Taylor Swift beats Fontaines D.C. to UK Number One album

The Irish band were on course for the top spot until the CD release of 'Folklore' was brought forward

Taylor Swift has beaten Fontaines D.C. to this week’s UK Number One album, extending ‘Folklore’’s time at the top to two weeks.

The Irish band released their second album ‘A Hero’s Death’ last Friday (July 31) and were initially looking set to score their first Number One with the record.

However, the CD release of Swift’s eighth album was brought forward at the last minute to August 4, bolstering her sales for this week’s chart figures. The US pop star held on to the Number One position, with just 3,500 chart sales between her and Fontaines D.C.

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‘A Hero’s Death’ is at Number Two in the Official UK Albums Chart this week, although the album has topped both the Official Vinyl Albums Chart and the Record Store Albums Chart.

When ‘Folklore’ was released last month (July 24), it became one of the biggest-selling records of 2020, shifting more than 2 million copies worldwide. The album sold 37,060 copies in its first week in the UK alongside 24,050 streams and 12,152 album downloads, earning Swift the top spot in the charts. It also meant Swift was the first female artist to score five UK Number One studio albums in the 21st century.

In a four-star review of ‘Folklore’, which boasts contributions from Bon Iver and The National‘s Aaron Dessner, NME wrote: “The glossy production [Swift’s] lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation. It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different.”

Meanwhile, ‘A Hero’s Death’ was also rated at four stars, with the NME review reading: “In aiming to examine the self rather than please others, Fontaines D.C. have exerted a knack for writing anthems that are at once self-excoriating and intimately relatable. As the title track finishes with a clatter, Chatten drives one final wedge between his old and new selves. “That was the year of the sneer,” he spits. “Now the real thing’s here.”

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