Fearless (Taylor Swift album)

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Fearless
A photograph showing Swift's side profile, with her blonde curly hair loose and free flown. She is wearing a white dress against a white background. Her name "Taylor Swift" is written in cursive, and the title "Fearless" is printed in all caps; both are at the bottom of the photograph.
Standard edition cover[note 1]
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 11, 2008 (2008-11-11)
Recordedc. 2007–October 2008
Studio
Genre
Length53:41
LabelBig Machine
Producer
Taylor Swift chronology
Beautiful Eyes
(2008)
Fearless
(2008)
Speak Now
(2010)
Singles from Fearless
  1. "Love Story"
    Released: September 15, 2008[1]
  2. "White Horse"
    Released: December 8, 2008[2]
  3. "You Belong with Me"
    Released: April 18, 2009[3]
  4. "Fifteen"
    Released: August 31, 2009[4]
  5. "Fearless"
    Released: January 3, 2010[5]

Fearless is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, released on November 11, 2008, by Big Machine Records. Written largely by Swift while she was promoting her debut studio album in 2007–2008, the album features songwriting credits from Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey, Colbie Caillat, and John Rich. Swift wrote seven of the thirteen songs on the standard edition by herself and, in her debut as a record producer, co-produced all songs with Nathan Chapman.

Fearless is a country pop record with pop crossover elements that music critics found appealing to a mainstream audience, expanding on the country sound of its predecessor. The songs are characterized by traditional country instruments such as banjos, fiddles, and acoustic guitars, intertwined with dynamic electric guitars. The lyrics are inspired by Swift's feelings as a teenager, and explore themes of romance, heartache, and aspirations. The album title refers to what Swift described as the overarching theme of all of its tracks, as they altogether depict her courage to embrace the challenges of love.

After the album's release, Swift embarked on the Fearless Tour, which ran from April 2009 to July 2010. Five songs were released as singles, including three US Billboard Hot 100 top-ten entries: "Love Story", "You Belong with Me", and "Fearless". "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" were successful on both country and pop radio, while Fearless spent eleven weeks atop the US Billboard 200 and was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. It received multi-platinum certifications in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the U.K. With twelve million copies sold worldwide, it is one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century.

Music critics complimented Swift's songwriting craftsmanship on Fearless for offering radio-friendly tunes and autobiographical narratives, though some were unimpressed by the formulaic production. The album won Album of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards. At the 2010 Grammy Awards, Fearless won Album of the Year and Best Country Album. Following the 2019 dispute regarding the ownership of Swift's back catalog, she released the re-recording, Fearless (Taylor's Version), in April 2021.

Background[edit]

Taylor Swift signed a publishing contract with Sony/ATV Tree Publishing in 2004 to become a songwriter, and a recording contract with Nashville-based Big Machine Records in 2005 to become a country music singer;[6] she was the youngest Sony/ATV signee in its history.[7] For four months near the end of 2005, Swift wrote songs with other Music Row songwriters and recorded her self-titled debut album, which was produced by Nathan Chapman.[8] It was the longest-charting album on the US Billboard 200 of the 2000s, and established Swift as one of country music's rising stars. Her success was rare for a female teenage artist, as country music had been dominated by mostly middle-aged male musicians.[9][10] Swift is the youngest person to single-handedly write and sing a number-one song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with the album's third single, "Our Song".[11]

To promote her debut album, Swift toured as the opening act for other country musicians including Rascal Flatts and George Strait during 2007–2008. While on tour, she continued to compose songs for her follow-up album on the road mostly by herself. Because Swift wanted to capture temporary moments, she would write anywhere possible, usually "at the concert venue ... a quiet place in some room at the venue, like the locker room".[12][13] During some days off from touring, Swift had songwriting sessions with Liz Rose, with whom she had largely collaborated on her first album.[13] She also wrote with musician John Rich and singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat.[14]

Writing and production[edit]

A portrait of Colbie Caillat, a blond woman speaking on a microphone
Swift wrote and recorded the song "Breathe" with Colbie Caillat (pictured in 2009).

