Today, I explain how Taylor Swift’s Midnights Top Ten Takeover shows the weaknesses of the singles charts.
Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of pop culture history that interests me that doesn’t quite fit into the other features.
Taylor Swift’s excellent new album, Midnights, is a smash success, but one of the most shocking aspects of its success is the fact that Swift this week now has not only the new #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, “Anti-Hero,” but also the ENTIRE TOP TEN!
“Lavender Haze” is second, “Maroon” is third, “Snow on the Beach” (featuring Lana Del Ray) is fourth, “Midnight Rain” is fifth, “Bejeweled” is sixth, “Question…?” is seventh, “You’re on Your Own, Kid” is eighth, “Karma” is ninth and “Vigilante Shit” is tenth.
This is very much like last year, when NINE songs from Drake’s then-new album, Certified Lover Boy, hit the top ten (including “Way 2 Sexy,” featuring Future and Young Thug, at #1), and it’s the same basic problem that I’ve been talking about all year, the same thing that led to a novelty song from Encanto being the top song on the charts for FIVE weeks. Basically, the singles market is so dried up right now that any notable new album from a major artist, like a Taylor Swift or a Drake, is going to dominate the charts.
That isn’t to say that Swift’s new singles aren’t strong songs, as they are, and “Anti-Hero” hitting #1 would have been perfectly normal, but come on, the ENTIRE TOP TEN? Just a sad performance by the rest of the singles market.
Hopefully 2023 will be a stronger year for singles (although, again, Midnights is a really good album. No shot at Midnights).
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other interesting bit about pop culture that you’d like me to discuss!