Taylor Swift Fought Hard to Keep Country Sound Off of ‘1989’
Swift's latest album, '1989,' marks her first official foray into pop, and it has been a smash success, debuting at No. 1 across all genres and selling more than a million copies in its first week. But when she first broke the news to Big Machine label head Scott Borchetta that her new album was not country, "he went into a state of semi-panic," she tells Billboard.
Borchetta asked Swift to include three country songs on the album, and also suggested adding a fiddle to its lead track, 'Shake It Off.'
"All my answers were a very firm 'no,' because it felt disingenuous to try to exploit two genres when your album falls in only one," she relates.
Swift also encountered resistance from her own team.
"They said, 'Are you really sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to call the album '1989'? We think it’s a weird title. Are you sure you want to put an album cover out that has less than half of your face on it? Are you positive that you want to take a genre that you cemented yourself in, and switch to one that you are a newcomer to?'" she recalls. "And answering all of those questions with 'Yes, I'm sure' really frustrated me at the time -- like, 'Guys, don’t you understand, this is what I’m dying to do?'"
Swift's determination to stick to her guns paid off in spades. '1989' has already launched two No. 1 hits with 'Shake It Off' and 'Blank Space,' and is on a trajectory to possibly replace the soundtrack to 'Frozen' as the biggest-selling album of 2014.
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