“Don’t you dream impossible things?”
Oh, how Taylor Swift dreams! Swift’s record-breaking hits as part of her newly released album Midnights follow a long line of her making the impossible possible.
Let’s take a look at some of her previous records, comparing how they match up to the artist’s latest release.
In Swift’s debut album Taylor Swift, fan-favorite tracks like “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “Our Song” reached the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. For Swifties and casual fans alike, these pieces are important to Swift’s start, providing a starting point for her eventual style evolution from country to pop. This album was just the beginning of Swift’s career and the development of her “long list of ex-lovers,” most of which are the inspirations in her albums.
Fearless featured hits “You Belong with Me” and “Love Story,” which are arguably Swift’s most popular tunes. Though “You Belong with Me” never made it to number one, it maintained its number two position for over 30 weeks. Other tracks like “Fearless” and “Fifteen” took their places in the Top 50.
Swift’s re-recording of the album Fearless, dubbed as Fearless (Taylor’s Version), was released in 2021, more than 13 years after the original production. These songs are considered replacements for the master recordings she lost to the investment group Shamrock Holdings during the Scooter Braun controversy in 2019. Luckily, this legal dispute only helped Swift climb to the top as “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” hit number 10 on the Hot 100.
Speak Now, Swift’s bombshell breakup record, included notable songs like “Dear John” and “Last Kiss.” The former tune, allegedly about John Mayer, bashed the musician for their short relationship in 2009, and “Last Kiss” discussed her three-month fling with Joe Jonas. Although these two tracks never made the Top 20, it’s clear that Swift’s hits are popular without having to be number one.
The Red album represented a major turning point for Swift as this was the first time one of her songs made it to the top position of the Billboard charts. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” turned the tide for Swift’s career, and while it’s unclear who the song is about, it could reference her ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal, whom she also alludes to in “All Too Well.”
Though “All Too Well” is significant to the overall album, the piece really shined in the re-recording of Red. It was then that Swift dropped a 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” which locked first place for itself and remained there for a week.
As for 1989, “Style” and “Blank Space” both took number one positions for four and seven weeks respectively. Likewise, “Shake It Off” remained at number one for four weeks. These catchy hits illustrated the infamous red lipstick era and her relationship with Harry Styles.
“Look What You Made Me Do” launched Swift’s Reputation age, as the single was considered an anthem for breaking off friendships with fake individuals. Swift created the track to convey that her old self was gone with the distinct lyrics, “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now…Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead.” The single stayed at the number one point for three weeks, while “Delicate” and “Endgame” both reached the Top 20.
Swift’s next production Lover was released in 2019; Joe Alwyn, her current longtime partner, is the album’s rumored muse. The title song took the number 10 position and remained in the Top 100 for 22 weeks. “You Need to Calm Down” peaked at number two. “Cornelia Street” and “Death By a Thousand Cuts” are well-favored within Swift’s fan base because of their iconic bridges; however, both pop tunes failed to attain positions in the Billboard Top 20.
Folklore, released in 2020, and Evermore, released in 2021, were musical highlights of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Cardigan” and “The 1,” both from Folklore, surfaced at number one and at number four, respectively. As for Evermore, its song “Willow” also arrived at number one during its debut.
Now most recently, Midnights depicts 13 of Swift’s most sleepless nights, released on Oct. 21, 2022. “Anti-Hero” maintained a number one spot for eight weeks, but she didn’t stop there. Swift continued to become the first artist to have 10 tracks in the top 10 from one album. While most of the tracks from Midnights have left the top 10, “Anti-Hero” remains at number three, and it has stayed on the charts for 13 weeks.
With the announcement of The Eras Tour, Swift’s songs are predicted to make their comeback on the Billboards during the summer of 2023 as she plans to embark on a 52-show tour across the United States. For Swift, it seems like her career has just begun.