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The Release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

Projection of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album cover. Photo courtesy of Kevin Winter and TAS23 via Getty Images.

In 2021, Taylor Swift began her journey of re-recording her first six albums to gain ownership over them after she left Big Machine Records for the Universal Music Group. Ever since then, Swift has released four re-recordings, dubbed “Taylor’s Version”, with the latest being her 2014 album 1989. Ever since the re-recording of this album was announced on the final night at Sofi Stadium during her Eras Tour, the anticipation reached enormous heights, with Swift’s fans theorizing about the differences the remakes will have, what her newly released songs will be about, and potential easter eggs she will hide in the songs and videos for her next projects. Since October 27, 2023, when 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was released, Swifties have blown up social media over this record-breaking album.

1989 (Taylor’s Version) includes the re-recorded sixteen songs from her original 1989 and 1989 (Deluxe Edition) albums, plus five songs “from the vault”, which are songs she wrote at the time of the release of the original album, but they were not put on the track list at that time. Also re-recorded was her song “Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar” which was added to the deluxe edition of this revision. One more song, “Sweeter Than Fiction”, was released as well, originally sung by Swift in the movie One Chance, but as of now, it is only available on Tangerine vinyl at Target. 

The album has performed exceptionally well, already reaching record-breaking heights within the first few days of its release. In Keith Caulfield’s Billboard article “Taylor Swift’s ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ Off to Big Start After First Day of Release”, he states that 1989 (Taylor’s Version) “sold over 250,000 copies in the U.S. [and] collectively generated over 110 million on-demand official audio streams on the set’s release day in the U.S., according to initial reports to Luminate”. He goes on to say that “After just one day, the album has the third-largest sales week of 2023” and her numbers will only continue to grow in the following days, as more and more stream her songs and buy her merchandise. The Billboard article “Taylor Swift Breaks Spotify Record for Most-Streamed Album in a Single Day With ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’”, written by Michelle Peters shares that “Spotify announced on Saturday (Oct. 28) that 1989 (Taylor’s Version) […] is officially the most-streamed album in a single day in the streaming service’s history”. Not only that but with the release of this album “Swift has become the most-streamed artist in a single day”, breaking her record after her 2022 album Midnights was launched.

Fans have been in a frenzy ever since the release date, streaming each song on a loop, comparing and contrasting the originals versus Taylor’s Version, and analyzing the meanings of her Vault songs. Many have found new favorites after this revision has come out, but others are unhappy with the changes in the new versions of her hit songs or with some of the new additions. Swiftie and Eras Tour attendee junior Dylan McCann recalled that “it felt like [she] was getting to listen to [the 1989 album] for the first time again and it was so nostalgic since [she] went to the 1989 tour in 2015.” She especially loves the remake of “How You Get the Girl” because it is her “favorite song off the album and it was so cool to get to hear her sing it now that her voice is so much more mature.” Junior Maryann Withrow’s–also a Taylor Swift supporter–favorite songs off of the new album include “New Romantics” and “Is It Over Now?”. However, Withrow feels as though vault song “‘Now That We Don’t Talk’ is out of place, and it should not be in 1989. [She thinks] it sounds different from the rest of the songs and could fit better in a different album.”

As the fourth re-recording, Swift only has two more albums to redo before she gains ownership over her whole discography. Many are greatly anticipating the next Taylor’s Version albums, theorizing the remake of her Reputation album will be the next to drop and searching for easter eggs Swift may have hidden to gain more information. If she continues on her current path, Swift will surely maintain her record-breaking streak in her next albums, after her last couple of albums broke multiple records and were awarded with multiple honors.

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