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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • The Farr Side: A Swift ascent

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  • Move over, Madonna and Dionne Warrick. Taylor Swift has her eyes focused on the Queen of Soul now.
    Swift’s latest slew of hits has dominated the Billboard Hot 100, tying her for second place with Madonna and Dionne Warrick for most appearances — 56 — in the chart’s 54-year history.
    Aretha Franklin remains in first among female performers, with 73 charting Hot 100 hits.
    Swift is on the Hot 100 with five singles from her record-setting “Red” album: “Stay Stay Stay” (No. 91), “All Too Well” (No. 80), “Everything Has Changed” (No. 67), “I Almost Do” (No. 65), and her most recent No. 1, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” is at No. 11 this week.
    Let’s also not forget that the singles “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Begin Again,” “State Of Grace” and “Red” have already made appearances.
    If I were the Material Girl, I’d be seeing Red, too — not over jealousy, either. Swift has an advantage over artists from the past because of how songs are released now. Albums today are digitally released, so songs can be individually released for separate purchase right out of the gate That’s another reason why the “Glee” cast ranks above Elvis Presley, James Brown, and Franklin for most chart appearances.
    You can’t tell me Madonna wouldn’t have benefited back in the ’80s if each of her album tracks could have been purchased at the time her albums dropped. I think we’d be seeing her way out in front of even Franklin if that would have been the case.
    Needless to say, Swift’s current album is huge from a sales standpoint. “Red” debuted at No. 1 selling in excess of 1.2 million physical CDs in its first week. That’s people actually buying the CD and not downloading it. That’s an impressive feat by today’s standards. It’s currently spending its second week atop the album chart.
    “Red” also gave Swift another major distinction to move her ahead as sales figures go. She is now the first female artist to move more than a million CDs during the first week of an album’s debut. She did so in 2010 with “Speak Now.”
    Swift is well on her way to superstardom, but last week’s CMA telecast showed the Country Music Association doesn’t like it when one of “their own” strays away from the country music zone. Swift went home empty-handed, losing Best Female Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year awards to Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, respectively.
    Page 2 of 2 - Next week, Swift meets her chart nemesis as Susan Boyle’s latest album, “Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage,” is released. Boyle seems to throw a wrench into everyone else’s sales when her albums are released. Boyle’s previous three November album releases all have debuted at No. 1 and stayed there through most of the holiday season.
    Who knows, though, maybe Swift will have Boyle seeing “Red” this time.
    David T. Farr is a Sturgis, Mich., Journal correspondent. Email him at farrboy@hotmail.com. You can also find The Farr Side on Facebook.

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