Taylor Swift’s Folklore, with production from The National’s Aaron Dessner alongside Bleachers and fun.’s Jack Antonoff, marks her maiden entry on Billboard’s Alternative Albums chart, debuting at No. 1 on the list dated Aug. 8.
The set bows with 846,000 equivalent album units earned in the tracking week ending July 30, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Of that sum, 615,000 units are via album sales.
The LP logs the biggest unit count since Alternative Albums became ranked by that measurement as of February 2017. Before that, the chart, which began in 2007, reflected weekly album sales. With 615,000 in album sales, Folklore scores second-best week in the chart’s archives, after Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (721,000; July 5, 2008). Mumford & Sons’ Babel (600,000, Oct. 13, 2012) now slots in third.
Folklore concurrently bows at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200, where it’s Swift’s seventh leader.
Meanwhile, 11 songs from Folklore reach the recently revamped Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart (all debuts), led by “Cardigan,” which soars in at No. 1 with 34 million U.S. streams and 71,000 digital downloads in the week ending July 30, as well as 12.7 all-format audience impressions in the radio tracking week ending Aug. 2.
“Cardigan,” which also opens atop the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, is the first song to top both Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and the Hot 100 since Lorde’s “Royals” in 2013. It’s the chart’s third leader since its recent alteration, following two weeks at No. 1 for Juice WRLD and Marshmello’s “Come & Go” and six frames on top for Powfu’s “Death Bed,” featuring Beabadoobee.)
Eight of the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs top 10 are Folklore tracks, granting Swift a record share. She bests the prior mark of seven, achieved three times, by Linkin Park (Aug. 12, 2017), Tool (Aug. 17, 2019) and Tame Impala (Feb. 29, 2020).
Swift’s “Exile,” featuring Bon Iver, bows at No. 2, giving Bon Iver (led by Justin Vernon) its first Hot Rock & Alternative Songs top 10 after previously peaking at a No. 11 best with “33 ‘God'” in October 2016. “Exile” concurrently notches support on rock radio, with spins at the alternative and adult alternative formats; the song is being officially promoted by Republic Records to the adult alternative format as of this week.
“My Tears Ricochet” (No. 3), “August” (No. 5), “Mirrorball” (No, 6), “Seven” (No. 7), “This Is Me Trying” (No. 9) and “Mad Woman” (No. 10) round out Swift’s top 10 haul.
Swift’s “Cardigan” also rules the Hot Alternative Songs chart, which was created upon the aforementioned shift to Hot Rock & Alternative Songs. The track also bows at No. 1 on both the Alternative Digital Song Sales and Alternative Streaming Songs lists.