The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile

“Taylor’s Version”: Past, Present, and Future

Re-released records and international tours sweep the billboards and break records
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Wisdom Konu

Front page headlines. Record-breaking shows. The “Biggest Hit” of the summer. Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour was in all of our minds. Performing over 25 shows across America, the superstar had everyone invested in her surprise songs, interactions with the crowds, and just about every second of her 3-hour-long show. 

Whether someone wants to label the tour as a “fashion show” or “the best concert EVER,” it is undeniable that Taylor Swift changed concert expectations. Nobody has done what she did, and she is quite literally one of the most successful artists of the decade. If you think about it, what other artists have you seen have such loyal – yet kind of insane – fans? Fans who refuse to listen to albums owned by a producer Taylor hates, fans who back her up in every choice. Sometimes, the large fan base is scary, yet also it has some of the best critical thinkers. 

After Taylor Swift re-released the first album of her “taking back my songs” era, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), fans worldwide lost their minds. Soon following, Red (Taylor’s Version), Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), and now 1989 (Taylor’s Version) have broken records. Not only has no other artist done this, but no other artist has had an initially successful album become more successful the second time it is released. Something about her re-recordings just makes them better. Whether it was lyric changes like in Speak Now TV or significant production changes, including the addition of synth music in 1989 TV, Taylor Swift is clearly doing something right. People have opinions of the original albums versus the re-recordings, influenced by the superstar’s context or something else entirely. Still, everyone seems to find the heartbeat of each Taylor’s Version album in one spot: the vault tracks.

When an artist releases an album, there is a lot of thought put into what songs go where and which tunes can even be included. Taylor Swift had a lot of cutting back to do back in 2014 when she sculpted the iconic pop album 1989. Nine years later, with the release of 1989 TV, she made many fans extremely happy by including 5 “vault tracks.” A “vault track” was defined during the first re-recording as a song written simultaneously with the original album but that did not make the cut. Swift has locked these songs away for a long time, waiting for the right time to show the world. Thankfully, the re-recordings of these albums provide that moment she had been waiting for. 

On October 27, 2023, hundreds of thousands of fans waited for the clock to strike midnight ET and listened to 1989 TV. The insane commitment to Swift’s music is incredible to witness. In mere minutes, memes, tweets, and reviews were released, ranking the highly anticipated vault tracks. Whether you are a Harry Styles fan or not, the 5th and final track of 1989 TV blew minds. Is It Over Now? was one of the most relatable tracks, with the perfect amount of Taylor Swift’s mind-blowing lyricism. Followed closely by Sl*t! and Say Don’t Go on my rankings, the vault tracks just meshed so well with the fresh pop album.

What’s next, though? Reputation TV, Taylor Swift (Debut) TV, or a new album altogether? What does the superstar have planned? Fans can speculate all they want, with many “connecting the dots” with easter eggs or coincidences set up over Swift’s lengthy time in the music industry, but Taylor Swift will not admit to any plans. The millions hoping for an answer will just have to wait. She will likely be taking a trip to watch the Superbowl before announcing another world-shattering album, but time will tell.

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About the Contributors
Kaitlyn Brown, Sports Co-Editor
I have a cat named Robb and I like soccer
Wisdom Konu, Executive Editor and Culture Co-Editor
at city im like princess diana
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