Well, Ryan Adams did not set a new personal chart high-water mark with his version of Taylor Swift’s 1989, which he released this past Monday. It sold 56,000 copies in its first week to debut at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 album-sales chart dated Oct. 10. While that’s a fine showing (and his fourth top-10 album overall), it’s still three notches below what last year’s Ryan Adams debuted and peaked at — although if you compare their sales figures, DRA 1989 actually outsold RA by more than 10,000 copies in their respective opening weeks.
For all the acclaim garnered (or at least discussion generated), DRA 1989 still debuted behind new albums by Drake/Future (No. 1), singer Lana Del Rey (No. 2), rapper Mac Miller (No. 4), Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour (No. 5) and Florida hard-rock band Shinedown (No. 6). But in a delicious bit of synchronicity, DRA 1989 comes in one notch ahead of Swift’s original quintuple-platinum version of 1989, which is at No. 8 with 42,000 sold in its 48th week on the chart. This is, I believe, the first time that two different artists’ versions of the same set of songs have been in Billboard’s top-10 simultaneously.
ADDENDA (9/30-10/2/2015): Along with the Top 200 showing of DRA 1989, seven of the album’s 13 songs have made Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs Chart simultaneously. Previously, Ryan had a grand total of three songs on that chart. And yes, this is indeed the first time two versions of the same set of songs have been in the top-10 together.