The Beatles & Taylor Swift (Updates)

Even Classic Rock fans should be impressed with how Taylor Swift is setting records!  Let’s start with a recent record that involves The Beatles, then look at more of Swift’s accomplishments, and compare more of her records with the Fab Four, including her total #1’s.  Her records keep coming, and they’re updated.

Taylor Swift broke a record The Beatles held for 54-years.  The Beatles had three #1 albums in England within just 364 days.  Now, Taylor Swift has had three #1 albums in only 259 days.  Wonder if that record will stand for 54 years.

(Swift obviously time-traveled back to 1968 to meet The Beatles.)

Naturally, Taylor Swift breaking The Beatles’ record really upset Ringo Starr.  Just kidding.  In a recent interview about today’s music, Ringo said “I love Taylor Swift…she’s the only one who’s doing well.”  Ringo is overstating it, but no one else is coming close to all the records Taylor Swift has been setting.

The three albums that broke The Beatles’ record are Folklore, Evermore, and her 2021 re-recording of her 2008 album Fearless.

The original version  had 13 songs, and the new one has 26, including six she wrote in 2008, but had never recorded.  Who writes 26 songs for an album?…and she was just 18!  The new album, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), was done because Taylor Swift was unable to purchase her old recordings.  She hopes to have control over her songs by re-recording her first six albums, and basically have the new recordings (labeled “Taylor’s Version”) replace the old ones.  She already owns her three most recent albums.

(Swift’s original 9 albums before re-recording began)

So how did the new Fearless (Taylor’s Version) perform in its first week?  It became Taylor’s 9th straight studio album to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200.  It also started at  #1 on the Country chart.  It had the biggest first week for a Country album since 2015.  It might be best if the owners of her old recordings figure out that their value is going down, and just sell the rights to Taylor.

(T.S. with Folklore co-writer and co-producer Aaron Dessner)

In 2021, Folklore won the Grammy for Album Of The Year.  Taylor Swift has the record for the most albums of the year at four (after Midnights won in 2024).

Swift’s albums have been at #1 for a total of  69 weeks (1/10/24).  Only The Beatles have more, 132 weeks.  The Beatles also have the record of 19 albums to hit #1.  (Taylor has 13 as of 2023.)  Update 2/26/24:  Swift passed The Beatles for the number of weeks with albums in the Top 10.  She has 384 weeks, and The Beatles had 382 weeks.

Taylor Swift became a Beatles’ fan during her childhood.  She says she bought all their CD’s and studied their songwriting.  One thing she learned from The Beatles was to give most of her songs endings, instead of just fading out.

There are other records Taylor Swift shares with The Beatles.  They are the only two artists in history to have five albums that remained in the #1 position for six-plus weeks.  In July, 2023 Taylor Swift tied The Beatles as the only artists to have three singles from three different albums in The Top-10 at the same time.

In late 2020, Taylor Swift & Paul McCartney interviewed each other for Rolling Stone.  They were put together, because Swift has always cited McCartney as having a major influence on her career.

Taylor Swift holds the record for the most Albums Of The Year based on sales, with seven (12/12/23).  It’s too hard to keep up with all the awards she’s won, including an Emmy, Grammys, Billboard awards, just about every Pop & Country category available to her, and a bunch of Guinness World Records.

In 2014,, Billboard started a chart called the Artist 100.  It measures key metrics of music consumption, with a blend of Album & Track sales, Radio airplay, Streaming, and Social Media fan interaction.  Taylor Swift has dominated the chart.  Here’s an example of the chart from 3/20/24.

Most artists peak within their first five years or so, but Taylor Swift’s peak (as of 2024) is over 17 years into her career.  It’s hard to believe an artist could maintain such an incredible level of popularity for so long.  Swift has a shot at breaking The Beatles’ record of 19 #1 albums.

There’s already a Taylor Swift display in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, even though she won’t be officially eligible until 2031.  The display includes items actually used in several of Swift’s music videos.

Update: The re-recorded version of 2012’s Red was released November 12th, 2021.  Instead of the original 16 tracks, Taylor’s Version has 30 tracks that were originally written for the album.  Reviews are very positive, with Rolling Stone giving it a perfect 5 stars. 

In November, 2021 classic rocker Elvis Costello said about Taylor Swift…”I think we’ll all be working for her eventually.  She’s smart and knows what she’s doing.  She can write and sing, and people love it.”

At about that same time, Billy Joel had this to say about Taylor Swift.  “She’s productive and keeps coming up with great concepts and songs, and she’s huge.  You have to give her high marks.  She knows music, and she knows how to write. She’s like that generation’s Beatles.

Records Update:  On August 28th, 2022, Taylor Swift became the first 3-time winner of Video Of The Year, for “All Too Well”, at the VMA’s.  [Update: On September 12th, 2023, she won it for the 4th time, for “Anti-Hero”.]  She also announced an album of 13 new songs…  Midnights.

