[Updated] Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Set For Huge Debut Week

taylor swift 2014

[Updated, 3:00 p.m.]

Taylor Swift’s album 1989 has leaked online. This afternoon the album was available for streaming on sites including Eonline.com, but has since been taken down. Vulture.com has more on the story.

[Previous story, 10:30 a.m.]

Taylor Swift’s 1989 will be released Monday (Oct. 27) and industry sources are forecasting a debut week sales tally of between 800K and 900K copies, according to Billboard. This would make it the biggest-selling album released in 2014, upping Coldplay’s Ghost Stories which came out this year and has sold 737K (Nielsen Soundscan).

Swift’s previous albums, Red (2012) and Speak Now (2010), crossed the million sales mark during their first weeks of release. Since then, overall album sales have continued to decline, so it remains to be seen if 1989 will break the one million threshold.

The current Swift media blitz has included some interesting articles. In Esquire, she discussed songwriting and why Nashville is boot-camp for superstars:

TS: Country music teaches you to work. You hear stories about these artists who show up four hours late to a photo shoot, and in Nashville that doesn’t happen. In Nashville, if you go four hours late to a photo shoot, everyone leaves. In Nashville, if you don’t care about radio and being kind to the people who are being good to you … It’s a symbiotic relationship, and if you don’t take care of it, then they won’t take care of you. I’ve never been more proud to have come from a community that’s so rooted in songwriting, so rooted in hard work and in treating people well. It was the best kind of training…

I’m not gonna let them make me have a meltdown. But, I think, as a songwriter you lose your edge if you find a way to protect yourself from everything they’re going to say about you. You lose touch with what made you vulnerable enough to connect with people in your songwriting. And that’s not something I wanna do. So it’s all about walking a tightrope between not being so fragile and breakable that they can level you with one blow and being raw enough to feel it and write about it when you feel it. And it’s not just a celebrity-takedown culture. It’s a takedown culture. I know it when I see these kids—they’re gonna get tortured socially until they find their calling in life.

The New York Times delved into her decision to leave behind Country music and wage a war on pop:

[Excerpts]: Most important, country gave Ms. Swift context. It made her a transgressor, which means even her most benign songs could be read with mischievous intent. From the outside, she looked like a conquering titan. But from the inside looking out, even as the genre’s biggest star, she was always something of an underdog, multiplatinum albums and accolades be damned…

“1989” (Big Machine), though, her fifth album and the first that doesn’t at all bother with country, manages to find a new foe…. There is an implicit enemy on this breezily effective album: the rest of mainstream pop, which “1989” has almost nothing in common with…

What she doesn’t do on this album is as important as what she does. There is no production by Diplo or Mike Will Made-It here, no guest verse by Drake or Pitbull.

“1989,” which is largely filled with upbeat, tense songs on which the singer stomps out much of whatever was left of her youthful innocence. The Taylor Swift of this album is savage, wry, and pointed…

But by making pop with almost no contemporary references, Ms. Swift is aiming somewhere even higher, a mode of timelessness that few true pop stars — aside from, say, Adele, who has a vocal gift that demands such an approach — even bother aspiring to.


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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