The big news coming out of the the music industry is that Taylor Swift has become the first artist ever to occupy all ten spots on the Billboard Top 10 chart with her latest album Midnights. This is an impressive achievement.
However, it should be noted that this is an achievement which could only ever have happened in the digital media era. The record is a product of all of the tracks on her album being available for purchase as a single item. In the early days of the recording industry, and in the infancy of the Billboard chart, not all tracks on an album were available. Because tracks had to be pressed onto a physical vinyl SP, only select tracks were available in single format.
The Beatles’ “White Album”, Pink Floyd’s The Wall or even Saturday Night Fever by the Bee Gees (one of the highest selling albums ever) could all have been contenders for the award had each track been available as a separate single. While Ms Swift’s achievement is truly remarkable, and not one to be unappreciated, it is equally a statement of modern technology as much as her talent.