Taylor Swift 1989 ranked

Ranking every song on 1989 by Taylor Swift, in honour of the Taylor’s Version announcement

This album changed the trajectory of my life

I’m a morning person anyway, but waking up and peeking at my phone through crusty eyes and seeing PopCrave declare to me that Taylor Swift has announced 1989 Taylor’s Version genuinely brought a tear of joy to my pupils. I got out of bed with more energy than I thought humanly possible to muster. I love all of Taylor Swift’s albums, but 1989 feels like MY album. It’s been bested by Folklore, but this was the album era that made me a bonafide fan. It was the album I spent years with at uni, that I held close to my heart and bopped and cried to like I had never with Taylor before. Not only does it mean a lot to me, but it’s one of the greatest pop albums ever made – a seminal, decade defining record that is iconic in every sense of that overused word. I am beyond excited to get the definitive version of it in October – so in honour of that and to appease my excitement, here’s every song on 1989 by Taylor Swift ranked before Taylor’s Version drops in autumn.

16. Bad Blood

Whilst this album version is better than the dreadful single mix, Bad Blood is sadly taking the bottom spot. The chorus melody is bordering on insufferable, even if the verses are genuinely great pop music. Not a terrible song but the least impressive on this album by far – and a weird choice for single release considering what else is on this record.

15. You Are In Love

Okay here’s where it’s already getting hard, because I LOVE this song. The twinkly synth production, the conversational vocals… much to love here. The only reason it’s at this place is because we’re dealing we’re dealing with one of the greatest pop records EVER and it gets outshone.

14. Wonderland

Taylor here using Alice in Wonderland’s plot to represent a relationship on this 1989 bonus track that is greatly underrated. I love the throaty way she sings the title. Cheshire Cat smile is a bit cringe but I’ll let her off.

13. I Wish You Would

A straight up banger from Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift here. The chorus is scream-a-long levels of banger, but sonically this one does stuff too similar to a few other tracks on 1989 that I think Taylor Swift nails it on that bit better and will be ranked higher on this list.

12. Shake It Off

Look. This is a great song. End of. Yes it’s sickly sweet to the point of nausea when you’re not in the mood for it. Yes, it’s borderline children’s music. Yes, it soundtracks primary school discos around the world. But this is a meticulously crafted pop song – for all its cringe, for all it’s getting down to this sick beat. It does what it does perfectly, and even if you find it annoying (I do too when I’m feeling irritable) it’s a jubilant pop anthem and an undeniable ear worm. Argue amongst yourself! If you can’t see any merit or worth in Shake It Off at all, you’ve got your miserable self to blame.

11. This Love

The least streamed song on 1989 on Spotify, would you believe. Although, to be fair, not if we include the Taylor’s Version of it which has already been released ahead of the album and is infinitely better. This Love is a delicate exercise in patience, steadily building up its unmistakably Antonoff production into a truly euphoric final minute.

10. I Know Places

I’ve seen some naysayers slagging off the “I-I-I-I” melody that weaves itself throughout I Know Places, but I’ve always bopped and grooved to it. There’s an anger to this one that makes it feel like a track off Reputation before Reputation even got conceived. “Loose lips sink ships all the damn time” pleases me greatly. Her vocals when she screams “We run?” Give me the Taylor’s Version vocal of that as a matter of urgency.

9. How You Get The Girl

By FAR one of the most underrated out of every Taylor Swift 1989 track ranked here. I vaguely remember critics being cold on this one and it getting named as one of the worst tracks on the record – not sure what they’re listening to, but I’m concerned. The pacing of this song is just pop crafting of the highest order. The melody is completely delicious and irresistible. It’s like Bad Blood but BETTER.

8. All You Had To Do Was Stay

The little “STAY” that comes every four bars of the chorus is quite simply one of the most euphoric moments in any Taylor Swift song across her entire discography. “I’ve been picking up the pieces of the mess you made”… wow.

7. Out Of The Woods

Not one of The Swift’s most interesting of choruses but a banger with a verse so full of pop prowess it’s hard to resist, and clearly was an obvious choice for single. The crackle of that synth is incredible.

6. Welcome To New York

One of the most perfect pop openers of any album, ever. Famously, 1989 is the first full Taylor Swift foray into pure pop, and I have to get this one ranked high for how excellently it tells you exactly what you’re in for on this album. It’s a gear shift like no other. The way it feels like it’s truly popping in your ears, the hand clapping beat, the pure joy and pop euphoria – any naysayers are deluded. “It’s a new soundtrack we can dance to this beat, for evermore” was the nod to her future she didn’t even know she was doing.

5. Style

Any song heavily rumoured to be about Harry Styles is obviously going to be one of the most smitten and besotted love songs you could ever hope for. Literally makes me feel swept away and in the grips of a whirlwind romance every time I press play on it. Get Harry on a Taylor’s Version feature PLEASE.

4. New Romantics

Completely and utterly underrated. Criminally so. This little deluxe wow lurks as the final track on the album and it’s quite simply one of the greatest pop songs Taylor Swift has ever recorded. The sizzling attitude she puts into her vocal delivery of almost every word makes it feel like a shot of adrenaline to your heart. I can’t go to the gym without it. The way she leads you into the chorus with the “ahhh”s never ever gets old.”THE BEST PEOPLE IN LIFE ARE FREE”.

3. Wildest Dreams

Taylor Swift took a dip in the Born To Die era Lana Del Rey lake and emerged with an anthemic, soaring album centrepiece that truly lets your feel like you’re floating on air. “He’s so tall / and handsome as hell / he’s so bad but he does it so well” is just perfect pop songwriting, every rhyme feels delicious to the ear. By the time we get to the huge vocal after the bridge when she BELTS out “Even if it’s just in your” it’s over for every pop girl. A classic.

2. Blank Space

The definitive Taylor Swift song. Like, her signature song. If an alien came to earth and said what kind of pop music does Taylor Swift make, you’d press play on Blank Space. The perfect blend of pettiness and irresistible – a knowing wink to the way the press viewed Taylor for years in regards to her love life. I absolutely love the way the chorus doubles itself. One of the greatest pop songs of all time. I know I’ve made many “of all time” statements writing this but I need you to know I’m not doing it lightly. This album is just that good.

1. Clean

Imogen Heap and Taylor Swift came together and decided to write the most heartbreaking breakup song imaginable, but one so cathartic that it knows one day you’ll need it before you even know it yourself. Using a drug addiction as a metaphor for a breakup if obviously nothing new, but Heap and Swift write this song in a way that makes you feel like it is. Heartbreaking but healing in equal measure, if Clean hasn’t helped you get over someone yet then one day it’s going to. “Gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean” and “10 months sober, I must admit / Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it” are at war for the best lyrics award. A song so special it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.


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