Taylor Swift has ALL TEN of the top ten hits

And that’s not the end of it. In addition to the top ten, Swift also has numbers 13, 14 and 15!

Nobody ever went deeper than the top five before, a record that was held jointly by The Beatles in 1964, and Drake in 2021.

Drake came very close to a sweep of the top 12 in that same 2021 week. The #6 spot went to another artist, but Drake had the other 11!

16 thoughts on “Taylor Swift has ALL TEN of the top ten hits

  1. Swift having any actual talent aside and today’s music totally dependent on the interwebs, social media etc aside stopped caring about music in the ’80s.

    But please, don’t let me dampen the conversation. đŸ˜›

  2. Back in the Beatles era, a song had to be released as a single in order to qualify for the Billboard Hot 100, which factored in both radio airplay and sales (and which is also why, for example, “Stairway to Heaven” was never a chart hit). With the decline and fall of singles as a physical entity, Billboard found themselves constantly tweaking their formula for calculating their rankings; nowadays, even radio airplay plays a minimal role–it’s all about digital downloads. So, comparing chart feats before and after 1990 (the year that 45 rpm singles were discontinued) is very much an apples-and-oranges affair.

    1. I don’t follow this, but I assumed all the things you are saying.

      I do have a question for you.

      Under the old model, singles and albums involved completely separate calculations. If I bought Abbey Road, Billboard would not automatically count that as a purchase of each song on the album. In fact, as you noted, some iconic songs were never even released as singles. In other cases there might be a completely different version of the song released as a single – often a shorter version to facilitate air play.

      Under the new model, if I choose to download an album on ITunes (for example), does that automatically register as a sale of each individual song?

      1. As I understand it, I believe that downloading an entire album does, indeed, count as a purchase of each song toward Hot 100 ranking, which I think is ridiculous; now that Swift’s biggest fans have bought the album, I can almost guarantee that most if not all these songs will plummet from the Hot 100 next week. (This is why current top 40 countdown shows rely solely on airplay stats.)

        Calculating the Hot 100 has always been a tricky business. Early on, they tried to factor in jukebox plays, but gave that up in fairly short order. Later, they relied on playlists submitted by radio stations, regardless of whether or not said stations actually played it all that much. A notorious example was that godawful song by the Captain and Tennille, “Muskrat Love,” which stations automatically added to their playlists simply on the basis that is was by Captain and Tennille, and it peaked in the top 5. Eventually, Billboard used the Soundscan system to provide far more accurate airplay statistics.

        When 45’s went belly-up in the 1990’s, and cassette singles proved to be far less popular, Billboard struggled to keep up with sales trends, while stubbornly refusing to allow airplay-only songs to qualify for the Hot 100, and record companies, no longer interested in singles, didn’t even bother to release popular songs on a single format. So a song like the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” which spent four months atop the airplay charts, only made the Hot 100 after the record company belatedly released it as a cassingle, and it only reached #9. I used to be something of a chart fanatic back in the day. Now, I don’t either bother.

        1. I think you are right about that forecast. That’s exactly what happened to Drake in 2021. The week after he had 8 of the top nine, he dropped to only one of the top nine, and none of the top three.

          In contrast, under the old model, the Beatles followed their clean sweep of the top five with another spectacular week, as those five songs held on to spots 1, 2, 4, 7 and 9.

          1. One factor that went into the famous Beatles Top 5 list of March 1964 was that several different labels had the rights to various Fab Four recordings, and naturally they all wanted to strike while the iron was hot. Here’s that list, and the labels that released them:
            1) Can’t Buy Me Love–Capitol
            2) Twist and Shout–Tollie
            3) She Loves You–Swan
            4) I Want to Hold Your Hand–Capitol
            5) Please Please Me–Vee Jay

            The other factor was that they were the Beatles. Just to show how badly the music world needed the shake-up, here are the five songs that topped the Hot 100 in the weeks leading up to Beatlemania:
            “Sugar Shack”–Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs
            “Deep Purple”–Nino Tempo & April Stevens
            “I’m Leaving It Up to You”–Dale & Grace
            “Dominique”–The Singing Nun
            “There! I’ve Said it Again”–Bobby Vinton
            I mean, God.

  3. I wish my dad bought me a music career too.

    Me and Swifty have so much in common too. Neither of us can sing and we’re both pretty weird.

    I suppose I would have to get in dysfunctional relationships as well so I’d always have something to write bad teen poetry about.

  4. Is this a symptom of streaming? Like people just playing her album on Spotify instead of the singles of yesteryear?

    1. Yes, the business has changed. Songs are released in a different way, and that creates new sales patterns.

      But I don’t mean to diminish Swiftie’s accomplishment, or at least not too much. Her success is still impressive.


  5. If I remember right the Beatles might have been on as many as four different labels – Capitol (2), Vee Jay, Tollie, and Swan.
    Good work, Phillies.

    1. I just added some to your comment. There were also those crummy Billy Sheridan & the Beatles recordings, released on MGM and Atco. Swan even managed to sneak into the Hot 100 with the German-language version of “She Loves You,” for hard-core completists. And I recently read that, in India, they released “Paperback Writer” on 78 rpm. That’s 1966!

    1. Paraphrasing Scoopy, Tay Tay loses out to Drake for “only” taking ten of the top dozen spots. đŸ™‚

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