The Billboard charts should be prepared to leave a “Blank Space” for Taylor Swift once again.
On Friday, Swift released “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” — nine years to the day after the original album was released. The artist is now reportedly a billionaire, according to Bloomberg.
When Swift released “1989” in 2014, it seemed like she was at her peak. “Shake It Off” became a massive hit, the viral “Bad Blood” music video featured seemingly every A-lister in Hollywood, and “1989” ended up edging out “Frozen” as the most popular album of the year.
While Swift’s re-recording journey may have been conceived as an effort to reclaim her work, the “Taylor’s Version” albums have been triumphant successes in their own right. All three re-recordings have debuted at No. 1, with each one performing better than the last.
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is also poised to be a huge success. Here’s what to know.
What are the vault songs?
Google announced that its search function would populate a series of 89 puzzles that fans could solve to eventually reveal the names of those new songs.
Fans successfully decoded the names of the five vault tracks, or songs that weren’t included on the original album. Swift posted the official track list to her social media platforms on Sept. 20, confirming the vault track titles: “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Is It Over Now?” and “‘Slut!’”
In an Instagram post announcing the album in August, Swift wrote it was her “most FAVORITE re-record I’ve ever done because the 5 From The Vault tracks are so insane.”
“I can’t believe they were ever left behind,” she wrote in the caption.
Does the album feature any collaborations?
Fans have posted their dream collab artists, including Harry Styles on “Style,” a track many believe to be about Swift’s former rumored relationship with her fellow pop star. But the former One Direction band member’s vocals are not featured.
In terms of producers, the original “1989” was the first collaboration with Jack Antonoff, who has become an integral part of Swift’s discography and social life. He is credited as a producer on every “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” vault track. Other original producing collaborators, such as Max Martin and Imogen Heap, also returned for the re-recorded version of the album.
Swift said Friday morning that the re-recording of “Bad Blood (featuring Kendrick Lamar)” would be available on “1989 (Taylor’s Version) Deluxe Edition.”
“Watching @kendricklamar create and record his verses on the Bad Blood remix was one of the most inspiring experiences of my life… The reality that Kendrick would go back in and re-record Bad Blood so that I could reclaim and own this work I’m so proud of is surreal and bewildering to me,” Swift posted on X.
Were there any notable Easter eggs leading up to the release?
It wouldn’t be Swiftdom without Easter eggs. Swift and her team unleashed plenty of online speculation ahead of the album release.
This week, Swift posted three photos on her Instagram story featuring handwritten notes.
The first photo was a notebook entry posted Tuesday that read, “Let’s fast forward to 300 takeout coffees later I see your profile and your smile on unsuspecting waiters.”
The second photo, posted Wednesday, featured four lines written in alternating blue and black ink. “Aquamarine, Moonlit swimming pool, what if, All I need is you,” the lines read.
The third post, shared Thursday on Swift’s story, read, “I broke my own heart, Cause you were too polite to do it.”
Fans immediately took to social media to speculate about the meaning behind the cryptic posts from the “Mastermind” singer. Theories circulating on X proposed that the handwritten notes Swift posted could be lyrics from the “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” vault tracks.