Morgan Wallen was poised to have a 13th straight week topping the Billboard 200 album chart, but someone who more regularly weaponizes the number 13 had other plans. Taylor Swift stopped Wallen’s possibly historic run at 12 weeks, as her 2022 album “Midnights” reclaimed the top spot due to the release of deluxe editions with hotly anticipated new tracks.
All of the different variations of “Midnights” count as one for charting purposes. After never leaving the top 10 since it came out last year, and recently spending a number of weeks at No. 2, “Midnights” returned to No. 1 with 282,000 album-equivalent units for the week.
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It wasn’t a close call, as Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time” album registered 126,000 units to slip to No. 2. If it hadn’t been Swift toppling Wallen, it almost could have been somewhere else. The country star’s long-standing smash was nearly in a tie with Lil Durk’s “Almost Healed,” which came in third with 125,000 units.
According to Luminate data first published by Billboard, the gain registered by “Midnights” was 389% for the week. And those 282,000 units represent the second-best week that any album has had in 2023, trailing only the 501,000-unit week that Wallen’s album had in its debut more than four months ago.
As pure album sales go, though, “Midnights” just has the best sales week that any record has had this calendar year, as 196,000 of the units represent sales.
Several extremely high-profile variants — in digital, CD and/or vinyl form — contributed to Swift’s comeback in the top spot, as fans who already own at least one version of the album rushed to repurchase it for newly added bonus tracks.
Luminate did not break down which edition was responsible for which percentage of the new sales. But Swifties had several options. Last and probably least, the standard version of the album was issued in an additional violet color (just slightly off from the purple version previously exclusive to Target).
But there were two separately titled deluxe editions as well. One was a digital-only “Til Dawn” variation, which took all the tracks previously available on the “3 a.m.” deluxe edition and added three more: “Hits Different,” a track previously available only on a Target-exclusive CD, plus a version of “Snow on the Beach” with added Lana Del Rey lead vocals and a remix of “Karma” with rapping from Ice Spice.
The other new deluxe version, dubbed the “Late Night” edition, included most of the tracks that were previously part of the “3 a.m.” edition, added the fresh Del Rey/Ice Spice mixes, and then featured the most covetable song of all, as far as most fans were concerned: the previously unreleased “You’re Losing Me (From the Vault).” This particular edition was made available as a CD only at merch stands for Swift’s stadium shows, and as a download only for 24 hours at Swift’s webstore, although not many hardcore fans skipped that window. That particular track hasn’t been made available for streaming or separate download, so far.
This is the sixth (obviously non-consecutive) week that “Midnights” has spent at No. 1 since it came out in November, and the first time it’s topped the chart in 2023.
Wallen stands a strong chance of retaking the top spot next week, although this past Friday’s release schedule introduced plenty of contenders for the top 10, including a new Foo Fighters album, Jelly Roll’s debut as a country artist and Metro Boomin’s “Spider-Man” companion album.
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