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1989 (Taylor Swift album)

2014 studio album by Taylor Swift

Top 10 1989 (Taylor Swift album) related articles

1989
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 27, 2014 (2014-10-27)
Recorded2013–2014
Studio
GenreSynth-pop
Length48:41 (standard ed.)
LabelBig Machine
Producer
Taylor Swift chronology
Red
(2012)
1989
(2014)
Reputation
(2017)
Singles from 1989
  1. "Shake It Off"
    Released: August 18, 2014
  2. "Blank Space"
    Released: November 10, 2014
  3. "Style"
    Released: February 9, 2015
  4. "Bad Blood"
    Released: May 17, 2015
  5. "Wildest Dreams"
    Released: August 31, 2015
  6. "Out of the Woods"
    Released: January 19, 2016
  7. "New Romantics"
    Released: February 23, 2016

1989 is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, released on October 27, 2014, through Big Machine Records. Inspired by 1980s synth-pop to create a record that shifted her sound from country-oriented to mainstream pop, Swift named the album after her birth year and enlisted a production team composed of Max Martin, Shellback, Ryan Tedder, Jack Antonoff, Imogen Heap, and Nathan Chapman. She credited Martin as co-executive producer. The final product is a synth-pop album that incorporates heavy synthesizers, programmed drums, and processed backing vocals.

While Swift described 1989 as her first "official" pop album,[1] some reviewers argued that Swift had always been pop-oriented rather than country. While the songs are primarily about broken romance, a familiar theme for Swift, they portray lighthearted perspectives towards failed relationships, departing from Swift's previous antagonistic attitude. Contemporary critical reception of 1989 was generally positive: Swift's songwriting received mostly praises, while the synth-pop production raised questions regarding Swift's artistic authenticity. The album was included in year-end and decade-end lists by such publications as Billboard and Rolling Stone. At the 58th Grammy Awards in 2016, 1989 won Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, making Swift the first female solo artist to win Album of the Year twice.

Seven songs served as singles from 1989, including three Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles: "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood". The album spent 11 atop the US Billboard 200, received 9× Platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and has sold 6.215 million copies in the US. It also peaked at number one on record charts in several markets including Australia, Canada, and the UK, and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. The album's corresponding concert tour, the 1989 World Tour, ran from May to December 2015 and grossed over $250 million, becoming the highest-grossing of 2015.

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Intro articles: 16

Background

Until the release of her fourth studio album Red in October 2012, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift had been known as a country artist.[2][3] Red incorporates various pop and rock styles, transcending the country sound of Swift's previous releases. The collaborations with renowned Swedish pop producers Max Martin and Shellback—including the top-five singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble"—introduced straightforward pop hooks and new genres including electronic and dubstep to Swift's repertoire.[4][5] Swift and her label at the time, Big Machine, promoted Red as a country album; songs from Red impacted country radio and Swift made multiple appearances at country music awards shows.[6] The album's associated world tour, running from March 2013 to June 2014, was the highest-grossing country tour upon completion.[7] The diverse musical styles sparked a media debate over Swift's status as a country artist, to which Swift replied in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that "I leave the genre labeling to other people".[8]

Having been known as "America's Sweetheart" thanks to her wholesome and down-to-earth image,[9] Swift saw her reputation blemished from her history of romantic relationships with a series of high-profile celebrities. Her relationship with English singer Harry Styles during promotion of Red was particularly subject to tabloid gossip.[10] She disliked that the media portrayed her as a "serial-dater", feeling that it undermined her professional works, and became more reticent to discuss her personal life in public.[11] Most of Swift's lyrical inspirations during conception of the album came from her journal detailing her personal life, which had been a staple in her songwriting process.[12] A new inspiration this time was her relocation to New York City in March 2014, which gave Swift a sense of freedom to embark on new ideas.[13][12] Swift also took inspirations from the media scrutiny on her image, which prompted her to write satirical songs in addition to her traditional fairytale-like fictions.[14][15]

