Fearless (Taylor Swift album)

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Fearless
Taylor Swift - Fearless.png
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 11, 2008 (2008-11-11)
Recorded2007–2008
GenreCountry pop
Length53:41
LabelBig Machine
Producer
Taylor Swift chronology
Beautiful Eyes
(2008)
Fearless
(2008)
Speak Now
(2010)
Alternate cover
International edition artwork
International edition artwork
Singles from Fearless
  1. "Love Story"
    Released: September 12, 2008
  2. "White Horse"
    Released: December 7, 2008
  3. "You Belong with Me"
    Released: April 19, 2009
  4. "Fifteen"
    Released: August 30, 2009
  5. "Fearless"
    Released: January 3, 2010

Fearless is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The album was released on November 11, 2008, by Big Machine Records. Swift wrote most of the songs during the time when she was promoting her self-titled debut studio album performing as an opening act for other country artists. Of the 13 tracks on the standard edition, eight were solely written by Swift, and the other were co-written by Swift with Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey, Colbie Caillat, and John Rich. Swift also made her debut as a record producer, co-producing all songs with Nathan Chapman.

Fearless is a country pop album that incorporates elements of crossover pop that commentators found appealing to a broader, mainstream audience. It incorporates acoustic instruments such as banjo, fiddle, and guitar in its production, and lyrically depicts Swift's perceptions of her romantic relationships. The album received generally positive reviews from critics, who commended Swift's songwriting ability resulting in radio-friendly songs. The most awarded album in the history of country music, Fearless won Album of the Year at the Grammys, the Country Music Association Awards, and the Academy of Country Music Awards. The Grammy for Album of the Year made Swift, then 20 years old, the youngest artist to win the award at the time.

Fearless spent 11 weeks atop the US Billboard 200 and was the best-selling album of 2009 in the United States, making Swift—19 years old at the time—the youngest artist to have the best-selling album of a calendar year. The album is certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America for earning over 10 million album-equivalent units in the United States. Worldwide, it is one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century, having sold over 12 million copies worldwide. Fearless spawned five singles, including two successful crossover hits "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me", which reached the higher-tier positions on record charts worldwide. Three other singles, "White Horse", "Fifteen", and the title track, entered the top 40 on the US Hot 100. The album's corresponding tour, the Fearless Tour, ran from April 2009 to June 2010 and grossed $66.5 million.

Background[edit]

Prior to stardom, Swift received a publishing contract with Sony/ATV Music.[1] Over the course of that period, Swift composed over 250 songs, either alone or collaborating with other songwriters, mostly with Liz Rose or Robert Ellis Orrall,[2] and refused to give them away to already established acts with intentions of someday singing them herself. When later signed to Big Machine Records, Swift compiled her Taylor Swift album of material written during her publishing contract, and expected to do the same for her second album. She said, "I've been very selfish about my songs. I had this dream of this project [Taylor Swift] coming out for so many years now that I just stockpiled. I'm so happy that I did because now we have a second album full of songs and a third album full of songs, and I don't have to lift a finger."[3] However, when embarking on her first and second tour as opening act for Rascal Flatts and George Strait, respectively, Swift continued to compose numerous songs. "I've written a lot of songs by myself lately, especially since I've been alone so much on the road," she said. "I do love writing on the road – I usually write at the concert venue. I'll find a quiet place in some room at the venue, like the locker room."[4]

As a result of writing subsequent to touring, Swift self-penned most of the material. "I've written like eight songs for the second album by myself. If you're in Arkansas, who's there to write with?"[5] During vacation days from touring, Swift collaborated with Rose,[5] musician John Rich, and singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat.[6]

