The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Staff Spotlight
Caleb Fletcher
Caleb Fletcher
Staff Reporter

Caleb Fletcher is a freshman at Sage Creek and is a returning Staff Reporter on The Sage.

“It’s A New Soundtrack, I Could Dance To This Beat:” The Sage Explores “1989 (Taylor’s Version)”

“1989 (Taylor’s Version),” Taylor Swift’s fourth re-recording out of her six, rose to the top of the Billboard 100 and the Spotify streams lists within days of being released. The album has a line of merch that revolves around the tracklist including “Welcome To New York,” “Wonderland,” “Wildest Dreams,” “Blank Space” and “Clean.”
Graphic By Hadley Golden
“1989 (Taylor’s Version),” Taylor Swift’s fourth re-recording out of her six, rose to the top of the Billboard 100 and the Spotify streams lists within days of being released. The album has a line of merch that revolves around the tracklist including “Welcome To New York,” “Wonderland,” “Wildest Dreams,” “Blank Space” and “Clean.”

Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album “1989,” named after the year she was born and originally released in 2014, took the world by storm as her first pop album. Before “1989,” Taylor Swift’s albums were solely country-themed, which is the reason she was considered a country singer. A handful of Taylor’s most popular songs including “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” “Style” and “Bad Blood” came from “1989.”  

After losing the rights to her first six albums in 2019, Swift embarked on the bittersweet journey of re-recording to make her albums hers again. Her “mastermind” strategy to regain ownership of all of her work isn’t just personal for Taylor, it’s personal for her fans. Rallying they are, avenge her they will; Swift’s fans are fiercely protective of her. 

Sage Creek High School Junior Kalista Medlock said, “Growing up she was just so inspiring to me, how she built herself up from the ground up. People don’t understand why Taylor Swift re-records her albums but, as a Swiftie, we all know how big of a deal it is.”  

Swift started in 2021 by re-releasing her second album “Fearless,” quickly followed by her fourth album “Red” in the same year. “Speak Now,” Swift’s third album, became part of the “(Taylor’s Version)” family in July 2023. So far, Swift has re-recorded 100 songs, including 26 vault tracks – meaning they were left unreleased until the “(Taylor’s Version)” came out.

This endeavor is no small feat. Imagine having your life’s work ripped out from under you to the tune of $405 million just to find out after the fact. She didn’t engage in a bidding war; she dug deep and did the unthinkable. She sought to render that sneaky 405 million dollar investment in her original work useless and valueless. Swift got creative, altering pitches, releasing vault tracks, rearranging and creating new collabs. In “1989” for example, the volume is amped up along with the vocals. 

“I know there are some other young artists like Billie Eilish or Olivia Rodrigo but they have more of a celebrity outlook on their career and on their fans while Taylor Swift is like our sister in a way,” said Medlock. “We feel like a familial connection, not just a celebrity connection with her.”  

Junior Talia Baird shares similar sentiments to Medlock. “Taylor Swift takes time to talk to her fans, and get to know them,” Baird said.“She doesn’t act like a celebrity who thinks the world revolves around her. She’s given huge raises to her staff and always makes sure that when she performs, everyone on stage is seen and credited. She makes her concerts like hangouts.” 

Most of Taylor’s fan base grew up in the original “1989” era; Medlock is one of those Swifties.

Taylor Swift announces that her newest re-recording, “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” would be available on Oct. 27, 2023. The album would end up having 22 songs, including five vault songs and a remix of “Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar only available on the deluxe version. (Photo From James Fieberg)

“Her fans feel this deep connection to her music because we’ve grown up together and that’s what makes her so special. I was 7 years old when “1989” came out,” she continued.

11th grader Ava Krudwig shares a similar background. Krudwig said, “Her music brings up a lot of joy for me as I started listening to it when I was younger. Now that the music has been re-released it has a new connection to my life as I’ve gotten older.” 

Swift’s versatility and relatability is a reason behind her maintaining relevance. She is different from other artists in her ability to go through different genres, showcases a whirlwind of emotions and messages and has the unique ability to give people a voice.

According to the New York Times, “Swift has become one of a new breed of post-media celebrities who have set new rules of engagement with both the media and the fans.” Traditional media is riding the bench instead of calling the shots with everything Taylor Swift-related. She doesn’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn doing local radio shows or media appearances. 

There isn’t any value the media has to offer in terms of tour and album promotion; why? Because the media has no currency or direct relationship with her fans. 

Swift doesn’t require the support of the media, and her fans aren’t moved or influenced by the media where Swift is concerned. She pours all of her effort into surprising, delighting and thrilling her Swifties and it pays off in the mega millions.  

