Taylor Swift’s Folklore surges back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart for an eighth nonconsecutive week on top, as the set jumps from No. 10 with 77,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 22 (up 170%), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
The album’s huge increase is owed to an explosion of sales generated from Swift’s official webstore, where the superstar sold autographed CDs of the set for $25 each for a limited time. Of Folklore’s units earned for the week, album sales comprised 57,000 of that figure – a gain of 709%.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric 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. The new Oct. 31-dated chart (where Folklore returns to No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Oct. 27. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Folklore’s 77,000 units earned in the tracking week ending Oct. 22, album sales (as noted above) comprise 57,000 (up 709%), SEA units total 20,000 (down 7%, equaling 26.35 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs) and TEA units comprise a little under 500 (up 2%).
With another 57,000 copies sold in the latest tracking week, Folklore’s total album sales jump past 1 million (to 1.038 million), making it the first album to sell a million copies in 2020. It’s also the first album released in 2020 to sell a million. Folklore is Swift’s ninth album to sell at least 1 million copies in the U.S. Those nine albums include all eight of her studio efforts, along with her Christmas release The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection.
Folklore’s eighth week at No. 1 also marks its third total visit to the top, as the Republic Records release debuted at No. 1 on the Aug. 8-dated chart and spent its first six weeks at No. 1. It then vacated the top slot for two weeks, and then returned for one week on Oct. 3. It stepped aside for three more weeks, until its latest stanza atop the tally.
Folklore is the second album to enjoy three separate visits to No. 1 in 2020, following Roddy Ricch’s Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial, which had four visits to the top between December 2019 and February. It debuted at No. 1 on the Dec. 21, 2019-dated chart, then had three more one-week visits on Jan. 18, Feb. 8 and Feb. 22.
The last album by a woman to have three distinct stays at No. 1 was Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which had three one-week visits to the top on April 13, May 5 and June 8, 2019.
Folklore continues to have the most weeks at No. 1 for any album since Drake’s Views notched 13 nonconsecutive weeks in 2016. Folklore also continues to have the most weeks at No. 1 among all non-R&B/hip-hop titles, and albums by women, since Adele’s 25 landed 10 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 in 2015-16.
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon (released via Victor Victor Worldwide/Republic) falls one spot with 66,000 equivalent album units earned (down 1%). 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s Savage Mode II (Boominati/Slaughter Boomin/Republic/Epic) dips 2-3 with 47,000 units (down 29%). With Republic Records claiming Nos. 1-3 (the label shares distribution credit with Epic on Savage Mode II), it’s the first time a label has held the top three since Republic itself did it on the July 14, 2018-dated chart. That week, Drake’s Scorpion (Young Money/Cash Money/Republic) debuted at No. 1, while Florence + the Machine’s High as Hope (Republic) debuted at No. 2 and Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys (Republic) held at No. 3.
On the new Billboard 200, Juice WRLD’s former No. 1 Legends Never Die moves 3-4 with a little over 44,000 equivalent album units earned (down 1%).
Tom Petty’s 1994 album Wildflowers re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 5 – a new peak – after its deluxe reissue on Oct. 16. The set bounds back onto the tally with 44,000 equivalent album units earned (up 1,765%). Of that sum, 38,000 comprise album sales (up 8,409%), a little under 5,000 comprise SEA units (up 161%) and 1,000 comprise TEA units (up 710%).
Wildflowers originally debuted and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart dated Nov. 19, 1994. The set spent six nonconsecutive weeks in the top 10 between Nov. 19, 1994 and Jan. 21, 1995. The album contained the top 20-charting Billboard Hot 100 hit “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” which also reached No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart. The set also sported the Mainstream Rock Songs top 10 hits “You Wreck Me” (No. 2) and “It’s Good to Be King” (No. 6).
Wildflowers was reissued on Oct. 16, and its sales benefit from a variety of expansive deluxe editions, dubbed Wildflowers & All the Rest. All versions of the album, including the original 1994 release, are combined for tracking and charting purposes. The All the Rest subtitle refers to the inclusion of a number of previously unreleased bonus tracks, many of which were originally intended for the Wildflowers album. (The set was initially meant to be a double album, but was whittled down to a 15-song release.)
Wildflowers also re-enters Top Rock Albums at No. 1, its first week atop the list. (The chart began in January of 2006.)
Korean pop group NCT lands its first entry on the Billboard 200, as the 23-member act’s second album Resonance, Pt. 1, debuts at No. 6 with 43,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 40,000 comprise album sales, a little under 3,000 comprise SEA units, and a negligible sum in TEA units. NCT’s previous album, 2018’s NCT 2018 Empathy, missed the Billboard 200.
NCT’s spin-off group NCT 127 (whose 10 members are also part of NCT) has charted three albums on the Billboard 200, including the top 10 set NCT #127: Neo Zone, The 2nd Album, which debuted and peaked at No. 5 on March 21.
Lil Baby’s former No. 1 My Turn falls 4-7 with 37,000 equivalent album units (down 3%), the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical is a non-mover at No. 8 with 32,000 units (down 2%) and Machine Gun Kelly’s previous No. 1 Tickets to My Downfall drops 5-9 with 30,000 units (down 18%). Blackpink’s The Album closes out the top 10, descending 6-10 with 29,500 units (down 15%).