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Background articles: 13

Recording and production

Swift began songwriting for her fifth studio album in mid-2013, when she was touring in support of Red.[16] For Red's follow-up, she sought to create a "blatant pop" record, departing from the country/pop experimentation as she believed that "if you chase two rabbits, you lose them both".[17] To this end, Swift was much inspired by 1980s synth-pop. She viewed the 1980s as an experimental period that embraced "endless possibilities" when artists abandoned the generic "drums-guitar-bass-whatever" song structure and experimented with stripped-down synthesizers, drum pads, and overlapped vocals.[12] She took inspirations from the works of artists from the period, such as Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox, to make a synth-pop record that could convey her thoughts without obscured by heavy instrumentation.[14]

To ensure a smooth transition to pop, Swift recruited Max Martin and Shellback as two major collaborators, partly due to their reputation as the biggest mainstream pop hitmakers at the time.[8] Speaking to the Associated Press in October 2013, Swift described Max Martin and Shellback as "absolute dream collaborators" because they would take her ideas in a different direction, which challenged her as a songwriter.[16] Scott Borchetta, president of Swift's then-label Big Machine, was initially reluctant towards Swift's decision.[18] He failed to persuade Swift to record "three country songs",[18] and ultimately accepted that Big Machine would not promote the new songs to country radio.[19] Martin and Shellback produced seven out of 13 tracks for the album's standard edition.[20] Swift credited Martin as co-executive producer because he also recorded and produced her vocals on tracks he were not credited, which solidified Swift's vision of a coherent record rather than a mere "collection of songs".[18]

Another key figure in the album's production team was Jack Antonoff, with whom Swift had worked on the new wave-influenced song "Sweeter than Fiction" for the soundtrack of One Chance (2013).[21] Antonoff co-wrote and co-produced two tracks on the standard edition.[20] The first of which, "I Wish You Would", stemmed from Antonoff's experimental sampling of snare drum instrumentation on Fine Young Cannibals' 1988 single "She Drives Me Crazy", one of their mutual favorite songs. Antonoff played his sample to Swift on an iPhone and subsequently sent it to her to re-record.[12] For the other, "Out of the Woods", Antonoff sent his finished instrumental track to Swift while she was on a plane,[22] and she sent him back a voice memo containing the lyrics roughly 30 minutes later.[17] The song was Swift's first to write the lyrics on an existing instrumental.[23] Antonoff produced one more track for the album's deluxe edition, "You Are in Love".[24]

Swift contacted Ryan Tedder, whom she had always wanted to work with, through a smartphone voice memo.[25] He co-produced two songs—"Welcome to New York" and "I Know Places".[20] For "I Know Places", Swift scheduled a meeting day with Tedder at the studio after having formed a fully developed idea on her own, and the recording process finalized the following day.[26] Tedder spoke of Swift's work ethic and perfectionism on Time: "Ninety-five times out of 100, if I get a track to where we're happy with it, the artist will say, 'That's amazing.' It's very rare to hear, 'Nope, that's not right.' But the artists I've worked with who are the most successful are the ones who'll tell me to my face, 'No, you're wrong,' two or three times in a row. And she [Swift] did."[27] For "Clean", Swift approached English producer Imogen Heap in London after having written the song's lyrics and melody. Heap helped complete the track by playing instruments on it, and the two finished recording after two takes within one day at Heap's studio.[24] Nathan Chapman, Swift's longtime collaborator, co-produced the track "This Love".[28] Recording sessions took place at Conway Studios in Los Angeles, Jungle City Studios in New York, Lamby's House Studios in Brooklyn, MXM Studios in Stockholm, Pain in the Art Studio in Nashville, Studio Elevator Nobody in Göteborg, and The Hideaway Studio.[A] The whole album was mastered by Tom Coyne within two days at Sterling Sound Studio in New York City.[24][20] Swift finalized the record upon completing the Asian leg of the Red Tour in mid-2014.[29]

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Recording and production articles: 26

