As the world awaits Taylor Swift’s next installment in her six-album re-recording endeavor, the superstar is keeping plenty busy. On Wednesday (May 18), Swift received an honorary degree from NYU and delivered a commencement speech to a stadium of students, and earlier this week, she scored another Billboard Hot 100 hit with “This Love (Taylor’s Version),” an update of the 1989 track, which she shared earlier this month.
Meanwhile, her most recent re-recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version), has hit the six-month mark, after being released on Nov. 12, 2021. That means we now have a half-year head-to-head sample size to compare the commercial performance of Swift’s landmark 2012 album Red and its re-recorded version, and see how each project is being consumed across different platforms.
From its release day through the most recent tracking week, Red (Taylor’s Version) has earned 1.56 million equivalent album units, according to Luminate, while the original Red has earned 351,000 equivalent album units over that same time period. In its first week of release last November, Red (Taylor’s Version) launched atop the Billboard 200 chart with 605,000 equivalent album units earned in its first week – which means that Red (Taylor’s Version) earned 72% more equivalent album units in its debut week than the original Red has earned over the past six months.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Swift’s first re-recorded album, accomplished a similar feat compared to the original Fearless, earning more equivalent album units in its first week of release (291,000) than the 2008 original earned in its first full year going head-to-head with the re-recorded album (242,000). It’s worth noting, however, that the 1.56 million units that Red (Taylor’s Version) has totaled over six months has already well surpassed the equivalent album units total of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in its first year of release – 1 million – and has done so in half the time on the market.
Digging into the Red equivalent album unit totals, Red (Taylor’s Version) has earned 712,000 in pure album sales, compared to 14,000 sold of the 2012 version over the past six months. And Red (Taylor’s Version) has accrued 1.11 billion official on-demand U.S. streams of the album’s songs over that time period, while the original has earned 150.2 million in the same category.
Leading the way in those streams is “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” the re-recorded fan favorite that, thanks in large part to the much-anticipated “10 Minute Version” featured on the Red (Taylor’s Version) tracklist, topped the Hot 100 upon the album’s release last November. “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” is the most-streamed song from the re-recorded project, with 229.8 million official on-demand U.S. streams over the past six months; in comparison, the most-streamed song from the original Red over that time period is “I Knew You Were Trouble,” a top 5 Hot 100 hit for Swift, at 30.8 million streams.
“All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” also received radio play following its release, peaking at No. 25 on the Adult Pop Airplay chart, while “Message in a Bottle,” a previously unreleased “From the Vault” track on Red (Taylor’s Version), soared even higher, climbing to No. 10 on Adult Pop Airplay, No. 17 on Pop Airplay and No. 29 on Radio Songs. Days after the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) last November, iHeartRadio, the largest radio station owner in the U.S., pledged to play the re-recorded versions of Swift’s songs moving forward.
And from a charts perspective, Red (Taylor’s Version) has placed in the top 40 of the Billboard 200 every week since its release – 26 weeks thus far, including one week at No. 1 – while the original Red returned to No. 21 on the Billboard 200 for one week last November, its highest ranking since April 2013. Upon the release of Red (Taylor’s Version), Swift launched 26 songs onto the Hot 100, a new record for the most simultaneously charting hits among women.
As previously noted when comparing stats between Red (Taylor’s Version) and the original album, Swift’s latest release has benefitted from fan support for the re-recording endeavor, which was announced in 2019 following the acquisition of the master recordings of her first six studio albums by Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings that year. In addition, streaming platform placement of the re-recorded project, as well as the “From The Vault” tracks – which included new collaborations with Phoebe Bridgers, Ed Sheeran and Chris Stapleton, along with the 10-minute “All Too Well” – helped drive interest in Red (Taylor’s Version).
While fans still ponder which Swift album might be next to get the re-recording treatment, Swift will reflect upon the standout track from Red (Taylor’s Version) next month at the Tribeca Film Festival. After directing, writing, producing and co-starring in All Too Well: The Short Film, released alongside the album last November, Swift will screen and discuss the project at the film fest on June 11.
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