2014 might as well have been renamed “1989”, to signify when the music world as we know it changed forever. With the last single and sappy, nostalgic video for “New Romantics” being recently released, it’s only right to look back on how influential Taylor Swift has been in the lives of music lovers everywhere with her album “1989”.
“The fans are the best part of this tour. They’re the reason the shows are incredible, and I know those fans out there are just all in. I don’t want to forget anything that happened on this tour. It was one of those remarkable moments in time when everything felt exciting. Looking out into like an endless ocean of crowd, that was everything. We’re all really sad that it’s ending, but we’re all really happy because of what it was,” Swift says in the New Romantics video. This relentless dedication to making her fans her top priority was evident through this era, whether it was having fans in her “Shake It Off” music video, surprising them with free meet and greets after every concert (called “Loft 89”, or hand-picking them from social media to meet at an undisclosed location to mingle with her and be the first to listen to the new album (aka “The 1989 secret sessions”). This is definitely part of her appeal, but the major key that separates her from many of her fellow music stars, is that it seems really genuine.
Since its release almost two years ago, 1989 has not left the iTunes top 10 album charts, selling over 8.6 million albums worldwide. “Shake it Off” debuted on August 18, 2014, with 7 other chart-topping songs to soon follow (namely “Blank Space”, “Style”, “Bad Blood”, “Wildest Dreams”, “Out Of The Woods”, and “New Romantics”). Following that was a larger-than-life, uber successful tour, appropriately titled “The 1989 World Tour”. Every single show was sold-out; by the end, Swift performed to a total of over 2 million fans, in 4 different countries, earning $250 million dollars. Not to mention the special superstar appearances that occurred at most North American tour tours, to the likes of Mick Jagger, Nick Jonas, the entire Woman’s National Soccer team, and basically everybody else in Hollywood. Every award at every award show has been hers, the best being how she was the first woman to ever win a Grammy for the “Album of The Year” category, twice.
Most of all, 1989 oversaw the total transformation of who Taylor Swift was, to who she is now, and the only person to credit for that transition was herself (hear that, Kayne West?). She and she alone decided that she was going to make a fully pop album, despite her label being extremely hesitant and her previous label as a country-pop crossover. With 1989, she proved, yes, her voice is good enough to sing anything, yes, you were wrong about her, and yes, she has absolutely fantastic songwriting capabilities. She’s changed how the world views her; long gone are the headlines of “Taylor Swift seen out on yet another date”; instead it’s about how she is smashing records with her songs that are not harsh breakup tell-alls, or standing up for women in acceptance speeches, or changing the way feminism is seen and accepted (Bad Blood music video anybody?). While doing all of that from this album along, she’s given Swifties and non-believers a liberating message: you can do anything you set your mind to, and don’t let others tell you who you are.
Who knows what’s next for Taylor Swift. Not even she knows yet, and she deserves a break to really reflect and enjoy about the tremendous success she’s had. But if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that she won’t limit herself ever again and somehow, she will be able to top 1989 with her inevitable 6th album. We’ll all be waiting, and watching, because at the end of the day, we all love just that blonde, preppy girl named Taylor from Pennsylvania, with the legs for days and music that truly never goes out of style.