Red (Taylor Swift song)

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"Red"
Single by Taylor Swift
from the album Red
Released June 21, 2013 (2013-06-21)
Format
Genre
Length 3:40
Label Big Machine
Writer(s) Taylor Swift
Producer(s)
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Highway Don't Care"
(2013)
"Red"
(2013)
"Everything Has Changed"
(2013)
Music video
"Red" on YouTube

"Red" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her fourth studio album of the same name (2012). It was released on October 2, 2012, in the US by Big Machine Records as the second promotional single from Red in 2012 and serves as the album's fifth single on June 21, 2013.[4] It was part of the tracks released during the four weeks preceding the release of the album.[5] Musically, "Red" is a country song, and its lyrics uses colors and metaphors to describe an intense and tumultuous relationship.

The track received polarizing reviews from music critics, who praised its lyrics, but were ambivalent towards its composition. The song debuted at number six on the US Billboard 100 and at number one on the Hot Digital Songs chart. It also debuted at number two on the Hot Country Songs chart, behind Swift's previous single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".

Background[edit]

Swift previewed the track on the October 1, 2012 episode of ABC's Good Morning America. The song finds Swift playing with the idea of colors in relation to her emotions about a relationship. Before playing the track, Swift explained its meaning: "I wrote this song about the fact that some things are just hard to forget," she said, "because the emotions involved with them were so intense and, to me, intense emotion is red." Swift explained that she decided to name this song as her album title, as its lyrics encompass the entire theme of the project. "Thinking about what that means to me and all the different emotions that are written about on this album – they're all pretty much about the sexy, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I've experienced in the last two years," I noted. "All those emotions – spanning from intense love, intense frustration, jealousy, confusion – in my mind, all those emotions are red. There's nothing in between; there is nothing beige about any of those feelings."

Swift explained to Billboard. "I think the reason I said that was because I made the record exactly the same way I made the last three. I knew I hadn't jumped out of my comfort zone, which at the time was writing alone and working with Nathan. [Red] the song was a real turning point for Red the album. When I wrote that song my mind started wandering to all the places we could go. If I were to think outside the box enough, go in with different people, I could learn from and have what they do rub off on me as well as have what I do rub off on them."[6]

Composition[edit]

"Red" is a country song.[1][2] It is written in the key of C# minor and lasts three minutes and forty-one seconds. It is in common time with an approximate tempo of 125 beats per minute. Swift's vocals range from F3 to C5.[7]

Music video[edit]

A music video for the song was released on July 3, 2013, the video features footage from Swift's Red Tour.[8] Crowd cheers in the concert can be heard in the background as well. As of August 2016, the video has over 100 million views on YouTube.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Marc Hogan of Spin felt the mixed influences didn’t work in Swift’s favor: “A glossy soft rocker with a stomping four-on-the-floor beat, back-porch twang, adult-contemporary orchestration, and Top 40-ready electronic vocal effects, it covers a bizarre number of bases. And the key lyric compares her lost love, mourned here as an object of desire but not kissed off as one of the usual jerks, to ‘driving a new Maserati down a dead end street,’ like Swift is about to brawl with Rick Ross.” [10] Grady Smith of Entertainment Weekly, joked, saying: "Those are the only colors the song — which Swift says is all about 'intense emotion' — brings up, which kind of let me down. (...) I’m being serious — I kept waiting for some other hue to pop up, and it never did.(... And then, said: "Lyrically, (...) [some] lines (...) lack the crisp, powerful punch that Swift usually delivers. And in a song all about the vividness of feelings, they paint a rather blurry portrait. (...) Where is the drama, the sexiness, the freefall of passion? The poppy production white-washes over all that. That doesn’t mean this is a bad song, just maybe an underwhelming one."[11]

Rebecca Macatee of E! Online, found the lyrics to be a rainbow of fruit flavors: ”She...goes through myriad colors to describe her feelings... We’re not sure what color Swift’s heart is, but we’re sure it’s pretty.”[12] Laurence of Music City Post, noted the track’s melodic strength: “With a lot of heart on the sleeve lyricism (...) and a hefty guitar solo, ‘Red’ does nothing by half measures."[13] Rolling Stone responded favorably to the record, noting that the song marries her heartbreak anthems with a radio-friendly sound "with banjos flying, strings swelling and guitars wailing, Swift keeps her lyrics simple but effective[.]"[3] The Pop Fairy gave a negative review: "“Red” is (...) another love song by America’s favorite cougar of the moment. (...) The only unique thing about the song is the thing I can’t stand, the electronic ‘R-R-Red’ that repeats after the chorus.” Finishing with 'A little more effort would be nice.', giving the song a grade 'C'.[14]