Music and lyrics

Overview

The standard edition of 1989 is composed of 13 tracks, and the deluxe edition includes six extra tracks—three original songs and three voice memos.[30] The album uses heavy synthesizers, programmed drums, pulsating basslines, and processed backing vocals.[31][32] Jon Caramanica writing for The New York Times found that 1989 stayed away from the hip hop/R&B crossover trends of her contemporaries and managed to embrace music of the mid-1980s.[28] Although Swift declared to move from country to pop on 1989, a number of reviewers—including The A.V. Club's Marah Eakin[33]—argued that Swift had always been more pop-oriented even on her early country songs.[3] The three voice memos on the deluxe edition contain Swift's discussions on the songwriting process and unfinished demos for three songs—"I Know Places", "I Wish You Would", and "Blank Space".[34] Scholar Myles McNutt described the voice memos as Swift's effort to claim her authority over 1989, defying pop music's "gendered hierarchy" which had seen a dominance of male songwriters and producers.[35]

The lyrics of 1989 are primarily about Swift's recurring themes of the emotions and reflections ensued from past romantic relationships.[31][36][37] However, 1989 showcased a maturity in Swift's perspectives: Rolling Stone observed that the album was Swift's first to not villainize her ex-lovers, but instead express "wistful and nostalgic" viewpoints on broken romance.[17] Pitchfork's Vrinda Jagota summarized 1989 as a "fully-realized fantasy of self-reliance, confidence, and ensuing pleasure", where Swift ceased to dramatize failed relationships and learned to celebrate the moment.[38] The album liner notes, which include a one-sentence message for each of the 13 songs, collectively tell a story of a girl through a tumbled relationship, who ultimately found that "She lost him but she found herself and somehow that was everything."[39] Swift explained her shift in attitude to Rolling Stone: "Different phases of your life have different levels of deep, traumatizing heartbreak. And in this period of my life, my heart was not irreparably broken. So it's not as boy-centric of an album, because my life hasn't been boycentric."[17]

Songs

The opening track, "Welcome to New York", was inspired by Swift's feelings when she first moved into New York City.[12] The song incorporates pulsing synthesizers,[40] and finds Swift embracing her newfound freedom.[28] "Blank Space", set over a minimal hip hop-influenced beat,[33] satirizes the media's perception of Swift as a promiscuous woman who dates male celebrities only for her songwriting material.[28][41] Swift targeted the song at the scrutiny on her image, "Every few years the media finds something that they unanimously feel is annoying about me. Me, my character, the way I live my life, the way I talk, the way I react when I win stuff."[42] The composition of "Style", a funk-flavored track,[43] took inspirations from "funky electronic music" artists such as Daft Punk.[24] The lyrics detail an unhealthy relationship and contain a reference to the American actor James Dean in the refrain.[44][45]

"Out of the Woods" features a graphic imagery of a car accident surgery requiring "20 stitches in a hospital room".[36][46] Swift said that the track was inspired by a relationship of hers that evoked constant anxiety because of its fragility: "every day was a struggle. Forget making plans for life – we were just trying to make it to next week."[17][47] She picked it as a favorite from 1989 because it "best represents" the album.[48] "All You Had to Do Was Stay" laments a past relationship and originated from Swift's dream of desperately shouting "Stay" to an ex-lover against her will.[49] "Shake It Off", sharing a loosely similar sentiment with "Blank Space", sees Swift expressing disinterest with her detractors and their negative remarks on her image.[50] The track incorporates a subtle saxophone line in its instrumentation.[51]

The bubblegum pop-infused number "I Wish You Would" uses heavy synthesizers, pulsing snare drums, guitars, and layered vocals.[28][52][53] Swift said that "Bad Blood", a track that incorporates heavy, stomping drums,[41] is about betrayal by an unnamed female peer.[17] Various publications speculated the song to be about Katy Perry, with whom Swift was being involved in a heavily publicized feud.[54] "Wildest Dreams" speaks of a dangerous affair with an apparently untrustworthy man and incorporates a sultry, dramatic atmosphere accompanied by string instruments.[24][43][55] On "How You Get the Girl", a bubblegum pop track featuring guitar strums over a heavy disco-styled beat,[52][56] Swift hints at her desire to reunite with her ex-lover.[43] "This Love" is a soft rock-flavored electropop ballad that, according to Jon Caramanica, could be mistaken as "a concession to country" because of the production by Swift's longtime co-producer Nathan Chapman.[28][40][41]

