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1989 is the fifteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, released digitally through his own PAX AM record label on September 21, 2015. The album is a track-by-track cover of Taylor Swift's album of the same name.[1] It debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200 chart, one position ahead of Swift's 1989, which was in its 48th week on the chart.[2]

1989
RyanAdams1989cover.jpg
Studio album by Ryan Adams
Released September 21, 2015
Studio Pax-Am, Los Angeles
Genre
Length 54:18
Label PAX AM
Producer
  • Ryan Adams
  • Charlie Stavish
Ryan Adams chronology
Ryan Adams
(2014)Ryan Adams2014
1989
(2015)
Prisoner
(2017)Prisoner2017

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Adams first became interested in Taylor Swift's album while coping with the collapse of his marriage to Mandy Moore.[3] On what attracted him about Swift's album, Adams stated "There's just a joy to 1989,"[3] describing the album as "its own alternate universe."[3] Adams initially described the album as being in the style of The Smiths.[4] When recording the album, Adams said he found a sound somewhere between Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town and The Smiths' Meat Is Murder.[5]

Taylor Swift's responseEdit

On the day that Adams announced the project, Swift responded enthusiastically from her Twitter account, saying "Cool I'm not gonna be able to sleep tonight or ever again and I'm going to celebrate today every year as a holiday."[6]

Two weeks later, an official statement was released via Entertainment Weekly, whereupon Swift expressed further excitement and anticipation:

"Ryan Adams is one of the artists who shaped my songwriting. My favorite part of his style of creating music is his ability to bleed aching vulnerability into it, and that’s what he’s done with his cover project of my album 1989. When I first heard that Ryan was going to be covering my entire album, I couldn’t believe it. It’s such an honor that he would want to take my stories and lyrics and give them a new life. He’s gotten some of the best musicians together to record this album and if the clips he’s released are any indication, this is going to be something really special."

— Taylor Swift, August 20, 2015[7]

One month later, on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show with Adams and a surprise appearance from Swift a day after the album was released, Swift lavished praise and adulation upon Adams' work, and expressed the ways in which his interpretation of the songs differs from her own, stating that "they’re not cover songs" in the commonly expected sense. "They’re reimaginings of my songs, and you can tell that he was in a very different place emotionally when he put his spin on them than I was when I wrote them. There’s this beautiful aching sadness and longing in this album that doesn’t exist in the original."[8] In the same interview, she also admitted that (after having spent time listening to an advance copy of his album) some of Adams' melodies were beginning to pervade her songs during touring performances.[8]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 69/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic      [10]
American Songwriter      [11]
The A.V. Club A-[12]
The Boston Globe Positive[13]
Entertainment Weekly A-[14]
Los Angeles Times Positive[15]
Pitchfork 4/10[16]
Slant Magazine      [17]
Sputnikmusic 3.9/5[18]
The Telegraph      [19]

Adams' interpretation of 1989 received mostly positive feedback from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 from selected independent ratings and reviews from mainstream critics, the album received a metascore of 69 out of 100, based on 25 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[9]

Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt praised the album, commenting "If turning the biggest, shiniest pop record of the past year into a survey course in classic rock economy sounds like a novelty, it is. But it's also the best kind--one that brings two divergent artists together in smart, unexpected ways, and somehow manages to reveal the best of both of them."[14] Jim Beviglia of American Songwriter also complimented the album, stating "It is 1989 reimagined, with often startling results."[11] On a similar note, The A.V. Club's Annie Zaleski said of the album in her review: "What his version of 1989 does best is illustrate the strength of the source material. With the radio-ready gloss stripped away, these songs compare to the best moments in Swift’s back catalog."[12] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times, however, called the album, "a love letter from an indie idol to a pop queen," and considered Adams "not built for the songs."[20] In a similarly negative review, Mark Richardson of Pitchfork Media declared, "Adams has transformed (1989) into ... a run-of-the-mill Ryan Adams album."[16]

AccoladesEdit

Publication Rank List
Diffuser 8 The 50 Best Albums of 2015[21]
Entertainment Weekly 40 The 40 Best Albums of 2015[22]
NME 50 NME's Albums of the Year 2015[23]
Paste 40 The 50 Best Albums of 2015[24]
Rough Trade 99 Albums of the Year 2015[25]
Huffington Post 8 Albums of the Year 2015[26]

Track listingEdit

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Welcome to New York" 3:18
2. "Blank Space" 3:21
3. "Style"
2:44
4. "Out of the Woods" 6:07
5. "All You Had to Do Was Stay"
  • Swift
  • Martin
3:30
6. "Shake It Off"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
4:06
7. "I Wish You Would"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
3:44
8. "Bad Blood"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
3:55
9. "Wildest Dreams"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
5:21
10. "How You Get the Girl"
  • Swift
  • Martin
  • Shellback
3:50
11. "This Love" Swift 4:45
12. "I Know Places"
  • Swift
  • Tedder
5:14
13. "Clean"
4:23
Total length: 54:18

PersonnelEdit

Credits are adapted from liner notes of 1989.

