I Bet You Think About Me

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"I Bet You Think About Me"
Single by Taylor Swift featuring Chris Stapleton
from the album Red (Taylor's Version)
WrittenJune 2011
ReleasedNovember 15, 2021 (2021-11-15)
Studio
  • Hoffman Streets
  • Long Pond (New York)
  • Kitty Committee (Belfast)
  • Sputnik Sound (Nashville)
  • EBC (London)
Genre
Length4:45
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Renegade"
(2021)
"I Bet You Think About Me"
(2021)
"Message in a Bottle"
(2021)
Chris Stapleton singles chronology
"Glow"
(2021)
"I Bet You Think About Me"
(2021)
"Easy on Me"
(2021)
Music video
"I Bet You Think About Me" on YouTube

"I Bet You Think About Me"[a] is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift featuring American singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton. Swift wrote the song with Lori McKenna and produced it with Aaron Dessner. The song is a country ballad accompanied by a harmonica, with lyrics poking fun at the persona's ex-lover's and his lifestyle. Critics praised Stapleton's vocal harmonies, Swift's sharp songwriting and ability to switch back to her country roots.

"I Bet You Think About Me" was serviced to American country radio formats on November 15, 2021, by Republic Records and MCA Nashville as the lead single from Swift's second re-recorded album, Red (Taylor's Version) (2021). An accompanying music video for the song premiered on YouTube on the same day, written by Swift and American actress Blake Lively and directed by the latter in her directorial debut.

Background[edit]

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her fourth studio album, Red, on October 22, 2012, through Big Machine Records. It combines country and pop with many genres, prompting media debate over Swift's status as a country artist.[2][3] The album was a critical success, ranking at number 99 on Rolling Stone's 2020 revision of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[4] By June 2021, it had sold over four million copies in the United States.[5]

Swift signed with Republic Records after her contract with Big Machine expired in 2018; her contract with the label granted her rights to the master recordings of her music.[6] In 2019, Big Machine, as well as the master recordings of Swift's first six studio albums, were acquired by businessman Scooter Braun through his holding company Ithaca Holdings.[7] Swift began re-recording her Big Machine albums in November 2020, as a mean to own her master recordings;[8][9] at the same time, Ithaca sold rights to Taylor Swift's Big Machine recordings to Shamrock Holdings for $300 million.[10] The first re-recorded album, Fearless (Taylor's Version), the re-recording of Swift's 2008 album, was released on April 9, 2021.[11] She released her second re-recorded album, Red (Taylor's Version), the re-recording of the 2012 album, on November 12, 2021.[12] In addition to the original Red tracks, Red (Taylor's Version) features nine unreleased "from the Vault" tracks—including "I Bet You Think About Me"—that Swift had written but never released for Red.[13]

Production[edit]

While she was on the Foxborough, Massachusetts, stop of her Speak Now World Tour, Swift wrote "I Bet You Think About Me" at Lori McKenna's house in June 2011.[14] Swift stated, "We wanted this song to be like a comedic, tongue-in-cheek, funny, not caring what anyone thinks about you sort of breakup song," and explained that she and McKenna wanted to write a drinking song.[14] The 2021 version of "I Bet You Think About Me" was recorded throughout studios in Belfast and New York, and the orchestra by London Contemporary Orchestra was recorded at the EBC Studio in London. Chris Stapleton's vocals were recorded at Sputnik Sound Studio in Nashville. The track was produced by Swift and Aaron Dessner. It was mixed and engineered by Dessner and Jonathan Low, with assistance from Josh Kaufman, at Dessner's Long Pond Studios in New York.

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"I Bet You Think About Me" is a country ballad[15] that incorporates additional pop elements, typical of Swift's discography in the original Red album. Described as folk-pop by Taste of Country,[16] the song is a harmonica-driven track[17] with twangy vocals[18] and background vocal harmonies from feature artist Chris Stapleton.[19]

In the lyrics, Swift makes multiple "cheeky jabs" towards her ex-lover and his lifestyle.[20] The ex-lover in question has "made [Swift] feel inferior" towards him; she fails to fit in with his "upper-crust circles", and he has once told her that he and Swift are "too different."[21] Recounting the differences between the two former partners' childhoods,[22] she labels herself as a girl "raised on a farm" and the ex-lover as someone from a "silver spoon" and "gated community".[23] At the end of the song, Swift additionally calls out her ex-lover's "organic shoes" and "million-dollar couch."[23]

Critical reception[edit]