Swift conceived the first idea for her second studio album after writing "Fearless", a song about the "best first date that [she hadn't] been on yet", while opening for Brad Paisley in mid-2007. The lyrics are about the possibilities of a first date, which symbolized her pondering her next steps after a successful debut.[15] Her songwriting was influenced by Paisley and Sheryl Crow's approach to expressing emotions.[note 2] Continuing on the romantic themes of her debut album, Swift chose to write songs about her personal feelings and observations of the world around her from the perspectives of a teenage girl, instead of the luxurious lifestyle brought by her newfound fame[16][17] to ensure her fans could relate to her songs: "I really try to write more about what I feel and guys and love because that's what fascinates me more than anything else – love and what it does to us and how we treat people and how they treat us. So pretty much every song on the album has a face that I associate with it."[18]

Swift usually started writing by identifying a core emotion she wanted to convey through the melody on guitar. On other songs, she sometimes came up with the title first before writing the hook.[15] While some songs were inspired by Swift's personal relationships, she said that most songs were dramatized observations rather than real-life experiences: "I've gone through breakups and the core emotions behind them, but it doesn't take much to get that sort of emotion out in a song, luckily for me."[19] She explained that the negative emotions on her songs—disappointment, frustration, or heartbreak—came easily without her actually going through emotional turmoil.[13] By July 2007, Swift had written as many as 75 songs.[15] She started recording with Chapman, who had produced her debut, as soon as she finished touring with George Strait.[20]

During the recording sessions, Swift emphasized the authenticity of the songs' emotional sentiments rather than technical rigidity: "I think it's the writer in me that's a little more obsessed with the meaning of the song than the vocal technique."[21] By March 2008, Swift had recorded six songs, including one co-written by and featuring Colbie Caillat—"Breathe".[13][22][23] Caillat was pleased with the collaboration: "[Swift] knows what she is doing."[24] Apart from newly penned songs, Swift recorded a few that she had written for her debut album, believing there were stories that deserved to be put out.[13] On the album, Swift made her debut as a record producer, co-producing all tracks with Chapman.[25] The standard edition consists of thirteen tracks, which Swift had planned because she considered thirteen her lucky number.[15][26] Of the thirteen tracks, Swift wrote seven by herself; the remaining were co-written with Caillat, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey, and John Rich.[27] Recording finished in October 2008 when Swift completed the track "Forever & Always" just before the album was mastered and published.[21][28]

Composition[edit]

Lyrics[edit]

Like Swift's debut album Taylor Swift, Fearless's prominent themes are love and life from a high school teenage girl's perspective.[7][16] While the two albums share themes, the lyrics in Fearless examine those themes with a more nuanced and mature observation.[30] Swift embraced country music's narrative songwriting to convey her coming of age.[31] The track "Fifteen", which Swift wrote during her freshman high school year in Hendersonville, Tennessee, chronicles her experiences and realizations as a high school student.[32] In the narrative, Swift and another girl named Abigail—her real-life high school friend—go through teenage love and heartbreak together.[30][33] As the song concludes, Swift realizes she could accomplish more than dating high school senior boys, and explicitly cautions her audience not to easily fall in love.[29] "Fifteen" represents the autobiographical narratives with honest vulnerability that appeal to Swift's audience.[34][35]

Many of Fearless' songs are about starry-eyed romance, and use imagery associated with fairy tales, such as princes and kissing in the rain.[16] The title track "Fearless" is Swift's imagination of a perfect first date, on which she dances in "her best dress" in the rain.[36][37] "Love Story" was inspired by a love interest whom Swift's family and friends were not fond of.[38] The song's narrative is based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.[39] Narrated from the perspective of Juliet, "Love Story" replaces the original's tragic conclusion with a happy ending.[40] The optimistic "Love Story" is contradicted by "White Horse", which was inspired by the same love interest.[41] In "White Horse", Swift is disillusioned that the love interest is not her ideal Prince Charming who could treat her like a princess after his unfaithfulness.[42] "Hey Stephen" is about Swift's hidden feelings for Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft, a country music band that had opened shows for Swift.[43] Heartbreak and emotional tumult are explored in songs such as "Tell Me Why", about an on-and-off relationship with an informal love interest; "You're Not Sorry", whose lyrics describe an unfaithful man; "Forever & Always", inspired by Swift's breakup with singer Joe Jonas; and "Breathe", about a friendship breakup.[44][45]

