How big a hit is Taylor Swift’s “Red” album? As previously reported, first-week sales of 1.21 million copies decisively places it at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 national album chart this week and makes it the fastest-selling album since Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” sold 1.32 million more than 10 years ago.
That translates to two copies of “Red” sold virtually every second in the seven days since “Red” was released on Oct. 22. Billboard notes that sales of “Red” constituted 20% of all albums sold last week, and its total exceeded the combined sales of the next 50 best-selling albums.
Still, rapper Kendrick Lamar has reason to celebrate his No. 2 finish after selling 241,000 copies of his new album “Good Kid M.A.A.D. City,” which has become one of the most enthusiastically reviewed records of the year. It has scored 91 out of 100 on the aggregate review site Metacritic.com, based on 22 reviews, only one of which is categorized as mixed. The rest are positive.
Not to be overlooked is Tony Bennett, who debuts at No. 5 with his new album of collaborations with Latino vocal partners, “Viva Duets,” which sold nearly 36,000 copies in its first week.