Writing for Variety, Chris Willman gave "I Bet You Think About Me" a five-out-of-five rating. Although Willman considered Stapleton's guest appearance too short, he praised the track for its rowdier country production compared to what "Swift was pulling off at the time" and the sharp lyrics.[24] Jessica Nicholson from Billboard complimented Stapleton's "burnished, bluesy vocal" which together with Swift's delivery brought forth a "well-crafted" song.[25] In USA Today, Melissa Ruggieri wrote that although Stapleton's "whiskey-hued vocals are the beautiful sandpaper to Swift's sleek voice – the tune should be remembered for some of Swift's snarkiest lyrics."[26]

Music video[edit]

American actress Blake Lively giving an interview in 2018
American actress Blake Lively (left) co-wrote and directed the music video in her directorial debut. A scene in the music video (right) shows Swift in a red gown, crashing an ex-lover's wedding party.

A music video for "I Bet You Think About Me" premiered on video sharing platform YouTube on November 15, 2021. Swift and American actress Blake Lively wrote the treatment for the video, and the latter directed it in her directorial debut.[27]

The video is set at a wedding, with the wedding couple played by actor Miles Teller and his real-life wife Keleigh Sperry Teller.[28] Swift plays an ex-girlfriend who crashes the wedding and sabotages it in various ways.[29] Co-producer Aaron Dessner has a cameo as a member of the wedding band, while Swift's brother, actor Austin Swift, is credited as a producer for the music video.[30] The video contains references to other Swift music videos and All Too Well: The Short Film, as well as multiple references to the Lewis Carroll stories of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Swift had been asked about Easter eggs prior to the release, when she quoted Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.[31][32]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Red (Taylor's Version) album liner notes[33]

Production

  • Taylor Swift – lead vocals, songwriter, producer
  • Lori McKenna – songwriter
  • Chris Stapleton – background vocals
  • Aaron Dessner – producer, recording engineer
  • Michael Fahey – assistant vocal recording
  • Josh Kaufman – additional recording engineer
  • Jonathan Low – recording engineer, mixer
  • Jeremy Murphy – strings recording
  • Vance Powell – vocal recording
  • Christopher Rowe – vocal recording

Musicians

  • Aaron Dessner – acoustic guitar, bass guitar, high-strung guitar, piano
  • Josh Kaufman – electric guitar, harmonica, lap steel guitar
  • London Contemporary Orchestra – orchestra
  • Robert Ames – conductor
  • Bryce Dessner – orchestrator
  • Zara Benyounes – first violin
  • Galya Bisengalieva – first violin
  • Dave Brown – double bass
  • Anna de Bruin – second violin
  • Guy Button – second violin
  • Jonny Byers – cello
  • Oliver Coates – cello
  • Stephanie Edmudson – viola
  • Clifton Harrison – viola
  • Charis Jenson – second violin
  • Antonia Kesel – first violin
  • Matthew Kettle – viola
  • Natalie Kouda – first violin
  • James Krivchenia – drums, percussion
  • Zoe Matthews – viola
  • Nicole Crespo O'Donoghue – second violin
  • Anna Ovsyanikova – first violin
  • Charlotte Reid – first violin
  • Max Ruisi – cello
  • Nicole Stokes – second violin
  • Eloisa-Fleur Thom – second violin

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "I Bet You Think About Me"
Chart (2021–2022) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[34] 43
Australia Country Hot 50 (TMN)[35] 19
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[36] 17
Canada Country (Billboard)[37] 34
Global 200 (Billboard)[38] 22
UK Streaming (OCC)[39] 75
US Billboard Hot 100[40] 22
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[41] 23
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[42] 3