Swift said that the standard edition's penultimate track "I Know Places", which expresses her desire to preserve her unstable relationship, serves as a loose sequel to "Out of the Woods".[47] Using metaphors of foxes running away from hunters to convey Swift and her lover's hideaway from scrutiny,[46][57] the song is accompanied by dark, intense drum and bass-influenced beats.[55] On "Clean", an understated soft rock-influenced number,[40] Swift details her struggles to escape from a toxic yet addictive relationship, finding herself "finally clean" after a destructive yet cleansing torrential storm.[57][58] "Wonderland", the first of the three bonus songs on the deluxe edition, uses allusions to the fantasy Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to describe a relationship tumbling down the "rabbit hole".[59] The ballad "You Are in Love" finds Swift talking about an ideal relationship from another woman's perspective.[52][60] The final song's title, "New Romantics", is a namesake of the cultural movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[59] Evoking strong 1980s synth-pop sound,[61] the song sees Swift reigniting her hopes and energy after the heartbreaks she had endured.[38]

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Music and lyrics articles: 23

Release and promotion

Swift and Big Machine implemented aggressive marketing to bolster 1989 sales.[62] Swift extensively used social media to communicate with her fan base; she had previously promoted her country songs online to attract a younger audience. Music critic Randy Lewis from the Los Angeles Times noted that through Swift's reliance on social media, she cultivated a large following by establishing "Permabond-like" connections.[63] Swift teased the album's release through her social media accounts beginning in August 2014.[64] She further promoted the album through product endorsements with Subway, Keds, and Diet Coke.[65] Swift held a live stream via Yahoo! / ABC News on August 18, where she announced the details of 1989 and released the lead single "Shake It Off".[66] The single debuted atop the US Billboard Hot 100[67] and also reached number one in Australia and Canada, and number two in the UK.[68] To further connect with her supporters, Swift selected a number of fans based on their engagement on social media and invited them to her properties or hotel rooms for secret album-listening sessions, called "The 1989 Secret Sessions".[63] The sessions took place in Los Angeles, New York City, Nashville, Rhode Island, and London throughout September 2014.[69]

Two songs, "Out of the Woods" and "Welcome to New York", were released through iTunes Stores as promotional singles on October 14 and 20, respectively.[70] The album's standard and deluxe editions were released digitally on October 27, 2014.[71] In the US and Canada, the deluxe edition was exclusively available through Target Corporation.[25][72] Each CD copy of 1989 includes a packet of 13 Polaroid pictures, portraying Swift during the making of the album.[73] Within 1989's first week of release, Swift removed her entire catalog from Spotify, the biggest streaming service at the time. She argued that the streaming company's ad-supported, free service undermined the premium service which provides higher royalties for songwriters.[74] In a June 2015 open letter, Swift criticized Apple Music for not offering royalties to artists during the streaming service's free three-month trial period and stated that she would pull 1989 from the catalog.[75] The following day, Apple announced that it would pay artists during the free trial period; Swift thereafter agreed to keep 1989 on the streaming service.[76][77] She re-added her entire catalog to Spotify, Amazon Music, and Google Play in June 2017.[78] In August 2019, Swift announced plans to rerecord her first six studio albums, including 1989, in November 2020. The decision came after talent manager Scooter Braun acquired her masters, which she had been trying to buy for years, following her departure from Big Machine in November 2018.[79]

Swift on the 1989 World Tour, the highest-grossing tour of 2015

In addition to online promotion, Swift made multiple appearances on radio and television and in live shows.[62] She performed at awards shows including the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards[80] and the 2014 American Music Awards.[81] Her appearances on television talk shows included Jimmy Kimmel Live!,[82] The Ellen DeGeneres Show,[62] Late Show with David Letterman,[83] and Good Morning America.[84] She was part of the line-ups for the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 19 in Las Vegas[85] and CBS Radio's "We Can Survive" benefit concert on October 23 at the Hollywood Bowl.[86] She performed at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 on December 2 in London,[87] and headlined the Jingle Ball Tour 2014, broadcast by KIIS-FM on December 5.[88] Billboard reported that Swift's intensive promotion on television and radio reached a cumulative of 58.6 million potential customers.[62]

