Taylor Swift took a brief end-of-summer vacation from the top spot on the album chart, but after a two-week lull in which she settled for lower chart positions as some hot new entries arrived, she’s back on top. Her “Folklore” album is No. 1 for the seventh non-consecutive week, setting another endurance record for the Rolling Stone album chart.
“Folklore” had 84,900 album units in this, its ninth week out. Swift’s success for the week broke down into 51,200 full album sales, 9,000 individual song sales and 36.4 million streams. Her overall number was nearly doubled from the previous week, when she was at No. 4 and had 43,800 album units. Why the surge? At least a couple of factors came into play: Swift began selling autographed CDs from her own web store, after previously issuing shipments to indie music retailers. On top of that, interest was renewed as Swift publicized the latest grouping of songs from “Folklore” into a thematic subgrouping, the kind of thematic self-curation that has kept interest piqued among fans eager to learn which songs the artist thinks of as conceptually connected.
Alicia Keys’ critically well received “Alicia,” delayed from its original spring unveiling due to the pandemic, entered at No. 3 with 62,400. Keys also had an unusually high amount of full-album sales, with the 51,700 copies proving that her fans think of her as an album artist. Keys’ streaming figures were more on the modest side, with 11.9 million streams.
Keith Urban’s “The Speed of Now Part 1” had the second biggest debut of the week, with 39,700 album units. His full album sales were at 27,400 copies, and his streams came in at 12.5 million. Interestingly, amid the contributions to his overall figure, Urban had an unusually high number of individual track sales, at 22,000 — more than twice as many as anyone in the top 10 this week, even including Swift.
There were two more entries among the top 10 albums: “Code Red,” by Moneybagg Yo and Blac Youngsta, debuting at No. 8 with 37,000, Lil Tecca’s “Virgo World,” in at No. 10 with 32,600 album units. Other artists with albums debuting this week included Toosii at No. 16, Ava Max at No. 26 and a re-release of Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ “Tea for the Tillerman” at No. 41.
Tyler Childers’ mostly instrumental, bluegrass-oriented “Long Violent History” bowed at No. 43, with considerable media interest for the title track, a vocal number that references Southern reactions to the Black Lives Matter movement. (Childers also found resurgent interest in a previous album, “Purgatory,” which reentered at No. 88.)
Staying put at No. 2 was Pop Smoke’s posthumous album. Last week’s No. 1 entry, by Youngboy Never Broke Again, fell to No. 4 in its second week. The rest of the top 10 was made up of Juice WRLD at No. 5 followed by “Hamilton” at No. 7 and Lil Baby at No. 9.
On the Rolling Stone songs chart, “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion held the No. 1 spot for the sixth non-consecutive week of the seven it’s been out, amassing 25.7 million streams.
“Holy” by Justin Bieber featuring Chance the Rapper came in at No. 2, getting 20.4 million streams in its first week.
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