Taylor Swift’s 1989 re-recording scores record-breaking UK chart debut

In a year of record-breaking achievements, Taylor Swift has done it again.

A re-recording of her crossover pop album 1989 has become the UK’s fastest-selling record of 2023.

1989 (Taylor’s Version) shifted 184,000 copies last week, more than double the opening-week sales of the 2014 original.

It is the only album released this year to go gold in a single week, and is Swift’s 11th UK number one overall.

Among female artists, only Madonna has more chart toppers – and Swift is now within touching distance of her record of 12.

1989 (Taylor’s Version) was also the week’s biggest-selling record on vinyl, with almost 62,000 copies sold.

And three of the album’s songs have debuted in the top 10 in the singles chart.

All three are extra, previously-unreleased “from the vault” tracks, with Is It Over Now? claiming the number one position, followed by Now That We Don’t Talk at number two, and the provocatively-titled Slut! at five.

US milestones

Swift has seen similar success in the US, where 1989 (Taylor’s Version) has sold 1.1 million copies since its release last Friday.

Of that sum, 580,000 were on vinyl – the largest week for a single album in that format since modern sales tracking began in 1991.

Furthermore, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) instantly became the year’s biggest-selling album in the US, surpassing Swift’s own 2022 release Midnights.

The star now has the top three-selling albums of the year in her home country, with her re-recorded version of 2010’s Speak Now in third position.

The achievement justifies Swift’s decision to re-record all of her first six albums.

She started the project in 2021 after her old record label, Big Machine, sold her master tapes to music mogul Scooter Braun. He later sold them to an investment company.

Billionaire status

Rather than lose control of her recordings, the star decided to recreate them – and also refuses to licence the originals for use in TV and film shows, denying the new owners a lucrative revenue stream.

Swift has also scored the biggest tour of 2023, with her Eras stadium shows bringing in $300m (£242m) at the box office.

Last week, the star was declared a billionaire by business publication Bloomberg, which estimated her net worth to be $1.1bn (£907m).

Only three other musicians have achieved billionaire status – Rihanna, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. However, Swift is the first to reach the milestone based on music alone, as her rivals’ fortunes incorporate business ventures in fashion, beauty products and hi-fi equipment.

Swift’s UK chart dominance could be briefly interrupted next week by the return of four musicians from Liverpool.

The Beatles’ “last ever” song, Now And Then, instantly became the UK’s most-played song after its release on Thursday.

On Spotify, the ballad racked up 386,752 streams on Spotify – overtaking Swift’s Is It Over Now?, which was played 383,000 times.

If the Fab Four can maintain that momentum over the next week, they could score their first UK number one single since The Ballad Of John And Yoko in 1969.

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