In the writing process, she was heavily influenced by Sheryl Crow's candidness and truthful, yet vulnerable storytelling, and Brad Paisley's touching, yet humorous nature; she opened for Paisley.[2] She sought to prolong with centering romantic love the theme of the album. Primarily, she did not want to alienate her fans with songs about life on the road, for she could never relate to songs of the sort when younger. She continued, "I really try to write more about what I feel and guys and love because that's what fascinates me more than anything else – love and what it does to us and how we treat people and how they treat us. So pretty much every song on the album has a face that I associate with it."[7] Despite her revelation of not having kissed a male in two years, Swift said the album was not wrung dry of such inspiration because she still underwent breakups and felt its core emotions. Adding it did not "take much [for her] to get that sort of emotion out in a song",[8] she explained physical intimacy did not have to resort to kissing to feel disappointment, frustration, or heartbreak.[5] Although she had written numerous new songs, Swift decided to also include previously written tracks, believing there were stories she did not have the opportunity to put out with Taylor Swift, and still desired to.[5]

Having grouped over 75 songs,[2] recording with Nathan Chapman, who produced all but one song on Taylor Swift,[9] commenced soon after having completed touring with Strait;[10] in the process, Swift made her record producing debut.[11] Thereon, she and Chapman recorded and cut an abundance of songs to keep the best material on the album.[5] Thirteen tracks were planned due to Swift's fondness for the number; she considers it to be her lucky number.[2] To aid her in choosing the songs, Swift performed various new tracks – "Permanent Marker", "I'd Lie", "Sparks Fly", and "Fearless" – at the Gold Country Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 29 and 30, 2007; only the latter song was chosen for the album.[12] By January 2008, Swift had recorded approximately half of the songs that would remain on the final cut of Fearless.[13] The remainder of the songs resulted from the last two recording sessions: one held in March 2008, the other held sometime in the summer of 2008.[5] When asked to describe the album, Swift commented, "It's the same kind of album I made (in 2006) – just two years older. Sound-wise, it's the kind of songs I like to write, which are country songs, but I guess because of the subject matter and because of some of the melodies I love to use, I guess they have crossover appeal."[7]

Development and lyrics[edit]

Swift conceived the title track with Rose and songwriter Hillary Lindsey while touring. It is based on an instrumentation with acoustic guitar, fiddle, and banjo[14] and lyrically speaks of taking courage during a date.[15][16] "Fifteen" was about Swift's freshman year at Hendersonville High School,[16][17] where she met her best friend Abigail Anderson.[18] "Love Story" came late into the production of Fearless.[19] It was inspired by a love interest of Swift's who her family and friends were not fond of. Feeling inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1597), one her favorite narratives, she self-penned the entire track on her bedroom floor in approximately twenty minutes.[20] She began with the line, "This love is difficult but it's real", which was ultimately placed in the song's second refrain,[16] and altered its conclusion from that of Romeo and Juliet, giving them a happy ending, a fate she believed her favorite characters deserved.[21]

Swift performing the album's title track during a concert on the Fearless Tour.

Swift wrote "Hey Stephen" about her hidden feelings for Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft, a country band that opened several shows for Swift.[22] It is characterized by a playful teen pop melody[23] and accompanied by a subdued Hammond B-3 organ.[24] "White Horse" was written almost a year prior to the release of Fearless.[25] It is a ballad whose sparse production, based on acoustic guitar and muted piano with accents of cello,[26][27] emphasized on Swift's soft and breathy vocals.[28][29] Swift first solely wrote the first verse. The singer then made a phone call to Rose asking for her aid in continuing the song, which was completed in approximately forty-five minutes.[30] Its conception was triggered by a boyfriend of Swift's who she perceived to be Prince Charming, but, in the downfall of the relationship, realized was not.[25] Swift became inspired to compose "You Belong with Me" after she overheard a male friend of hers speaking to his girlfriend through a phone call. Out of the sympathy she felt towards him, Swift developed a concept for a song, and later developed the story line in which she was in love with him.[16] The song is based upon different twangy, up-and-down vocal hooks[31] and has banjos clucking alongside new wave electric guitars.[32]

