Getaway Car (Taylor Swift song)

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"Getaway Car"
Single by Taylor Swift
from the album Reputation
ReleasedSeptember 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
StudioRough Customer (Brooklyn Heights)
LabelBig Machine
  • Jack Antonoff
  • Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Getaway Car"
"Getaway Car" on YouTube

"Getaway Car" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her sixth studio album, Reputation (2017). It served as a single in Australia and New Zealand on September 7, 2018, to support the Australian shows of Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour (2018). Written and produced by Swift and Jack Antonoff, it is a synth-pop song, 80’s Electropop[1] with pulsing synthesizers, programmed drums, and distorted vocals. Lyrically, the song describes Swift's efforts to exit a relationship using romance with someone else, knowing the new relationship will also end briefly because its purpose was only to "get away" from the first one.

Contemporary critics lauded the song's production and intricate lyrics filled with imagery and references to popular culture staples, including the Bonnie and Clyde criminal couple. Some critics identified the track as a highlight of Reputation. "Getaway Car" received a platinum certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and a silver certification from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Writing and composition[edit]

"Getaway Car" was written and produced by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff.[2] It was recorded by Swift for her sixth studio album, Reputation (2017).[2] The song was engineered by Laura Sisk at Rough Customer Studio (Brooklyn Heights). It was mixed by Serban Ghenea at Mixstar Studios (Virginia Beach, Virginia) and mastered by Randy Merrill at Sterling Sound Studios (New York).[3] "Getaway Car" a synth-pop song that critics—including Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone—felt reminiscent of the production of Swift's 2014 studio album 1989.[4][5][6] Pitchfork's Jamieson Cox said that the song specifically resembles "Out of the Woods", a song on 1989 that was also produced by Swift and Antonoff.[7] The song features pulsing synthesizers, programmed drums, and manipulated vocals.[8] The beginning of the song uses a vocoder for Swift's vocals.[9] The song's lyrics are about Swift's efforts to run away from a relationship to be with someone else, only to realize that this new relationship will also end.[5][10]

"Getaway Car" references the criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde in its lyrics.

In the first verse, she admits: "The ties were black, the lies were white / In shades of gray in candlelight / I wanted to leave him, I needed a reason."[11][12] The production builds up for the refrain, in which Swift reflects on her treachery: "Should've known I'd be the first to leave / Think about the place where you first met me / Nothing good starts in a getaway car."[13][4] The lyrics, "He was running after us / I was screaming 'Go, go, go!' / But with three of us, honey, it's a sideshow," implies a love triangle that stems from Swift's affairs.[14] She ponders on how she had left her lover abruptly: "I'm in a getaway car / I left you in a motel bar / Put the money in the bag and I stole the keys / That was the last time you ever saw me."[15] Swift recalls that the couple were "jet-set, Bonnie and Clyde," until she abandons him for a new man, referencing the criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde.[15] Uppy Chatterjee from the Australian magazine The Music also pointed out the song's references to rock band Bon Jovi's song "You Give Love a Bad Name" (1986).[16] NME's Hannah Mylrea also noticed references to writer Charles Dickens and the epic war film The Great Escape (1963).[17]

Critical reception[edit]

"Getaway Car" received critical acclaim. Zack Schonfeld of Newsweek called the song as an "excellent, radiant song" and claimed that the hook is "massive, in both catchiness and energy".[18] In a review of Reputation, Louis Bruton from The Irish Times praised "Getaway Car" for showcasing "clever and insightful songwriting, finding tenderness and beauty in tiny details".[19] Consequence of Sound was not impressed with the album's production, but considered "Getaway Car" one of its strongest moments, writing: "the song's hook hits but doesn't punish".[6] Eleanor Graham from The Line of Best Fit,[20] Sarah Murphy from Exclaim![21] and John Murphy from musicOMH similarly lauded the track as one of Reputation's strongest moments, highliting the song's intriguing lyrics.[22]

The Atlantic's Spencer Kornharber described "Getaway Car" as Reputation's "savior: the one true tune to hum misty-eyed after the movies".[11] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic lauded the song as a high mark on the "monochromatic production" of Reputation for combining "vulnerability, melody, and confidence, but they are deeply felt and complex", which signified Swift's maturity as a singer-songwriter.[2] Retrospectively, Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone compared Swift's songwriting on "Getaway Car" to Paul McCartney because of "the way she goes overboard with her latest enthusiasm and starts Tay-splaining it as her personal discovery", and lauded the cinematic quality of the lyrics.[23]

Release and chart performance[edit]

On September 7, 2018, Universal Music Australia announced that "Getaway Car" would serve as a single exclusively in Australia and New Zealand.[24] The song was released to Australian and New Zealand contemporary hit radio stations by Universal and Big Machine Records.[25] This release was a means of support for the then-upcoming Australian shows of Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour (2018), which she launched in support of the album Reputation.[25] "Getaway Car" was included on the regular set list of the Reputation Stadium Tour, as part of the encore.[26]

