Fearless (Taylor Swift song)

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"Fearless"
Single by Taylor Swift
from the album Fearless
Released January 3, 2010[1]
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2007
Genre Country pop, country rock
Length 4:01
Label Big Machine
Writer(s) Taylor Swift, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey
Producer(s) Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Two Is Better Than One"
(2009)
"Fearless"
(2010)
"Today Was a Fairytale"
(2010)
Music video
"Fearless" on YouTube

"Fearless" is a country pop song performed by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The song was co-written by Swift in collaboration with Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey and produced by Nathan Chapman and Swift. "Fearless" was released on January 3, 2010 by Big Machine Records as the fifth and final single from Swift's second studio album of the same name (2008). Swift composed the song while traveling on tour to promote her eponymous debut album, Taylor Swift (2006). She wrote "Fearless" in regard to the fearlessness of falling in love and eventually titled her second studio album after the song. Musically, it contains qualities commonly found in pop rock music and, lyrically, is about a perfect first date.

"Fearless" generally pleased contemporary critics, many who complimented it for appealing to different age groups; others disagreed. In the United States, "Fearless" peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), becoming the first single released after being certified gold by the RIAA. "Fearless" also entered charts in Canada and Spain. Swift performed the song in various venues, some of which were included on the Fearless Tour (2009–10). Footage from the Fearless Tour performances were used to comprise a music video for "Fearless", directed by Todd Cassetty. The video features both footage of the tour itself and backstage.

Background[edit]

"Fearless" was written by Swift in collaboration with Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey and produced by Nathan Chapman alongside Swift. Swift conceived the song while touring as opening act in order to promote her eponymous debut album, Taylor Swift (2006).[2] While writing the song, she was not dating anyone or "even in the beginning stages of dating anybody."[2] She wrote the song after she analyzed the ideology of what was the best first date. While developing "Fearless", Swift explained the writing process, stating, "I think sometimes when you’re writing love songs, you don’t write them about what you’re going through at the moment, you write about what you wish you had."[2] The song was composed with two concepts in mind. Swift described the song's primary concept to be about "the fearlessness of falling in love", and "no matter how many times you get hurt, you will always fall in love again." The second, is about the best first date, which Swift stated she hadn't experienced at the time of writing "Fearless".[2] After completing the song, Swift deeply deliberated her personal definition of the word "fearless".[3] To her, "fearless doesn't mean you're completely unafraid and it doesn't mean that you're bulletproof. It means that you have a lot of fears, but you jump anyway." That influenced her to title the album Fearless.[3] The song was first released as a promotional single from the album on October 14, 2008 as part of Countdown to Fearless an exclusive campaign by the iTunes Store;[4] it was later released as the fifth and final single from Fearless on January 4, 2010.[5]

Composition[edit]

A 24 second sample of "Fearless" by Taylor Swift.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Fearless" is a country pop song with a length of four minutes and one second.[6] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian described the song's genre as a "kind of orthodontically perfect pop rock". He said the most country part of the song was a lyric that referenced a "one horse town".[7] The song is set in common time and has a moderate tempo of 100 beats per minute. It is written in the key of F major and Swift's vocals span two octaves, from F3 to C5. It follows the chord progression F–C–Gm–B♭-C.[8] Tom Ronald of Great American Country interpreted the song's message to be about "taking courage on the dating circuit."[9] In a different perspective, Rob Sheffield of Blender magazine said the lyrics "And I don't know why but with you / I'd dance in a storm in my best dress, fearless" demonstrated how Swift enjoyed making a scene. He added that she would not wear "anything else to go ride around in a storm".[10]

Critical reception[edit]

"Fearless" was critically acclaimed by contemporary critics for its ability to relate to different age groups. Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly said Swift's vocals fit the song's melody and instrumentation, which, according to her, is "slick" and "radio-friendly".[11] Heather Phares of Allmusic selected the track as one of best songs on Fearless.[12] Alice Fisher of the United Kingdom magazine The Observer congratulated "Fearless" for being one of Swift's "great songs with perceptive lyrics about universal truths that can be enjoyed at any age."[13] Jim Harrington of The San Jose Mercury News believed "Fearless" contained appeal to different age groups: "Moms and daughters, as well as groups of teens and couples out for a date night, [can sing] along with equal gusto."[14]

Chart performance[edit]

Upon its release as a promotional single, on the week ending November 1, 2008, "Fearless" debuted and peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 with sales of 162,000 digital downloads, becoming Swift's third consecutive top ten song on the chart.[15] In the succeeding week, the song fell to number 38 and after four weeks of roaming the Billboard Hot 100 it fell off the charts.[16][17] Following its single release, the song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 94 on the week ending March 13, 2010.[18] Its highest position on the chart while being released as a single was number 76 on the week ending April 10, 2010.[19] The song is one of 13 songs from Fearless charted within the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record for the most top 40 entries from a single album.[20] "Fearless" spent a total of 15 weeks ascending and descending the Billboard Hot 100.[16] "Fearless" also peaked at number ten on the Hot Country Songs, making this her tenth consecutive top ten hit but also her lowest-charting single, and number 18 on the now-defunct Pop 100.[16][21] The single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the purchase of over 500,000 digital downloads.[22] It therefore became the first single released after being certified gold by the RIAA, as a result of digital downloads.[9] As of October 2012, "Fearless" has sold over 1,000,000 copies in the United States, and has since been certified platinum by the RIAA.[22]

On the week ending November 29, 2008, "Fearless" debuted and peaked at number sixty-nine in Canada, spending a total of five weeks on the chart.[16] The song peaked at number thirty-two in Spain.[23]

Live performances[edit]

Swift performing "Fearless" during a concert included on the Fearless Tour.