In the ballad "Breathe", the accompaniment consists entirely of string instruments,[24] and Swift singing in regards to love-gone-wrong scenario.[28] The song was a collaboration between Swift and Caillat that surged out of Swift's interest in Caillat's debut Coco (2007). The two arranged a writing session to coincide with Caillat's upcoming concert in Nashville, Tennessee,[16] where they composed "Breathe" about Swift losing a friend very dear to her.[33] "Tell Me Why" was triggered by a love interest she was never in a formal romantic relationship with. Raged by his disparaging and inconsistent behavior towards her,[16] she stormed into Rose's house, and vented about the scenario. She described how she grew tired of his attitude and the discrepancies between his sayings and actions, among other concerns. They consequently put all her ramblings into "Tell Me Why".[34] Swift composed "You're Not Sorry" at the moment where a relationship came tumbling down because of her lying and secretive partner.[16] It is a power ballad with rock music influences;[35] the song commences with piano and progresses to electric guitars mid-song.[36] Swift had developed the fictional plot for "The Way I Loved You" (preferring complicated men for relationships), the title, and sought to write the song with Rich. He was able to relate to the plot, being that he is usually the complicated person in relationships. The two approached the song from two different angles while writing it, which she described to be incredible.[16]

"Forever & Always" was a last-minute addition to Fearless, being written shortly before audio mastering was held and CD booklets were printed.[19] Swift self-penned the track about the fallout of her relationship with Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers.[37] "Forever & Always" was written in a state where she noticed Jonas' slow shift from her and wondered why.[16] Jonas later ended the relationship with Swift for actress Camilla Belle, whom he met on set his "Lovebug" (2008) music video.[38] "The Best Day" was a song Swift dedicated to her mother, Andrea Swift. It is an understated ballad, and the only song on Fearless to be written in simple verse form. The song was inspired by an incident during middle school, when Swift called several of her peers on the phone and asked if they wanted to go shopping with her. However, every girl had a different excuse for why they couldn't go. Eventually, Swift's mother agreed to take her to the local mall. When they arrived, Swift saw all of the girls she had called on the phone, goofing around in Victoria's Secret.[39][40] "Change" was solely composed by Swift about her hopes and aspirations to succeed, although signed to the smallest record label in Nashville, Tennessee. After reassuring to herself that it would be different in the future, she wrote the beginning of "Change".[16] She left the song unfinished, waiting for a remarkable event to trigger its completion.[41] She then completed the track the day after she won the Horizon Award at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards and saw Scott Borchetta, the president of Big Machine Records, crying.[40]

Packaging and release[edit]

Swift performing "You're Not Sorry" on the Fearless Tour.

After completing the album's first track, Swift reconsidered her personal definition of the word "fearless".[42] 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."[42] She then started contemplating the word to title the album, and to assure she was making the correct decision, applied to every song on the album. Finding a fearless element to the themes and messages behind the songs, Swift decided to title the album Fearless.[40] On the liner notes, she further explained the album title,

This album is called Fearless, and I guess I'd like to clarify why we chose that as the title. To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. It's not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears, Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. Fearless is falling madly in love again, even though you've been hurt before. Fearless is walking into your freshman year of high school at fifteen. Fearless is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again... even though every time you've tried before, you've lost. It's Fearless to have faith that someday things will change. Fearless is having the courage to say goodbye to someone who only hurts you, even though you can't breathe without them. I think it's Fearless to fall for your best friend, even though he's in love with someone else. And when someone apologizes to you enough times for things they'll never stop doing, I think it's Fearless to stop believing them. It's Fearless to say "you're NOT sorry". I think loving someone despite what people think is Fearless. I think allowing yourself to cry on the bathroom floor is Fearless. Letting go is Fearless. Then, moving on and being alright... That's Fearless too. But no matter what love throws at you, you have to believe in it. You have to believe in love stories and prince charmings and happily ever after. That's why I write these songs. Because I think love is Fearless.[11]

As with her debut album, Taylor Swift, Swift was very involved with the album packaging. The album's images were photographed by Joseph Anthony Barker, Ash Newell and Sheryl Nields while the cover and graphic designs were executed by Leen Ann Ramey for Ramey Design.[11] Fearless was released on November 11, 2008 in the United States and Canada,[43][44] and on November 15, 2008, in Australia. The album was then re-released on February 27, 2009, in Australia as a limited edition with bonus tracks originally from Taylor Swift and a new artwork. An international edition was released March 2, 2009, in Spain, and numerous countries followed in the consequent weeks.