Other songs were inspired by romantic relationships of Swift's friends.[41] Swift wrote "You Belong with Me" after overhearing a band member of hers speaking to his unsympathetic girlfriend through a phone call.[46] Out of sympathy, she wrote a story in which the protagonist harbors feelings for an out-of-reach love interest unappreciated by his girlfriend.[47] The lyrics feature high school iconography, describe the protagonist as an ordinary girl "in sneakers", and the antagonistic girlfriend as a popular cheer captain "in high heels".[48] In "The Way I Loved You", Swift sings about her passionate feelings for a complicated ex-lover, despite her current relationship with a decent boyfriend.[49][50] Apart from romance, Fearless explores family love and aspirations in life. Swift dedicated "The Best Day" to her mother, inspired by an occasion when they went shopping together after Swift was turned down by her schoolmates.[51][52] The lyrics of "Change"—the closing track of the standard edition—detail Swift's determination to succeed despite her underdog status as a singer from a small, independent record label in Nashville.[53] She finished writing "Change" the night she won the Horizon Award at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards.[52]

Music[edit]

Fearless is a country pop album with elements of mainstream pop, which brings forth a crossover appeal to non-country audiences.[17][34] Music critics commented extensively on the album's sound; Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic and Hazel Cills of Pitchfork asserted that Fearless is more pop than country.[34] Cills wrote that the only country elements on Fearless are Swift's "faux-country accent" and "a few bits" of banjo and fiddle scattered throughout the songs.[54] Reviews from Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone and Alexis Petridis of The Guardian commented that Swift's melodic songwriting produces a teen pop and pop rock sound that appeal to young listeners.[55][56] For Ken Tucker of NPR, the only country aspect is the personal lyrics, and the songs' melodies combine elements of country, soft rock, and folk that made Swift stood out among other country musicians.[57]

The Fearless tracks are characterized by instruments associated with country music such as fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and acoustic guitar, intertwined with dynamic electric guitar and strings in the build-up.[56][58] The production is consistent throughout: each song follows a formulaic verse-chorus-bridge structure and has a dramatic bridge, a stripped-down final verse, and a dramatic final chorus.[55][58][59] Many of the songs on the album are uptempo with radio-friendly hooks, demonstrated through tracks such as "Fearless", "Fifteen", "Love Story", "You Belong with Me", "Tell Me Why", and "The Way I Loved You".[55][60] In "You Belong with Me", in addition to a banjo-led country pop production, the instrumental incorporates new wave-inspired electric guitar.[59] Other tracks with a more balladic production also feature pop hooks, such as "White Horse" and "You're Not Sorry".[42][60] "The Best Day" is the album's most understated track, featuring a stripped-down production accompanied by guitar strums.[50][58]

Release and promotion[edit]

Packaging[edit]

Swift named the album Fearless inspired by the title track. She explained: "[Being] fearless doesn't mean you're completely unafraid and it doesn't mean that you're bulletproof. It means that you have a lot of fears, but you jump anyway."[61] All the songs on the album reflected her "fearless" attitude to embrace the hardships and challenges in love and life.[52] Swift was the album's booklet designer; Joseph Anthony Barker, Ash Newell, and Sheryl Nields were responsible for the photography; and Leen Ann Ramey designed the cover artwork.[27] The thirteen-track standard edition was released on November 11, 2008, by Big Machine Records.[62] An international edition, featuring three additional tracks from Swift's debut album—"Our Song", "Teardrops on My Guitar", and "Should've Said No"—was released on March 9, 2009, by Big Machine in partnership with Universal Music Group.[63]

