Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," the fourth "preview track" from her upcoming album Red, sold 416K copies in its first week. It's Swift's second song to sell more than 400K copies in its first week. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," the first preview track from Red, sold 623K copies in its first week eight weeks ago. Swift is the first artist in digital history to have two songs that debuted with sales of 400K or more copies.
Here's another way of saying pretty much the same thing: Just 10 songs in digital history have sold 400K or more copies the first week out. Swift is the only artist with two of them.
"I Knew You Were Trouble" enters the Hot 100 at #3. It's Swift's 14th top 10 hit; her 11th to enter the chart inside the top 10. Though Red won't be released until Oct. 22, it has already spawned four top 10 hits. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" spent three weeks at #1, "Begin Again" hit #7 and "Red" reached #6. This constitutes a personal best for Swift. Fearless and Speak Now each spawned three top 10 hits before they were released.
And Swift isn't through yet. Yet another song from Red, "State Of Grace," is expected to make a big splash on the Hot 100 next week. The success of all these songs suggests that Red will get off to a very fast start, as Swift's last two studio albums did. Fearless sold 592K copies in its first week in November 2008. Speak Now sold 1,047,000 copies in its first week in October 2010.
Personally, I find this flood of attention-seeking preview tracks to be tedious, even exhausting (to lift a word from "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"), but as long as fans keep buying them, I'm sure we'll keep seeing them.
(Swift is as enamored of marketing gimmicks as Garth Brooks was in his prime in the 1990s. It would have been fun to see these two country titans competing head-to-head. My guess is that they would have constantly tried to one-up each other.)
"We Are Never Ever…" holds at #5, giving Swift two songs in the top five for the first time in her career.
"We Are Never Ever…" holds at #1 on Hot Country Songs for the second week. The song initially peaked at #13 on that chart, but it surged from #21 to #1 last week due to a major change in chart methodology. The chart now blends airplay, sales and streaming data, just as the Hot 100 does. ("I Knew You Were Trouble" doesn't appear on the country chart. Billboard's Gary Trust offers two reasons: the record's "pure pop, even dubstep-leaning sound" and the fact that it's not being promoted to country radio.)
Which begs the question why "We Are Never Ever…" is on the chart. The song may have a touch of country in it, but only a touch. It's a sleek pop record. It reminds me of Miley Cyrus' shiny 2009 smash "Party In The U.S.A." I like both records, but I wouldn't call either one country.
One final note: "I Knew You Were Trouble" is the second song with a title that begins with the words "I Knew You Were" to crack the top 10. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael hit #1 in 1987.
Maroon 5's "One More Night" logs its fifth week at #1. It's the group's longest-running #1 hit to date. It surpasses "Moves Like Jagger" (featuring Christina Aguilera), which spent four weeks on top. "One More Night" also tops the 2 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the group's fifth song to reach this plateau (and its third in a row).
"As Long As You Love Me" by Justin Bieber featuring Big Sean rebounds from #7 to #6. The song has alternated between #6 and #7 for six straight weeks. I like the record, so I hope it climbs one more notch and can go down in history as a top five hit.
Ke$ha's "Die Young" jumps from #14 to #8 in its third week. It's her eighth top 10 hit in less than three years. "Die Young" is the first single from Ke$ha's second full-length album, Warrior, which is due Dec. 4. The first singles from Ke$ha's previous full-length, Animal, and a subsequent EP, Cannibal, both made #1. (Those smashes were "TiK ToK" and "We R Who We R.")
Alex Clare's "Too Close" jumps from #10 to #7 (its highest ranking to date) in its 29th week. The song also tops the 2 million mark in sales this week. It's the 28th song to sell 2 million copies in 2012.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
The Top Five: Maroon 5's "One More Night" holds at #1 for the fifth week in its 17th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #4 (160K)…PSY's "Gangnam Style" holds at #2 for the fourth week in its sixth week on the chart. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (231K)…Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" debuts at #3. This is Swift's 14th top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #1 (416K)…fun.'s "Some Nights" holds at #4 for the second week in its 34th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (137K)…Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" holds at #5 for the second week in its 10th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #7 (124K).
