As predicted, Taylor Swift's new album, Red, had the biggest opening sales week of the year, selling 1.208 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Red also had the largest single week in a decade, since Eminem moved 1.322 million copies of The Eminem Show in 2002. It is Swift's third #1 album and only the 18th album to sell at least a million copies in one week in the SoundScan era.
Billboard reports Red also had the second-biggest opening week for a female artist, behind Britney Spears' Oops...I Did It Again in 2000, which sold 1.319 million units. It is also the first album to sell over one million copies in a week since Lady Gaga with Born This Way last year. Swift's last album, 2010's Speak Now, sold 1.047 million copies in its first week in stores. Red also sold almost 465,000 copies via iTunes alone, a new sales record for the digital retailer. According to Billboard, Target (which had a special promotion surrounding the album) sold 396,000 copies of Red, a new record for the retailer.
Meanwhile, a number of other new albums earned debuts in the Top 10 this week. Kendrick Lamar comes in at #2 with Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, starting with 241,000 units sold. The Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope set is Lamar's major label bow, and the last male artist to start with a bigger sales figure with his first major label album was Drake, when Thank Me Later launched with 447,000 in 2010. Jason Aldean's Night Train is #3 this week with 116,000, and Mumford & Sons sit at #4 with Babel, shifting another 53,000 copies. Tony Bennett steps into the Top 5 with Viva Duets, selling 36,000, and up-and-coming Blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. bows at #6 with Blak & Blu, selling 35,000 copies in its opening week.
Meanwhile, Stone Sour scores its third Top 10 album as House of Gold & Bones - Part 1 takes a bow at #7 with 31,000 sold. P!nk's The Truth About Love holds on at #8 this week by selling another 25,000 units, and Lady Antebellum collects its fourth Top 10 set with the holiday album On This Winter's Night, arriving at #9 with just under 25,000 sold. Finally, Brandy's Two Eleven is #10 this week, moving 22,000 copies.