They say classic artists don’t sell albums anymore, but James Taylor nixes that theory. Hits Daily Double, which predicts the Billboard 200 album chart, has Taylor selling nearly 76,000 copies of Before This World with 82 percent of reports finalized on Monday evening.
On Friday, Billboard reported that James Taylor would land at No. 1 with 75,000 albums and streaming album equivalents sold. It looks like James Taylor will easily outsell the prediction, and the 76,000 unit figure that Hits Daily Double is reporting (it will be even more once 100 percent of the reports are in) doesn’t even include album streams.
According to Billboard, James Taylor has previously had 11 top 10 albums. Taylor’s highest charting work, before this week, was 1971’s Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, which hit No. 2. Having a No. 1 album this late in your career is a major achievement. James Taylor has always been a critically acclaimed artist, but he never achieved the commercial viability his fans had hoped for.
James Taylor isn’t the only one making waves this week. According to Hits Daily Double, Adam Lambert has sold 38,041 copies of Original High with 82 percent of sales reported. Billboard predicted sales of 35,000, so Lambert, like Taylor, is outdoing expectations. Still, Lambert’s sales are relatively low when compared to previous efforts. It certainly doesn’t help that Adam Lambert’s latest single, “Ghost Town,” has failed to even chart on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Joining James Taylor and Adam Lambert in top debuts will be Hilary Duff. With still 18 percent needed for the full sales report, Hilary is at No. 3 with Breathe In. Breathe Out. She has sold 30,357 copies so far and could, with streaming points, easily end up selling over 35,000 copies. Like Taylor and Lambert, she has easily exceeded Billboard’s prediction (25,000) of final album sales.
Taylor Swift remains at No. 4 with 25,767 copies. Taylor doesn’t put her music on Spotify, so she may not end up with more than 30,000 copies sold when Billboard reveals its album chart Wednesday morning. Don’t cry for Ms. Swift; she has sold over five million copies of 1989 in the U.S. alone. She has sold more copies of albums than all of Billboard’s top 20 albums put together.
Though James Taylor and Adam Lambert may be celebrating high debuts this week, it will be interesting to see where they end up next week. Most albums that have debuted at No. 1 this year have lost at least 70 percent of their sales in the second week, with many dropping out of the top 10. Taylor Swift’s 1989 album is currently number one on iTunes and could easily take over James Taylor’s Before This World next week.
[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]