The Second Five: "As Long As You Love Me" by Justin Bieber featuring Big Sean rebounds from #7 to #6 in its 17th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #13 (79K)… Alex Clare's "Too Close" jumps from #10 to #7 in its 29th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #8 (108K)…Ke$ha's "Die Young" jumps from #14 to #8 in its third week on the chart. This is her eighth top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #5 (139K)…P!nk's "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" holds at #9 for the second week in its 15th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #30 (49K)…Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Good Time" rebounds from #11 to #10 in its 16th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #19 (66K).
All three songs that entered the Hot 100 inside the top 10 last week drop out of the top 10 this week. Digital sales declined in all three cases, and radio hasn't yet come in heavy to make up the difference. One Direction's "Live Like We're Young" drops from #3 to #21, Taylor Swift's "Red" drops from #6 to #54 and Adele's "Skyfall" drops from #8 to #13. "Skyfall" holds at #3 on Hot Digital Songs (199K). "Red" drops from #2 to #10 on the digital chart (102K). "Live While We're Young" drops from #1 to #11 (93K).
"Skyfall" jumps to #2 on The Official U.K. chart. This ties Duran Duran's 1985 smash "A View To A Kill" as the highest-charting Bond theme in U.K. chart history. ("A View To A Kill" is also the highest-charting Bond theme in U.S. chart history. It's the only one to date to reach #1.)
Rihanna's "Diamonds" jumps from #18 to #11 in its third week. It's certain to become her 22nd top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #9 (108K). The song holds at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the second week. (It surged from #66 to #1 last week, boosted by the same chart re-formatting that caused Taylor Swift to spike on the country chart.) "Diamonds" is Rihanna's first song to top the R&B chart for more than a single frame. "Take A Bow" spent one week on top in August 2008.
Ne-Yo's "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)" jumps from #17 to #12 in its 11th week. It's vying to become his 11th top 10 hit…Chris Brown's "Don't Wake Me Up" jumps from #16 to #14 in its 16th week. This matches its highest ranking to date…Phillip Phillips' "Home" rebounds from #25 to #19 in its 16th week. The song has already climbed as high as #9. It will top the 2 million mark next week.
Carrie Underwood lands her 10th top 20 hit as "Blown Away" jumps from #24 to #20 in its 15th week. Underwood's tally dates back to her American Idol coronation song, "Inside Your Heaven," which debuted at #1 in July 2005. It includes two collabos: "I Told You So" (featuring Randy Travis) and "Remind Me" (a duet with Brad Paisley).
Train's "50 Ways To Say Goodbye" jumps from #28 to #24 in its 14th week…The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" jumps from #40 to #32 in its 19th week. This matches its highest ranking to date…Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" jumps from #43 to #34 in its ninth week…Lee Brice's "Hard To Love" jumps from #51 to #41 in its 18th week…Flo Rida's "I Cry" jumps from #69 to #51 in its third week…Kendrick Lamar's "Swimming Pools (Drank)" jumps from #71 to #61 in its ninth week..."Hall Of Fame" by The Script featuring will.i.am leaps from #96 to #71 in its third week.
Ellie Goulding's "Anything Could Happen" is the week's second highest new entry at #75. It's from Halcyon, which enters The Billboard 200 at #9 this week. Goulding's "Lights" reached #2 on the Hot 100 and still ranks #15 in its 43rd week on the chart…"Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin jumps from #90 to #80 in its fourth week. The song has climbed as high as #68. The song debuts at #1 on The Official U.K. chart…Randy Houser's "How Country Feels" jumps from #100 to #87 in its second week...
"Diced Pineapples" by Rick Ross featuring Wale and Drake re-enters the chart at #88. This is its highest ranking to date. It's from God Forgives, I Don't…"My Moment" by DJ Drama, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Jeremih jumps from #99 to #89 in its second week.
Kenny Chesney's "El Cerrito Place" debuts at #92. It's from Welcome To The Fishbowl, which debuted and peaked at #2 on The Billboard 200…"Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz debuts at #96. This is from the hip-hop duo's album The Heist, which debuts at #2 on The Billboard 200…Zac Brown Band's "Goodbye In Her Eyes" debuts at #97. It's from the band's former #1 album, Uncaged.