Musicians

Technical

  • Andy West Design – design
  • Julia Brokaw – band photos
  • Gavin Lurssen – mastering
  • Charlie Stavish – production, engineer, mixing

ChartsEdit

1989 debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200 chart with 56,000 album-equivalent units. Taylor Swift's 1989, in its 48th week on the chart, was in the number 8 position.[2]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[27] 9
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[28] 9
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[29] 9
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[30] 21
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[31] 28
Irish Albums (IRMA)[32] 15
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[33] 18
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[34] 21
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[35] 78
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[36] 38
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[37] 58
UK Albums (OCC)[38] 19
US Billboard 200[39] 7
US Vinyl Albums (Billboard)[40] 2

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2016) Position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[41] 192

Release historyEdit

Source: Amazon.com[42]

Date Region Format(s) Label
September 21, 2015 United States
  • digital download
PAX AM
November 6, 2015 United States
  • CD
PAX AM
December 11, 2015 United States PAX AM

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ryan Adams Says Taylor Swift '1989' Cover Album Will Be Finished This Week". Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (September 27, 2015). "Both Taylor Swift and Ryan Adams' '1989' Albums Are in Top 10 of Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c O'Donnell, Kevin (September 21, 2015). "Ryan Adams opens up about his Taylor Swift 1989 cover album". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Complete History (So Far) of Ryan Adams' Taylor Swift Cover Project". Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Story Behind Ryan Adams's '1989′ Homage to Taylor Swift". WSJ Blogs - Speakeasy. September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ "@TheRyanAdams Cool I'm not gonna be able to sleep tonight or ever again and I'm going to celebrate today every year as a holiday. I'M CALM". Twitter. August 6, 2015. Archived from the original on October 1, 2016. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Taylor Swift says Ryan Adams' 1989 cover album is 'such an honor'". Entertainment Weekly. August 20, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Surprised Ryan Adams on a Radio Show to Talk About 1989". TIME. September 21, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "Reviews for 1989 by Ryan Adams". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  10. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "1989 - Ryan Adams". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Beviglia, Jim (September 21, 2015). "Ryan Adams: 1989". American Songwriter. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Annie Zaleski. "Ryan Adams transforms Taylor Swift's 1989 into a melancholy masterpiece". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ Reed, James (September 22, 2015). "Ryan Adams turns Taylor Swift's '1989' into mellow gold". The Boston Globe. John W. Henry. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (September 21, 2015). "1989 by Ryan Adams: EW Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  15. ^ Wood, Mikael (September 21, 2015). "Ryan Adams turns to Taylor Swift for help on his version of '1989'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (September 25, 2015). "Ryan Adams, 1989". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Slant review". 
  18. ^ K., Rudy (September 22, 2015). "Review: Ryan Adams - 1989". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  19. ^ McCormick, Neil (September 22, 2015). "Ryan Adams, 1989, review: 'beautifully evokes the ghosts in Taylor Swift's pop machine'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  20. ^ Caramanica, Jon (September 22, 2015). "Teaming Up, Together (Drake and Future) or Apart (Ryan Adams and Taylor Swift)". The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  21. ^ Diffuser Staff (December 8, 2015). "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Diffuser. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  22. ^ EW Staff (December 9, 2015). "The 40 Best Albums of 2015". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  23. ^ NME Staff (December 2, 2015). "NME's Albums of the Year 2015". NME. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  24. ^ Paste Staff (December 2, 2015). "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Paste. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  25. ^ Rough Trade Staff. "Albums of the Year 2015". Rough Trade. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  26. ^ Kristi York Wooten. "The Best Albums of 2015 2015". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 20, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Ryan Adams – 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ryan Adams – 1989" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  29. ^ "Ryan Adams Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  30. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Ryan Adams – 1989" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  31. ^ "Ryan Adams: 1989" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  32. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 39, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  33. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Ryan Adams – 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  34. ^ "VG-lista - Topp 40 Album uke 41, 2015". Lista.vg.no. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Ryan Adams – 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  36. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Ryan Adams – 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  37. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Ryan Adams – 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  38. ^ 26, 2015/7502/ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  39. ^ "Ryan Adams Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  40. ^ "Vinyl Albums : Jan 02, 2016". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2016. 
  41. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2016: Albums" (in Dutch). Ultartop Flanders. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  42. ^ "Ryan Adams: 1989: Music". Amazon.com. ASIN B015I145OC. Retrieved November 10, 2015.