Six further singles were released in support of 1989, including Billboard Hot 100 number ones "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood" featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar, and top-five hits "Style" and "Wildest Dreams".[68] The two other singles were "Out of the Woods", previously a promotional single,[89] and "New Romantics".[90] The deluxe edition bonus tracks, which had been available exclusively through Target, were released onto the iTunes Store in the US in 2015.[91] The album's supporting tour, the 1989 World Tour, ran from May to December 2015. It kicked off in Tokyo, Japan[92] and concluded in Melbourne, Australia.[93] It attracted attention for featuring a range of high-profile special guests, including singers and fashion models whom the media called Swift's "squad".[94][95][96] The 1989 World Tour was the highest-grosing tour of 2015, accumulating over $250 million in box office.[97] In North America alone, the tour grossed $199.4 million, surpassing the 2005 record held by The Rolling Stones ($162 million) to become the highest-grossing North American tour within a year.[98] The record was later broken by Swift's 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour.[99]

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Release and promotion articles: 33

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Album of the Year76/100[100]
AnyDecentMusic?7.4/10[101]
Metacritic76/100[102]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic [103]
The A.V. ClubB+[33]
Cuepoint (Expert Witness)A−[104]
The Daily Telegraph [58]
The Guardian [55]
Los Angeles Times [43]
NME7/10[40]
Pitchfork7.7/10[38]
Rolling Stone [56]
Spin7/10[57]

1989 received generally positive reviews from contemporary critics.[8] The majority of reviewers acknowledged Swift's songwriting and her maturity in lyrical perceptions.[105] The A.V. Club's Marah Eakin praised Swift's shift from overtly romantic struggles to more positive themes of accepting and celebrating the moment.[33] Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph commended the album's "[sharp] observation and emotional engagement" that contrasted with lyrics found in "commercialised pop".[58] Alexis Petridis from The Guardian lauded Swift's artistic control that resulted in a "perfectly attuned" 1980s-styled synth-pop authenticity.[55] Pitchfork's Vrinda Jagota, in a 2019 retrospective review, found the album freed from the dramatic heartbreak on Swift's previous records, which shows that "everything doesn't always have to be so serious".[38]

The album's 1980s synth-pop production diversified critics. In an enthusiastic review, The New York Times critic Jon Caramanica complimented Swift's avoidance of contemporary hip hop/R&B crossover trends, which distinguished her from other mainstream artists and made 1989 a possibly timeless album.[28] Writing for Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield characterized the record as "deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic".[56] Robert Christgau applauded her departure from country to experiment with new styles, but noticed that this shift was not radical.[104] NME reviewer Matthew Horton considered Swift's transition to pop "a success" had the album excluded the "soft-rock mush" of "This Love" and "Clean".[40] Shane Kimberlin writing for musicOMH deemed Swift's transition to pop on 1989 "not completely successful", but praised her lyrics for incorporating "enough heart and personality", which he found rare in the mainstream pop scene.[32]

Several reviewers lamented that the musical shift erased Swift's authenticity as a lyricist.[106] Slant Magazine's Annie Galvin observed that Swift maintained her clever songwriting that had distinguished her earlier releases, but was disappointed with the new musical style.[53] Entertainment Weekly's Adam Markovitz[107] and Spin's Andrew Unterberger were critical of the heavy synthesizers, which undermined Swift's conventionally vivid lyrics.[57] AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine described the album as "a sparkling soundtrack to an aspirational lifestyle" that fails to transcend the "transient transparencies of modern pop".[103] Mikael Wood, in his review for the Los Angeles Times, found the album inauthentic for Swift's artistry, but acknowledged her effort to emulate the music of an era she did not experience.[43]

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Critical reception articles: 12

