All Too Well

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"All Too Well"
Song by Taylor Swift from the album Red
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Length 5:29
Label Big Machine
Red track listing
"I Knew You Were Trouble"
"All Too Well"

"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 has received acclaim from music critics and was performed at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

Background and release[edit]

"All Too Well" was the first song Swift wrote for her album Red.[1] While collaborating with different writers on Red, Swift wrote the song along with Liz Rose. The song is most likely inspired by Swift's ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal.[2] The song was produced by Nathan Chapman and Swift.

Swift has said that the song was "the hardest to write on the album", saying: "“All Too Well” [was difficult to write emotionally] because 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."[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The song has received rave reviews from music critics, with many highlighting it as a standout 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." [4] 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." [5]

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."[6] gave the song 4 out of 5 stars, saying that the song is "A mincing guitar figure." [7] 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." [8] 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." [9]

Live performances[edit]

On January 26, 2014, Swift performed "All Too Well" at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.[10] Wearing a dramatic beaded gown with sequin detailing and a long train streaming out behind her,[11] she sang whilst playing piano on a low lit stage, before being joined by a live band midway through the performance.[12][13] Swift's headbanging at the song's climax gained significant media coverage.[11][14][15] Sean Thomas of The Slanted called it the "performance of the night,"[16] and Amy Sciarretto of Pop Crush hailed it as "unforgettable."[17]

Swift also performed the song live throughout her Red Tour.[18]

On Aug. 21, 2015, Swift surprised the Los Angeles audience by performing "All Too Well," [19] the first and only time on the 1989 Tour.

Chart performance[edit]

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 on 59 the Canadian Hot 100 and number 17 on the Hot Country Songs.

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2012–13) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[20] 59
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 80
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[22] 17


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Taylor Swift, Jake Gyllenhaal: Singer Likely Wrote 'All Too Well' About Actor". huffingtonpost. November 19, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Taylor Swift Reveals ‘All Too Well’ Hard To Write — About Jake Gyllenhaal?". October 22, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (October 22, 2012). "Taylor Swift: Red". Slant Magazine. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ "[Review] Taylor Swift — Red". The Prophet Blog. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Taylor Swift, 'Red': Track-By-Track Review". billboard. October 19, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ Silva, Robert. "Taylor Swift's 'Red' - Track by Track Review". Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (October 18, 2012). "Taylor Swift, 'Red' – Album Review". PopCrush. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ Lansky, Sam (October 22, 2012). "Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’: Album Review". Idolator. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ Rosen, Christopher (January 26, 2014). "Taylor Swift Grammys Performance Of 'All To Well' Is Worth All Feelings". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Wickman, Kase (January 26, 2014). "How Taylor Swift's Grammy Performance Helped Fans Forgive Her Exes". MTV. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ Marecsa, Rachel (January 27, 2014). "Grammys 2014: Taylor Swift reacts too early before losing Album of the Year award to Daft Punk". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ Harp, Justin (January 27, 2014). "Grammy Awards 2014: Taylor Swift dazzles with 'All Too Well' - video". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ Wyatt, Daisy (January 27, 2014). "Grammys 2014: Beyonce and Jay Z open bizarre awards featuring Taylor Swift head-banging". The Independent. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ Tucker, Rebecca (January 27, 2014). "‘F–k you, Grammys’: From Trent Reznor’s tweet to Taylor Swift’s hair, presenting the best and worst moments from the 2014 Grammy Awards". National Post. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  16. ^ Thomas, Sean (January 27, 2014). "Performance Of The Night Goes To Taylor Swift At The Grammys". The Slanted. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  17. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (January 26, 2014). "Taylor Swift Wows Us From Behind the Piano While Performing ‘All Too Well’ at the 2014 Grammys [VIDEO]". Pop Crush. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  18. ^ Sheffield, Rob (October 18, 2013). "Taylor Swift's 'Red' Tour: Her Amps Go Up to 22 | Rob Sheffield". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  19. ^ Ginn, Leighton. "Taylor Swift has banner performance during first of five sold-out shows in Los Angeles". Los Angeles Daily News. LA Daily News. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  20. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Taylor Swift.
  21. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Taylor Swift.
  22. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Taylor Swift.

External links[edit]