The Beatles & Taylor Swift

Even Classic Rock fans should be impressed with how Taylor Swift is setting records!  Let’s start with a new record that involves The Beatles, then look at more of Swift’s accomplishments, and also compare her total #1’s with those of The Fab Four.

Taylor Swift just 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.

Some records get broken simply because of all the changes in sales and streaming, but this one seems to be as fair a comparison as possible.

Naturally, 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.

Here’s how Swift’s last four albums hit the charts and dominated all the other albums over the last two years.  Fearless (Taylor’s Version) had the biggest week of 2021.  That was the biggest week since Evermore’s debut in December of 2020…which was the biggest week since Folklore’s debut in August of 2020…and that was the biggest debut since Lover in August of 2019.

The three albums that broke The Beatles’ record are Folklore, Evermore, and her new 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 replace the old ones.  She already owns her three most recent albums.

(Swift’s 9 albums before re-recording Fearless)

So how did the new Fearless 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’s already the biggest selling album of 2021, and had the year’s biggest first day of streaming on Spotify with over 50-million plays!…and that’s just one streaming service.

Because Taylor Swift was so young and so popular with teenagers, my wife and I hadn’t really checked out her albums.  That changed last year when we bought both Folklore and Evermore.  Those albums have more of a Folk/Alternative style, and have impressive songwriting & performances that fit her age of 31.  Because we liked those albums so much, we added Taylor’s new recording of Fearless, and found out she’s been writing really good songs for a long time.

Despite Taylor’s success with her re-recording project, it would be nice to have her spend the time on brand new albums like her last two.  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)

Last month, Folklore won the Grammy for Album Of The Year.  Taylor Swift now has the record for the most albums of the year at three.  She’s tied with Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra (pretty good company).  She passed Michael Jackson for the number of weeks her albums have been at #1, with 53 weeks.  It’s not likely she’ll catch The Beatles.  Their albums have 132 weeks at #1, Elvis Presley is second with 67, and Taylor Swift is in third place. The Beatles also have the record of 19 albums to hit #1.

Taylor Swift became a Beatles’ fan during her childhood.  She says she bought all their CD’s and studied their songwriting.  This photo looks to have been taken near the beginning of her career.  There’s another record 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.

Late last year, 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.  During their time together, they confided in each other as to when they were releasing albums in December.  That way, the two didn’t have to compete with one another.  At the time, no one except a few musicians even knew Swift had recorded another album (Evermore).  It took Paul decades to acquire the rights to The Beatles’ recordings.  Hopefully, Taylor’s quest will be much quicker.

Taylor Swift holds the record for the most Albums Of The Year based on sales, with five.  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 28 Guinness World Records.

On May 11h, 2021, Taylor Swift became the first woman, and first non-Brit, to be chosen as the Brit Award’s “Global Icon”, their highest honor.  It was awarded by the British record industry for her global impact on music, and for her career achievements.  Previous recipients include Elton John and David Bowie.

A little over seven years ago, 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 the record at 48 weeks atop the chart (6/8/21), Drake is a distant second at 32 weeks.

Most artists peak within their first five years, but Taylor Swift’s peak (so far) is 15 years into her career.  It’s hard to believe an artist could maintain such an incredible level of popularity for so long.  Don’t bet against her next release being her 10th album in a row to debut at #1.  She has a long way to go, but who knows, Swift might even have a shot at breaking The Beatles’ record of 19 #1 albums.

Update:  June, 2021.  Taylor Swift now has the record for the biggest week of vinyl album sales since record keeping began 30-years ago.

Her album Evermore came out December 11th, 2020, but the vinyl albums weren’t available until May 28th, 2021.  The previous highest one-week sales record was 40,000 copies in 2014, and Taylor Swift blew that away with 102,000 vinyl records sold.  Her album also returned to #1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

Update:  June 2021.  Fans will have another T.S. album this year.

The re-recorded version of 2012’s Red will be released November 12th, 2021.  Instead of the original 16 tracks, the new version will have 30 tracks that were originally written for the album (that’s a whole album’s worth of new songs).

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