Taylor Swift’s eighth surprise album, Folklore, broke several paper records in its first week for sale.
The record was written and recorded during the coronavirus lockdown, moving away from the pop sound that has dominated her last three albums.
On Spotify, it achieved 80.6m streams in one day, the highest level ever set for the female audience.
In the United States it sold 846,000 copies, making it the best-selling record of the year after just seven days for sales.
Swift also becomes the first artist in the history of the American schedule to have seven albums sell over 500,000 copies in one week; and the first female artist to make a seven-album debut on number one.
- Folklore Taylor Swift sees the singer go indie
In addition to concluding the American Billboard chart, Folklore reached the Summit in the UK, Finland, Australia, Norway, New Zealand and Belgium.
In Ireland, Swift now has a number five album ̵1; more than any other female artist in the 21st Century – that passed to Madonna and Beyoncé.
The record’s success also gave Swift three top 10 singles in the UK, with Cardigan entering the charts at six, followed by the duo Bon Iver Exile at eight, and the opening of Folklore. The 1 in the number 10.
The graphics rules currently prevent the artist from having more than three tracks in the Top 100 at any one time. Otherwise, Swift had 12 new entries – on numbers 13, 15, 18, 21, 24, 31, 36, 37, 40, 42, 45 and 51.
Recorded largely with Aaron Dessner of alternative rock group The National, Folklore earned Swift the best reviews of her career – with an average score of 89% on the Metacritic site aggregation.
The album “feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest,” the NME said in a four-star review. “The shiny production it has taken for the last half decade is set aside for simpler, softer melodies and a wistful instrument.”
Variety magazine called it a “very restrained but rich affair”, although the New York Times said the 16-track album was sometimes “suffocating”, with Dessner’s production “like wet clothes picking up at Swift , slowed down, hampered her vim “.
The first week he managed to get a Folklore record was achieved on the basis of streams and downloads only.
The project was so secretive that even its own record label employees were unaware of its existence until a few hours before its release; and so at the last minute that physical copies of the album could not be manufactured in time.
The album could see a second boost for sales when the CDs become available this weekend; while vinyl copies are not due to hit stores until November.
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