Every song on “1989 (Taylor’s Version)”: ranked

Popular singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released a re-recorded version of her iconic pop album, 1989, giving her full ownership of this album. Here is my ranking of the album, and my thoughts on her new releases.
Popular singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released a re-recorded version of her iconic pop album, 1989, giving her full ownership of this album. Here is my ranking of the album, and my thoughts on her new releases.
Catherine Marley

On Oct. 27, 2014, Taylor Swift graced the pop culture world with her hit album, “1989.” With a mix of iconic pop ballads and dreamy tunes, this critically acclaimed album exudes optimism and inspiration. Swift’s record label owned the recordings on the original album but sold them without her consent along with five other albums she had worked tirelessly on. On Oct. 27, however, Swift returned with her version of this album, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)”: giving her the rights to the new recordings of her iconic “1989” tracks.

As a big fan of Swift myself, I was ecstatic to hear this new take on the album and was very curious about what would become of the beloved songs on it. Now that I’ve listened to  Swift’s version, I am here to officially present my ranking of “1989 (Taylor’s Version)”: in order of my least to most favorite songs.

  1. “Shake It Off” 

This song left a permanent mark on me as a child. I have countless memories of blaring this song on my turquoise iPod and poorly dancing to it with my friends. It pains me to put this song at the bottom of my list, but the cheesy lyrics, combined with the insane amount of time I spent listening to this song in elementary school, has made me like it less. I’m definitely not a hater, though, and I’ll never pass up an opportunity to energetically recite the entire bridge.

Favorite Lyric: “But I keep cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop moving.”

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  1. “This Love”

This is another adorable love song from “1989.” Although it doesn’t stand out to me among the others, I love the references to the ocean in the first verse and the imagery of someone coming in and out of your life like the tide. 

Favorite Lyric: “Clear blue water, high tide came and brought you in.”

  1. “I Know Places”

I love this song, though I will admit I’m not a fan of all of the lyrics. Something about the chorus makes me cringe, though I love everything else about this song and will never drop it.

Favorite Lyric: “Love’s a fragile little flame, it could burn out.” 

  1. “How You Get the Girl”

This song is so cute and has been stuck in my head for an inordinate amount of time. I can’t deny that I adore this song, but there are other tracks on the album that stand out more to me. Still, I love it for worse or for better!

Favorite Lyric: “Tell her how you must’ve lost your mind, when you left her all alone and never told her why.”

  1. “Style”

I also had this song on my iPod as a kid, and it never disappoints. Despite its lower ranking, with such a catchy chorus and clever allusions to Harry Styles, it’s hard to dislike this song. I, and many Swifties, hoped by some miracle Harry Styles may feature on this song. However with or without Styles, “Style” is still great.

Favorite Lyric: “Long drives could end in burning flames or paradise.”

  1. “You Are In Love”

This is a great song, and it always warms my heart. Though it isn’t ranked as high as others on the album, I will definitely be playing this song at my wedding when I get married. I’m still in love, true love, with this song. 

Favorite Lyric: “You two are dancing in a snow globe, ’round and ’round, and he keeps the picture of you in his office downtown.”

  1. “All You Had to Do Was Stay”

I love the lyrics of this song. It’s the perfect break-up ballad, and its pop style shows the angry side of heartbreak. Though I enjoy screaming this song in the car, I hoped there would be a stripped, sad version of this song. Though Taylor did not deliver on my previous statement, this song still stands at its current rating, and I’ll always stay to listen to this bop. 

Favorite Lyric: “People like you always want back the love they pushed aside, but people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye.”

  1. “New Romantics”

This song is so catchy and is going to be stuck in my head for at least a month. “New Romantics” is by far my favorite song to dance to on the original album, and still is on “1989 (Taylor’s Version.)” I sing it proudly! 

Favorite Lyric: “We show off our different scarlet letters, trust me, mine is better.”

  1. “Wonderland”

I love the metaphors in this song. The idea of using wonderland to describe something both blissful and deceiving is ingenious. The pre-chorus is also amazing.

Favorite Lyric: “Searched the world for somethin’ else to make you feel like what we had, and in the end, in wonderland, we both went mad.”

