Week Ending Dec. 23, 2012. Albums: Swift Is First Since The Beatles
Taylor Swift this week becomes the first artist since the Beatles to log six or more weeks at #1 with three consecutive studio albums. She achieves the feat with Red, which tops The Billboard 200 for the sixth week. It follows Fearless (11 weeks) and Speak Now (six weeks). The Beatles achieved the feat with seven studio albums in a row from Beatles ’65 in January 1965 to Abbey Road November 1969.
Only two other acts have had such lengthy stays at #1 with three consecutive studio albums. The Kingston Trio spent six or more weeks on top with four straight studio albums in 1959 and 1960. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass did it with three straight studio albums in 1965 and 1966.
Thus, Swift is the first female artist to achieve this feat.
This is the third time that Swift has had the #1 album in the last week before Christmas, which is traditionally the most competitive week of the year. She also achieved the feat with Fearless in 2008 and Speak Now in 2010. Since 1991, only one other artist has had the #1 album in the last week before Christmas three times. Garth Brooks scored with The Hits in 1994, Sevens in 1997 and Double Live in 1998. (Mariah Carey achieved the feat twice, in 1993 with Music Box in 1993 and Daydream in 1995.)
Here’s another sign of Swift’s dominance: She has had three of the last six albums to log six or more weeks at #1. (The other three albums to spend six or more weeks at #1 in the past 7-1/2 years are Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed A Dream, Eminem’s Recovery and Adele’s 21.)
T.I.’s Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head debuts at #2. This is his sixth top five album. Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man soundtrack reached #14 in 1973. Gaye released the mostly instrumental film score in between his two most classic albums, 1971’s masterwork What’s Going On and 1973’s Let’s Get It On.
One Direction’s Take Me Home holds at #4 for the third week. The album sold 177K copies this week, which enables it to jump to #6 on the year-to-date chart. The boy band’s earlier Up All Night is #3 on that chart. With one chart week to go in 2012, One Direction is a cinch to become the first act to place two albums in the year-end top 10 since Taylor Swift scored in 2008. (As it happens, she occupied those same exact spots: #3 for the year with Fearless; #6 with Taylor Swift.)
In addition, Up All Night—The Live Tour logs its 27th week at #1 on Top Music Videos. It’s just the second music video to log 27 or more weeks at #1 since this chart originated (as Top Music Videocassettes) in March 1985. It follows Ray Stevens’ Comedy Video Classics (29 weeks in 1993-1994). Stevens had four top 10 hits on the Hot 100: the novelty hits “Ahab, The Arab,” “Gitarzan” and “The Streak” and the sing-along pop tune “Everything Is Beautiful.”