The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


It’s a New Soundtrack: ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’

After nine years, Taylor Swift releases re-recording of her iconic 2014 album
A re-recording of her first ever pop-album, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” released this October features 21 tracks and marks an era of rebirth in her career as an artist.

Taylor Swift, 12-time Grammy-winning artist, and American singer-songwriter, released the long-awaited re-recording of her very first pop album, “1989,” on Oct. 27, nine years after the original came out in 2014.

During her highly successful “The Eras Tour” show at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, Swift surprised the audience by announcing the re-recording. Due to the singer’s love of clues and “Easter eggs,” she announced “1989” on the ninth day of the eighth month of the year, selecting 8/9 as the perfect date to announce her fourth “Taylor’s Version” release of one of her most popular albums. The re-recordings serve as Swift’s response to legal disputes over masters rights with her former label, Big Machine Records.

“I was born in 1989, reinvented for the first time in 2014, and a part of me was reclaimed in 2023,” Swift wrote in the prologue to the album. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the magic you would sprinkle on my life for so long.”

Nine years after its initial release, the “Taylor’s Version” album of 1989 — like its predecessor — debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The re-recording had the largest week for any album in eight years and earned Swift her biggest sales week to date, according to Billboard. The album debuted with 1.653 million album units in the U.S. in one week. Swift broke her modern-era vinyl sales record — set by the debut of “Midnights,” which sold 575,000 copies in its opening week (ending Oct. 27, 2022.) 

“1989” represents the freedom and growth of a girl moving alone to a brand-new city.

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is composed of 16 original tracks and five unreleased “From the Vault” tracks, songs that were written during the making of the album but did not make it through the editing room. The “1989” vault opened, releasing unheard songs from the original “1989” era.  Swift is currently leading the Billboard Hot 100 Chart as of Nov. 13, with seven out of the top ten songs coming from her latest release. The top three songs are Vault track “Is It Over Now?” followed by “Now That We Don’t Talk” (Taylor’s Version) and “Slut!” (Taylor’s Version.)

According to Swift, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is her favorite re-record because of the Vault tracks. Needless to say, the Vault met all the expectations. Out of the re-recordings she has released, this one is my favorite because it is the most compelling and exciting one yet. Swift tells five tales of love affairs that ended in heartbreak while adding an upbeat melody and rhythm, creating the perfect storm.

Listening to The Vault is an emotional rollercoaster. The lyrics express a gut-wrenching sentiment, but the music is cheerful and makes you want to dance. It perfectly represents a heartbroken person dancing around their living room while crying and singing. There are times when you wish someone would ask you to stay in “Don’t Go” and accept the fact someone called you a “Slut!” or wonder if a relationship is truly over and whether the other person has found your clone in “Is It Over Now?” Those raw, emotional, anxious, yet meaningful feelings can be found in the Vault tracks that have remained closed for years until now. 

The original “1989” album skyrocketed Swift’s career like never before, breaking significant records in 2014, selling more than 1.2 million copies and making her the only artist with three albums that have sold more than 1 million copies in a week.  Swift continued to make history by becoming the first woman to win the Grammy for Album of the Year twice. 

To this day, Swift has won Album of the Year three times and was recently nominated for a fourth time under the Album of the Year category at the 2024 Grammys for her last album, “Midnights.”

“1989” served as the birth of a new chapter in Swift’s career and her life. She cut her hair short back in 2014; for many, it was just a haircut, but for her, it was starting the path to reinvent herself. At this point, Swift had a successful career in country music, with four previous albums in the same genre. Swift was recognized as the girl with long curly hair, strumming her guitar and singing country melodies about love and heartbreak; however, she revealed a new identity with her fifth studio album, “1989.”   

Each of Swift’s albums encompasses a different theme, meaning, tales and stories. Her previous album, “Red,” is a sad autumn album about a girl navigating through a devastating breakup and a broken heart. This album took a turn as she ended up in New York City with “short hair and that red lip classic thing that he likes.”

Swift continued to make history by becoming the first woman to win the Grammy for Album of the Year twice.

“1989” represents the freedom and growth of a girl moving alone to a brand-new city, letting go of previous pain as she sings in her song “Welcome to New York,” “took our broken hearts and put them in a drawer.” Although it took many months for the scars to mend, she awoke and felt finally clean with no trace of her past love affairs and lonely nights in sight. 

The album cover of “1989 (Taylor’s Version) is inspired by the original with a more refreshing and personal touch. The original cover of “1989” showcased Swift standing against a beige wall, wearing a blue Seagulls sweatshirt and her signature red lipstick; however, her eyes are not shown on the cover. The “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” cover reminisces of the old days with short hair, red lipstick, and seagulls flying over her as she shows her entire face, and for the first time in her career, Swift is smiling on an album cover.

When I first heard the original “1989,” I was 12 years old and in middle school in Ireland. Almost a decade later, I listened to the re-recording of “1989” while living in New York City as a 21-year-old junior in college. I have always had a special connection to this album. 

After Swift created the 1989 era, I found myself deeply immersed in her career. Similarly to Swift, I dreamed of moving to New York someday; I knew it was waiting for me. After seven years, I finally moved to Manhattan to begin my 1989 era. 

“1989” served as a rebirth, not only for Swift but also for her fans. It was a closing chapter for her country days and the creation of a new book of an independent young woman shaking off haters, finding more extraordinary things than romantic love affairs, taking Polaroids to remember those memories that feel like wildest dreams, letting go of past bad blood and filling up blank spaces that longed for something authentic and new.

The re-recording of “1989” represents all the moments we’ve wandered through the woods and this love that glows between her and her fans in the dark. It’s a new soundtrack, and we can dance to “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” beat forevermore as we continue the story, guiding us back to the place where it all began, New York City.

Now, all she must do is regain her name with her debut album “Taylor Swift” and her reputation with the last album she lost masters of, “Reputation.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
ANDREA RIVAS, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

The Observer reserves the right to remove any comments that contain any of the following: threats or harassment, hateful language and/or slurs, spam (including advertisements unrelated to the topic of a given post), and incoherent phrasing. See the Community Guidelines page under the About tab for more information. Please allow up to a few days for submitted comments to be approved.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *