Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour’ Scores 2021’s Biggest Album Debut; Taylor Swift’s ‘Evermore’ Breaks Vinyl Records

Olivia Rodrigo Taylor Swift
Erika Hernandez/Beth Garrabrant

This week is off to a record-breaking start for both Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift, two of pop’s leading singer-songwriters.

Rodrigo’s debut album, “Sour,” which released on May 21, debuted at the top of the Rolling Stone album chart for the week of May 21-27. With 302,100 total album-equivalent units, the 11-track record scored the biggest album debut of 2021 so far, besting Taylor Swift’s “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” Rounding out the top five albums of the week are J. Cole’s “The Off-Season,” Twenty One Pilots’ “Scaled and Icy,” Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” and MoneyBagg Yo’s “A Gangsta’s Pain.” However, none of these albums’ units amounted to a third of what “Sour” accumulated.

Rodrigo also dominated Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Songs chart, with nine of the 10 top songs coming from “Sour.” The pop punk-influenced “Good 4 U” came in at No. 1, with 468,100 song units, while BTS’ disco-infused anthem “Butter” landed No. 2 on the chart with 381,600 units. Eight more songs from “Sour” filled the rest of the top 10, as follows: “Deja Vu,” “Traitor,” “Brutal,” “Enough for You,” “Happier,” “Favorite Crime,” “Drivers License” and “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back.” “Jealousy, Jealousy” and “Hope Ur Ok” from “Sour” claimed the No. 14  and No. 17 spots, respectively.

Although Rodrigo has now topped Swift for the biggest record debut of the year, Swift broke a record of her own on Monday. According to MRC Data, Swift’s “Evermore” now holds the record for the biggest sales week for a vinyl album in the U.S. since the company started collecting data on vinyl sales in 1991. “Evermore’s” vinyl edition, which released on May 28, had already sold over 40,000 copies by May 30. This beats the prior record holder, Jack White’s 2014 album “Lazaretto,” which also sold 40,000 copies in its first week. With the release of “Evermore” on Dec. 11, a pre-order for the vinyl edition was announced, which surely helped boost Swift’s sales.