A Look Into the Success of Taylor Swift’s Albums 
Wed, April 21, 2021

A Look Into the Success of Taylor Swift’s Albums 

Swift has once again proven that she has that magic touch when it comes to creating music. / Photo by Ronald Woan via Flickr


Taylor Swift stole the show this year—the way the one and only Taylor Swift can—when she dropped her new album “Lover” with its strong tracklist that managed to sell as much as 450,000 copies, according to The Fader, a New York City-based magazine that covers music, style, and culture, making it the biggest album so far of 2019, added music magazine Billboard. 

This latest success with her newest album, Swift has once again proven that she has that magic touch when it comes to creating music, as she has always done really well with her albums in the past. Some may have appealed to audiences more than others but the overall reception to her albums indicates that her illustrious career will continue to follow a still upward trajectory. 

This is how Swift’s albums have fared through the years.


“Taylor Swift” (2006)

The very first album of Swift, as many of us are aware of, is self-titled. Her popularity and potential rise to superstardom were evident in the sales she was able to make for her very first album made at 17. According to Chart Masters, a website offering music insights through charting the music industry’s various data, Swift sold about 5,800,000 copies of the album in the US; 210,000 in Canada; 30,000 in Latin America; and 145,000 in Asia. Global sales amounted to 6,600,000 copies.  

In an album review by Pitchfork, an American online magazine, wherein they rated the album at 6.7, they said that the appeal of Swift’s breakout album was its singer’s full intent to truly capture the emotions she feels in the songs and connect with the audience that way. Of course, this gathered groups of skeptics against the true depth she held—some even scoffed at the high school-like way in which she sang her emotions, only to find out that it would be the start of such a blessed career. 


“Speak Now” was a bit higher rated on Pitchfork than “Fearless.”  / Photo by Ronald Woan via Flickr


“Fearless” (2008) 

“Fearless” was also the most unforgettable song in Swift's second album that once and for all proved that she really has what it takes to make it in the industry. She might have been typecast as an overly emotional high school girl singing her feelings with wild abandon but the decision to fully lean into that was what made everything look up for her. This was when she began to be recognized all over the world.

According to Chart Masters, “Fearless” sold 7,260,000 copies in the US; 535,000 in Canada; 10,000 in Latin America; and 60,000 in Asia. Global sales amounted to 9,940,000 copies.  


“Speak Now” (2010)

With a total of 6,270,000 copies sold worldwide, “Speak Now” might have underperformed compared to “Fearless,” but in terms of critical reception, it was a bit higher rated on Pitchfork than “Fearless.” It probably had something to do with the fact that it was on “Speak Now” that Swift decided to write “longer and more personal” songs that would “concern major events in her life, many of which occurred in the public eye.”

“Speak Now” sold 4,750,000 copies in the US; 350,000 in Canada; 120,000 in Latin America; and 410,000 in Asia. 


“Red” (2012)

In 2012, the theme was “Red” and it would soon be recognized as her last best attempt at experimenting with her sound. According to Spin, an American music magazine founded in 1985, Swift’s journey was clearly noticeable in her songs here that gave a shoutout to many different styles and genres in the industry. 

Globally, “Red” sold a total of 7,160,000 copies—4,510,000 in the US; 350,000 in Canada; 155,000 in Latin America; and 765,000 in Asia. Across Europe, it sold 940,000 copies and 620,000 in the UK. 



“1989” (2014)

Famously, the album that would lay the groundwork for a changing Taylor Swift sound, “1989” saw a global sale of 10,360,000 copies. It sold 6,250,000 copies in the US; 540,000 in Canada; 195,000 in Latin America; and 875,000 in Asia. The album sale over in Europe and the UK was also quite impressive, which were 1,730,000 and 1,120,000 respectively. 


“Reputation” (2017)

Remember that changing Swift sound? It would reach its peak in her 2017 album “Reputation,” which was also as controversial as it was extremely experimental. According to The Independent, a politically independent national morning paper published in London, its song “End Game” had to be “the most divisive track, but Swift impressively held her own against [rapper] Future while her loyal pal [Ed] Sheeran tried to keep up.” 

Globally, “Reputation” sold a “mere” 3,360,000 copies. It sold 2,260,000 in the US; 145,000 in Canada; 60,000 in Latin America; and 260,000 in Asia. Some 440,000 copies were sold in Europe and 235,000 copies were sold in the UK. 


“Lover” (2019)

So far in its release, “Lover” has already sold 1,380,000 copies globally. In the US, it sold 1 million; 60,000 in Canada; 15,000 in Latin America; 110,000 in Asia; 140,000 in Europe; and 55,000 in the UK. Pitchfork gives “Lover” a 7.1 rating and describes it as a nod to “Reputation” but, at its core, is more of a “sequel to the synth-pop glitter of 1989.”