A major chart battle has been taking place between Taylor Swift and Arctic Monkeys. Despite rumoured conversations about one or the other budging their release date, neither seemed willing and in the end they both opted to drop their albums last Friday. Thus begun a music sales race not seen for a fair while, between Arctic Monkeys’ emotional ride The Car and Taylor Swift’s synth-poppy Midnights.
No doubt helped by Swift’s superior presence in the US, the pop empress has also broken streaming records on Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music in less than 24 hours. After breaking the record for having the most-streamed album in Spotify history, Swift tweeted: “How did I get this lucky, having you guys out here doing something this mind blowing?! Like what even just happened??!?!”
As of first midweek flash sale, announced yesterday, physical sales were shown to comprise the majority of Midnights’ sales thus far (114,429), with sales from streams accounting for 20,304 copies and downloads standing at 5,857. That was yesterday – given the rate of sales, those numbers will no doubt already have gone up significantly.
What makes this chart race even more remarkable is that despite currently trailing Midnights, Arctic Monkeys’ The Car may still beat the first week sales of Harry’s House – adding an impressive context to the sales strength of Swift’s record. By comparison The Car stands at 104,874 sales as of yesterday.
How many UK number one albums does Swift have?
Were Swift to maintain her position at the summit of the charts, it would give her a ninth UK number 1 album. In the process, this would deny Arctic Monkeys their seventh consecutive UK number 1 album.
Midnights also dominates the singles charts as it stands, taking up the top three spots. ‘Anti-Hero’ is the current number 1 (27,888 sales), ‘Lavender Haze’ is in second (20,767) and ‘Snow On The Beach’ (19,196) is in third.
Indeed, in any normal week, Arctic Monkeys’ seventh album would have likely run away with it. But this has been no ordinary week. And despite the troubled look on some of the accompanying press shots surrounding her album, Swift has plenty of reason to smile.