For the last five years, Taylor Swift has been the biggest name in music, selling millions of albums and grossing more than almost any other artist for her last several North American tours. With no signs of slowing down, Swift released her seventh studio album, Lover, on Aug. 23 to the tune of 885,000 in sales in its first week and three Top 10 Billboard singles. It was the biggest week for any album since Reputation, Swift’s 2017 release, which topped the charts for weeks.
While the album was paired with merchandise and concert tickets to bloat sales a little, the 29-year-old was on pace for another weeks-long, chart-topping blockbuster album.
That is, until Tool, the progressive metal band many forgot existed, dropped their first album in 13 years, Fear Innoculum, last week. The seven track, 85-minute long robust album has been anticipated by the band’s fans, as well as much of the rock community, for years, and it led to projected sales of 240,000 to 260,000 units sold in the first week, which would top Swift’s 185,000 to 200,000. Tool finally stepped foot in the present-day, which could’ve helped boost sales, by only now releasing their discography digitally – and music videos on Youtube – last month. The three-punch combination likely created a renewed interest, and a newfound discovery, of the band.
It’s not a contest and there are plenty of album sales to go around, but it certainly comes as a shock to most that Swift is set to already be dethroned of album sales honor in just her second week – especially to her fans. Many of Swift’s most devoted fans have recently taken to social media, pushing others to purchase Lover and help keep their favorite pop star at the top. Not only that, but given the vast difference in genres between Tool and Swift, many of her fans are unfamiliar with Tool. It’s actually caused tons of feuding, because social media isn’t negative enough as it is these days.
This would also mark the second time in the last month that a metal band landed the No. 1 spot on the charts, with Slipknot’s We Are Not Your Kind getting a top spot. The most ironic part in all of this is that DJ Cummerbund, the well-known YouTube song mix-up extraordinaire, released a “Tooler Swift” mash-up music video back in 2017.