Ranking Taylor Swift’s Albums Based on How We Think She Would Rank Them
Having debuted in 2006, Taylor Swift has an expansive discography. Three of her albums have won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards, and others have left a lasting impact on pop culture. Swift cares so much about her artistry that she is re-recording her first six albums to reclaim her music masters. Here’s a ranking of Swift’s albums based on how we think the singer-songwriter would rank them.
Folklore was released in 2020 and is Swift’s eighth studio album. Swift completely changed her recording and collaboration process for this album because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, expanded on her lyricism, and tried out new genres.
She also experimented with a surprise release, giving fans less than 24 hours notice of the album’s arrival. Folklore went on to win Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards, affirming Swift’s hard work and change of creative direction.
In addition to being critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, Folklore also reached new audiences and became well-known by casual listeners.
2. ‘Red’ and ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’
Of all her albums, Red seems to have a special place in Swift’s heart. She released the original version of Red in 2012, and the re-recorded Red (Taylor’s Version) was released in 2021.
While Red lost its nominated categories at the 2014 Grammy Awards, Swift paid homage to her love of the album with the rollout of Red (Taylor’s Version).
The re-recorded album includes 14 “From the Vault” tracks, bringing the tracklist to an expansive 30 songs. Swift also wrote and directed All Too Well: The Short Film and released “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)” to celebrate one of her most beloved tracks.
The Lover era was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic and was followed by Folklore, so it often appears lost in the magnitude of Swift’s discography.
Swift would likely rank this album pretty high, partly because it is the first album she made where she owned its music masters.
In 2019, Swift wrote on Instagram, “This album is very much a celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness, and chaos. It’s the first album of mine that I’ve ever owned, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
When Swift released 1989 in 2014, it was truly a gamble that paid off. The album marked her transition from a country artist to a pop star. Because of its production and Swift’s songwriting, 1989 feels like a timeless record.
At the 2016 Grammy Awards, Swift won Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for 1989. “Bad Blood” won the Grammy for Best Music Video.
5. ‘Fearless’ and ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’
Like 1989 and Folklore, Fearless is also an Album of the Year winner. Swift took home the award at the 2010 Grammy Awards. She also won Best Country Album, Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and Best Country Song for “White Horse.”
Years later, Swift chose Fearless as the first album to release as part of her effort to re-record her first six albums. She released Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in April 2021, suggesting it was an album she eagerly wanted to revisit and re-share with fans.
6. ‘Speak Now’
While Speak Now is not an Album of the Year winner and Swift has not yet re-released the album, it likely holds a lot of weight for the singer.
Released in 2010, Speak Now is an album that proved Swift’s songwriting prowess, as the singer-songwriter decided to be the sole songwriter on every single track.
Taylor Swift’s album Reputation marked a huge comeback and was released in 2017. The Reputation Stadium Tour followed the album’s release.
This album is a little harder to rank, as Swift did limited press for Reputation as part of the album’s concept. However, Swift’s 2020 documentary Miss Americana could possibly clue fans into Swift’s feelings about Reputation.
The documentary shows Swift’s reaction to learning Reputation was not nominated in the General Field at the 2019 Grammy Awards. When she learns of the snub, Swift says, “I just need to make a better record.”
It’s a running joke among Swift fans that the singer doesn’t like her 2020 album Evermore because she so rarely acknowledges it.
Because Evermore is considered a companion album to Folklore instead of having its own era, it was not promoted as heavily as Folklore. Shortly after its release, Swift began promoting her re-recorded albums.
However, because she owns the masters to Evermore, and it boasts some of her best lyricism, we truly don’t think she hates it.
9. ‘Taylor Swift’
Swift made her debut in 2006 with her Taylor Swift album. The only reason Swift might rank this album last is that she grows and matures as an artist with each release.
For this reason, we can’t wait to see what Swift chooses to do for the rollout of Taylor Swift (Taylor’s Version), whenever that happens.