On the Friday Before Memorial Day, Taylor Swift famous The vinyl version of their nearly six-month-old album “Evermore” is finally available on social media. In her post lying in the grass with her LP, Swift informed her fans, “You can get it at your favorite indie record stores, Target, Walmart, and Amazon.”
For those following Billboard’s ever-changing goal of chart rules, this was a sign to watch out for the next No.
In fact, “Evermore” returns to the top spot on the magazine’s latest chart, rising 73 places to reach #1 for the fourth time. In the most recent week, “Evermore” had the equivalent of 202,000 sales in the United States. Of those, 192,000 were for copies sold as a complete package, which included 102,000 vinyl LPs, according to Billboard’s tracking arm, MRC data.
This set a record for weekly vinyl sales – at least since 1991, when the chart was first reported by hard data (rather than record store surveys, which were vague at best, and often tampered with). In the last 30 years, the album with the best weekly vinyl sales was “ambulanceBy Jack White, one of the most ardent champions of the format, which moved 40,000 copies in its opening week in 2014.
How did Swift do this? The intimate, indie-folk-esque “Evermore” — Swift’s second surprise release during the pandemic — is certainly a hit, and a pivotal moment in her career and creative growth. (His first quarantine release, “Folklore,” won a Grammy album of the year.)
But “Evermore” also benefited from a recent tweak Billboard rules about how it calculates sales of vinyl records on its charts.
Vinyl versions of new albums are often delayed for months, a result of production bottlenecks in the small network of pressing plants. When fans order an LP from an artist’s website, they are often sent a digital copy while waiting for a physical one to arrive. As of October, the first version to reach a fanbase — in those cases, digital downloads — was the one that counted on the charts. Now, sales are counted when the version they ordered is shipped.
When announced, it looked like it might affect the marketing plans of artists who sell large quantities of vinyl. But with “Evermore,” Swift was able to get essentially about six months of pre-orders, which were counted as full after the LP was released.
According to BoardAbout 71 percent of the current week’s album sales for “Evermore” came from “web-based sellers,” including Swift’s online store. In addition to vinyl sales, 69,000 copies of “Evermore” were sold on CD, some newly autographed by Swift. (The album had only 12.4 million streams, the lowest for a No. 1 album since AC/DC.)powerful”, which opened in November with 7.8 million.)
The return of “Evermore” at No. 1 robbed Olivia Rodrigo’s debut, “Sour” after a second week at the top blockbuster opening. “Sour” had sales of 186,000, down only 37 percent from its first week, and was in second place.
Also this week, J. Cole’s “The Off-Season” is number 3, Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” is number 4 and Moneybag Yo’s “A Gangsta Pain” is number 5.
Posthumous release of DMX,”Exodus,” opened at No. 8.