Welcome to Taylor’s Version. The hotly anticipated rerelease of “1989” — the fourth in Taylor Swift’s efforts to reclaim her masters — finally dropped at midnight on Friday.
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” entered the world on Oct. 27 — exactly nine years since the release of what many regard as the 12-time Grammy winner’s best album.
In addition to rerecordings of 2014 hits like “Blank Space” and “Style,” the revised album — like each of other “Taylor’s Version” drops thus far — also features five “vault” tracks — previously unreleased songs written in consideration for the original release on her old label, Big Machine Records.
Swift rings in release day with a message to fans
Also at midnight, the “Out of the Woods” singer shared a carousel of photos on her Instagram that ends with a hand-written message to fans:
I was born in 1989, reinvented for the first time in 2014, and a part of me was reclaimed in 2023 with the re-release of this album I love so dearly. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the magic you would sprinkle on my life for so long.
This moment is a reflection of the woods we’ve wandered through and all this love between us still glowing in the darkest dark.
I present to you, with gratitude and wild wonder, my version of 1989.
It’s been waiting for you.
An early-morning surprise — Bad Blood (Taylor’s Version) featuring Kendrick Lamar
When Swift announced the tracks for her version of “1989,” many fans were disappointed to see this beloved version of the song was not included. The track serves as the soundtrack for the explosive music video, and Swifties chant Lamar’s line “You forgive, you forget, but you never let it go” every time Swift performs “Bad Blood” live. To our collective relief, the singer dropped her version of the remix Friday morning around 8 a.m. ET and announced it was part of the deluxe edition of the release.
From the Vault
In late September, the “Welcome to New York” songstress revealed the names of the previously unreleased tracks that would finally be getting their due — all of which are capped off with “(Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).”
Those songs, in order of track listing, are “‘Slut!’” as well as “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is It Over Now?”
Amid announcing “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” the month prior, Swift admitted the album was her “most FAVORITE re-record” because this handful of songs was “so insane.”
“I can’t believe they were ever left behind,” she admitted. “But not for long!”
“Say Don’t Go” introduces a new composer to the mix with Diane Warren. And with lyrics like, “I said, ‘I love you,’ you say nothing back,” fans are already speculating about the object of this unrequited love.
But far more theories are sure to spin out of “Now That We Don’t Talk.” Who compelled Swift to pretend she liked acid rock and being “on a mega-yacht with important men who think important thoughts” until they stopped talking? Harry, is that you?
Fan reactions — and theories
Any Swiftie knows the “Clean” singer has a penchant for dropping hints to her dedicated fan base, about future work as well as a look back on the context or inspiration for a given track.
The lead-up to “1989 (TV)” is no different, with fans scouring the rare Instagram stories she posted this week, all of which appear to be the hand-written lyrics to some of the “From The Vault” tracks — before signing off with a link to the album and a countdown for its release.
On Tuesday, she shared one that read, in black ink: “Let’s fast forward to/ 300 takeout coffees later/ I see your profile and your smile on/ unsuspecting waiters.” This turned out to be part of “Is It Over Now,” a track fans will undoubtedly see as a sequel to “Out of the Woods.”
Wednesday, she offered up in alternating teal and black lines: “Aquamarine/ Moonlit swimming pool/ What if/ All I need is you.” Those lyrics are within “Slut!” — a dreamy love ballad about not caring if people call her a slut if she can be with the object of the song.
Thursday, she shared, once again in black ink: “I broke my own heart/ Cause you were too polite to do it.” You’ll find those lyrics in “Suburban Legends.”
Because Swift said last year that the songs she writes in fountain pen are more personal, and those written with a glitter gel pen are more fun, dance tracks, one X user, @Like_AFolkSong suggested the posts hint at her self-assigned genre — which also includes a “Quill Pen” category.
Another fan, @Aubriedl, took to TikTok to theorize that the handwriting in each post differs because it belongs to “the person that’s featured on the song.”