Swift announced a North American reissue of Fearless, subtitled Platinum Edition, on September 10, 2009.[64] The Platinum Edition was released on October 26, 2009, a day earlier than planned.[65] The Platinum Edition package includes a CD and a DVD; the CD feature six additional songs—"Jump Then Fall", "Untouchable", "Forever & Always" (Piano Version), "Come in with the Rain", "SuperStar", and "The Other Side of the Door"—placed prior to the original tracks. The DVD comprised the music videos for "Change", "The Best Day", "Love Story", "White Horse", and "You Belong with Me"; behind-the-scenes videos for the latter three; behind-the-scene footage from the first concert of the Fearless Tour; and "Thug Story"—a video Swift filmed with rapper T-Pain exclusively for the 2009 CMT Music Awards.[64] Except for "Untouchable", which is a cover of American rock band Luna Halo's 2007 song that had its lyrics and arrangement rewritten by Swift, the remaining five songs are original.[66]

Marketing[edit]

Swift, dressed in a black mini dress and high heels, stands above a yellow taxicab and sings on a microphone
Swift rehearsing "You Belong with Me" for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards; her acceptance speech for Best Female Video was interrupted by rapper Kanye West, which prompted widespread media discussion.[67]

On June 8, 2008, Swift performed songs from Fearless on Clear Channel's Stripped; the performance was recorded and included in the Platinum Edition reissue.[68] Prior to the album's commercial release, the track "Change" was made available in the iTunes Store on August 8 as a promotional single.[69] It was included on the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack, a compilation of songs played during the United States' participation in the 2008 Summer Olympics.[70] A digital campaign through the iTunes Store, called "Countdown to Fearless", featured one song released each week during the five weeks leading to the album's release.[71] Another song, "Breathe" featuring Colbie Caillat, was released as a promotional single exclusively via Rhapsody on October 21, 2008.[72]

Swift made many television appearances to promote Fearless throughout late 2008. She performed on shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show,[73] Good Morning America,[62] and Late Night with David Letterman.[74] A special CMT Crossroads episode featuring Swift and English rock band Def Leppard singing each other's songs was recorded on October 6 at the Roy Acuff Theater in Nashville,[75] and aired on CMT November 7, 2008.[76] Her performances at awards shows included the Country Music Association Awards and the American Music Awards.[74]

Besides live appearances, Swift used her MySpace account to promote to a young audience, sharing snippets of songs for streaming before they were released to radio, as she had done with her debut album.[77] She continued to appear on televised events through 2009, hosting Saturday Night Live[78] and performing at awards shows including the 51st Annual Grammy Awards,[79] the CMT Music Awards,[80] and the Country Music Association Awards.[81] At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, rapper Kanye West interrupted Swift's acceptance speech for winning Best Female Video with "You Belong with Me"—an incident known as "Kanyegate", which prompted many internet memes and media discussion.[67][82]

Five songs were released as singles. The lead single, "Love Story", peaked Hot Country Songs, and was the first country song to reach number one on the Mainstream Top 40, a Billboard chart monitoring pop radio in the U.S.[83] The single peaked at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100,[84] number two on the UK Singles Chart,[85] and was Swift's first number-one single in Australia.[86] The four remaining singles were "White Horse", "You Belong with Me", "Fifteen", and "Fearless". All four peaked within the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100, with "You Belong with Me" peaking at number two as the highest-charting Fearless single, and within the top ten of the Hot Country Songs, with "You Belong with Me" reaching number one.[note 3] "You Belong with Me", similar to "Love Story", was a crossover success.[88] The song was the first country song to top the all-genre Radio Songs chart, driven mostly by non-country airplay.[89][90]

Touring[edit]

Swift wearing a yellow dress and playing the guitar
Swift performing on the Fearless Tour (pictured in 2010)

Swift announced the Fearless Tour, her first headlining tour, in January 2009. The tour started in Evansville, Indiana, on April 23, 2009, and visited the U.S. and Canada over six months. Prior to the Fearless Tour, Swift headlined three U.S. music festivals: the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the Florida Strawberry Festival in February and March.[91] In October 2009, as the first North American leg wrapped, Swift announced a second North American leg beginning on March 4, 2010, in Tampa, Florida.[92] Outside North America, the Fearless Tour also visited Australia and Japan in February 2010.[93] The tour was met with high demand, and sold out tickets within minutes.[94] Swift wrapped up the Fearless Tour at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on June 5, 2010.[95] It grossed over $63 million and played to over 1.1 million fans.[96]

