Taylor Swift’s “1989” has remained in the top 20 of Billboard’s album chart for months. Packed with some of the singer’s biggest pop hits, like “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space,” the LP was a smash hit upon its release in 2014, and Swift has been performing her songs on her record-breaking eras this year. Travel
But “1989” is definitely going to fall down the charts.
That’s because on Friday, Swift will release “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” the latest installment of her ambitious and hugely successful project to re-record her first six studio albums. What began a few years ago as an attempt to reclaim her music – and, perhaps, have a taste for revenge – following the sale of her former record label has become a blockbuster venture in its own right, with its origins in There will be punitive consequences for recording.
“1989” will be Swift’s fourth remake, and so far each has debuted at No. 1 with consecutive big numbers. As of early 2021, “Fearless” debuted at the equivalent of 291,000 sales in the United States. “Red”, performed by a 10-minute extended version of the song “All Too Well”, had 605,000 later that year. “Speak Now” came out in July and debuted with 716,000 sales, including a remarkable 268,500 copies sold on vinyl LP.
Each one came with deluxe packaging, a rainbow of colorful vinyl variants, and a thick appendix of “vault” bonus tracks, which gave fans copious amounts of material to discuss and decode – a mention of timely batches of themed merchandise. Don’t want to do. One of the items Swift is selling at her online store sweater decorated with sea gulls (a new album cover), for $74.89, and a device like old fashioned viewmasterFor $19.89.
How big “1989” might be is anyone’s guess, and its label, Republic Records, declined to give any estimate. But given the trajectory of previous remakes, the enduring popularity of the original album’s songs, and Swift’s near-complete saturation of popular culture this year — in the past few weeks, she released a hit concert film that peaked at No. 1. A four-year-old song that almost overtook the NFL through its relationship with Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs — the music industry is off to a monster start, even in a year in which Morgan Wallen , Drake’s major albums. Olivia Rodrigo and Travis Scott.
Swift has been driving demand for “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” since announcing it in August, and partnered with Google for an online puzzle to reveal clues about the album’s “Vault” track; Naturally, it crashed In a few hours.
When Swift first talked about her intention to re-record her albums in the summer of 2019 — shortly after music manager Scooter Braun sold Big Machine, Swift’s original label, for a little over $300 million Bought – The music world scratched its collective head; Most previous attempts at re-recording had little success. But when the new version of “Fearless” came out – by which time Braun had sold Swift’s recording rights to the investment firm Shamrock Capital – it became another lesson in Swift’s mastery at uniting her fan base.
“When the re-record process started with them, there was this curiosity, where no one really knew what it could do,” said Keith Caulfield, Billboard’s managing director of chart and data operations. “But they’ve turned into a phenomenon in their own right.”
Swift’s world tour, which has been playing to packed stadiums since March and is on track to sell more than $1 billion in tickets by the time it ends next year, has typically picked up her entire catalog. At least 10 of their albums, including originals, have charted on the magazine’s leading album chart, the Billboard 200, at various times this year.
But every time Swift has released a re-recorded album, her original version has suffered. According to Luminate, the tracking service that supplies data for Billboard’s charts, after the release of “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”, sales of the original fell 20 percent in the United States; The original “Red” dropped by about 45 percent. Neither of them are on the Billboard 200 as of 2021.
Jaime Marconet, Luminate’s senior director of music insights and industry relations, said how profound this impact can be on a week-to-week basis. In May, Swift said she would release a new single, “Speak Now”, in eight weeks. “With that announcement,” Marconet said, “total consumption of the original version immediately increased by 75.7 percent.” But as soon as “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” came out, the original sank. When comparing a 14-week window before and after the new version, the original declined by 59 percent.
But latest chartThe new “Speak Now” is number 18. The older version, which had most recently been number 191, had fallen off the charts entirely.
Such figures raise questions about the value of Shamrock’s investment, which is estimated at more than $300 million. In the short term, at least, there is no doubt that Swift’s re-recording has seriously tarnished the original. But it may take years before it becomes clear whether there are any lasting effects. A Shamrock spokesperson said no one at the company was available to discuss the matter.
Swift is also set to make more money from her new recordings than her old ones, having negotiated a deal with Republic’s parent company Universal Music that gives her ownership rights to her recordings.
As Swift’s new “1989” approaches the release of the song, the singer has been relentlessly promoting it on social media, this week sharing an image of handwritten lyrics that fans have taken from an unreleased track. And trucks full of vinyl and CD copies of the new album are arriving at brick-and-mortar stores.
Even indie record shops are set to do big business with the new “1989”, as has been the case with all of Swift’s recent releases. Carl Mello of Newbury Comics, a music and collectibles chain with 30 stores throughout the Northeast, said that for Swift’s last few albums, problems in the supply chain meant stores did not always have her records on release day. . But those issues have been resolved, and the chain expects to have about 1,600 copies ready for sale on Friday.
Mello said, “I’ve been at Newbury Comics for over 30 years, and I’ve never seen anyone who has held so many spots on our Top 40 vinyl records list for multiple months in a row at the same time. “
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor Swift is 15 percent of our vinyl sales,” he said. “It’s extraordinary.”