Forever & Always (Taylor Swift song)

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"Forever & Always"
Song by Taylor Swift
from the album Fearless
ReleasedNovember 11, 2008 (2008-11-11)
Genre
Length3:46
LabelBig Machine
Songwriter(s)Taylor Swift
Producer(s)

"Forever & Always" is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, taken from her second studio album, Fearless (2008). It was a last-minute addition to the album.[2] Written and co-produced by Swift, and produced by Nathan Chapman, "Forever & Always" is a pop rock song with lyrics about a fallen relationship with an immature ex-boyfriend. Critics considered the song catchy but generic, and felt that it set the precedent to Swift's trademark songs about fallen relationships. Despite not being released as a single, "Forever & Always" peaked within the top 40 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Hot 100, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Background and recording[edit]

Inspired by her break-up with American singer Joe Jonas,[3] Swift quickly wrote and recorded the song at the last minute for inclusion on Fearless. As Swift explained in a track-by-track insight into the album, the song was written about a man in her life who she could see "slowly [slipping] away" from her and the confusion she felt in dealing with a crumbling relationship.[4] In an interview with Rolling Stone, Swift described the fallout of that relationship as a "really dramatic and crazy" experience that she "[needed] to address" through her music.[2] She pleaded with Big Machine Records president Scott Borchetta to let her include the song on the album, a day before the final version had to finalize.[5]

Jonas addressed the song in the June 2009 issue of Seventeen Magazine. When talking about it, he said that he was not bothered by Swift writing a song about their relationship. "It's flattering," said Jonas. "It's always nice to hear their side of the story."[citation needed] In 2009, Swift re-recorded the song in an acoustic ballad style for the Platinum Edition re-issue of Fearless. This remastered cut is officially titled "Forever & Always (Piano Version)".[6]

Composition and critical reception[edit]

In "Forever & Always", Swift sings about her relationship with a boyfriend, who still "hasn't called" despite the fact that at an earlier point in their relationship, he had declared that they would be together "forever and always".[7] It is a pop rock song that features instruments associated with country music, such as fiddles and guitars.[1] Similar to other songs on Fearless, "Forever & Always" depicts Swift's perception of romantic relationships as a teenage girl, who calls out her ex-boyfriend for being a "scared little boy".[8] Contrary to the bulk of Fearless, however, the song does not incorporate fairy tale imagery to explore romance, but instead focuses on real-life heartbreak.[9]

James E. Perone, an academic in music, complimented the song's radio-friendly production, but felt that it was "too generic and market-oriented" for a singer-songwriter.[7] Writing for Billboard, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong felt that Swift's songwriting on "Forever & Always" hinted at her subsequent songs about revenge and contempt for ex-lovers.[9] Nate Jones of Vulture agreed, finding the Joe Jonas-inspired "Forever & Always" introduced Swift's trademark songwriting about failed romance and celebrity.[1]

Live performances[edit]

Swift performed "Forever & Always", along with "Love Story", on Saturday Night Live on January 10, 2009[10] and on the Fearless Tour. She also performed the song during the 2009 Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve as part of a medley with "Picture to Burn", "Love Story", and "Change".[11]

The song was a regular part of the set list for Swift's first concert tour, Fearless Tour. During the March 22, 2013, show in Charlotte, during the Red Tour, Swift performed "Forever & Always" in place of "I Almost Do". She would do this again on September 15, 2018, in place of "All Too Well", during the Indianapolis performance of her Reputation Stadium Tour.[12]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 32
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 34
US Country Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[15] 44

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[16] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

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

Forever & Always (Taylor's Version)[edit]

"Forever & Always (Taylor's Version)"
Song by Taylor Swift
from the album Fearless (Taylor's Version)
Recorded2020–2021
LabelRepublic
Songwriter(s)Taylor Swift
Producer(s)
  • Christopher Rowe
  • Taylor Swift
Lyric video
"Forever & Always (Taylor's Version)" on YouTube

On February 11, 2021, Swift announced on Good Morning America that a re-recorded version of "Forever & Always", titled "Forever & Always (Taylor's Version)", would be released on April 9, 2021, alongside Fearless (Taylor's Version), the re-recorded version of Fearless. The piano version, titled "Forever & Always (Piano Version) (Taylor's Version)", was also re-recorded, and released alongside Fearless (Taylor's Version).[17]

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "Forever & Always (Taylor's Version)"
Chart (2021) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[18] 45
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[19] 37
Global 200 (Billboard)[20] 41
Singapore (RIAS)[21] 28
US Billboard Hot 100[22] 65
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[23] 12

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jones, Nate (January 11, 2021). "Taylor Swift Songs Ranked, from Worst to Best". Vulture. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Scaggs, Austin. "Taylor's Time: Catching Up With Taylor Swift". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 13, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  3. ^ Vena, Jocelyn. "Taylor Swift Talks About Joe Jonas Breakup Online, On The Radio, On TV And In Her New Album". MTV. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  4. ^ Swift, Taylor. "Cut By But". Bigmachinerecords.com. Big Machine Records. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  5. ^ Lewis, Randy (October 26, 2008). "She's writing her future". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  6. ^ "Forever & Always (Piano Version) on YouTube". Archived from the original on January 28, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Perone, James E. (2017). The Words and Music of Taylor Swift. The Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection. ABC-Clio. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-1440852947.
  8. ^ Cills, Hazel (August 19, 2019). "Taylor Swift: Fearless". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Armstrong, Jennifer Keishin (November 7, 2017). "Why Taylor Swift's 'Fearless' Is Her Best Album". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  10. ^ Navaroli, Joel. "SNL Archives | Episodes | October 1, 2009 No. 12". SNL Archives. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  11. ^ LaCroix, Emy (December 5, 2014). "The (Taylor) Swifts of New Year's Past | American Music Awards". American Music Awards. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  12. ^ Iasimone, Ashley. "All the Surprise Songs Taylor Swift Has Performed on Her Reputation Stadium Tour B-Stage (So Far)". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 8, 2019. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  13. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  14. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  15. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Country Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  16. ^ "American single certifications – Taylor Swift – Forever & Always". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 23, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  17. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (February 11, 2021). "Taylor Swift Announces Re-Recorded 'Fearless' Album: Updated 'Love Story' Out Tonight". Billboard. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  18. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. April 19, 2021. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  19. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  20. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  21. ^ "RIAS International Top Charts Week 15". Recording Industry Association (Singapore). Archived from the original on April 21, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  23. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 20, 2021.

External links[edit]