Commercial performance[edit]

Fearless was a commercial success in the U.S., setting many chart records and catapulting Swift to mainstream prominence beyond the Nashville country music scene.[23][88] It debuted on the Billboard 200 chart on November 29, 2008, with first-week sales of 592,000 copies.[97] Spending eleven non-consecutive weeks at number one, it registered the longest run atop the Billboard 200 of the 2000s,[83][98] and the longest chart topper by a female country artist.[99] Thirteen of the album's tracks (including from the Platinum Edition) peaked within the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100, setting a record for the album with the most such entries.[100][note 4] Five tracks peaked within the top ten: "Fearless", "Love Story", "You Belong with Me", the promotional single "Change", and "Jump then Fall".[note 5]

By December 2009, Fearless sold 3.217 million copies throughout the year and became the best-selling album of 2009 in the U.S. This made Swift, then twenty years old, the youngest artist and the only female country musician to have a best-selling album of a calendar year.[102] It was the only album from the 2000s decade to spend its first full year in the top ten of the Billboard 200, totaling fifty-eight weeks in the top ten, a record for a country musician.[103][104] On the Top Country Albums chart, Fearless spent thirty-five weeks at number one.[105] The Recording Industry Association of America certified Fearless diamond for ten million units based on sales and stream.[106] By October 2020, the album had sold 7.21 million copies in the U.S.[107]

Fearless marked Swift's first international chart success, peaking atop the albums charts of Canada[108] and New Zealand.[109] It peaked within the top five of albums charts in Australia (number two),[110] Scotland (number four),[111] and Norway and the U.K. (number five).[112][113] The album received multi-platinum certifications in English-speaking countries, including double platinum in Ireland and the U.K.[114][115] triple platinum in New Zealand,[116] four times platinum in Canada,[117] and seven times platinum in Australia.[118] In Asia, Fearless was certified gold in Japan[119] and platinum in Singapore.[120] As of April 2021, twelve million copies were sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century.[121]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Contemporaneous reviews
(published in 2008–2009)
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic73/100[122]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[note 6]5/5 stars[124]
Blender4/5 stars[37]
Entertainment WeeklyB[47]
The Guardian3/5 stars[56]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)A−[125]
The Observer4/5 stars[126]
Q2/5 stars[127]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[55]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars[60]
USA Today3/4 stars[128]

Fearless received generally positive reviews from music critics.[16] On Metacritic, which assigns an aggregated score out of 100 based on reviews in mainstream publications, the album earned a score of 73, based on fourteen reviews.[122]

Many critics lauded Swift's songwriting craftsmanship for creating autobiographical narratives with emotional engagement.[16] Reviews published in The Boston Globe,[58] Blender,[37] Entertainment Weekly,[47] The Village Voice,[29] and USA Today remarked that Fearless was an honest and vulnerable record that contrasted with albums by other teenage singers, thanks to Swift's self-penned songs.[128] Other reviews from AllMusic,[34] Billboard,[35] and The Observer deemed the lyrics mature for her age.[126] In his Consumer Guide, Robert Christgau found Fearless's idealized notion of romance distasteful, but lauded Swift's songwriting skills as remarkable for a teenage artist.[125] Slant Magazine was less enthusiastic; it acknowledged the songs were well-written, but felt they fell short of refinement.[60]

Some critics praised Fearless's crossover appeal. AllMusic and The Boston Globe remarked that the album straddled the perceived boundary between country and pop; the former called it "one of the best mainstream pop albums of 2008".[34][58] In Rolling Stone, Jody Rosen hailed Swift as a "songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for the verse-chorus-bridge architecture".[55] Christgau commented that the songs were effective partly because of "the musical restraint of a strain of Nashville bigpop that avoids muscle-flexing rockism".[125]

