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Swift sets record, but she won't be happy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 – Taylor Swift received good news this week and set a record in the process, although it's not one she particularly would want.

Swift's CD, "Speak Now," holds down the number 1 spot on Billboard's top 200, which will be out Thursday, with 52,000 units sold, down 32 percent from the previous week. The record is that is the smallest number of sales for a chart topper since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.

The previous low was by the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack on the Jan. 27, 2007chart with slightly more than 60,000 units.

This is different than the numbers of a year ago. Ke$ha's "Animal" debuted at number 1 with 152,000 and was followed in successive weeks by Vampire Weekend's "Contra" (124,000), the "Hope for Haiti Now" compilation (171,000) and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (481,000).

Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" climbed 4 to the number 9 spot this week with 29,000 units sold, down 15 percent.

The "Country Strong" soundtrack skyrocketed 139 positions to 10 with 28,000 (up 477 percent). The film, in limited release since Dec. 22, was released nationwide to more than 1,000 theaters on Jan. 7. The Billboard 200's highest debut (at 48) is from the partner soundtrack to the movie, the iTunes-exclusive "Country Strong: More Music From the Motion Picture," which entered with 9,000.

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Jan. 9) continued to slide. Sales were 5.4 million units, down 24 percent compared with the sum last week (7.1 million) and 8 percent compared with the similar sales week of 2010 (5.9 million).

More news for Taylor Swift

CD reviews for Taylor Swift

Journey to Fearless DVD
Part Behind The Music style documentary and part concert film, Taylor Swift's new Blu-ray release offers an interesting hybrid approach to the typical live performance video - an approach that hits more than it misses. "Journey To Fearless" focuses on Swift's meteoric rise from aspiring grade-school singer/songwriter to award-winning country and pop megastar while sprinkling in live performances. Hardcore Swift fans will find a lot to love on this single-disc set (which is also »»»
Speak Now CD review - Speak Now
Taylor Swift has made the best CD of her young career with her fourth CD. The biggest difference is that Swift's singing, spotty on previous releases and live performances, is far far superior here. Swift wrote all 14 songs here, which like her other albums tend to deal with relationships that have gone south. Swift's songwriting always has been one of her strengths, and that continues to be the case here - both lyrically and musically. Put simply, Swift knows a lot about penning »»»
Fearless CD review - Fearless
Taylor Swift took the county world by storm with her huge selling debut and its five hit singles. With a huge marketing push and myspace, Swift was on her way. Kind of like an Avril Lavigne for the teen female country set. Sophomore slump? There's no indication of that. Swift once again writes her material - all 13 songs here with help sometimes from Liz Rose, Colbie Caillat and John Rich. Swift writes of what she knows about - relationships and teen love come and gone in songs speak to her fans. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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