Taylor Swift. Singer, songwriter, actress, director, producer, and businesswoman. Many worldwide chanted her name this year at the Eras Tour, and many more will in the following months. But Swift didn’t always have this fame and fortune—she wasn’t always this bejeweled.
Swift comes from humble roots as the daughter of a former stockbroker and a former homemaker. She’d shown an interest in music from a young age, progressing quickly from roles in children’s theatre to singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game when she was eleven. Swift quickly rose to fame, signing with Sony/ATV at fourteen. With the release of her first album, Taylor Swift, every album and single she released after garnered her more popularity. Eventually, after all ten of her studio albums had been recorded, Scooter Braun bought the albums and sold the rights for $300 million. Swift, determined to take back ownership of her music, began creating new versions of her songs with a more mature vocal and production sound. Fans who have listened to the new versions can agree that they differ from the original recordings. In this article, I will discuss Swift’s albums that she rerecorded and made into her own (Taylor’s Version).
Fearless is the second studio album written by Swift. It is a country pop album incorporating country-associated instruments like banjos, fiddles, mandolins, and acoustic guitars that mix with dynamic electric guitars and strings. Inspired by Swift’s teenage feelings, the lyrics explore themes of romance, heartache, and aspirations. The album title describes the overarching theme in all the songs: Swift’s courage to embrace the challenges of love. In the U.S., Fearless spent 11 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200. It received multi-platinum certifications in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K. and has sold 12 million copies worldwide. With her quick rise to fame, I don’t believe any of us were”…Ready For It.”
The third studio album, Speak Now, Swift released was written as she was on tour for Fearless. Released in 2010, Speak Now depicts Swift’s transition from adolescence into adulthood. It contains songs about love and heartbreak that shift from her youthful optimism on her past albums. Her rising fame and public experience inspired some tracks, with lyrics about confrontation against her critics. Speak Now peaked atop the charts and received multi-platinum certifications in Australia (double platinum), Canada (triple platinum), and New Zealand (triple platinum). In the US, it sold one million copies within its first week of release and spent six weeks at number one on the Billboard 200. It is quite clear that Swift has enchanted the hearts of many.
Swift’s fourth studio album, Red, was released in 2012. The album’s title refers to the tumultuous, “red” emotions Swift experienced during its creation; its songs discuss the complex and conflicting feelings resulting from fading romance. In the US, Red spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard 200—making Swift the first female artist and second one since the Beatles to have three consecutive albums, each spending at least six weeks at number one. Two singles, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble,” were songs I grew up listening to as a child and songs I know by heart. With the release of Red, Swift has shown that she will never go out of style, consistently topping the charts.
1989, her fifth studio album, references the year she was born. It was released in 2014, and she titled it 1989 to signify her rebirth as an artist. The album itself has many pop-aspects including synthesizers, programmed drums, and processed backing vocals—a stark contrast to the acoustic sounds of Swift’s past albums. Elaborating on her autobiographical songwriting, the tracks explore failed romance from a lighthearted perspective. 1989 spent 11 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified nine-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Singles on the album like “Shake It Off”, “Blank Space”, and “Bad Blood” are songs that I’m sure many people are familiar with. By now, many know her name all too well, as many of her singles and all her albums have topped various music charts.
Swift’s debut album, Taylor Swift, and Reputation are both speculated by fans to be the next albums made into Taylor’s Version. The release of her most recent Taylor’s Version, 1989, had Swift’s fanbase, the Swifties, listening the second it was out, especially my roommate. Taylor Swift’s career as an artist is only growing from the success it has reached, and there doesn’t seem to be a visible end. With the Era’s Tour still ongoing and its movie released only a few weeks ago, Swift will continue to bejewel us and make the whole place shimmer.