Chart Beat

Here's How 'Fearless (Taylor’s Version)' Performed in Its First Six Months, Compared to Taylor Swift's Original 'Fearless'

Taylor Swift, 'Fearless'
Beth Garrabrant

Taylor Swift, 'Fearless'

Swift's re-recorded album continues to outperform the original in every format but radio.

On Apr. 9, Taylor Swift unveiled Fearless (Taylor’s Version), a re-recorded and expanded edition of her best-selling 2008 sophomore album, and the first entry in her process of re-recording her first six studio albums. First announced in 2019 after Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings bought Big Machine Label Group -- the owner of those albums' master recordings -- for $300 million, Swift has forged ahead with her plan this year, with Fearless (Taylor’s Version) to be followed by Red (Taylor’s Version), a re-recorded edition of her 2012 album, next month.

As noted upon its No. 1 bow on the Billboard 200 chart in April, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the first chart-topping album of its kind, as a re-recorded version of another No. 1 album, which reached the Billboard 200 summit over a decade ago. Now, Swift is celebrating the six-month anniversary of the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) with the album back atop the albums chart.

Before Red (Taylor’s Version) arrives on Nov. 12 through Republic Records, however, we can now look back on the commercial performance of Swift’s first re-recorded album over its first six months of release, including the most recent tracking week -- and compare it to the performance of Swift’s original Fearless during the same time period.

From its release day through Oct. 8, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) has earned 774,000 equivalent album units, according to MRC Data, while Fearless has earned 124,000 equivalent album units over that same span. Here’s a visual comparison of how Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Fearless have performed over the past six months, in equivalent album units:

Courtesy Photo

In its first week of release, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) earned 291,000 equivalent album units -- at the time, the biggest debut week for any album in 2021. The re-recorded album ended its first month of release (Apr. 9 - May 8) with 408,000 equivalent album units, while the original Fearless earned 22,000 equivalent album units during the same span.

The monthly equivalent album unit total for Fearless (Taylor’s Version) fell during each of the next four months -- but soared back up over the last month, when the album returned to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for a second nonconsecutive frame during the week ending Oct. 7. Flying up the chart from No. 157 to No. 1 thanks largely to the Oct. 1 release of a signed CD only available in Swift’s webstore and its vinyl LP, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) earned 152,000 equivalent album units in its most recent chart frame. The re-recorded album earned 174,000 equivalent album units over the past month, compared to 18,000 equivalent album units for the original Fearless.

Digging into the disparity in equivalent album units between Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Fearless over the past six months, the re-recorded album earned 498 million on-demand streams during that time period, compared to the original album’s 148 million streams. Meanwhile, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) earned 401,000 album sales (including 308,000 physical album sales) and 35,000 digital song sales in its first six months, compared to 14,000 album sales (12,000 physical sales) and 24,000 digital song sales for Fearless.

The only area in which the original album reigned supreme over its re-recorded version during the past six months: radio spins. Fearless scored 21,000 song plays on radio between Apr. 9 and Oct. 8, compared to 12,000 for Fearless (Taylor’s Version).

A number of factors contributed to Fearless (Taylor’s Version) earning a handy lead in equivalent album units over the original Fearless, including fan interest in (and support for) the reworked project, streaming platform placement upon its release, and its expanded track list. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) contains six additional “From The Vault” songs, including collaborations with Maren Morris and Keith Urban, that did not make the original album but were included in the track list to the re-recorded version -- and helped contribute to its equivalent album unit totals.

Red (Taylor’s Version) will also include “From The Vault” songs: Swift announced collaborations with Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton and Ed Sheeran for the expanded track list, as well as a 10-minute version of fan favorite “All Too Well.” Last month, Swift also unveiled a re-recorded version of “Wildest Dreams” -- presumably from her upcoming reworked edition of 2014’s 1989 -- and the song streaked to No. 37 on the Hot 100.