Other reviewers were not impressed with the album's production. The Washington Post commended the radio-friendly tunes, but felt that the overall production was repetitive.[59] Slant Magazine noted that Swift was not a capable vocalist, which blemished the album with occasional breath controls and nasal tones.[60] Alexis Petridis, reviewing Fearless for the British newspaper The Guardian, found the American press's praise for Swift surprising. Petridis acknowledged her songwriting skills, but found the album "bland and uninventive", which left the audience "wondering if the world really needs any more music like this".[56] Another British magazine, Q, wrote: "Her giggly peers will find she speaks their language, while grown-ups will prefer her to keep quiet."[127]

Accolades[edit]

Fearless is the most awarded country music album in history.[129] It won Album of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards[130] and the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2009.[131] It also won Top Selling Album from the Canadian Country Music Association twice in a row, in 2009 and 2010.[132] At the American Music Awards of 2009, Fearless won Favorite Country Album and was nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Album.[133][134] Its other accolades included a Teen Choice Award for Choice Female Album,[135] a Sirus XM Indie Award for International Album of the Year,[136] and a Juno Award nomination for International Album of the Year.[137]

At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards in February 2010, Fearless won Album of the Year and Best Country Album.[138] This made Swift, then twenty years old, the youngest artist to win Album of the Year (a record that she held until the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2020)[note 7] and the first artist to sweep the top album honors at the Grammy (both the country genre and general field categories) CMA and ACM Awards for the same album.[140] The single "White Horse" won two Grammy Awards that year for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song.[141]

Legacy[edit]

Fearless has endured – not so much for the banjos and mandolins Swift geared to country radio, but for its teen-pop tension between happy-ending romances and bitter reflections on youthful naïveté, neatly chiseled into Swift's terse lyrics.

Jon Pareles, The New York Times (2021)[142]

Fearless's critical and commercial successes established Swift as a mainstream star beyond the country music scene.[143] While Swift identified as a country music artist, the crossover success of the singles "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" proved her capability of becoming a pop star, which happened with the release of her fifth studio album, 1989, in 2014.[88][144] Jody Rosen, in a profile for New York magazine, wrote: "There is a long tradition of country carpetbaggers: musicians from points north who squeeze into cowboy boots, start dropping their g's, and make a beeline for Nashville to launch, or revitalize, their careers. [...] You could make the case that Swift traveled that well-worn path herself. In fact, she did a bait-and-switch maneuver, planting roots in loamy country soil, then pivoting to pop."[145]

Swift's songwriting on Fearless established the trademark of her confessional narratives on her next albums.[146][147] Writing for Slate, critic Carl Wilson dubbed this technique "Swiftian", presenting her as a capable songwriter and musician, breaking the industry notion that women are "far more a phenomenon of commerce than one of art".[148] In a 2019 retrospective review of the album for Pitchfork, Cills commented that Fearless was a testament to Swift's abilities of writing timeless songs, noting the album's simplicity and earnestness. She remarked that amidst other sexualized teen idols, "there was something novel about Swift being a teenager and writing about her reality in her own terms coming into that same mainstream space, redefining what 'teen pop' could sound like in the process".[54] Other retrospective reviews attributed the album's enduring popularity to its themes of universal feelings—heartbreak, frustration, first love, and aspirations.[149][150][151] It placed number 99 on NPR's 2017 list of "The 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women" selected by critics.[152]

Swift began re-recording her first six studio albums, including Fearless, in November 2020.[153] The decision came after a public dispute with talent manager Scooter Braun, who acquired the masters of Swift's first six studio albums—which Swift had been trying to buy for years—following her departure from Big Machine Records in November 2018.[154] The re-recording of Fearless, subtitled Taylor's Version, was released on April 9, 2021, through Republic Records. The Taylor's Version feature all tracks from the Platinum Edition, the Valentine's Day soundtrack single "Today Was a Fairytale" (2010), and six unreleased "From the Vault" tracks.[155] Following the release of Fearless (Taylor's Version), Fearless reappeared on albums charts of several European countries that merged the sales performance of the original and re-recorded versions, reaching a new peak at number two in Austria,[156] Germany,[157] and Norway,[158] and number three in Switzerland.[159]

Track listings[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. All tracks are produced by Taylor Swift and Nathan Chapman, except where noted.

