul McCartney, Eminem Releases to Remain at No. 1 on Album Chart

Taylor Swift may not be guaranteed to hold on at the top of the album chart for evermore, but her latest album did manage to at least land a second week at No. 1, holding off a strong debut from Paul McCartney and an Eminem deluxe reissue in the week leading up to Christmas.

Swift’s “Evermore” accumulated 165,700 album units to put it atop the Rolling Stone album chart in its second week. That includes a very healthy 102,500 full album sales, up sharply from its debut week, because week 2 was the first time the CD edition was available in stores. Two bonus tracks made their debut as part of the compact disc, a week after the surprise album’s digital premiere. “Evermore” also racked up 10,600 individual song sales and 76.6 million song streams.

In second place, “McCartney III” debuted with 111,000 album units. It, too, had very strong full album sales, of 86,000. Much of that pure sales figure can be attributed to McCartney strongly marketing the album with multiple album-cover and color-vinyl variants. The robust album sales for “III” made up for minimal streaming (3.6 million streams) and track sales (3,300).

Coming in third, Eminem’s album may have seemed like a new release, but technically, it wasn’t. Although full-length all by itself, “Music to Be Murdered By — Side B” was tagged onto his release from earlier this year to make it a double-album, officially still under the “Music to Be Murdered By” tag, now in its 46th week. Album units for the week were 97,600. Broken down, that included 32,700 full album sales, 34,900 track sales (presumably from buyers who wanted to selectively dip into new songs without re-purchasing the whole thing) and 67 million song streams.

With those three chart leaders accounted for, the rest of the top 10 albums consisted of seasonal fare, with the exception of Swift’s earlier 2020 release, “Folklore, which fell four spots to No. 7. After 22 weeks on the chart, “Folklore” still managed to sell another 23,100 full albums as a result of interest in new sister album “Evermore,” on its way to rounding up another 54,200 album units.

As holiday releases go, the top 10 was filled out by Michael Buble’s “Christmas” at No. 4, Mariah Carey’s 26-year-old “Merry Christmas” at No. 5 and Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” at No. 6, followed by “The Best of Pentatonix Christmas, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and Carrie Underwood’s 2020 Christmas album, “My Gift,” in the seven-day period that ended Dec. 24.

The week before Christmas is generally seen as a poor time to put new product into the marketplace, although McCartney and Eminem obviously disagreed. (McCartney’s hand may have been forced; the album was originally set for a week earlier before being delayed, reportedly due to manufacturing issues.) The only two other albums to debut in the top 50 were NCT’s “The 2nd Album Resonance Pt. 2” at No. 36 (with 27,100 album units) and Lil Durk’s “The Voice” at No. 45.

In all, 25 of the week’s top 50 albums were either holiday collections or catalog albums that included a major Christmas song. That may make seasonal music sound dominant, but it’s still not as lopsided in the direction of Christmas music as the songs chart (read a story about that Mariah-dominated ranking here).

To check out the entire album chart, click here.

 




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