Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” Achieves Historic Milestone as Her 12th No. 1 Album and Tops First-Week Sales in 2023
Seventeen years after Taylor Swift’s debut in country music with her hit “Tim McGraw,” she has achieved one of the most remarkable accolades of her career. Her rerecorded version of the 2010 album “Speak Now,” released as “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” made an outstanding debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated July 22). Notably, this accomplishment also marks the highest first-week numbers for any album released in the current year.
With this achievement, Taylor Swift now holds a total of 12 No. 1 albums, surpassing Barbra Streisand and securing the record for the most No. 1 albums by a female artist.
According to Billboard, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” amassed a remarkable 716,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. during the week ending on July 13. Out of this total, 507,000 units were from album sales, not streaming. Both of these figures represent the largest first-week numbers for any album in 2023, and they are the best since Swift’s last studio album, “Midnights,” released in October.
The success doesn’t stop there, as three more of Swift’s albums also find themselves in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart: “Midnights” at No. 5, “Lover” at No. 7, and “Folklore” at No. 10. Swift’s continued dominance in the charts underscores her enduring popularity and influence in the music industry.
Taylor Swift shared her immense pride and joy when announcing the release of her version of “Speak Now” on July 7 (perfectly timed for July 9, if you know, you know 😆). She took to Instagram to express her excitement, highlighting that she wrote the entire album, “Speak Now,” during the ages of 18 and 20. The songs from this period of her life are characterized by their raw honesty, candid confessions, and youthful nostalgia. Taylor loves this album as it narrates a tale of growing up, experiencing both highs and lows, and ultimately finding the strength to share her journey with the world.
Adding six extra songs from her vault to the re-recorded version, she eagerly anticipates celebrating “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” with her fans on July 7th.
According to Billboard, Taylor Swift’s continued chart success is unparalleled. She has become the first living artist since Herb Alpert in 1966 to have four albums simultaneously in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart. This remarkable achievement underscores her enduring impact on the music industry and her continued reign as one of the most influential artists of her time.
“Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” marks the third release in Taylor Swift’s series of rerecorded albums. The decision to embark on rerecording her first six albums came about after Scooter Braun’s involvement in an entity that purchased her record label and music catalog in 2020. Swift saw this as an opportunity to regain control of her work and ensure that the most recent versions of her recorded music belong to her.
Rerecording her albums also allows Swift to make updates to some of her lyrics, giving her a chance to refine her artistic expression. This aligns with the theme of her Eras tour, which revisits each significant phase of her career, enabling fans to experience her growth and evolution as an artist.
Currently, Taylor Swift has three U.S. cities left on her Eras Tour, which will come to a conclusion on August 9 in Los Angeles. The tour offers a unique and nostalgic experience for her fans, allowing them to relive the different stages of Swift’s musical journey.