Taylor Swift rules over the Billboard 200 albums chart in America this week, but not with a just-released effort. In fact, she doesn’t even control the tally with her most recent full-length, but rather a slightly older collection. As if being able to surge back to the summit of the most competitive ranking of the most-consumed albums in the U.S. wasn’t impressive enough, she’s topped her own best showing this year to score the largest sales frame of 2021…and it’s with a title that has already moved hundreds of thousands of units.
This frame, Swift dominates the Billboard 200 with Evermore, one of her nine No. 1s on the chart, as the project returns to the summit for a fourth nonconsecutive turn in charge. The project, which arrived with no warning in December 2020 and which served as a follow-up to her first surprise album Folklore, bounds 73 spaces thanks to clever marketing and the release of the project on vinyl.
Evermore moved 202,000 equivalent units in the past tracking frame, with 192,000 of those being actual purchases, spread out across multiple formats. That first number isn’t the largest equivalent sum of the year, but Evermore now claims the biggest actual sales figure of 2021, stealing that record from another Swift release.
Before this week, the most impressive sales sum accrued by any album so far this year was 179,000 copies, which Swift managed with her latest album Fearless (Taylor’s Version). That project, a re-recorded take on her sophomore set Fearless, opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 back in April with a hefty purchase total, as Swift can sell albums like few in the business.
Evermore made history this frame as it didn’t just top the previous record for the most vinyl albums sold in one week, it completely decimated the previous best showing. The singer-songwriter’s second proper alternative release sold 102,000 copies on wax, which topples the prior record of just 40,000 copies in a seven-day period. That honor was held by Jack White’s Lazaretto for a number of years. Swift’s second surprise album also sold very well on CD and on digital platforms, with plastic discs selling 69,000 copies. Fans rushed to get discounted “digitally signed” copies on the star’s website, and she was able to sell 21,000 online-only editions of the set.