All Too Well
|"All Too Well"|
|Song by Taylor Swift|
|from the album Red|
"All Too Well" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was written by Swift and Liz Rose. It appears on Swift's fourth studio album, Red (2012). The song received acclaim from music critics with many calling it the best song from the album. Swift performed the track at the 2014 Grammy Awards.
Background and release
"All Too Well" was the first song Swift wrote for her album Red. While collaborating with different writers on Red, Swift wrote the song along with Liz Rose, with whom she had written many songs on her earlier albums. Rose has said that Swift unexpectedly asked her to help write the song as a one-off project after not having collaborated with Swift for some years.
Swift has said that the song was "the hardest to write on the album", saying: "it took me a really long time to filter through everything I wanted to put in the song without it being a 10-minute song, which you can’t put on an album. I wanted a story that could work in the form of a song and I called my co-writer Liz Rose and said, ‘Come over, we’ve gotta filter this down,’ and it took me a really long time to get it." Rose also said that the song was originally "10, 12 or 15 minutes long" before cutting down to "the important pieces". Even after cutting, the song is the longest track on the album, clocking in at five minutes and twenty-eight seconds (5:28).
The song's studio recording was produced by Nathan Chapman and Swift.
The song has received universal acclaim from music critics, with many agreeing it was the best song on the album. Slant Magazine particularly lauded the song within its review, saying ""All Too Well" is arguably the finest song in Swift's entire catalogue: The arrangement slowly crescendos from coffeehouse folk to arena rock as Swift adds new details from a doomed relationship, until she unleashes one of her best-ever lines ("You call me up again just to break me like a promise/So casually cruel in the name of being honest") and the song explodes into a full-on bloodletting." The Prophet Blog said that "her skill as a true songwriter shines the brightest on “All Too Well”, where Swift processes a past romance with Jake Gyllenhaal (“And you call me up again just to break me like a promise,” she wails) from which the scars have clearly yet to heal. It flies in the face of the anti-Taylor brigade who label her tunes immature by delivering the kind of emotional thwack that very few of her contemporaries are able to match."
Billboard gave a positive review to the song saying "Just like that, Swift snaps back to her core demographic: "All Too Well" is sumptuous country, with Swift "dancing 'round the kitchen in the refrigerator light" in the memory of a romance that has seemingly been buried in time. The tune would have fit snugly on Speak Now, and even touches upon some of the same themes as "Mine", but on Red it serves as a reminder that these songs will always remain in Swift's wheelhouse." About.com gave the song 4 out of 5 stars, saying that the song is "A mincing guitar figure." PopCrush praised the song, saying "Swift easily slips back into the more melancholic, confessional ballad. Sonically, it’s spare, yet it’s lyrically stuffed and dense with details." Similarly with Idolator, stating that "And yet, it’s the tense “All Too Well” that hits the hardest: Swift drops the devastating image, “We’re dancing around the kitchen in the refrigerator light,” before reaching an almost hysterical unraveling with the despondent cry, “I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here.” It’s dramatic, but with Swift, it always is. That’s a good thing." In 2017, Rob Sheffield, of Rolling Stone, ranked it first in his list "All 115 of Taylor Swift's Songs, Ranked", writing "no other song does such a stellar job of showing off her ability to blow up a trivial little detail into a legendary heartache."  In 2018, "All Too Well" was ranked number 29 on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Songs of the Century – So Far.
The week her album Red was released, all of the songs charted in different countries due to its strong digital sale downloads. With this, the song debuted at number 80 on Billboard Hot 100, at number 59 on the Canadian Hot 100 and number 17 on the Hot Country Songs.
On January 26, 2014, Swift performed "All Too Well" at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Wearing a dramatic beaded gown with sequin detailing and a long train streaming out behind her, she sang whilst playing piano on a low lit stage, before being joined by a live band midway through the performance. Swift's headbanging at the song's climax gained significant media coverage. Sean Thomas of The Slanted called it the "performance of the night," and Amy Sciarretto of Pop Crush hailed it as "unforgettable."
On August 21, 2015, Swift performed the song in Los Angeles at the Staples Center, the only time on The 1989 World Tour.  On February 4, 2017, Swift performed the song as part of the Super Saturday Night show in Houston, Texas.
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||59|
|US Billboard Hot 100||80|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||17|
|US Country Airplay (Billboard)||58|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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