Swift Fearlessly Ascends the Music Chart with Taylor’s Version

This past Friday, April 9, 2021, Taylor Swift released Fearless (Taylor’s Version), a re-recorded and extended studio album version of her second, multi-platinum album, Fearless, from 2008. Taylor’s Version of Fearless, 13 years after the first version, is meant to be the debut in a series of 6 re-recorded albums, so that she can obtain the masters from her earlier albums. This could be considered her tenth studio album since the release of her ninth, evermore, four months ago, in December, itself preceded by her eighth, folklore, from last July.

The original version of Fearless had 13 tracks, and then increased to 19 for a platinum edition. The most recent version has double that, 26 total tracks, including the 19 from the platinum edition, her 2010 hit “Today Was a Fairytale,” from the Valentine’s Day soundtrack, which she acted in, along with 6 additional unreleased tracks.

The 20 previously-released tracks of the new Fearless are not new in the sense that the lyrical content and melodies are the same, but her voice has of course matured since then, and the production has been updated for Taylor’s Version.

Novelty does not necessarily matter to fans though. With her re-released version of earlier hits, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) allowed Taylor Swift to immediately ascend to the top of the music charts.

According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology, which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts Fearless (Taylor’s Version) immediately allowed Swift to sweep all of Music Maven’s top artist categories: The Most Streamed Artist, The Highest Earning Artist, and the Most Influential Artist.

Swift quickly rose to the top of the artist charts with 40M total streams, and $106.4K, proving both her endurance, recent sound recognition, and the value of the strategy of releasing albums with a very extensive track list, practically the length of a double studio album. Mass fan validation for the strategy of releasing covers from an artist’s earlier catalog may also encourage other artists to do the same.

At the same time, Swift’s own subsequent debuts have declined over the last three albums. In July, folklore debuted with 66.7M streams, and in December, evermore debuted with 50.4M streams, both higher than Fearless (Taylor’s Version), which debuted at 40M.

While fans may be wary of overproduction from one artist, or in this case, the reproduction of earlier music, which may explain this decline, the absence of new production by other artists more than makes up for her near absolute dominance of the charts.

Swift’s 40M streams were about 6 times higher than her most recently released competitor, Justin Bieber, who still ranks high with 6.6M streams per day thanks to his latest album, Justice, from March 19. Compared to the 26.2M streams for the debut of Justice, Swift’s latest Fearless, nearly doubled that record, proving that regardless of any other factor, re-released tracks by top artists can shatter the ranks of newly released work by other top artists.

By Vince, April 12, 2021