Accolades

1989 was ranked as the best album of 2014 by Billboard,[108] Cosmopolitan,[109] and the Houston Chronicle.[110] The album was ranked within the top 10 in various publications, being placed at number three by Drowned in Sound,[111] number four by American Songwriter,[112] The Denver Post,[113] and Time,[114] number five by The Daily Telegraph,[115] number eight by Complex,[116] number nine by Newsday,[117] and number 10 by Rolling Stone[118] and The Philadelphia Inquirer.[119] The album featured on year-end lists at number 15 by The A.V. Club[120] and PopMatters,[121] number 31 by Pitchfork,[122] and number 32 by musicOMH.[123] It album placed at number seven on Pazz & Jop, an annual mass critics' poll conducted by The Village Voice.[124] Writing for NPR, critic Ken Tucker ranked 1989 at number three on his list of 2014's best albums, comparing it to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), as both records were "designed to be listened to from first cut to last."[125] Caramanica of The New York Times placed 1989 at number seven on his year-end list.[126]

Publications included 1989 in their best-of lists of the 2010s decade, including Chorus.fm (2nd),[127] The A.V. Club (4th),[128] Slant Magazine (10th),[129] Billboard (19th),[130] Rolling Stone (19th),[131] Consequence of Sound (24th),[132] NME (31st),[133] Uproxx (34th),[134] Paste (50th),[135] Stereogum (69th),[136] and Cleveland.com (100th).[137] Consequence of Sound also ranked it the sixth best pop album of the 2010s.[138] Critic Chris Willman, writing for Variety, picked 1989 as his favorite album of the 2010s decade.[139] The album placed at number 89 on The Guardian's list of the 100 Best Albums of the 21st Century in 2019.[140] In terms of audience reception, 1989 positioned at number 44 on Pitchfork's readers' poll for the 2010s decade.[141]

1989 won Favorite Pop/Rock Album at the 2015 American Music Awards,[142] Album of the Year (Western) at the 2015 Japan Gold Disc Awards,[143] and Album of the Year at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards.[144] It also earned nominations for Best International Pop/Rock Album at the 2015 Echo Music Prize,[145] International Album of the Year at the 2015 Juno Awards,[146] and Best International Album at the Los Premios 40 Principales 2015.[147] At the 58th Grammy Awards in 2016, the album won Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.[148] Swift became the first female solo artist to win Album of the Year twice—her first win was for Fearless (2008) in 2010.[149]

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Accolades articles: 31

Commercial performance

1989 was released amidst a decline of traditional album sales because of the emergence of digital download and streaming platforms.[150] Swift's two last studio albums, Speak Now (2010) and Red (2012), each exceeded one million copies within one week, establishing Swift as one of the best-selling album artists in the digital era.[151] Given the music industry's climate and Swift's decision to eschew her characteristic country roots that had cultivated a sizable fan base, sales performance of 1989 was subject to considerable speculation among industry experts.[151][62] One week prior to the release, Rolling Stone reported that US retailers predicted the album to sell from 600,000 to 750,000 copies within its debut week.[150] Exceeding expectations, 1989 debuted atop the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.287 million copies, according to data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan for the chart dated November 15, 2014. Swift became the first artist to have three million-selling albums within the first week of release, and 1989 immediately became the only album released in 2014 to sell one million copies.[152] Billboard attributed the album's overwhelming success to Swift's interactions with fans via social media, tie-ins with large companies, and withdrawal from free streaming services.[62]

1989 topped the Billboard 200 for 11 non-consecutive weeks, becoming the fourth album since 2000 to spend more than 10 weeks at number one, following Swift's Fearless (2008–09), Adele's 21 (2011–12), and the soundtrack Frozen (2014).[153] It spent its full first year of release, or 52 weeks, in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, the fifth album to do so.[154] The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album 9× Platinum, which denotes nine million album-equivalent units.[155] With 6.215 million copies sold as of January 2020, the album was the third highest-selling album of the 2010s decade in the US.[156] On the Billboard 200 chart dated September 9, 2020,1989 spent its three-hundredth week on the chart—one of the only four albums by women in history to achieve the milestone.[157]

