How long can Taylor Swift dominate the album chart? : NPR

Taylor Swift will perform in France during the European leg of her record-breaking Eras Tour on June 2.

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While summer is in full swing, the charts for the country's most popular songs and albums are still dominated by two very household names: Post Malone and Taylor Swift. Considering that summer is usually defined by individual (and often short-lived) bangers rather than full albums, we may be seeing a full Swiftie season on the album charts in the offing. The Billboard The Hot 100 song chart, on the other hand, has been less stable, especially in recent years when we've seen the rapid rise of new social media hits (“Rich Men North of Richmond,” anyone?), so that's where we may see more movement in the coming weeks.

TOP NUMBERS

Most of this week's top five are up Billboard's Hot 100 is remarkably similar to last week's: Post Malone's “I Had Some Help” featuring Morgan Wallen is at No. 1 for the third week in a row, followed by Kendrick Lamar's “Not Like Us,” Tommy Richman's “Million Dollar Baby” and Shaboozey's “Tipsy (A Bar Song).”

There's one newcomer to their ranks: former Disney star and singer Sabrina Carpenter, whose disco-tinged pop confection “Espresso” climbed one spot from No. 6 to No. 5. And right behind her, there's another indication that 2024 will do just that. indeed be the Summer of Country: Zach Bryan's howler “Pink Skies” makes its chart debut at No. 6.

This week also marks the annual return of (yet) another Billboard graphic: Songs of the summerthat the magazine introduced in 2010. This overview looks at the cumulative performance of songs over the summer (which Billboard starts with this week's chart and ends the week of Labor Day). This early in the season, this chart is a nap — all 20 positions are an exact replica of the top 20 positions on the Billboard 100 chart – but it's worth keeping an eye on in the coming months.

TOP ALBUMS

In news that will most likely not come as a surprise to anyone, it's from Taylor Swift The department of tortured poets spends a sixth week in the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200 albums chart. What may be a bit more surprising information: after a bump after she had released many deluxe and special editions Martyred poetsSwift is starting to experience a decline in sales and streaming – and she's not alone.

Last week, Swift (to use a maligned music industry term) moved 378,000 equivalent album units (I promise, that's the end of the jargon — at least for now). This week she only had 175,000 units per Light upthe company that collects the data from which the Billboard Graphs. That's a drop of almost 54% in just seven days – and many psychic worlds away from the first week of Martyred poetswhen Swift earned 2.61 million equivalent album sales just a month and a half ago.

But Swift may not be the only artist starting to sing the summer blues. Although Bilie Eilish's album Hit me hard and soft right behind Swift at No. 2 for the second week in a row, she too has experienced a big drop of 145,000 units, down from last week's 339,000 — which was a career high for Eilish.

Although we are not in the doldrums of the early 2010this is a trend to keep an eye on.

WORTH NOTHING

One of the not-so-hidden industry secrets of the Billboard 200 chart is that in general a fairly rich part of the membership consists of so-called 'catalog titles': albums that have been commercially available for minimum 18 months and sometimes for much, much longer than that.

This week's chart is a textbook example: by my cursory estimate, about 57% of this week's entries are extended catalog titles, with even more approaching the 18-month mark. For example, Fleetwood Macs Rumors, which was originally released in 1977, is currently at number 31 and has now spent 583 weeks on the chart; the eternally beloved collection of Bob Marley & the Wailers' greatest hits, Legend (released in 1984), is at number 35, 837 weeks strong and counting. Other artists who remain on the charts almost forever include Journey, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eminem, Bruno Mars and Guns N' Roses.

All of this is a reminder of how difficult it can be for current – ​​and especially rising – stars to break through all those old favorites, even on the more modest charts. If anyone wants to challenge Taylor Swift's hegemony on the world Billboard 200 this summer, maybe it will be one of these elders.

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