Taylor Swift Eras Tour: a guide to every album era in her career – Insider


Swift, who was 16 when the album was released, sang hit tracks like “Tim McGraw,” “Our Song,” and “Teardrops On My Guitar” with a country twang, and she graced red carpets in sundresses and cowboy boots.
“I get so excited about these things because I love to dress up. But I wear cowboy boots so that when I walk down the stairs I won’t fall,” Swift told Entertainment Weekly in 2007 about attending award shows like the Country Music Awards.
The album earned Swift her first Grammy nomination, for best new artist, and a nomination for new female vocalist of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. “Our Song” made her the youngest artist in history to have written and performed a No. 1 song on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Swift released her sophomore album, “Fearless,” in 2008. It won four Grammys, including album of the year and best country album. It also won album of the year at both the Country Music Association Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards.
Her music video for “You Belong With Me” won best female video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. In the middle of her acceptance speech, Kanye West grabbed the microphone and declared that Beyoncé had been robbed, sparking a long-running feud.
Swift sang that she liked “glitter and sparkly dresses” and getting back at exes by “writing their names into songs so they’re ashamed to go in public” when she hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2009. Both were fixtures of her “Fearless” era, which explored the highs of grand romantic gestures in songs like “Love Story” and the lows of heartbreak in tracks like “Forever & Always.” 
On the Fearless Tour, Swift wore ball gowns and sequins while performing on a stage featuring a fairy-tale castle.
Swift wrote the entirety of “Speak Now” (2010) by herself, without any cowriters, in response to critics who claimed she didn’t write her own songs.
“I’ve had several upheavals in my career,” she told Rolling Stone in 2019. “When I was 18, they were like, ‘She doesn’t really write those songs.’ So my third album I wrote by myself as a reaction to that.”
Swift’s “Speak Now” era maintained some of the magic and whimsy of “Fearless” with tracks like “Sparks Fly” and the anthemic “Long Live,” but it also included scathing songs like “Dear John,” “Better Than Revenge,” and “Mean,” which won two Grammys for best country song and best country solo performance.
Swift appears in a purple dress on the album cover of “Speak Now,” and she wore a purple dress on the Speak Now World Tour. She also released a perfume in a purple bottle called “Wonderstruck” in 2011, referencing lyrics in the chorus of her song “Enchanted:” “I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home.”
The “Red” era, naturally, featured lots of vibrant red colors. Swift also began experimenting more with her style and sound. She straightened her famously curly hair, traded sparkly dresses for vintage looks like high-waisted shorts, and collaborated with pop producers such as Max Martin and Shellback.
“Musically and lyrically, ‘Red’ resembled a heartbroken person,” Swift wrote in a 2021 Instagram post announcing the release of her re-recorded album, “Red (Taylor’s Version).” “It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together at the end.”
“Red” was nominated for four Grammys, including album of the year and best country album. It spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard 200, making Swift the first female artist and the second artist ever (aside from The Beatles) to have three consecutive albums spend at least six weeks at No. 1.
When Swift released “1989” in 2014 with catchy tracks like “Shake It Off” and “Style,” she left no doubt that she had transcended her country roots and become a full-blown pop star. It won three Grammys, including album of the year, and became the fastest-selling album of the last decade, Variety reported.
“The best choices are bold choices,” Swift said in a 2014 interview with “On-Air With Ryan Seacrest,” per Taste of Country. “With my last album ‘Red,’ I kind of had one foot in pop and one foot in country, and that’s really no way to walk and get anywhere. If you want to continue to evolve, I think eventually you have to pick a lane, and I just picked the one that felt more natural to me at this point in my life.”
Her “1989” era was dominated by her “squad” of famous friends. Squad members Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne, Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Lena Dunham, and others starred in her music video for “Bad Blood.”
On the 1989 World Tour, Swift debuted an edgier style with sequined bustiers and illusion jumpsuits.
Swift went dark during this era, wiping her social-media accounts and refraining from interviews and public appearances. Her mantra was “There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation.”
In “Look What You Made Me Do,” Swift declared that “the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now” because “she’s dead.” In music videos and on tour, she leaned into the snake imagery that emerged out of her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, when fans of the latter flooded her social media accounts with snake emojis.
“I went through some times when I didn’t know if I was going to get to do this anymore,” she told the crowd in Glendale, Arizona, on the opening night of the Reputation Stadium Tour, Buzzfeed reported. “I wanted to send a message to you guys that if someone uses name-calling to bully you on social media, and even if a lot of people jump on board with it, that doesn’t have to beat you. It can strengthen you instead.”
Despite the darkness of the era, songs like “Delicate” and “Gorgeous” also chronicle the beginning of her relationship with longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn.
The album received one Grammy nomination, for best pop vocal album. The Reputation Stadium Tour became the highest-grossing US tour in history.
“Lover,” released with Republic Records in 2019, was the first album that Swift fully owned after her master recordings were sold to music executive Scooter Braun. The acquisition caused a public feud, with Swift calling the acquisition her “worst case scenario” in a Tumblr post and Braun saying he “regrets” how it was handled
The singer leaned fully into political activism with her song and music video for “You Need To Calm Down” advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. She also wrote more upbeat autobiographical songs about her relationship, such as “London Boy” and “Paper Rings.” 
“I’m in a much better mood,” Swift said in a 2019 appearance on “The Graham Norton Show” when asked about her new music’s bright pop aesthetic.
Lover Fest would have been her sixth concert tour, but all shows were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The album received three Grammy nominations, won four MTV Video Music Awards, and won favorite pop/rock album at the American Music Awards.
Swift collaborated with producers Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner to craft a new sound and approach to songwriting. She also wrote a few tracks with Alwyn, who used the pseudonym “William Bowery.”
Instead of writing purely autobiographical songs, Swift was inspired by characters and stories of her own creation.
“In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness,” she wrote in an Instagram post announcing “Folklore.” “Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory. I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve.”
Swift left the sheen and vibrancy of “Lover” behind in favor of a more understated, woodsy style. She wore her natural curls in loose braids and buns, and her wardrobe consisted of cozy cardigans, plaid coats, and jewel-toned velvet.
Swift won her third Grammy award for album of the year for “Folklore,” making her the first woman to win album of the year three times. “Folklore” was also the best-selling album of 2020.
“Midnights” explores Swift’s feelings of wistfulness, self-loathing, and loneliness that keep her up at night. The album art and “Anti-Hero” music video feature the singer wearing retro outfits in spaces with wood paneling and warm colors straight out of the 1970s, while the music video for “Bejeweled” adds a glitzy, celestial element to the era.
“This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” she wrote on Instagram. “The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching — hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve… we’ll meet ourselves.”
Swift became only artist in history to claim all top 10 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single week when songs from “Midnights” filled all 10 spots.
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