Taylor Swift released "1989 (Taylor's Version)" on Friday.
We ranked all of the music videos from her original "1989" era.
"Blank Space" took the top spot, while "Shake It Off" was ranked the worst.
7. "Shake It Off"
"Shake It Off," directed by Mark Romanek, is a lackluster attempt to paint Taylor Swift as a goofy outsider, who tries to fit in with different cliques before eventually deciding to "march to her own beat" or whatever.
Maybe Swift was trying to heal the misfit insecurities of her youth, but let's be honest: "Shake It Off" was preceded by many awards and platinum certifications. By 2014, she was already perceived as a queen-bee archetype, so the video doesn't land.
And don't even get me started on the scene where Swift ogles a group of hip-hop dancers, which is inexplicably still set as the thumbnail on YouTube. It's honestly best to pretend the video doesn't exist.
6. "New Romantics"
"New Romantics" isn't a bad video, but it's not really a music video at all — it's just a bunch of clips from the 1989 World Tour. This is one of Swift's best songs! It deserved more than a sentimental montage.
5. "Bad Blood"
Back in 2015, "Bad Blood" was such a fun treat. Swift was in the peak of her "squad" era, and it was exciting to see her badass alter-ego flanked by friends like Gigi Hadid and Hayley Williams, as well as personal heroes like Mariska Hargitay and Ellen Pompeo. (If you know, you know.)
But beyond the onslaught of cameos, "Bad Blood" doesn't offer much in terms of visuals or storytelling.
After the novelty wears off, it just becomes an array of different faces — many of whom aren't even associated with Swift anymore, making the effect even more passé.
"Something about 'we're in our young twenties!' hurls people together into groups that can feel like your chosen family," Swift later wrote for Elle magazine. "And maybe they will be for the rest of your life. Or maybe they'll just be your comrades for an important phase, but not forever. It's sad but sometimes when you grow, you outgrow relationships."
4. "Out of the Woods"
The music video for "Out of the Woods" perfectly captures what the song describes: a relationship full of traps and obstacles.
Swift tries desperately to move forward, but she keeps getting snagged on branches, frozen in the wilderness, and torn to shreds by hungry wolves. It's dramatic, sure, but that's what it's like to feel love without hope.
The "1989" era was a glorious time — before Swift's visuals became little more than vehicles for Easter eggs and implausible fan theories — when a music video could simply match the vibe of the song.
And that's exactly what "Style" is: pure vibes. (OK, there is one major Easter egg, but it's so obvious that it barely counts.)
There isn't much of a narrative or plot, but every shot is aesthetically stunning. It compliments the song's moody, moonlit tone and leaves plenty of room for interpretation, which fits the lyrical theme. "Style" isn't about the specifics of what happened then, or what happens next. It's about chasing a feeling.
2. "Wildest Dreams"
During an interview with Tavi Gevinson for Elle magazine, Swift explained how her songwriting evolved while creating "1989."
"I'd never been in a relationship when I wrote my first couple of albums, so these were all projections of what I thought they might be like," she said. "They were based on movies and books and songs and literature that tell us that a relationship is the most magical thing that can ever happen to you."
"And then once I fell in love, or thought I was in love, and then experienced disappointment or it just not working out a few times, I realized there's this idea of happily ever after which in real life doesn't happen," she continued. "There's no riding off into the sunset, because the camera always keeps rolling in real life."
The "Wildest Dreams" video illustrates that epiphany, in both explicit and subtle ways.
Swift begs her muse to remember her "standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset" — the end of the movie, when everything is rosy and uncomplicated.
In the video, she's literally acting in a movie as she sings those words. But once filming wraps, the camera keeps rolling. We get to see Swift at the premiere, reeling from heartbreak, living in the complicated aftermath that she was afraid of from the start.
1. "Blank Space"
I used to make my friends watch "Blank Space" in my college dorm room, and to this day, it's my very favorite of Swift's videos. The gowns! The glamour! The sudden descent into lovesick madness!
It's truly a work of surreal genius, like a Salvador Dalí painting. He had melting clocks and tigers leaping through the sky; Swift has bleeding cakes and white horses in her bedroom. There's no reason why her ex-boyfriend's dress shirts would catch fire as she throws them off the balcony, and yet, it makes total sense. I would watch 1,000 more hours of this footage.
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