Many credit Taylor Swift's fifth album, the blockbuster 1989, with transforming her from a country bumpkin ingenue into a pop superstar, but if you were paying attention her metamorphosis really began two years earlier, with the release of her fourth album, Red.
Last week, it was announced that Red would be the second of Tay's past records to get a (Taylor's Version) rerecording, following in the footsteps of Fearless earlier this year, which became her seventh consecutive Number 1 UK album.
Set to be comprised of a mammoth 30 songs (including one that is ten minutes long, heavily hinted to be the much sought-after original version of ballad All Too Well), the collection will drop November 19, which means we have a lot of time to get reacquainted with the original LP before then.
Even now, almost nine years since its initial release, Red sounds and feels like Taylor evolving before our eyes; taking the lessons she learnt from Fearless and Speak Now, and pushing her craft (and penchant for pop hooks) in bold, weird new directions.
There are stately rock ballads (State of Grace, Holy Ground), pop confections from Max Martin and Shellback (We Are Never..., I Knew You Were Trouble and 22) that act as precursors to 1989 and the album's centrepiece (All Too Well), Taylor's greatest technical accomplishment as a songwriter.
The numbers back Red's ambition up too. At the time of writing, the album's total chart sales amount to 772,000 copies. Broken down, that's 397,000 physical copies, 222,000 downloads and 153,000 streaming equivalent albums. Red also debuted atop the Official Albums Chart, becoming Taylor's first-ever UK Number 1 album and the first in a still unbroken run of seven chart-topping LPs. To date, Madonna (12) and Kylie Minogue (8) are the only female artists with more.
Red also has the honour of having the most UK Top 10 singles out of any Taylor Swift album. Four tracks in total - I Knew You Were Trouble (2), We Are Never... (4), Everything Has Changed (7) and 22 (9) - reached the Top 10, which is more than 1989 and Folklore, which had three each.
By and far the most popular track from Red is I Knew You Were Trouble - a synth-pop outlier with elements of EDM that became (at the time) Taylor's highest-charting entry on the Official Singles Chart at Number 2, equalling the peak of Love Story a few years earlier. Overall, it's amassed combined chart sales of 1.4 million, including 56 million streams and 879,000 downloads.
Following in its wake is the quirky lead single We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, the first song in a fruitful partnership with production wizards Max Martin and Shellback. We Are Never... boasts combined chart sales of 1.1 million and is also the most-streamed video of the Red era with 5.3 million total views.
Closely behind is Everything Has Changed, a collaboration with friend and contemporary Ed Sheeran with chart sales of 769k, including 45.1 million combined streams. In fourth place is the perky 22 with total chart sales of 627k, backed up by 34.1 million combined streams, and the juddering title track comes in fifth, amassing 242k combined chart sales and 18.1 million streams in total.
The album's Top 10 biggest tracks also include fan-favourite All Too Well (145k), dreamy promo single Begin Again (114k), and The Last Time with Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody (108k).
The biggest songs from Taylor Swift's Red in Official Chart sales order
|1||I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE|
|2||WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER|
|3||EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED|
|6||ALL TOO WELL|
|8||THE LAST TIME|
|9||STATE OF GRACE|
|11||STAY STAY STAY|
|12||I ALMOST DO|
|15||COME BACK... BE HERE|
|16||SAD BEAUTIFUL TRAGIC|
|17||THE LUCKY ONE|
|18||THE MOMENT I KNEW|
|19||GIRL AT HOME|
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