The “Red” remake has the distinction of topping the albums tally with the second-biggest figure of the year so far, trailing only the first week for Drake’s “Certified Love Boy,” and coming within spitting distance at that. Swift’s album debuts with a better-than-anticipated 605,000 equivalent album units; Drake’s album bowed in September with 613,000.
The 605K figure for “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is surprising because it more than doubles the number that “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” debuted with in April. That was the first album in her series of re-recordings of her Big Machine catalog and bowed with 290,000 equivalent album units.
But “Red” was expected to do at least nominally better, if not necessarily as well as things turned out, thanks to having a not-so-secret weapon in “All Too Well (10-Minute Version),” an expansion of the “Red” album’s fan-favorite track using several excised verses from her first 2012 draft.
The current chart-topping numbers for “All Too Well” encompass combined totals for several renditions of the tune — the straight remake version on the new album, the 10-minute draft heard later on the album, and “Sad Girl Autumn Version – Recorded at Long Pond Studios,” an acoustic take released separately from the album. The original 2012 version of the song was tracked separately from these, according to Billboard.
Coming in second place on the Billboard 200 chart was Silk Sonic’s “An Evening Silk Sonic,” giving the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak a No. 2 debut with 104,000 equivalent album units.
Two other albums debuted in the top 10: Twice’s “Formula of Love: O+T=<3,” at No. 3 with 66,000 equivalent album units, and country star Jason Aldean’s “Macon,” at No. 8 with 37,000.
Last week’s Billboard 200 topper, Summer Walker’s “Still Over It,” falls to No. 4 with 64,000. Other holdovers include Drake, Morgan Wallen and Ed Sheeran at Nos. 5-7, Kanye West’s “Donda” at No. 9 (leaping several spots due to a deluxe reissue) and Doja Cat at No. 10.
“Red (Taylor’s Version)” sold 114,000 copies on vinyl — a modern one-week record since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, according to Billboard. The album is a four-LP set that retails for $50. Swift has had a run of huge vinyl weeks with her last few releases, but this marks the first time she has had a new project come out on vinyl day-and-date with other formats.
“Red (Taylor’s Version)” is Swift’s fourth No. 1 album in 16 months, following on the heels of not just the “Fearless” re-do earlier this year but the all-original “Folklore” and “Evermore” albums in 2020. No other solo artist has knocked out that many No. 1 albums so fast in history, according to Billboard, and among all artists, only the Monkees accomplished a four-peat in the same time frame.