Chart Watch Extra: Swift Upstages Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean's Night Train enters The Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 409K. But it's being overshadowed by Taylor Swift's Red, which was just released on Monday and won't chart for another week. Swift's album is on track to sell 1.1 million to 1.2 million in its first week. Remarkably, the album will sell more copies in its first week than the next two first-week sales leaders of 2012 combined. They are Mumford & Sons' Babel, which sold 600K in its first week last month, and Night Train.
This would make Swift only the fourth artist to sell 1 million copies of two albums in their first week of release. Backstreet Boys achieved the feat with Millennium (1,134,000) and Black & Blue (1,591,000). *NSYNC scored with No Strings Attached (2,416,000) and Celebrity (1,880,000). Eminem did it with The Marshall Mathers LP (1,760,000) and The Eminem Show (1,322,000).
This of course means that Swift would be the first female artist and the first country artist to achieve the feat.
The Fine Print: The Eminem Show debuted at #1 with sales of 285K, which reflected just three days of sales. It rang up the million-plus sales tally in its second week on top, which was its first full week of release. The album's release date was hurriedly pushed up (twice) after the album became widely available on Internet file-sharing sites. The hefty figure for its first full week of release is more indicative of its true strength than the slim figure for its first few days, so I'm counting it.
This isn't the first time that Swift has bested Aldean on the charts. Speak Now kept Aldean's last album, My Kinda Party, from reaching #1. Party debuted and peaked at #2 the week ending Nov. 7, 2010, while Speak Now was in its second week on top. At least this time, Aldean was able to sneak in a week at #1 before Red blows it out of the top spot.
If these early sales projections for Red hold up, Red will be the 18th album in Nielsen SoundScan history to sell 1 million copies in its first week of release.