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for "I Bet You Think About Me"
Region Date Format Label(s) Ref.
United States November 15, 2021 Country radio [43]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Subtitled "(Taylor's Version) (from the Vault)"[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Red (Taylor's Version) (+ A Message from Taylor) by Taylor Swift". Apple Music. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  2. ^ Eells, Josh (September 8, 2014). "Cover Story: The Reinvention of Taylor Swift". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  3. ^ Scott, Jason (June 18, 2021). "Taylor Swift Readies Her Version of Red, Featuring 30 Songs". American Songwriter. Archived from the original on June 19, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  4. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  5. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (June 18, 2021). "Taylor Swift Announces 'Red' As Next Re-Recorded Album, November Release Date". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 19, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  6. ^ Willman, Chris (August 27, 2018). "Taylor Swift Stands to Make Music Business History as a Free Agent". Variety. Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  7. ^ Grady, Constance (July 1, 2019). "The Taylor Swift/Scooter Braun controversy, explained". Vox. Archived from the original on February 11, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  8. ^ "Taylor Swift wants to re-record her old hits after ownership row". BBC News. August 22, 2019. Archived from the original on August 22, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  9. ^ Aswad, Jem (August 22, 2019). "Taylor Swift Performs on GMA, Talks Re-Recording Big Machine Songs (Watch)". Variety. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  10. ^ "Scooter Braun Sells Taylor Swift's Catalog for $300 Million". Bloomberg.
  11. ^ Willman, Chris (April 20, 2021). "Taylor Swift's Fearless (Taylor's Version) Debuts Huge: What It Means for Replicating Oldies, Weaponizing Fans". Variety. Archived from the original on April 21, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  12. ^ Al-Heeti, Abrar (November 11, 2021). "Red (Taylor's Version): Release date, tracklist, why Taylor Swift is rerecording her albums". CNET. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Brown, Helen (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift's Red is a better, brighter version of a terrific pop album". The Independent. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Iasimone, Ashley (November 14, 2021). "Taylor Swift Calls 'I Bet You Think About Me' the 'Drinking Song' of 'Red (Taylor's Version)'". Billboard. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  15. ^ "TAYLOR SWIFT RECRUITS CHRIS STAPLETON FOR HER PREVIOUSLY-UNRELEASED SINGLE "I BET YOU THINK ABOUT ME"". KDFI. November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  16. ^ Dukes, Billy (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift Taps Chris Stapleton for 'I Bet You Think About Me' (Taylor's Version)". Taste of Country. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  17. ^ Hudak, Joseph (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift and Chris Stapleton Take Down Her Ex on Collab 'I Bet You Think About Me'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  18. ^ Olivier, Bobby (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift Remakes Heartbreak Odyssey With Red (Taylor's Version)". Spin. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  19. ^ Dowling, Marcus K. (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift Enlists Chris Stapleton for Unreleased Single 'I Bet You Think About Me'". CMT News. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  20. ^ Bailey, Alyssa (November 15, 2021). "Taylor Swift's 'I Bet You Think About Me' Lyrics Seem Full Of Jabs At Ex Jake Gyllenhaal". Elle. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  21. ^ Ahlgrim, Callie (November 13, 2021). "The ultimate guide to every song on 'Red (Taylor's Version)'". Insider. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  22. ^ Pham, Jason (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift's 'I Bet You Think About Me' Lyrics Shades Jake Gyllenhaal's 'Organic' Lifestyle". StyleCaster. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  23. ^ a b Vitagliano, Joe (November 12, 2021). "Listen to Taylor Swift and Chris Stapleton Sing an Unreleased Song From Red". American Songwriter. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  24. ^ Willman, Chris (November 12, 2021). "On Red (Taylor's Version), Taylor Swift's Vault Tracks Are All Too Swell: Album Review". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  25. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (November 12, 2021). "First Country: Jason Aldean, Dolly Parton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood & More". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  26. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift's new Red is a fan feast of 30 sensitive, angry and transformative songs". USA Today. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  27. ^ Elizabeth, De (November 14, 2021). "Taylor Swift to Release "I Bet You Think About Me" Music Video Directed By Blake Lively". Teen Vogue. Retrieved November 15, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. ^ Bjornson, Greta (November 18, 2021). "Taylor Swift Posts Behind-the-Scenes Photos from Music Video Set with Miles and Keleigh Teller". People. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  29. ^ Kreps, Daniel (November 15, 2021). "Taylor Swift Goes Rogue at an Ex's Wedding in New 'I Bet You Think About Me' Music Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  30. ^ Feller, Madison; Bailey, Alyssa (November 15, 2021). "Taylor Swift's 'I Bet You Think About Me' Music Video Easter Eggs, Broken Down". Elle. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  31. ^ Willen, Claudia. "All the details you might have missed in Taylor Swift's 'I Bet You Think About Me' music video". Insider. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  32. ^ "10 Easter Eggs In The "I Bet You Think About Me" Video, According To Fans". ScreenRant. November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  33. ^ Red (Taylor's Version) (digital media liner notes). Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift / Republic Records. 2021.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  34. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. November 22, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  35. ^ "Countrytown Hot 50" (Issue 1368). The Music Network. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  36. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  37. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canada Country)". Billboard. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  38. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  39. ^ "Official Audio Streaming Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  40. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  41. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Country Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  42. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  43. ^ "Future Releases for Country Radio Stations". All Access. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.