Platinum edition[edit]

Swift had already started composing songs for her next album, what would become Speak Now (2010), but had also written songs she believed did not correspond with her scope of the record. She included them in a re-release for Fearless.[45][46] Some tracks were written much prior recording, while others were done subsequently. "Jump Then Fall" was self-penned by Swift using a banjo and a "feel-good vibe", which, along with its bouncy character, caused for it to be Swift's favorite song on the re-release.[47] Swift also reworked the tempo and replaced the guitar-driven instrumentation to piano of "Forever & Always" for the new version of Fearless.[46] The re-release also included Swift's only cover on a studio album, a rendition of American rock band Luna Halo's "Untouchable" (2007).[48] Swift recalled that Borchetta had given her Luna Halo's eponymous second studio album to listen to, and ultimately chose to cover "Untouchable". Swift altered the song both musically and lyrically, and reworking the arrangement and switching the verses while maintaining the refrains similar.[48]

Titled Fearless Platinum Edition, the re-release was announced on September 10, 2009 with a release date of October 27, 2009.[46] It was then pushed forward one day, to October 26, 2009.[49] Fearless Platinum Edition bore a new collector's cover that altered the background color to black and included a CD and a DVD.[46] The CD had an additional six songs – "Jump Then Fall", "Untouchable", "Forever & Always" (Piano Version), "Come in with the Rain", "SuperStar", and "The Other Side of the Door" – placed prior to the original tracks from the album.[46] The DVD comprised music videos ("Change", "The Best Day", "Love Story", "White Horse", and "You Belong with Me"), behind-the-scenes videos (for the latter three), over fifty images (photographed by Austin Swift, the singer's younger brother) and backstage footage from the first concert of the Fearless Tour, and "Thug Story" (a video with rapper T-Pain filmed exclusively for the 2009 CMT Music Awards).[46]

Promotion[edit]

To promote the album Swift released four promotional singles, advertised as "Countdown to Fearless". The first promotional single released was "Change" on August 8, 2008. The song was also included as part of the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack (2008).[50] "Fearless" was released as the second promotional single on October 14, 2008.[51] The third promotional single, "You're Not Sorry", was released October 28, 2008. The fourth and final song used to promote the album, "You Belong with Me", was released on November 4, 2008.

On June 8, 2008,[52] Swift performed on Clear Channel's Stripped to promote Fearless. Two of the performances would later be released on the Target exclusive version of Fearless Platinum Edition.[53]

Singles[edit]

"Love Story" was released as the album's lead single on September 12, 2008 via digital distribution. The song was highly acclaimed by music critics who complimented Swift's writing style and the song's plot.[54] The track was also a commercial success internationally. It is Swift's best-selling single to date, pushing over 6.5 million copies worldwide since January 2010, therefore establishing itself among of the best-selling singles of all time.[55] In the United States, "Love Story" has sold over 5 million digital downloads as of May 2011 and became one of the best-selling singles in the United States.[56] It is the best-selling country single of all time, and was later surpassed by Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (2009) in April 2011.[57] Furthermore, "Love Story" peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100[58] and marked the highest peak by a country song on Mainstream Top 40 (Pop Songs) since Shania Twain's "You're Still the One" (1998).[59]

"White Horse" became Fearless' second single on December 9, 2008. It garnered generally positive reception with critics commenting that Swift was able to make its message palpable[28] and selecting it among the best tracks on Fearless.[29] It peaked at number thirteen in the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on Hot Country Songs.[60] It sold over 1.6 million copies in the United States as of February 2011[61] and managed to chart in Australia,[62] Canada,[60] and the United Kingdom.[63]

A young woman with blond, curly hair looks up while being dressed in a black cocktail dress and standing on a taxi cab.
Swift performing "You Belong with Me" at rehearsals for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

