Last updated March 1, 2019.
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Released: October 27, 2014
Peak: #111 US, #11 UK, #19 AU, #19 CN
Sales (in millions): 9.0 US, 1.1 UK, 12.71 world (includes US and UK)
1989, named after Swift’s birth year, was inspired by the synthpop of the late ‘80s, completing her transition from country music which she’d already been making on previous albums. Swift called it her most “sonically cohesive” studio album. WK It generally satisfied her critics as well. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis said the album is full of “undeniable melodies and huge, perfectly turned choruses and nagging hooks.” WK The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica said Swift was aiming for “a mode of timelessness that few true pop stars even bother aspiring to.” WK 1989 became Swift’s third album to sell more than a million copies in its first week, making her the first artist to do so. WK The 1.287 million tally was the highest sales week since 2002 WK and 1989 was the only album in 2014 to exceed a million in sales. WK
She also repeated herself in leading off with a Max Martin and Shellback produced single (Shake It Off) which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, just as she’d done with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in 2012. “Shake It Off” was a reply to Swift’s detractors, supported by a video which would surpass 2 billion views.
The “minimalist electropop” WK Blank Space was the official second single and gave Swift the distinction of being the first artist to knock herself from the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. WK The song was a response to critics who accused her of being “an overly attached man-eater who dates for songwriting material.” WK Like its predecessor, it amassed more than 2 billion YouTube views.
Bad Blood was about an unnamed female singer – speculation has suggested Katy Perry – who hired away Swift’s tour personnel to sabotage the tour. WK A remixed version of the song featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar was the third #1 single from the album and racked up over 1 billion views on YouTube. It won MTV’s Video of the Year.
Style and Wildest Dreams were also official singles, both reaching the top 10 in the U.S. The sixth, and final, official single was the top 20 hit Out of the Woods.