In Canada, 1989 debuted atop the album chart and was 2014's best-selling album in the country, with sales of 314,000 units.[158][159] It received 6× Platinum certifications by Music Canada (MC) for surpassing 480,000 units in shipments.[160] The album was the fifth best-selling album of the 2010s decade in Canada, with sales of 542,000 copies.[161] 1989 debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 90,000 units, the fastest-selling album by a female artist in 2014 in the UK.[162] It has sold 1.25 million copies and earned 4× Platinum certifications from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[163] The album reached number one on record charts of various European and Oceanic countries, including the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand.[164] It reached number three on the Japanese Oricon chart and earned a Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).[165][166] It became one of the best-selling digital albums in China, crossing one million sales units as of August 2019.[167] According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), 1989 was the second-best selling album of 2014 and the third best-selling album of 2015, and had sold 10.1 million copies worldwide by the end of 2016.[168]

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Commercial performance articles: 15

Legacy

Rock singer Ryan Adams (pictured) released his track-by-track cover of 1989 in September 2015.

1989 effectively transformed Swift's image from a country singer-songwriter to a worldwide pop phenomenon thanks to its commercial success.[27][106][169] Entertainment Weekly considered 1989 the album representing the year of 2014 on their 2020 list of the "30 essential albums from the last 30 years".[170] According to scholar Shaun Cullen, 1989 made Swift a figure "at the cutting edge of postmillennial pop".[171] The album was the second to spawn five or more US top-10 singles in the 2010s decade, following Katy Perry's Teenage Dream (2010).[172] Together with Fearless (2008), it made Swift the second woman to have two albums each score five US top-10 hits, tying with Janet Jackson.[173] Consequence of Sound's Michael Roffman compared 1989 to Michael Jackson's 1982 album Thriller, as both albums yielded a string of successful hits that became "part of our American life".[132] According to the BBC, 1989 "[forged] a path for artists who no longer wish to be ghettoised into separated musical genres".[174]

Media outlets including Pitchfork[175] and The New York Times[176] found the album's long-standing weeks atop the Billboard 200 and millions of pure sales remarkable, especially when Swift actively campaigned against streaming services such as Spotify, which emerged as a new component in calculating chart positions in the digital era. Retrospective reviews from GQ's Jay Willis,[177] New York's Sasha Geffen,[178] and NME's Hannah Mylrea lauded the album's avoidance of contemporaneous hip hop and R&B crossover trends, which made 1989 a timeless album representing the best of Swift's talents. Mylrea also described it as an influence for such artists as Dua Lipa and Lorde to embrace "pure pop".[179] Geffen also attributed the album's success to Swift's songwriting: in contrast to mainstream pop songs' themes of opulence and fame, 1989 relates to listeners about emotional hardships, "a reply to the aspirations of other pop songs, but aspirational all the same".[178]

While Swift's announcement to shed her country roots initially diversified audiences, Time's Jack Dickey argued that she could maintain her sizeable fan base notwithstanding musical shifts because she "introduced to her fans an earnestness and craft, a form of romanticism, that seems to be in short supply elsewhere in society", which resulted in enduring loyalty and support.[27] Media professor Maryn Wilkinson noted that Swift's 1989 era public image, which she described as "zany",[B] raised questions regarding its authenticity. She wrote that although Swift deliberately showcased her "'natural' state" clumsy dance moves "to conceal commercial and professional autonomy" in music videos and live performances, gradually increasing doubt about her authenticity caused a backlash concerning her "uncomfortable public 'performances' off-screen and stage" that led to Swift taking a prolonged hiatus.[181] For Myles McNutt, Swift's artistic control over 1989 propelled her self-identity as a feminist but "fails to evolve into an explicitly activist framing of her authorship or an extended partnership with female producers" and resulted in a media discourse on Swift's true motives.[182]