"You Belong with Me" was released as the third single from Fearless on April 26, 2009. Critical reception for the song was mixed, ranging from "every single Taylor Swift hit sounds the same"[64] to naming it one of her best songs.[29] However, "You Belong with Me" enjoyed commercial success internationally. In the United States, the song was tied for Swift's best-charting effort with "Today Was a Fairytale" (2010), at number two, until "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" reached number one in 2012.[65] Driven mostly by non-country radio airplay, the song established the largest crossover radio audience since Faith Hill's "Breathe" (2000).[66] Selling over 3.6 million copies as of February 2011, the track is the third-best-selling country single of all time.[67] Roman White directed the music video for "You Belong with Me", which plot centers on the protagonist secretively loving the male lead, although he has a girlfriend; both the protagonist and antagonist were portrayed by Swift.[68] It won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in 2009, but during Swift's acceptance speech, rapper Kanye West interrupted, protesting in support of nominee Beyoncé Knowles. The incident caused tumult in the media, with many coming to Swift's defense.[69]

"Fifteen" was released as the fourth single from the album on September 1, 2009. It was praised by numerous critics for its vulnerability and accurate portrayal of a real teenager.[70] Commercially, "Fifteen" was mildly successful, peaking at number twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number nineteen on the Canadian Hot 100.[71] In the United States, the song sold over 1.1 million digital downloads as of February 2011.[56] The music video for the single was directed by White and is heavily accentuated with special effects. It features Swift walking through a garden, where she relives many memories with her friend. "Fearless", the album's title track, became the fifth and final single released from Fearless on January 4, 2010. The song generally pleased contemporary critics, many who complimented it for appealing to different age groups.[72] The song peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 after its release as a promotional single.[73] During that time, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the sales of over 500,000 digital downloads.[74] It therefore became the first single released after being certified gold by the RIAA.[15] Once released as a single, "Fearless" was only able to reach the position of number seventy-six.[75] It also peaked at number thirty-two in Spain.[76] The title track has an associated music video consisting of footage of the tour itself and backstage; it was directed by Todd Cassetty.[77]

Tour[edit]

On April 23, 2009, Swift began her first headlining tour called the Fearless Tour in North America. It ran until July 10, 2010 and had four legs and 105 shows in four countries. Sales for the tour began in February 2009 and tickets for several tour dates and venues were sold out in a record of less than one minute.[78][79][80]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic73/100[81]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[82]
Blender4/5 stars[83]
Entertainment WeeklyB[84]
The Guardian3/5 stars[85]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)A−[86]
The Observer4/5 stars[87]
Pitchfork8.1/10[88]
Q2/5 stars[89]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[14]
USA Today3/4 stars[90]

Fearless received positive reviews from critics, earning a collective score of 73 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 14 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[81] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic believed Swift abandoned teen pretenses, styling herself after Shania Twain and Faith Hill prior to becoming divas. He added that Swift presented herself as a "big sister instead of a big star", pointing "Fifteen" as a prime example of it.[82] Despite noting the album's pop music elements outweighed its country music elements and calling it "one of the best mainstream pop albums of 2008", Erlewine said Fearless "never [felt] garish, a crass attempt at a crossover success".[82] Ken Tucker of Billboard wrote, "Those who thought Taylor Swift was a big deal after the release of her first record be prepared: She's about to get way bigger. Though they're written by a teenager, Swift's songs have broad appeal, and therein lies the genius and accessibility in her second effort."[91] James Reed of The Boston Globe believed Swift's charm was in her songwriting and that honesty is what separated her from other teenage starlets at the time who relied on "big-name producers, songwriters, and Disney shows for a music career."[92] Drawing similarities between her ability to "blur the line between commercial country and Top 40 radio", Reed compared the singer to a younger version of the Dixie Chicks.[92] Writing for MSN Music, Robert Christgau found Swift's message about "believing in love stories and prince charmings and happily ever after" distastefully sentimental, but was nonetheless very impressed with the catchiness and "diaristic realism" of Swift's songs. He believed the record "can pass for a concept album about the romantic life of an uncommonly-to-impossibly strong and gifted teenage girl, starting on the first day of high school and gradually shedding naiveté without approaching misery or neurosis".[86] Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly stated, "A button-cute blond teen with a pocket full of hits – sounds like the early aughts all over again, no? But aside from sharing, possibly, a box of Clairol, there is nothing remotely Britney- or Christina-esque about Swift."[84] Greenblatt presumed that at the time her fan base would remain young females due to her way of communicating with them, but would grow over time.[84]

