Taylor Swift’s Red posted the best first-week sales of any album released in the past decade, with 1.2 million copies sold since last Monday. (Records typically come out on Tuesdays, but Taylor is obviously special, so…) The last album to sell better than Red in its debut week was Eminem’s The Eminem Show, which moved 1.3 million in its first seven days back in May 2002.
Lady Gaga came close to this number last year when her album Born This Way sold just over 1.1 million copies, but her sales were boosted in large part by deep discounting at Amazon, which sold the album for 99 cents for two days out of her opening week. Swift’s digital sales broke records, even with the album at a price point slightly higher than the industry standard of $9.99. Swift did get a small boost from an unorthodox promotion with the Papa John’s pizza chain, in which it sold the CD as part of a pizza combo for $22.
Obviously, this is just the beginning for Red. Two videos have been released for the record so far, the poppy “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and the vaguely country ballad “Begin Again,” but there are at least six other tracks on the album that sound like hits, already getting airplay and significant a la carte sales in digital stores. “I Knew You Were Trouble” is currently number nine on iTunes, and the title track is lingering just outside the top 10.