TAYLOR WINS AGAIN: A year ago, all I could write about was the dominance of the Frozen soundtrack. It was selling hundreds of thousands of copies per week and every other would-be hit, in the desolate January weeks, showed up and dropped hard from the charts. That’s true in early 2015 of Taylor Swift‘s 1989 — it’s on week nine at Number One, since last week it sold 111,000 copies and 155,000 “units,” the new Billboard formula including sales, streaming and track-equivalent albums. The album’s sales drop this week is by 55 percent, but it’s almost up to 4 million copies sold, which is incredible in an era when only two 2014 albums sold more than 2 million.
IT’LL PROBABLY BLOW UP WHEN PITBULL IS ON EVERY SUPER BOWL AD: Could the big early 2015 single be Pitbull‘s “Time of Our Lives,” which came out on Christmas Day and has racked up nearly 11 million YouTube views? The rent-party anthem, featuring Ne-Yo on vocals and Pit rapping in a tuxedo, jumped 57 spots, to Number 33, on BigChampagne’s Ultimate Chart, which measures Internet criteria and often predicts future hits. It has 9.8 million Spotify streams at the moment, which is tiny compared to the 257 million for “Timber,” but every hit single has to start somewhere.
CRITICS — CAN’T LIVE WITH ‘EM, CAN’T TIE ‘EM TO THE FRONT BUMPER: Funny how the year’s biggest-selling albums differ from the most critically acclaimed albums. Taylor Swift’s 1989 sold 3.6 million copies in 2014, making it Number One, barely beating out the previous year’s Frozen soundtrack, but it hit just Number Seven on the Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop critics’ poll. The top three: D’Angelo‘s Black Messiah, Run the Jewels‘ Run the Jewels 2 and the War on Drugs‘ Lost in the Dream, none of which had much chart action in 2014. Swift scored two singles in the poll, “Blank Space” (Three) and “Shake It Off” (Four), but the top slots went to Future Islands‘ “Seasons (Waiting on You)” and FKA Twigs’ “Two Weeks.”