Taylor Swift lands a rare feat on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as the superstar has 10 concurrently charting albums on the March 4-dated list.
Since the Billboard 200 was combined from its previously separate mono and stereo LP charts into one all-encompassing list in August 1963, Swift is just the fifth artist to earn the achievement. The March 4-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Feb. 28.
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On the March 4 chart, Swift holds the following titles:
No. 3 – Midnights No. 28 – Folklore No. 41 – Lover No. 50 – 1989 No. 56 – Red (Taylor’s Version) No. 58 – Lover: Live From Paris No. 100 – reputation No. 103 – Evermore No. 172 – Fearless (Taylor’s Version) No. 192 – Speak Now
Lover: Live From Paris debuts on the March 4 chart as a vinyl-only release sold exclusively through Swift’s official webstore. Lover: Live From Paris was recorded at Olympia in Paris on Sept. 9, 2019, in support of her Lover studio album. Lover: Live From Paris arrives on the tally with 13,500 equivalent album units earned – all from album sales. All nine of the other albums Swift has on the chart are former No. 1s.
Here are the acts who have placed at least 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart at the same time (since August 1963):
Taylor Swift – March 4, 2023 (10 albums) Prince – May 28, 2016 (13) Prince – May 21, 2016 (10) Prince – May 14, 2016 (19) David Bowie – Jan. 30, 2016 (10) The Beatles – March 1, 2014 (13) Whitney Houston – March 10, 2012 (10) The Beatles – Dec. 4, 2010 (14) The Beatles – Jan. 9, 2010 (11)
Prince, Bowie and Houston’s achievements came shortly after they died, following a surge of interest in their respective catalogs from music fans.
The Beatles placed 13 titles on the March 1, 2014, chart thanks in large part to gains reaped from the CBS-TV concert special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, which aired Feb. 9 (and repeated Feb. 12). The special celebrated 50 years of The Beatles’ success in the United States, specifically commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s first live American TV performance on The Ed Sullivan Show (Feb. 9, 1964).
The Beatles also logged 14 and 11 titles, respectively, on the Dec. 4 and Jan. 9, 2010-dated charts.
On the Dec. 4, 2010 list, The Beatles logged 12 re-entries and two debuts, following the band’s belated bow in the iTunes Store. (The group had been a hold out to selling digital downloads of its albums and songs on the service until Nov. 16, 2010.)
As for The Beatles’ feat on the Jan. 9, 2010, chart, that week came shortly after the Billboard 200 began allowing older (catalog) albums to appear, beginning with the Dec. 5, 2009-dated chart. It was also not long after the band’s catalog was digitally remastered for CD reissues in September 2009.
Some history on the Billboard 200 chart: The list began publishing as a regular, weekly fixture with the March 24, 1956-dated chart, where Harry Belafonte’s Belafonte was the No. 1 album in the U.S. At the time, the chart was only 10 positions and was named Best Selling Pop Albums. (Its name would change only a week later, to Best Selling Popular Albums.)
Prior to March 24, 1956, Billboard had tracked album popularity, but not consistently. The first overall album chart appeared 11 years earlier, on March 24, 1945. That chart was published on an irregular basis until it became a weekly fixture starting with the March 24, 1956 issue of Billboard magazine.
Notably, for a little over four years (between May 25, 1959-Aug. 10, 1963), the album chart was split into two separate lists, each tracking the sales of mono or stereo-recorded albums. These two charts were named Best Selling Monophonic LPs and Best Selling Stereophonic LPs. The names of the charts would change slightly over time, but Billboard would publish two charts for mono and stereo albums until Aug. 10, 1963. The following week, Aug. 17, 1963, the mono and stereo charts folded back into one overall chart.
The chart would grow to 200 positions in 1967. In 1992, and after a number of name changes, the chart would settle on its current name, Billboard 200.
As for how the Billboard 200 chart is compiled… through the May 18, 1991-dated chart, the chart ranked the week’s top-selling albums in the U.S., based on reports obtained from record stores. On the May 25, 1991-dated chart, the list began using electronically monitored point-of-sale purchase information courtesy of SoundScan, Inc. (now known as Luminate).
The chart would continue to rank the week’s top-selling albums by traditional album sales through the Dec. 6, 2014-dated chart. The following week (Dec. 13, 2014), the list transformed again, becoming a multi-metric popularity chart, ranking overall consumption, as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album.
Older albums (known as catalog albums; generally defined today as titles 18 months old or older), were mostly restricted from charting on the Billboard 200 from May 25, 1991-Nov. 28, 2009. From Dec. 5, 2009-onwards, catalog and current (new/recently released) albums chart together on the Billboard 200. Today, older albums regularly spend hundreds of weeks on the chart – such as Journey’s Greatest Hits (more than 700 weeks) and Eminem’s Curtain Call: The Hits (nearly 600).
Because of the chart’s methodology (primarily the inclusion of streaming activity in 2014) and the ability for catalog albums to chart (since 2009), some albums now continue to rank on the list for a much longer time than albums in previous eras, when the chart was effectively a sales-only tally for current releases.
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