On the Charts: Taylor Swift Reigns As 2009 Begins With Slow Sales

January 7, 2009 1:05 PM ET

The Big News: 2009 began as 2008 ended — With Taylor Swift atop the charts. The teen country sensation's Fearless sold another 89,000 copies to remain Number One in a slow sales week. How slow was it? This week marked the first time since February 3, 2008 that the week's top album failed to sell 100,000 copies. Beyoncé's I Am Sasha Fierce sold an additional 76,000 copies to maintain Number Two. Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak was the big mover, jumping from five to three despite a 57 percent sales decrease. The usual suspects rounded out the top six: the Twilight soundtrack, Nickelback's Dark Horse and Britney Spears' Circus.

Debuts: Nothing really noteworthy as we're in the dog days of new releases, so let's examine this week's surprise Number 10 album: Target's holiday-themed exclusive All Wrapped Up. Unlike most holiday releases, which usually take sales nosedives after the New Year,  Wrapped somehow bucked the trend by selling 112 percent more copies than it did the week before, jumping from 88 to 10. Perhaps it helped that the album, which features Christmas songs from the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, was significantly discounted after the holidays were over.

Last Week's Heroes:Swift continued to be the big winner in a losing week, as sales were down 55 percent from the previous week and 14 percent below the numbers from the same week last year. This month promises to bring icy sales until January 27th, when Bruce Springsteen's Working on a Dream and Franz Ferdinand's Tonight: Franz Ferdinand hopefully thaw the sales slump.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »