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One Direction Makes History on U.S. Album Chart, Toppling Taylor Swift

One Direction Makes History on U.S.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

U.K. pop quintet One Direction’s “Four” dislodged Taylor Swift’s “1989” from the peak of the U.S. album chart last week, making history in the process.

The group’s Columbia collection toppled Swift with sales of 387,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending Nov. 23. All four of the act’s releases to date have now debuted at No. 1 on the American chart, a feat without precedent in chart history.

Though One Direction’s sales proved to be slightly smaller than anticipated, they were still large enough to claim 2014’s second-biggest frame, behind Swift’s 1.287 million-unit debut last month.

Though Swift’s Big Machine album declined 32% last week, slipping to No. 2, its sales of 214,000 thrust the title over the 2 million mark, to 2.21 million units.

Just two other titles debuted in the top 10. Nickelback’s “No Fixed Address” (Republic) landed at No. 4 with 80,000 sold. It is the Canadian group’s lowest-charting studio release since “The Long Road” peaked at No. 6 in 2003.

“Black Widow” (Atlantic) by L.A. metal band In This Moment logged on at No. 8, shifting 36,000. It’s the five-piece act’s first top-10 album; the group reached No. 15 with “Blood” in 2012.

Yuletide titles garnered big bounces in the run-up to Thanksgiving week. Pentatonix’s “That’s Christmas to Me” leaped 193% in its fifth chart stanza and captured No. 3 with a 99,000-unit week. Michael Buble’s 2011 perennial “Christmas” showed ongoing seasonal strength, entering the top 10 at No. 9 with 35,000 sold (up 34%); the album has sold nearly 3.5 million to date. And “Frozen” star Idina Menzel’s “Holiday Wishes” rose to No. 10 in its sixth week with 33,000 (up 39%).

The top 10 was filled out by Garth Brooks’ “Man Against Machine” (No. 5, 62,000 sold, off 52%), Pink Floyd’s “The Endless River” (No. 6, 45,000, down 74%) and Foo Fighters’ “Sonic Highways” (No. 7, 36,000, off 81%).

Next week will see the debut of SoundScan’s reconfigured U.S. album chart, which will now consider streams and track-equivalent albums as a determination of ranking. The metrics firm will continue to publish a physical sales chart as well. The first chart issued with the new specs will reflect sales on Black Friday, traditionally the U.S. record biz’s biggest day.