Taylor Swift breaks host of charts records with new album Midnights

Taylor Swift has secured the coveted double chart domination after her tenth studio album Midnights and its lead single Anti-Hero both landed at number one.

The pop megastar, 32, fended off stiff competition from Arctic Monkeys to take the top spot in the UK albums chart and has also broken a host of other records this week.

The electronica-style album has become the fastest-selling album of the year so far, overtaking Harry Styles’ chart-topping Harry’s House which previously held the 2022 title, according to the Official Charts Company.

Following its October 21 release, Midnights racked up 204,000 chart sales in seven days, more than doubling her previous personal best of 90,300 which she achieved with her album 1989, released in 2014.

It claims the biggest first week of album sales since Adele’s 30 was released last November and takes the title of the most streamed album of the year in its opening week with 72.5 million streams across the seven days.

Swift also overtakes Madonna to set a new official chart record by achieving the fastest succession of nine UK number one albums of any female artist.

The singer-songwriter scored her first chart-topping album 10 years ago in October 2012 with Red, whereas it took Madonna 21 years to reach the same tally. The Beatles hold the overall record racking up nine chart toppers in five years and seven months.

While Queen of Pop Madonna does retain the title of the female artist with the most UK number one albums overall with 12 to her name, Swift has now surpassed Kylie Minogue to follow in second place.

Midnights follows after Swift’s previous eight UK chart-topping albums, all achieved consecutively: 2012’s Red, 2014 release 1989, 2017’s Reputation, 2019’s Lover, 2020’s Folklore, 2020’s Evermore and re-recordings Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version), both released in 2021.

Her success ends Arctic Monkeys’ streak of six UK number one albums but they put up a fight with their new seventh studio album, The Car, taking the second spot with more than 100,000 chart sales in its opening week.

Elsewhere in the UK singles chart, Swift also soars straight to the top with Anti-Hero.

This comes after the music video for the track was altered to remove the word “fat” from one of its scenes following criticism from some fans and public figures on social media suggesting the scene encouraged “fatphobia”.

Two other tracks off her record-breaking album have also claimed spots in the top five with Lavender Haze coming in at number three and her collaboration with Lana Del Rey on Snow On The Beach taking fourth place.

This double success also means she becomes the first female artist in nine years to debut atop the UK albums and singles chart simultaneously, the last being Miley Cyrus in August 2013 when Bangerz and Wrecking Ball both entered the UK charts at number one.

Following the album’s release, Spotify announced it had broken the record for most-streamed album in a single day.

The new record offers a rare insight into her personal life and relationship with her boyfriend, British actor Joe Alwyn, with the singer describing it as the story of “13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life” and “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams”.

Recognising both Swift and Arctic Monkeys’ achievements this week, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, Martin Talbot, said: “Many congratulations to Taylor Swift on her fantastic achievement in topping 200,000 sales this week.

“We always knew this would be a huge week for fans of Taylor and Arctic Monkeys, following the release of their brand-new albums – and their combined first week total of more the 320,000 chart sales indicates that their pre-release excitement was well placed.

“Coming so soon after a fantastically successful National Album Day earlier this month, the successes also highlight just how popular albums continue.”