It was released October 21st, 2022, and is a synth-based pop album. Three hours after the official release, Swift released an additional seven songs.

(Photos from Midnight’s release)

It became her 11th album in a row to debut at #1 on the Billboard chart.  Spotify reported that Midnights broke the record for most streams by an album in a single day (on October 21st, 2022).

But what about sales?  In just one day, Midnights sold more physical & digital copies than any other album had sold in all of 2022.  The one-week numbers are staggering.  Swift sold 575,000 vinyl copies, which is more than three-times the previous one-week sales record (vinyl records began being counted again in 1991).  Add in CD’s, downloads, and streaming, and the total equivalent albums is 1,578,000 units…the largest number in seven years.  Despite thousands of albums being available on vinyl, one out of every fifteen albums sold in 2023 were albums by Taylor Swift.  That’s amazing!

And…Taylor Swift is the first artist to have all of the Top 10 Billboard singles at the same time.

Fun fact, Taylor Swift & The Beatles were #1 & #2 on the November 4th, 2022 U.K. album chart with Midnights and the Revolver remix.  Midnights stayed at #1 for two weeks in the U.S., and then added non-consecutive third, fourth, fifth & sixth weeks at the top.   The album topped the sales chart for 12 consecutive weeks, which is the most since 1998.  “Anti-Hero” topped the singles chart for eight weeks.

There’s also
Swift’s Eras stadium tour, with 151 concerts through most of 2024.  Amazingly, Swift is selling out stadiums as many as 6 times in some cities.  After the shows in 2023 the tour is the first in history to break 1-billion-dollars, and may break 2-Billion after the international dates in 2024.

Update (July, 2023):  The re-recorded Speak Now was released on July 7th, 2023 (Ringo’s birthday!).  The album has six previously unreleased songs, for a total of 22..  It’s her 12th #1 album.

Fearless, Red, Speak Now, & 1989 are the four “Taylor’s Version” albums released so far.  That leaves two re-recorded albums to be released, Reputation & Taylor Swift

1989 Taylor’s Version is her 13th album in a row to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart.  Amazingly, a “new” Beatles single, “Now And Then” replaced a Taylor Swift song at #1 on the U.K. singles chart!  Then when the new U.K. Album chart came out, it was 1989 (Taylor’s Version) #1, The Beatles (Remixed) Blue Album #2, The Beatles (Remixed) Red Album #3.

And as 2023 drew to a close, there was this…

Taylor Swift is the only entertainer to be named Time’s Person of the Year.

And a new Taylor Swift album…April 19th, 2024:

Taylor Swift won the Album Of The Year Grammy for Midnights.  She now has the record with four wins for Album Of The Year.

Couldn’t resist adding that Paul McCartney visited Taylor Swift at the Super Bowl.  McCartney shakes hands with Jason Kelce, and you can see Swift’s fangirl expression.

And Paul met Travis & Jason’s dad, Ed.  Taylor’s boyfriend’s team, the Chiefs, won the game 25-22 when the Chiefs scored a touchdown on the 13th play of the winning drive.  It was also the 13th time Swift attended a Chiefs’ game.  Looks like 13 really is Taylor’s lucky number.

One Reply to “The Beatles & Taylor Swift (Updates)”

  1. Can Taylor Swift catch the Beatles 19 #1 albums well, probably yeah. That was a record that was once thought to be untouchable but seeing the phenomenal pace that Ms. Swift has been going it is becoming more possible with each new album release. Taylor is only 34 with a loyal and huge fan base so we’ll see. However there are two record statistics that Taylor Swift will never come close to and that is singles and album sales WORLDWIDE. It’s safe to say that these two statistics will stay with the Beatles Forever.(see below).
    – Beatles : 1.6 billion (yes that’s
    billion with a
    B) singles sold
    in United States
    Ranked #1
    – Beatles : 700 million albums
    sold worldwide
    Ranked #1
    Worldwide singles sales have been estimated at 2.5+ Billion
    *These are hard sales statistics not streaming or computer enhanced figures.

    – Taylor Swift: 137.5 million
    singles sold
    – Taylor Swift : 114 million.
    albums sold
    * Taylor Swift’s sales are generated mostly by streams and computer enhanced technology.

    *The Beatles now have 21 #1 singles with the release of “Now and Then” in November 2023. Most websites haven’t updated their statistics yet.

    Although TS may have attained 68 billion streams it does’t compare to hard sales by getting off your arse and going out to the store for the purchase of the song(s).
    Question, would TS have the same success if she didn’t re-record her music, probably yes but not to the extent it is now. There is no doubt that this woman is a talent for the ages but as far as changing and influencing the world on the level of the Beatles she can’t come close, no one can.

    Peace and love Taylor and good luck in your endeavors. Godspeed !
    *All statistics are current 2024.

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