One of the more positive reviews came from Billy Dukes of Taste of Country, who gave the track 4.5 out of 5 stars. Said Dukes: "...‘Red’ is arguably the best lyric on the album. It’s a songwriting spotlight for Swift, who toys with colors like a skilled artist, and this song is her Sistine Chapel."[1]

CMA Awards version[edit]

"Red (2013 CMA Awards Performance)" is a version of the song and features Alison Krauss, Edgar Meyer, Eric Darken, Sam Bush and Vince Gill. This song was sung during the CMA Awards in 2013 and was released for digital download the next day.[15]

Track listing[edit]

"Red" - Digital Single[16]
  1. "Red" — 3:43
"Red (2013 CMA Awards Performance)" - Digital Single[17]
  1. "Red (2013 CMA Awards Performance) [feat. Alison Krauss, Edgar Meyer, Eric Darken, Sam Bush and Vince Gill]" — 3:51

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from liner notes of Red.[18]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[34] Gold 35,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[35] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[36] Platinum 1,400,000[37]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States October 2, 2012[38] Digital download Big Machine Records
June 24, 2013[39] Country radio

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Dukes, Billy (June 11, 2013). "Taylor Swift, 'Red' – Song Review". Taste of Country. Townsquare Media. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Sciarretto, Amy (October 6, 2012). "Taylor Swift 'Red' Track Listing Revealed". Taste of Country. Townsquare Media. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Describes Color of Heartache on 'Red'". Rolling Stone. October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Country". Gfa.radioandrecords.com. June 24, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ Williott, Carl (September 21, 2012). "Taylor Swift's 'Red' Nabs Countdown Campaign With iTunes & 'Good Morning America'". Idolator. Buzz Media. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Swift explains why Red was chosen as the album title". December 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ "'Red' sheet music". MusicNotes.com. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  8. ^ July 3, 2013 8:54pm EDT by Christopher Rogers (July 4, 2013). "[WATCH] Taylor Swift 'Red' Video — Watch Tay-Tay's Full Official Music Vid". Hollywood Life. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Taylor Swift - Red". 3 July 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Hogan, Marc (October 2, 2012). "Hear Taylor Swift's Maserati-Themed 'Red' Title Track". Spin. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Smith, Grady (October 2, 2012). "Taylor Swift explains her personal rainbow of emotions on 'Red'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  12. ^ Macatee, Rebecca (October 2, 2012). "Listen: Taylor Swift Debuts New Single "Red"; Donates Concert Tickets to Internet-Pranked School". E! Online. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Taylor Swift – Red". Music City Post. October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Taylor Swift's "Red" Is More Beige". E! Online. October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Red (2013 CMA Awards Performance) - Single". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Red - Single". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Red (2013 CMA Awards Performance) - Single by Taylor Swift". iTunes. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  18. ^ Red (Compact disc liner notes). Taylor Swift. Big Machine Records. 2012. BMR310400A
  19. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Taylor Swift – Red". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  20. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  21. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Billboard Canada Country for Taylor Swift. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  22. ^ "Lescharts.com – Taylor Swift – Red" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  23. ^ "Chart Track: Week 40, 2012". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  24. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Japan Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  25. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Taylor Swift – Red". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  26. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Taylor Swift – Red" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  27. ^ "13, 2012/ Archive Chart: October 13, 2012" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  28. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  29. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Taylor Swift. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  30. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Billboard Country Airplay for Taylor Swift. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  31. ^ "Best of 2013: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Best of 2013: Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Billboard Country Update for December 15, 2014" (PDF). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 15, 2014. p. 17. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  34. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Japanese single certifications – Taylor Swift – Red" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved November 11, 2014.  Select 2016年05月 on the drop-down menu
  36. ^ "American single certifications – Taylor Swift – Red". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 11, 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  37. ^ Trust, Gary (November 11, 2014). "Ask Billboard: All-Taylor Swift Edition". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  38. ^ http://www.idolator.com/6979742/taylor-swift-red-listen
  39. ^ "Going For Adds: Country (Week Of: June 24, 2013)". Radio & Records. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]

  • Taylor Swift official site: single, album (with lyrics)