Alexis Petridis of the British newspaper The Guardian had mixed opinions about the album; he thought it was certainly "bland and uninventive", yet executed incredibly well. Over the course of listening to it, he queried if more music of the sort was needed, and concluded that "the feeling that the world is going to answer your query in the affirmative swiftly overwhelms you."[85] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone called Swift "a songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture that [...] calls to mind Swedish pop gods Dr. Luke and Max Martin."[14] Rosen attributed Swift's particular charm to in how intertwined almost impersonal professionalism with intimate and real confessions.[14] Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine believed Fearless pointed out that Swift was capable of having a long musical career. However, Keefe was disappointed in the album, for it did not showcase significant refinements as she did on Taylor Swift; but, with an immature voice and young age, to him, Swift still had enough time to perfect her craft and make a great album.[23] Josh Love of The Village Voice wrote, "This remarkably self-aware adolescent's words don't falter, masterfully avoiding the typical diarist's pitfalls of trite banality and pseudo-profound bullshit."[93] Chris Richards of The Washington Post said, "In Swift's world, every song is a radio-ready charmer, confirming the 18-year-old's ability to pen a gaggle of consistently pleasing tunes."[32] He noted Swift's voice was only minimally twangy and her vocal delivery was sugary enough to receive heavy rotation on Radio Disney, yet poised enough to do the same on CMT. He also felt Swift was a talented songwriter, but her consistency sometimes fell into uniformity.[32]

Accolades[edit]

At the 52nd Grammy Awards, Fearless won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and Best Country Album.[94] Swift's Album of the Year win made her the youngest artist ever at the age of 20 to receive that award, thereby surpassing Alanis Morissette's win for Jagged Little Pill at the age of 21. Six years later at the 58th Grammy Awards, Swift won Album of the Year again for 1989, becoming the first woman to win the award twice for her own work. Fearless was also the first album in history to win the American Music Award, Academy of Country Music Award, Country Music Association Award, and Grammy Award for Album of The Year in the same year making it the most awarded album in the history of country music.[95]

Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2009 Canadian Country Music Association Top Selling Album Won [96]
Country Music Association Awards Album of the Year Won [97]
Academy of Country Music Awards Won [98]
American Music Awards Favorite Country Album Won [99]
[100]
Favorite Pop/Rock Album Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Female Album Won [101]
[102]
2010 Canadian Country Music Association Top Selling Album Won [96]
Juno Award International Album of the Year Nominated [103]
Grammy Awards Album of the Year Won [104]
Best Country Album Won

Commercial performance[edit]

On the week ending November 29, 2008, Fearless debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with over 592,000 copies sold in its first week – the largest sum for a country album since the Eagles' Long Road out of Eden sold over 711,000 copies in a single week in November 2007.[105] In the proceeding week, the album descended to number four with over 217,000 copies sold (a 63 percent decline from the previous week).[106] Three weeks later, the album reclaimed the number one position with over 249,000 copies sold, and was able to top the Billboard 200 for a total of 11 non-consecutive weeks.[107] It became the longest chart-topper since Santana's Supernatural spent 12 non-consecutive weeks at number one between 1999 and 2000,[108] and the longest reign on the Billboard 200 of the 2000s decade.[59]

Furthermore, Fearless became the longest chart-topper by a female country artist, third by a country artist overall,[109] and sixth by a female artist, along with Mariah Carey's 1990 eponymous debut album.[110] After completing its Billboard 200 reign in March 2009,[107] the album continued to sell strongly throughout the remainder of 2009. It went on to sell over 3,217,000 copies in the year, becoming 2009's best-selling album in the US. Thus, Swift, at the age of 20, became the youngest artist to have the year's best-selling album and the only female country artist to have one as well.[111] Fearless' success extended years beyond its release. The week ending January 30, 2010, was its 52nd week on the top ten of the Billboard 200, making Fearless one of 18 albums to remain on the top ten for a year or more, and the only one from the 2000s.[112] The album logged a total of 58 weeks on the top ten, becoming the longest-running top ten album by a country artist.[113] On Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, Fearless remained number one for 35 non-consecutive weeks.[114] The album was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments exceeding ten million copies.[115] As of July 2019, the album has sold 7.18 million copies in the US.[116] It is ranked as the second-biggest-selling album in the last six years[117] and the sixth-best-selling digital album in history.[118] As of August 2020, the album had been on the Billboard 200 chart for 257 non-consecutive weeks.[119]