Swift's first televised performance of "Fearless" was on November 10, 2008 on the Late Show with David Letterman.[24] She went on to perform the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Clear Channel Communications's Stripped.[24][25] Swift performed the song on all venues of her first headlining concert tour, the Fearless Tour, which extended from April 2009 to July 2010. During each performance, Swift escorted a silver sparkly dress and black boots and played an acoustic guitar as floral patterns with a moving butterfly were projected on the stage.[26] Alice Fisher of The Observer attended the May 7, 2009 concert at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, England and said that while herself drifted off during the performance, it "clearly made perfect sense to the girls in the audience."[13] Jocelyn Vena of MTV News reported that the audience loudly sang along to the performance of "Fearless" at the August 27, 2009 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The song is also performed on the Speak Now World Tour.[27][28][29]

Various tour performances were used to comprise a music video for "Fearless", directed by Todd Cassetty. The video premiered on February 17, 2010 on CMT.[26] It begins when Swift tells her band before they step onstage, "You guys, this tour has been the best experience of my entire life." The video intermingles footage from the tour itself with fans excitedly showing off signs to Swift with behind-the-scenes footage of Swift and her band as they travel on the Fearless Tour. It ends with the singer waving goodbye as she exits the stage.[30] Upon watching the video, Vena interpreted it to be "Swift's love letter to her fans", as it showed an "inside view of what it's like to go on tour".[30] To date, the video has over 23 million views on YouTube.

Track listings[edit]

  • U.S. Digital Download
  1. "Fearless" (Single Version) – 4:01
  • U.S. / EU CD Single
  1. "Fearless" (Radio Edit) – 4:01

Charts[edit]

Year-end charts[edit]

Charts (2010) Position
US Hot Country Songs[35] 55

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://gfa.radioandrecords.com/publishGFA/GFANextPage.asp?sDate=01/03/2010&Format=4
  2. ^ a b c d Swift, Taylor. "Cut By But". Bigmachinerecords.com. Big Machine Records. Archived from the original on July 27, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Vena, Jocelyn (November 11, 2008). "Taylor Swift Says She 'Owed It' To Her Fans To Be Open About Joe Jonas Breakup". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Countdown to Fearless". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ "R&R :: Going For Adds :: CHR/Country". Gfa.radioandrecords.com. Radio & Records. January 4, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Fearless > Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ Petridis, Alexis (March 6, 2009). "Taylor Swift: Fearless". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved May 30, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Digital sheet music - Taylor Swift - Fearless". Musicnotes.com. Alfred Publishing. 
  9. ^ a b Roland, Tom (December 17, 2009). "Taylor Swift "Fearless"-ly Sets A New Precedent". Great American Country. Scripps Networks Interactive. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  10. ^ Sheffield, Rob (November 11, 2008). "Fearless". Blender. Alpha Media Group. Retrieved May 25, 2010. [dead link]
  11. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (November 5, 2008). "Fearless (2008)". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner, Inc. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Fearless > Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Fisher, Alicer (May 10, 2009). "Enough to make you scream". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  14. ^ Harrington, Jim (April 12, 2010). "Review: Taylor Swift at HP Pavilion". The San Jose Mercury News. MediaNews Group. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (October 23, 2008). "T.I. Returns To No. 1 On The Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Fearless - Taylor Swift". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Taylor Swift - Fearless - Music Charts". aCharts.us. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  18. ^ "US Singles Top 100 - March 13, 2010". aCharts.us. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  19. ^ "US Singles Top 100 - April 10, 2010". aCharts.us. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  20. ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio (November 12, 2009). "Rihanna's 'Roulette' Lands In Hot 100's Top 10". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "Taylor Swift > Charts & Awards > Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  22. ^ a b c "RIAA - Gold & Platinum: "Taylor Swift songs"". RIAA.com. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  23. ^ a b "Taylor Swift - Fearless (Song)". Spanishcharts.com. Productores de Música de España. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  24. ^ a b "Taylor Swift - Body By Milk". About.com. The New York Times Company. November 6, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Watch Taylor on Clear Channel Stripped". Bigmachinerecords.com. Big Machine Records. November 11, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2010. [dead link]
  26. ^ a b "Taylor Swift - 'Fearless'". CMT. Viacom. Retrieved May 30, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Taylor Swift shimmers in Omaha". Coffey, Kevin. Omaha World-Herald. 28 May 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  28. ^ Herrero, Javier (19 March 2011). "Taylor Swift encandila a unos 4.000 madrileños con su country edulcorado" [Taylor Swift dazzle some 4,000 locals sweetened country]. La Rioja (in Spanish). Grupo Vocento. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  29. ^ Sträter, Andreas (13 March 2011). "Blaue Augen, süße Songs: Taylor Swift in Oberhausen" [Blues, sweet songs: Taylor Swift in Overhausen]. Soester Anzeiger (in German). Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Vena, Jocelyn (February 18, 2010). "Taylor Swift's 'Fearless' Video A Love Letter To Her Fans". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved May 30, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Taylor Swift.
  32. ^ "Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Taylor Swift.
  33. ^ "Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Taylor Swift.
  34. ^ "Chart Log UK: DJ S - The System Of Life". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  35. ^ "Year End Charts - Hot Country Songs - Issue Date: 2010". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 

External links[edit]