Taylor Swift's 7 Best Songs On Piano

John Shearer/LP5/Getty Images for TAS
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the Formula 1 USGP on October 22, 2016 in Austin, Texas.  

Not too many artists can have a year of pop star relevance without a new album, a hit single, festival dates or even a tour -- but Taylor Swift isn’t like most.

Whether it was winning the coveted Grammy for Album of the Year, her “Bleachella” attire, glossy Vogue cover, candid split with Calvin Harris and his additional Twitter shade, or the infamous “Snapchatgate” incident, Swift remained an unstoppable force in one of her quietest years musically.

While fans were hoping to wake up to a surprise 1989 follow-up – traditionally Swift releases a new album every other October – Swift returned to the stage for her first and only concert of 2016 on Oct. 22, headlining the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix show in Austin, Texas.

The night also marked the 10th anniversary of Swift’s self-titled debut album, but the highlight of the show was when she broke into an unexpected piano version of “This Is What You Came For,” the song she ghost wrote for ex-beau Harris and Rihanna.

It was the first time Swift ever performed the summer hit, and some say it was a coy jab at her ex, but Swift has been playing the piano since she was a child and has a history of gracing the stage with stripped down versions of her songs. Here are some of the best Swift songs that have been re-imagined on the piano.

“All Too Well”

This might be the most iconic piano performances from Swift, or at least the most exciting. Swift often belted out the ballad, which is supposedly about her late relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, during her Red tour, but one of the song’s best performances came during the 56th Grammy Awards in 2014. Fans instantly fell in love with the dramatic piano presentation, as she head banged and slammed against the keys to soulful backup singers.

“Tim McGraw”

Although it’s famous for being Swift’s first single and centers on a soft country-inspired guitar, “Tim McGraw” was reportedly written by Swift, with writing partner Liz Rose, on the piano in 20 minutes. Some say it was 15 minutes. It has also become one of the favorite songs for fans to cover on the piano.

“Wildest Dreams”

“Wildest Dreams” became one of those inescapable radio songs, and often with a dance remix at that, but Swift brought new life to the single during her 1989 world tour with a much lighter arrangement. Her piano versions really showed off her vocal chops, especially with singing fans that echoed though like backup harmonies.

“Out of the Woods”

It’s no secret that Swift loves the Grammys, and that love seems to be mutual. In 2015 The Grammy Museum hosted “The Taylor Swift Experience,” a special exhibit in Los Angeles, which even featured the piano she used on her Red tour. Swift closed the exhibit with an intimate performance of “Out of the Woods” at the Clive Davis Theater. The song’s original ’80s synth beats were traded for a beautifully vulnerable spotlight piano performance, exposing all of the emotional wounds from an anxiety filled relationship.

“Forever and Always”

A last minute addition on her sophomore album Fearless, “Forever and Always” proved to be a fan-favorite, peaking in the Billboard Top 40, and the bluntly honest single about her breakup with Joe Jonas. But it was the piano version -- which was released on the platinum edition of the album -- that really caught ears. The new version was nearly unrecognizable from the original, as she took on more of a mature and cathartic experience.

“You’re Not Sorry”

“You’re Not Sorry” was a power piano ballad from the start, no covers necessary. The lush Fearless track is layered with somber violins and country rock inspired harmonies, and even throws in an electrified guitar solo. It’s also known as the first song Swift performed at the American Country Music Awards in 2009 – a baby-faced Swift with curls and all.

“Blank Space” and “Style”

Two of the biggest tracks from 1989; “Blank Space” became a sensation that peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and now holds over a billion views on YouTube, while “Style” peaked at No. 6 with some of the catchiest lyrics of lipstick you will ever hear. If you’re wondering why these thumping upbeat songs are on this list, it’s because they’ve both received numerous piano covers from fans. Some have even received shout outs from Swift, including fans Brooklyn Duo and Travis Atero. Swift also famously did a piano rendition of “Blank Space” at a fan’s wedding back in June – probably the nicest gift a couple could receive from a wedding crasher. 

 

 

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