  1. “Bad Blood”

To be honest, I didn’t love this song when I heard it back in 2014, but now I feel differently. We really see a different, more angry side of Swift with this song, which may be a foreshadowing to her following album, “Reputation.” I love the electric pop sound of this song, and still do after listening to Swift’s version. 

Favorite Lyric: “Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes, you say sorry just for show.”

  1. “Clean”

The lyrics of this song are so clever; I love that the whole song is a metaphor. Many Swifties may disagree with me not putting this song in the top five. However, there are others on the album that are even better. After listening to Taylor’s version, I feel similarly about it, and I especially enjoy the more subtle harmonies after the bridge.

Favorite Lyric: “10 months sober I must admit, just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it.”

  1. “Welcome To New York”

As with many songs from “1989,” I have very distinct memories associated with “Welcome to New York.” I heard this song playing on the radio as I drove into New York City for the first time and was filled with excitement at the adventure that lay ahead. I love this song and its themes of new beginnings and optimism. As a lyric enthusiast, I also love the metaphors and overall word choice in this song. We can really hear Swift’s voice on this track in her version, whereas, in the original, it was not as clear.

Favorite Lyric: “Took our broken hearts, put them in a drawer, everybody here was someone else before.”

  1. “I Wish You Would”

This song, along with others, has been blasting in my head for weeks, and I’m not mad about it! This is one of my favorites on the original album and now the re-records too.

Favorite Lyric: “You always knew how to push my buttons, you gave me everything and nothing.”

  1. “Out Of The Woods”

This is another favorite of mine. I love how you can hear the genuine desperation in Swift’s voice as she sings the chorus. I also love that this song shows a range of emotions, from anxiety to love to instability, and truly captures them all beautifully.

Favorite Lyric: “You took a Polaroid of us, then discovered the whole world was black and white, but we were screaming color.”

  1. “Blank Space”

With one of the most iconic misheard lyrics (got a long list of Starbucks lovers instead of got a long list of ex-lovers) and such a catchy chorus, it’s hard not to put “Blank Space” at the top of my list. This song always leaves me breathless and craving Starbucks. 

Favorite Lyric: “New money, suit and tie, I can read you like a magazine.”

  1. “Wildest Dreams”

This is one of my favorite songs on the album, with such a dreamy sound and an incredible bridge. How could it not be stuck in your head? The original is practically perfect, and Swift did not disappoint with her new version. 

Favorite Lyric: “Someday, when you leave me, I bet these memories follow you around.”

Now moving on to the vault songs from “1989 (Taylor’s Version.)” I debated including these in my primary ranking, but the vault tracks are so incredible I felt they needed their own section. As with the main tracks on “1989,” my rank of the vault songs is ever-changing, but here is my current ranking. 

  1. “Say Don’t Go”

Though this song is last on my list, I have listened to it about a hundred times since it was released. This song perfectly describes the feeling of unreciprocated effort or care in relationships and may or may not have made me cry the first time I heard it. 

Favorite Lyric: “Why’d you have to make me love you, I said I love you, you say nothing back.”

  1. “Is It Over Now?”

This was an amazing end to the album. I think we can all agree that the bridge was amazing. I also love how you can hear the anger in Swift’s voice as she sings the song.

Favorite Lyric: “I think about jumpin’ off of very tall somethings, just to see you come runnin’.” 

  1. “Now That We Don’t Talk”

This is the most underrated vault track. I love the theme of watching someone you were once close with change, it truly creates a stunning story that is not only heart-wrenching but relatable. 

Favorite Lyric: “I cannot be your friend, so I pay the price of what I lost.”

  1. “Suburban Legends”

This song perfectly captures the feelings of “what could’ve been,” and I love the lyrics, imagery, and nostalgic vibes in this song. 

Favorite Lyric: “I broke my own heart ’cause you were too polite to do it.”

  1. “Slut!”

I definitely did not expect Swift to create such a deep and stunning song with that title. Though I was surprised by this track, I love it. The lyrics are so intentional, and it’s stuck in my head like handprints in wet cement. 

Favorite Lyric: “Everyone wants him, that was my crime, the wrong place at the right time.”

Overall, I loved this album, and my ranking of the songs is ever-changing. Even if we disagree, we can both say that “1989” never goes out of style.

 

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