Taylor Swift is no stranger to surprise releases. From folklore last summer to evermore last winter, she’s found success in randomly dropping albums and singles for her fans to enjoy. On Friday, September 17, Swift dropped “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” in a confusing, but welcomed, move. This release comes as part of the re-recording of her first 6 albums due to a dispute over her masters.
Swift notified fans of the release through Twitter. “Saw you guys got Wildest Dreams trending on tiktok,” Swift said in the Friday morning tweet, “thought you should have my version.” The tweet was accompanied by a new photo of the singer, dressed in a striped sweater and sunglasses, the latter of which are characteristic to the 1989 era.
Fans took to social media to voice their surprise and love for the song, with many reminiscing on their first time hearing “Wildest Dreams” when 1989 came out in 2014. Others took to hypothesizing why Swift decided to release this single, as it seems to confuse the process of her next re-recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version), which is scheduled to release in November. Swift announced the re-release of Red (Taylor’s Version) back in June of 2021, though little has happened since. Swift has yet to release a lead single for the album, despite revealing the track list for the album early last month.
Regardless, “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” is here, and fans are happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time because of it.
A Decorated Legacy
1989 is Swift’s pop masterpiece. The album characterized the pop music landscape throughout the mid-2010s, taking inspiration from the synth-pop style of the 1980s. 1989 was Swift’s first pop album, planting her firmly into superstardom and distancing her from her country singer-songwriter image.
“Wildest Dreams” was the 5th single promoted for the album, and is a particularly emotional standout from the album. It differs from much of the rest of 1989 for being a slower cut, with a heavier emphasis on Swift’s vocals than the musical production and catchy riffs of other hits like “Shake It Off” or “Blank Space.” At the time of its release, “Wildest Dreams” topped the Billboard Mainstream and Adult Top 40 charts and charted well internationally. It’s no surprise that she released “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” as the assumed lead single of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), which has no announced release date as of September 2021.
Matured Vocals, Pop Era
“Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” takes what Swift did successfully in the original version of the song and builds upon it, creating a more mature, wistful take on the track. Her vocals are noticeably different from the 2014 release, but in a controlled way that demonstrates her growth as an artist since the song’s initial release. Swift also takes care to capture the emotion that characterized the original version.
In releasing this new, more mature version of “Wildest Dreams,” Swift has taken social media by storm. #WildestDreamsTaylorsVersion was trending number one on Twitter in the U.S. and internationally, demonstrating the appeal of Swift’s music and the effectiveness of her surprise release tactic. It’s unclear what content will come next from Swift, and whether that will include a lead single from Red (Taylor’s Version) or more announcements regarding 1989 (Taylor’s Version). One thing is clear though: the Internet loves Taylor Swift, surprise releases and all.
THE HEARTBEAT 💙🥺— Taylor Nation (@taylornation13) September 17, 2021
THIS IS GONNA TAKE ME DOWN #WildestDreamsTaylorsVersion
You can listen to “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” here.
Featured Image via Taylor Nation.