Fearless – Standard edition[160]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Fearless"4:01
2."Fifteen"Swift4:54
3."Love Story"Swift3:55
4."Hey Stephen"Swift4:14
5."White Horse"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:54
6."You Belong with Me"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:51
7."Breathe" (featuring Colbie Caillat)
  • Swift
  • Caillat
4:23
8."Tell Me Why"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:20
9."You're Not Sorry"Swift4:21
10."The Way I Loved You"4:03
11."Forever & Always"Swift3:45
12."The Best Day"Swift4:05
13."Change"Swift4:40
Total length:53:41
Fearless – Rhapsody edition (bonus track)[161]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
14."Tell Me Why" (Rhapsody exclusive)
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:12
Total length:56:88
Fearless – International edition[63]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
14."Our Song" (international mix) (Chapman)Swift3:21
15."Teardrops on My Guitar" (international mix) (Chapman)
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:15
16."Should've Said No" (international mix) (Chapman)Swift4:08
Total length:63:59
Fearless – Australian special edition (bonus track)[162]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Love Story" (US pop mix)Swift3:56
Total length:64:29
Fearless – Digital edition (bonus track)[163]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Love Story" (J Stax radio mix)Swift3:38
Total length:67:37
Fearless – Japanese edition (bonus tracks)[164]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Beautiful Eyes" (Robert Ellis Orrall)Swift2:59
18."Picture to Burn" (Chapman)
  • Swift
  • Rose
2:57
19."I'm Only Me When I'm with You" (Orrall, Angelo)3:33
20."I Heart ?" (Orrall)Swift3:17
Total length:66:19
Fearless – Australian iTunes Store deluxe edition (bonus tracks)[165]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Love Story" (US pop mix)Swift3:56
18."Umbrella" (iTunes live from SoHo)1:31
19."Picture to Burn" (iTunes live from SoHo)
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:33
20."Should've Said No" (iTunes live from SoHo)Swift4:29
21."A Place in This World" (iTunes live from SoHo)3:26
22."Video Interview Piece" 3:00
23."Love Story" (music video) 4:01
Total length:58:04
Fearless – Platinum edition[27]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Jump then Fall"Swift3:56
2."Untouchable"
5:11
3."Forever & Always" (piano version)Swift4:27
4."Come In with the Rain"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:58
5."Superstar"
  • Swift
  • Rose
4:21
6."The Other Side of the Door"Swift3:57
7."Fearless"
  • Swift
  • Rose
  • Lindsey
4:01
8."Fifteen"Swift4:54
9."Love Story"Swift3:55
10."Hey Stephen"Swift4:14
11."White Horse"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:54
12."You Belong with Me"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:51
13."Breathe" (featuring Colbie Caillat)
  • Swift
  • Caillat
4:23
14."Tell Me Why"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:20
15."You're Not Sorry"Swift4:21
16."The Way I Loved You"
  • Swift
  • Rich
4:04
17."Forever & Always"Swift3:45
18."The Best Day"Swift4:05
19."Change"Swift4:40
Total length:79:19
Fearless – Platinum edition: bonus DVD[27]
No.TitleDirector(s)Length
1."Change" (music video)Shawn Robbins3:47
2."The Best Day" (music video)Taylor Swift4:34
3."Love Story" (music video)Trey Fanjoy3:54
4."White Horse" (music video)Trey Fanjoy4:03
5."You Belong with Me" (music video)Roman White4:37
6."Love Story" ("On the Set" – Behind the Scenes) 22:00
7."White Horse" ("On the Set" – Behind the Scenes) 22:00
8."You Belong with Me" ("On the Set" – Behind the Scenes) 20:45
9."Fearless Tour 2009 Photo Gallery"  
10."Fearless Tour 2009 First Show Behind the Scenes!" 10:41
11."CMT Awards Thug Story" (featuring T-Pain)Peter Zavadil1:26