Swift has revolutionized the relationship a singer can have with her fans through her songs, dances, videos and social media posts.

“I think that the way Taylor Swift approaches and interacts with her fans is really special and what draws a lot of people towards her,” said Medlock. 

Leading up to the official announcement of the re-recording of “1989,” Taylor left Easter eggs for her fans to decipher (as she’s been known to do in the past). The Easter eggs ranged from guesses about the announcement and release dates to how Taylor would play it out. The doors of theories burst open after “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” opened Swifties’ eyes to newfound possibilities of how Taylor would go about releasing “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” 

Not only has she reimagined and redefined the tour experience, but her approach to merchandising is unmatched and has never been executed before. According to the New York Times, “Each one of Taylor’s re-releases has arrived with deluxe packaging, a rainbow of colored vinyl variants, and a thick appendix of “vault” bonus tracks that have given fans abundant material to discuss and decode – not to mention well-timed batches of themed merchandise.”

Baird said, “Taylor themes things with symbols only her community will understand so you can walk around in your merch and see another person wearing it and your minds will sync knowing you both know something no one else does.”

Calling Swift clever just doesn’t seem to cut it. She’s a seamless marketing machine, all unto herself.

“The way Taylor Swift releases music and releases new merchandise like the “1989” cardigan is really special because she makes it a game,” said Medlock. “She makes herself the mastermind and creates puzzles that the fans have to try to solve and then they feel rewarded for being able to decipher one of her tricks or hacks and that’s what makes people willing to spend so much money on her merch.” 

Before the “(Taylor’s Versions),” Swift had never released vault tracks. These became sacred songs as they revealed previously untold stories. 

“My favorite “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” surprises were the vault track names and how Taylor can have you so set on the way a song will sound and then it’ll sound fully different,” Baird said. “She will take a big insult and turn it into a meaningful love song. 

The Rose Garden “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” limited edition vinyl variation rests on a record player. The blue star confetti is sent out with any “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” order. (Photo By Hadley Golden)

Swift isn’t just a decorated artist as a result of fandom and ticket sales. She raises her own bar, challenging herself to expand her artistry and songwriting. Her fluency and ability to blur, co-mingle and leap between genres are markers of true grit and greatness. This is not lost on her fans. 

“The way she orders her rhymes, rhythms, and lyrics is a mark of brilliance and talent. She is different from other artists with her ability to go through different genres and showcases a whirlwind of emotions and messages that has the ability to give people a voice,” said Baird. 

“This is actually my favorite album and I love the way that her music kept changing to show people that she could do anything and make a positive impact. Songs like “I Know Places” and “Clean” are definitely the ones that had the biggest impact on my life,” said Krudwig.

Taylor is still Taylor: materialistically unaffected and still growing up with the rest of us as one of us. She is kind to the core and centered on values. She hasn’t forgotten her roots and her humble, ultra-normal beginnings. 

Baird reminds us, “She started as a 16-year-old country artist who grew up on a Christmas Tree farm in Pennsylvania and moved to Nashville to pursue a dream. She wrote her first song at the age of 13 and went from small theater audiences to sold-out football stadiums. Through the feedback, support  from fans, and hate from outsiders, Taylor embraced it all and turned her emotions into music, creating 10 relatable, screamable, cryable and happy albums.”  

Everything she is taking on is a trailblazing big deal. Few celebrities maintain that innate responsibility to be a mentor, a role model and to fight for what’s right.  

Krudwig said, “It’s such a big deal because she is showing resilience of how no one can stop her from living the dream that she wants. The re-records show that even though she is older now she does still care about the younger woman that she was.”  

At a billion streams in the first few days of its release, those songs we know by heart are getting a reboot that fans are taking to heart.  

Despite bad blood (raw contract deal, celeb gossip, rude rumors) she’s wiped the slate clean, taken that blank space and recreated her wildest dreams.

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  • B

    BarbaraNov 9, 2023 at 10:04 am

    What a well written “learn something new article”. Easy to follow & so interesting. A great conversation piece for “Swifties”. Love the visuals & opinions too.

    Reply
  • T

    TiffanyNov 7, 2023 at 7:24 pm

    Inspiring article that highlights more of Taylor’s depth, savvy, and artistry. Enjoyed reading about her strategy when her catalog was sold out from under her. Way to play it Taylor! Agree she indeed has a sisterly-familial bond that other celebs don’t genuinely have-their connections are more manufactured and distant. Enjoyed the reflections from those insights about growing up with Taylor then and now and how this album endures in particular. Great read, highly recommend.

    Reply