"Getaway Car" did not chart on the official singles chart of Australia and New Zealand.[27] It peaked at number 26 on the Australian Digital Tracks, a songs chart based on digital sales,[28] and number six on the TMN Hot 100, an airplay-focused chart powered by Australian magazine The Music Network.[29] The song was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for exeeding 70,000 units.[30] In New Zealand, it peaked at number nine on the New Zealand Hot Singles, a chart compiled by the Recorded Music NZ.[31]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the booklet of Reputation.[3]

  • Taylor Swift – vocals, songwriter, producer
  • Jack Antonoff – producer, songwriter, programming, instruments, background vocals
  • Laura Sisk – audio engineering
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • John Hanes – mix engineer
  • Randy Merrill – mastering
  • John Hutchinson – drums
  • Victoria Parker – violins
  • Phillip A. Peterson – cellos


Chart (2018) Peak
Australian Digital Tracks (ARIA)[28] 33
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[31] 9


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[30] Platinum 70,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Silver 200,000double-dagger

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

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for "Getaway Car"
Region Date Format Label Ref.
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
September 7, 2018 Radio airplay [33][25]


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  2. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "reputation – Taylor Swift". AllMusic. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Reputation (CD booklet). Taylor Swift. Big Machine Records. 2017.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (November 10, 2017). "Taylor Swift 'Reputation' Is the Most Intimate LP of Taylor Swift's Carrer". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Schrodt, Paul (November 11, 2017). "Taylor Swift's Lyrical Obsession With Cars, From 'Tim McGraw' to 'Reputation'". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Nelson, Geoff (November 11, 2017). "Taylor Swift – Reputation". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  7. ^ Cox, Jamieson (November 13, 2017). "Taylor Swift: Reputation". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  8. ^ Tucker, Ken (November 13, 2017). "Taylor Swift Pushes Further Into Electro-Pop With 'Reputation'". NPR. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  9. ^ Jones, Nate (August 13, 2020). "All 162 Taylor Swift Songs, Ranked". New York. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Purdom, Clayton (November 10, 2017). "Taylor Swift has a big, drunken night out on Reputation". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Kornhaber, Spencer (November 10, 2017). "The Old Taylor Swift Is Hiding Within Reputation". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Caramanica, Jon (November 9, 2017). "Taylor Swift Is a 2017 Pop Machine on 'Reputation,' but at What Cost?". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  13. ^ Willman, Chris (November 9, 2017). "Album Review: Taylor Swift's 'Reputation'". Variety. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  14. ^ Truffaut-Wong, Olivia (November 10, 2017). "Why Hiddleswift Fans Should Listen To Taylor Swift's 'Getaway Car' ASAP". Bustle. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Taylor Swift appears to confirm she dumped Tom Hiddleston on new track Getaway Car". The Daily Telegraph. November 10, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Chatterjee, Uppy (November 11, 2017). "Review: Taylor Swift Takes A New Direction With 'Reputation' – But Is It The Right One?". The Music. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  17. ^ Mylrea, Hannah (September 8, 2020). "Every Taylor Swift song ranked in order of greatness". NME. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  18. ^ Schonfeld, Zack (November 14, 2017). "Taylor Swift's 'reputation' album Review". Newsweek. Archived from the original on January 7, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Bruton, Louis (November 10, 2017). "Taylor Swift: Reputation – clever songwriting, beauty in tiny details". The Irish Times. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  20. ^ Graham, Eleanor (November 10, 2017). "Taylor Swift's reputation is a microcosm of America's explosive political landscape". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  21. ^ Murphy, Sarah (November 10, 2017). "Taylor Swift – Reputation". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  22. ^ Murphy, John (November 19, 2017). "Taylor Swift – Reputation". musicOMH. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  23. ^ Sheffield, Rob (December 12, 2019). "All 153 of Taylor Swift's Songs, Ranked". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 16, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
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  25. ^ a b c "Uncharted: Taylor Swift Prepares for Aus Tour with Next Radio Single". The Music Network. September 10, 2018. Archived from the original on July 23, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  26. ^ "Here Are All the Songs Taylor Swift Played on the Opening Night of the Reputation Tour". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  27. ^ "Discography Taylor Swift". Hugn Medien. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  28. ^ a b "ARIA Australian Top 40 Digital Tracks" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. October 22, 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 22, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  29. ^ Tuskan, Peter (June 19, 2019). "Will Taylor Swift's second single sink or swim?". The Music Network. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  30. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2018 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  31. ^ a b "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. September 24, 2018. Archived from the original on September 21, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Taylor Swift – Getaway Car". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  33. ^ "Singles To Radio". The Music Network. Archived from the original on May 8, 2021. Retrieved August 31, 2018.