| Eric Kelsey |
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Taylor Swift’s “1989”, the strongest pop turn for the longtime country singer, roared to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday with the biggest opening week in a dozen years for the declining album sales industry.
Backed by No 1 hit “Shake It Off” and weeks of TV appearances, “1989” sold 1.3 million copies, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. “1989” not only goes platinum by selling over a million units but also becomes the top-selling album released this year.
But the best opening week since rapper Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” in 2002 may not mean much to a recording industry grappling with consumers shifting from physical albums to streaming.
“It means less for the music industry than it does for Taylor Swift,” said analyst Bill Werde, a former editor of Billboard. “What we’ve seen over the last few years is that Taylor seems to be the last human standing that can move these kinds of albums.”
Album sales are so far down 13 per cent compared to last year on top of an eight per cent decline in 2013, according to Billboard.
Swift outpaced the rest of the top five – which included the “Now 52” compilation at No 2, country singer Sam Hunt’s “Motevallo” at No 3, crooner Barry Manilow’s “My Dream Duets” at No 4 and country’s Jason Aldean’s “Old Boots, New Dirt” – by about 1 million albums.