October 22, 2012
Table of Contents
Background and Release
On August 13, 2012, Taylor hosted a live webchat to over 72,500 viewers, in which she answered fan questions, previewed the lead single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together“, and announced her fourth album’s title, RED, as well as its release date. She also revealed that she wrote more than 30 songs for the album, of which 16 made it on the record. A few years later, in 2020, Taylor told Rolling Stone in an inerview for the “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time” that these songs were the beginning of her constant reinvention:
Exploring A New Sound
RED touches on Taylor’s signature themes of love and heartbreak, however, from a more mature perspective while exploring other themes such as fame and the pressure of being in the limelight. Contrary to her previous self-written album Speak Now (2010), Taylor enlisted the help of several of her favorite songwriters and producers to create a new sound.
What makes RED so special are all the different things that are on the album; the different genres, the different approaches. It gets more impressive as the years go by. It doesn’t feel like a lot of artists nowadays have the guts or the chops to take out that many things on a single album. But for Taylor, it works. On top of that, RED is one of the few 19-track records to be a truly great and long album. Taylor told MTV News in 2012 that the album “is interesting because each song stands on its own. It’s this patchwork quilt of different sounds and different emotions, and I don’t think anything on the record sounds like ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’.”
RED debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart, giving Taylor her third consecutive chart topper in the US. Its first week sales of 1.21 million was the third biggest debut in history for a female artist and became the fastest-selling album in over a decade. It made music history for claiming the biggest first week sales of all time by a country act, a record previously held by Garth Brooks. RED was also just the 18th album in United States history to sell one million copies in a single week. By the end of 2012, the album marked the fourth time Taylor had an album ranked in the year’s top three sellers.
The album was a huge global success as well, becoming Taylor’s first chart-topper in the UK. It also topped the album charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand while charting in the top ten in every other major market including China. RED has sold over 7 million copies in the US and 14 million worldwide as of December 2018.
|Released||October 22, 2012|
|Length||65:11 (Standard Edition)|
|Label||Big Machine Records|