Contemporary artists who cited 1989 as an influence included American singer-songwriter Conan Gray[183] and British pop band The Vamps, who took inspiration from 1989 while composing their album Wake Up (2015).[184] Jennifer Kaytin Robinson cited 1989 as an inspiration for her 2019 directorial debut Someone Great. She recalled that the album, specifically the track "Clean", was a source of emotional support to help her recover from her breakup.[185] American rock singer-songwriter Ryan Adams released his track-by-track cover album of 1989 in September 2015. He frequently listened to the album, which he found to be a "joyful" record, to cope with his broken marriage in late 2014.[186] On his rendition, Adams incorporated stripped-down, acoustic instruments of indie rock and country genres, which contrasts with the original's electronic production.[187][188] Swift was delighted with Adams' cover, saying to him "what you did with my album was like actors changing emphasis".[189]

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Legacy articles: 19

Track listing

Standard edition[190]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Welcome to New York"
3:32
2."Blank Space"
  • Martin
  • Shellback
3:51
3."Style"
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Payami
3:51
4."Out of the Woods"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Martin[a]
3:55
5."All You Had to Do Was Stay"
  • Swift
  • Martin
3:13
6."Shake It Off"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Martin
  • Shellback
3:39
7."I Wish You Would"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
3:27
8."Bad Blood"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Martin
  • Shellback
3:31
9."Wildest Dreams"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Martin
  • Shellback
3:40
10."How You Get the Girl"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Martin
  • Shellback
4:07
11."This Love"Swift4:10
12."I Know Places"
  • Swift
  • Tedder
  • Swift
  • Tedder
  • Zancanella
3:15
13."Clean"
  • Swift
  • Heap
4:30
Total length:48:41
Deluxe edition tracks (digital download)[72]
No.TitleWriter(s)ProducersLength
14."Wonderland"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Martin
  • Shellback
4:05
15."You Are in Love"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Martin[a]
4:27
16."New Romantics"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Martin
  • Shellback
3:50
Total length:60:23
Target deluxe edition bonus tracks[72]
No.TitleWriter(s)ProducersLength
14."Wonderland"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Martin
  • Shellback
4:05
15."You Are in Love"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Martin[a]
4:27
16."New Romantics"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
  • Martin
  • Shellback
3:50
17."I Know Places" (piano/vocal voice memo)
  • Swift
  • Tedder
 3:36
18."I Wish You Would" (track/vocal voice memo)
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
 1:47
19."Blank Space" (guitar/vocal voice memo)
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
 2:11
Total length:68:37
Japanese deluxe version bonus DVD[191]
No.TitleDirector(s)Length
1."Shake It Off" (music video)Mark Romanek4:02
2."Shake It Off – The Cheerleaders Scene" 3:52
3."Shake It Off – The Ballerinas Scene" 3:44
4."Shake It Off – The Modern Dancers Scene" 4:01
5."Shake It Off – The Animators Scene" 3:58
6."Shake It Off – The Twerkers & Finger Tutting Scene" 4:00
7."Shake It Off – The Ribbon Dancers Scene" 3:40
8."Shake It Off – The Band, the Fans & the Extras Scene" 4:13
Total length:31:30

Notes

  • ^a signifies a vocal producer
  • ^b signifies an additional producer

Personnel

Credits are adapted from liner notes of 1989.[20]

Studio locations
Production
Instruments

1989 (Taylor Swift album) Track listing articles: 20

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (2014–2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[164] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[192] 5
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[193] 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[194] 7
Brazilian Albums (ABPD)[195] 3
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[196] 1
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[197] 17
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[198] 2
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[199] 1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[200] 10
French Albums (SNEP)[201] 9
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[202] 4
Greek Albums (IFPI)[203] 11
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[204] 22
Irish Albums (IRMA)[205] 1
Italian Albums (FIMI)[206] 5
Japanese Album (Oricon)[165] 3
South Korean International Albums (Gaon)[207] 2
Mexican Albums (AMPROFON)[208] 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[209] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[210] 1
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[211] 17
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[212] 3
Scottish Albums (OCC)[213] 1
South African Albums (RISA)[214] 7
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[215] 4
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[216] 23
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[217] 3
Swiss Albums (SNEP Romandy)[218] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[219] 1
US Billboard 200[220] 1

Year-end charts