The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Taylor’s Versions Ranked

Photo by: Ronald Woan
Taylor Swift doing her iconic “Fearless” heart hands on stage for The Eras Tour in Arlington, Texas.

On Aug. 21, 2019, Taylor Swift announced she would be re-recording her first six albums after the debacle with Scooter Braun, the CEO of the entertainment company HYBE-America, over owning the masters of her music catalog. 

Swift’s contract ended with Big Machine Records in 2018, and Scott Borchetta, owner of Big Machine Records, gave her the ultimatum of resigning and “earning” back her masters or risk having them sold, but ultimately she turned down the deal. 

Even though she knew it was coming, Swift was shocked when it was announced they would be sold to Scooter Braun. The relationship between Swift and Braun was already contentious and Swift was open about this with her management. 

After the announcement, Swift took to Tumblr to call out Braun and other celebrities, about the incessant bullying she faced at the hands of Braun. 

“Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked…” Swift wrote.

Not long after this post, Swift announced her plan to re-record her albums in an interview with CBS News, this time with the masters under her control. 

Swift’s contract allowed her to begin these re-recordings in November 2020. Since then, she has re-recorded four out of her six albums, has completed the U.S. and Mexico leg of the Eras Tour, and has just begun the South American portion of the tour. 

Growing up, I was always a big fan of Taylor Swift, and getting the opportunity to revisit my favorite childhood albums with a more mature sound, along with vault songs, which are added songs that did not make the original album, is fantastic. 

As a Swiftie, Swift’s fan base nickname, this experience has been so fun, and with the recent release of “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” I’ve started to put together my rank of the current Taylor’s Version albums.


#1 – 1989 (Taylor’s Version) 

Swift’s most recent release came on Oct. 27 with “1989 (TV).”  I was excited for this release because “1989” is my favorite Taylor Swift album after “Folklore.”

Swift came in strong and did not disappoint. I’ll miss the original “Style” guitar intro, but she makes up for it with the updated version of “Out Of The Woods” and “Clean,” both of which sound even better with Swift’s matured voice. 

The “1989 (TV)” vault songs put this album on top. I have not been a big fan of the vaults in most of Swift’s other records. They were okay to listen to the first time, but there were very few I would choose to revisit. 1989 wasn’t like this.

The vault songs start with “Slut!,” which was predictably corny but is followed with “Say Don’t Go” and “Is It Over Now?” both of which have that signature dance-pop sound of 1989. I find myself returning to these songs and loving how they tie into the rest of the album.

Picking my top three from this album was difficult, but I think they would have to be “Clean,” “Is It Over Now?” and “You Are In Love.” 


#2 – Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Taylor Swift started the release of her re-records with “Fearless (TV).” Although there were many options, starting with this album was a great choice.

“Fearless” is all about love and life through the eyes of a teenage girl, and getting to look back on my own teenage years with the release of Taylor’s Version and see how I related to her music and feelings quickly put this album high on my list. 

This was our first experience with vault songs, so my hopes were high. I like them a lot and might even say I liked them more than the “1989 (TV)” vault songs. They fit perfectly with how the rest of the album sounded like. 

My top three favorite songs from the original album’s release stayed the same. They are “The Way I Loved You,” “You’re Not Sorry” and “Change.” 

Those songs have the perfect vibe to sing your heart out in the car or your bedroom, and I can’t ask for more.  


#3 – Red (Taylor’s Version)

“Red (TV)” is Swift’s second re-record and ranks third behind “Fearless (TV).” 

This album shaped an era when it was initially released in 2012 and had people shocked that Swift was switching genres from country to pop. Not all artists who make this genre switch are successful, but Swift did it with ease and completely changed her career’s course. 

I remember listening to “Red” for the first time and thinking I couldn’t wait to be “22,” which is a staple song from the album. As a 22-year-old, getting to listen and sing along to a re-recorded version of it, makes it all the more exciting.

“Nothing New” featuring Phoebe Bridgers is one of my favorite vault songs and a staple in my saddest playlists. The lyrics describe the pain of losing your girlhood and coming to the harsh realization that a woman’s value in society will only decrease as they age.  

And, as a Little Big Town fan, the “Better Man” addition was welcomed and exciting. 

But, I can’t forget the iconic “All Too Well (10-Minute Version).”  I never thought I would willingly sit through a 10-minute song, but I haven’t listened to the regular 3-minute version since this album was released in 2021. 

The remaining six vault songs were lacking and not that enjoyable. 

Overall, I did enjoy the album. My top three songs are “Come Back… Be Here,” “Nothing New” and “State of Grace.” 


#4 – Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

It hurts to have “Speak Now (TV)” at the bottom of my list, as this album was my favorite childhood album, but it wasn’t good to me for many reasons. 

When the album was released, I listened to the whole album in order, and when I got to the vaults, I couldn’t make it through two songs without having to stop. I felt they were boring and lacked the usual lyrical creativity that comes with Taylor Swift songs. 

Even with her big-name features, like Hayley Williams, the songs were not good. 

I was also bothered by the promotion behind the album. I am not a fan of Taylor Lautner and felt that his involvement in the push of “Speak Now (TV)” was unnecessary and difficult to watch.

Aside from the lyric changes in “Better Than Revenge” and the removal of the shaky breath from “Long Live,” I enjoyed the actual album. As stated before, this was my favorite childhood album, so the main songs gave me the best sense of nostalgia.

My top three from this album are “Haunted,” “Innocent,” and “Dear John.”

Because these were re-recorded albums, I expected them to be relatively the same. Aside from a few minor changes on each album, Swift delivered that, but adding the vault songs made it more special. 

“Reputation” and Swift’s self-titled debut album “Taylor Swift” are the only two albums left to re-record, and I look forward to seeing what she does.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Madilynn Fowler
Madilynn Fowler, Reporter
Madi Fowler is twenty-two years old and was born and raised in Fresno, California. She is currently majoring in journalism with a plan to double major in journalism and public relations once she transfers to Fresno State, along with a minor in women's studies. After graduating, she has plans to work on a PR team or as a PR manager within the music and entertainment industry. Madi has limited experience in journalism, but is excited to learn. When Madi first graduated from Bullard High School, she went into Clovis Community College as a psychology major, but quickly realized that it wasn't for her. Feeling lost, she took some time off of college and returned in 2021 as a Business Administration major. After graduating with her associates for transfer, Madi moved up to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon. This is where she began her journey in both public relations and journalism. Now that she has transferred back to Fresno, Madi looks forward to being a part of The Rampage and gaining more familiarity with journalism.  Madi has a deep love for music and has since she was a kid. She considers herself a “stan” of many different artists and groups. Starting at the young age of six years old, her mom introduced her to Taylor Swift and it only progressed from there. Over the years, she has continued to grow a deeper appreciation for music, which is what led her to her fascination with pop culture. The combination of the two is what led Madi to the decision that she would like to make a career in music and entertainment PR.

Comments (0)

Please be respectful.
All The Rampage Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest