Record sales used to be the one true way to measure a band’s success. Many of the highest-selling artists of all time peaked sometime from the ’60s to the ’80s, when physical sales of vinyl and CDs were at their peak. That is very different today, digital downloads and music streaming have changed the industry forever.

So it comes as a much welcomed surprise, that the reissue of a record that’s over 40 years is outselling a brand new album from one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Led Zeppelin’s early sales figures of their reissue of IV are outselling the new album from Taylor Swift, 1989.

Sales numbers from New England-based Newbury Comics from Monday-Tuesday, October 27-28 indicate that the Led Zeppelin IV reissue outsold the new Taylor Swift album 207-183. Swift is sandwiched between IV and Zeppelin’s other new reissue, Houses of the Holy, which sold 177 copies. Combine the two Zeppelin records, and it’s not even close.

The numbers should not be this close – let alone in favour of the band that made these albums decades before Swift was born.

Of course, we’re talking about two entirely different fan-bases. But it’s still intriguing to see an absolute rock & roll classic from 1971 outperforming a teen pop star, if only for a couple of days in New England.


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