Since her label change in 2018, Taylor Swift has been on a journey to re-record her first six albums. After a 13-year contract with the artist, Big Machine Records sold Taylor Swift’s masters to producer Scooter Braun, leaving the singer with no ownership over any of her self-written music. Since then, Taylor Swift has been an advocate for artist’s rights to own their life work and in consonance, she is reclaiming her old music through recording it all again.
“1989” is her 5th studio album, but it will soon be her 4th re-recorded album. “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” will be published this October 27th, exactly 11 years after its original release. But before that happens, let’s travel together into the “1989” universe to make sure you don’t miss out on any details. Here’s what you need to know about the album from a certified Swiftie!
Behind the title
“I’m Taylor, and I was born in 1989” was the opening line for the 1989 World Tour, which became the world’s highest-grossing tour of 2015. The album was inspired by 90s pop music and as such, Taylor named it after her birth year, symbolizing both the decade she drew inspiration from and her own musical rebirth. She decided to label this as her first pop album and consequently broke free from the country music scene where she had built her fame beforehand.
In addition to the record-breaking tour, the album itself has accumulated more than 150 awards including one Emmy Award, ten Guinness World Records and three 2016 Grammys: “Best Music Video”, “Best Pop Vocal Album” and “Album of the Year”. All these recognitions have granted the record the title of most awarded pop album in history, which is an achievement in itself.
It seems like 13 songs weren’t enough for Taylor Swift’s debut into a new musical genre so she released an extended version of the album called “1989 Deluxe”. This included 3 additional tracks: “Wonderland”, a metaphorical trip through what love can do to an apparently sane person; “You Are In Love”, an intimate peek into a relationship taking its firsts steps and “New Romantics”, a satire on modern love. So, if you’re looking for the complete Taylor pop experience, make sure not to miss out on these.
This time around, there will only be one version of the album with 21 songs. Five of these songs have never been heard before which Taylor herself calls “From The Vault”. These are songs that were originally written for the album back in 2014 but didn’t make it on the original record.
The Big 3
Are you new to the Taylor Swift universe and don’t know where to start? Try the album singles: “Blank Space”, “Shake It Off” and “Bad Blood”. I can assure you that you’ve already heard at least one of these (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years) and therefore these can be a nice gateway for you into the rest of the album… or honestly just a fun listen! Give them a try!
If you are ready to dig a little deeper into the record, as a seasoned Swiftie I recommend you try some less known songs. For example, “Out Of The Woods” is a beautiful portrayal of the type of anxiety we sometimes feel in tricky relationships. In that same lane, “I Know Places” gets a bit darker as it explores the pressure of a high-profile relationship. Finally, if you’re going to listen to any of my recommendations, let it be this one: “Clean”, a delicate expression of the struggles with addiction.
A peek into “Taylor’s Version”
If even after listening to the original “1989” you want more, I have good news: two of the re-recorded songs have already been released! You can check out “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” and “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” for a preview of the new sound! Additionally, if you’re like me and enjoy experiencing albums as a complete concept, you can look into the four different album covers that Taylor has revealed for the new CD. The vibe of the album has evolved from the original big-city-vibe to a very soothing beachside aesthetic!
Not sold yet?
Maybe you’ve heard so many things about Taylor Swift already that you’ve blocked all her music on your Spotify? I can’t say I blame you, we’ve all suffered having to hear the same three songs over and over again. However, before you completely cross out her discography, let me say this: not only does she consistently shatter her own records while advocating for artist’s rights, but she is shaping up to become one of the biggest singers of the century. Isn’t it worth giving her a chance, considering her undeniable impact on the music industry? And what better time to do so than with her most popular album? «1989» is the perfect first taste of Taylor Swift, and who knows, you might just become a Swiftie yourself!