Fearless – Platinum edition: bonus DVD (Target bonus videos)[166]
No.TitleLength
12."Untouchable" (Live from Clear Channel's Stripped)3:45
13."Fearless" (Live from Clear Channel's Stripped)3:23


Fearless – Platinum edition: bonus DVD (Walmart bonus videos)[167]
No.TitleLength
12."Love Story" (Live from V Festival)4:27
13."You Belong with Me" (Live from V Festival)5:01


Notes:

  • "Untouchable" is a reworked version of Luna Halo's "Untouchable", written by Cary Barlowe, Nathan Barlowe, and Tommy Lee James.

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[27]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

2008–2009 weekly chart positions for Fearless
Chart (2008–2009) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[110] 2
Australia Country (ARIA)[168] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[169] 14
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[170] 52
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[171] 68
Brazilian Albums (APBD)[172] 18
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[108] 1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[173] 23
French Albums (SNEP)[174] 26
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[175] 12
Greek Albums (IFPI)[176] 19
Irish Albums (IRMA)[177] 7
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[178] 8
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)[179] 37
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[180] 43
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[109] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[112] 5
Scottish Albums (OCC)[111] 4
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[181] 28
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[182] 12
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[183] 35
UK Albums (OCC)[113] 1
UK Country Albums (OCC)[184] 1
US Billboard 200[185] 1
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[186] 1
2019–2021 weekly chart positions for Fearless
Chart (2019–2021)[note 8] Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[156] 2
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[157] 2
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[158] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[159] 3
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[187] 10

Certifications and sales[edit]

Sales certifications for Fearless, with pure sales where available
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[118] 7× Platinum 500,000[note 9]
Austria (IFPI Austria)[220] Gold 10,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[117] 4× Platinum 320,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[221] Platinum 20,000double-dagger
GCC (IFPI Middle East)[222] Gold 3,000*
Germany (BVMI)[223] Gold 100,000double-dagger
Ireland (IRMA)[114] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[119] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[116] 3× Platinum 45,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[224] Gold 15,000*
Singapore (RIAS)[120] Platinum 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[115] 2× Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[106] Diamond 7,210,000[note 10]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ On the Platinum Edition cover, the background behind Swift is black, and Swift's logo is silver. The standard edition used outside North America uses an alternative cover with a different image, a glow on Swift's logo, and a smaller text on "Fearless".
  2. ^ Swift admired Crow for her "candidness, ... how she tells it like it is, but still is vulnerable". Speaking on Paisley, Swift said: "He can write something so touching it can make you cry, and then he can make you laugh so hard that you can't breathe."[15]
  3. ^ "White Horse", "Fifteen", and "Fearless" peaked at numbers two, seven, and ten, respectively.[87]
  4. ^ For details about which songs peaked within the top forty, see Taylor Swift singles discography
  5. ^ This made Fearless the first album since Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. (1984) to have five top-ten hits with none reaching number one.[101]
  6. ^ Upon release, AllMusic gave Fearless a four stars rating.[122] The site reassessed the album with a four and a half stars rating since at least 2012,[123] and awarded the album a five stars rating in 2018.[124]
  7. ^ The record was surpassed when Billie Eilish won Album of the Year at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards when she was eighteen years old.[139]
  8. ^ The chart positions listed below coincided with the release of the 2021 re-recording Fearless (Taylor's Version). In Austria, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland, the sales performance of the original Fearless was combined with that of Fearless (Taylor's Version).
  9. ^ As of December 2017[219]
  10. ^ As of October 2020[107]

Further reading[edit]

  • McNutt, Myles (2020). "From 'Mine' to 'Ours': Gendered Hierarchies of Authorship and the Limits of Taylor Swift's Paratextual Feminism". Communication, Culture and Critique. 13 (1): 72–91. doi:10.1093/ccc/tcz042.
  • Spencer, Liv (2010). Taylor Swift: Every Day Is a Fairytale – The Unofficial Story. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1550229318.

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