Taylor Swift revisits her pop debut for a “Taylor's Version” makeover
Only three short months after taking back her 2010 album Speak Now in true Taylor’s Version fashion, Taylor Swift has revisited one of her most acclaimed albums in her discography: 1989.
Just last week, Taylor Swift re-recorded and released her album 1989, which was originally released in 2014. The album, when first released earned Swift another Album of the Year accolade at the 2016 Grammy Awards, was her first fully-pop record. This shift from country-to-pop was a major milestone in Swift’s music career, similar to country crossover icon Shania Twain, whose first country-pop crossover album Come On Over quickly became an all-time bestseller.
The fourth re-recording to be released from her discography thus far, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was long anticipated by fans, especially in hopes to get their hands (and ears) on the new, unreleased vault tracks.
Adding onto 1989 (Taylor’s Version)’s rerecorded sixteen tracks, five brand-new songs were released from the vault: “‘Slut!’”, “Say Don’t Go”, “Now That We Don’t Talk”, “Suburban Legends”, and “Is It Over Now?”.
The original release of 1989 was originally produced by long-time (then, first-time) collaborator Jack Antonoff, in addition to Swedish producer Max Martin, who has worked on some of the biggest pop hits ever, including the likes of pop icon Britney Spears. However, Swift did not choose to work with Martin on this rerecording for unknown reasons.
The full tracklist of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) includes:
“Welcome to New York”
“Out of the Woods”
“All You Had to Do Was Stay”
“Shake It Off”
“I Wish You Would”
“How You Get the Girl”
“I Know Places”
“You Are in Love”
1989 (Taylor’s Version) vault tracks are:
“Say Don’t Go”
“Now That We Don’t Talk”
“Is It Over Now?”
Just like the original recording of Swift’s 1989, the newest addition to the Taylor’s Version catalog features the singer/songwriter’s matured vocals and more crisp production all-across. With an album like 1989 that produced so many hits its first time around, Swift and her team had a very high bar to surpass.
The original tracks of 1989 aren’t much different, of course, but are replaced with Swift’s crisp and matured vocals, adding that much-needed depth to massive pop hits like “Blank Space”, “Style”, and fan-favorite track “I Know Places”.
The newly-released vault tracks, however, are some of Swift’s best. “‘Slut!’” is a vulnerable, lyrical masterpiece with a very 80s synth-pop vibe, along with “Suburban Legends” which features that same synth feeling that lives within the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) world.
My personal favorite from the vault, “Is It Over Now?”, not only features producer Jack Antonoff’s unique production style, but seems as if it could have easily been a track on Swift’s tenth studio album Midnights.
Additionally, the song is rumored to be another song, like “Out of the Woods”, about her time with former boyfriend, Harry Styles. Especially the lyrics, “When you lost control, red blood, white snow, blue dress on a boat” seemingly referring to her ski trip-turned-accident with Styles, as well as uncovered photos of Swift taken around the time of her fling with Styles, sitting on a boat in a blue dress. These kinds of clues, in the Swiftie world, just confirm the speculations.
As for the numbers, the album is absolutely dominating. Since its release, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) has debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and has sold nearly 1.7 million albums in the U.S. within its first week.
So far, the Taylor’s Version re-recordings haven’t stopped breaking records and growing Swift’s ever-so dedicated fanbase, and it seemingly won’t be stopping anytime soon. Truly, Swift is only going higher and higher from here, with more albums to be re-recorded and released in the upcoming years, and is also coming off of her latest movie release, a cinematic version of her ongoing historic tour, The Eras Tour.
There really is no stopping of the star power and lyrical mastery of Taylor Swift, and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) further endorses that.