In Canada, Fearless entered at number one on the albums chart with sales of over 27,000 copies on the week ending November 29, 2008.[120] Although only spending one week at number one, the album charted in Canada for a total of 67 weeks,[121] and was certified quadruple platinum by the Music Canada for shipments exceeding 320,000 copies.[122] The album also managed success overseas. In Australia, it debuted at number 50 on the week ending November 30, 2008 and dropped from the chart in the succeeding week. On the week ending January 25, 2009, it re-entered the Australian Albums Chart at number 42, and, nine weeks later, on the week ending April 26, 2009, peaked at number two.[123] Fearless was certified 7× platinum by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipments exceeding 490,000 copies.[124] In New Zealand, Fearless debuted at number two on the week ending March 16, 2009 and ascended to the top spot in the following week.[125] It was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) for the shipment of 45,000 copies.[126]

The album sold over 400,000 copies throughout Asia as of February 2011.[127] In Japan, it debuted at number 22 with 4,945 copies sold in the first week of July 2009,[128] and peaked at number eight.[129] It was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for the shipment of over 100,000 copies.[130] In Europe, Fearless also performed well, charting at number eighteen on European Top 100 Albums.[131] Achieving its highest peak in Europe, the album debuted at number five on the UK Albums Chart on the week ending March 21, 2009.[132] Despite descending in the continuing weeks, the album remained on the UK Albums Chart for 64 weeks,[132] and was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for the shipment of 600,000 copies.[133] In Ireland, the album peaked at number seven,[134] and was certified double platinum by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) for shipments exceeding 30,000 copies.[135] Fearless saw less success in mainland Europe, charting within the top twenty in Austria, Germany, Greece, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes[11]

All tracks are produced by Taylor Swift and Nathan Chapman, except where noted.

FearlessStandard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Fearless"4:01
2."Fifteen"Swift4:54
3."Love Story"Swift3:55
4."Hey Stephen"Swift4:14
5."White Horse"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:54
6."You Belong with Me"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:51
7."Breathe" (featuring Colbie Caillat)
  • Swift
  • Caillat
4:23
8."Tell Me Why"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:20
9."You're Not Sorry"Swift4:21
10."The Way I Loved You"4:04
11."Forever & Always"Swift3:45
12."The Best Day"Swift4:05
13."Change"Swift4:40
Total length:53:29
FearlessAustralian tour edition (bonus tracks)[136][137]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
14."Our Song" (Chapman)Swift3:24
15."Teardrops on My Guitar" (Chapman)
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:36
16."Should've Said No" (Chapman)Swift4:06
17."Love Story" (US Pop Mix)Swift3:56
Total length:64:29
Fearless – International edition (bonus tracks)[138][139][140]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
14."Our Song" (International mix) (Chapman)Swift3:21
15."Teardrops on My Guitar" (International mix) (Chapman)
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:15
16."Should've Said No" (International mix) (Chapman)Swift4:08
Total length:63:59
FearlessDigital edition (bonus track)[141][142][143]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Love Story" (J Stax Radio Mix)Swift3:38
Total length:67:37
FearlessJapanese edition (bonus tracks)[144]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Beautiful Eyes" (Robert Ellis Orrall)Swift2:59
18."Picture to Burn" (Chapman)
  • Swift
  • Rose
2:57
19."I'm Only Me When I'm with You" (Orrall, Angelo)3:33
20."I Heart ?" (Orrall)Swift3:17
Total length:66:19
FearlessAustralian iTunes Store deluxe edition (bonus tracks)[145]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Love Story" (US Pop Mix)Swift3:56
18."Umbrella" (iTunes Live from SoHo)1:31
19."Picture to Burn" (iTunes Live from SoHo)
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:33
20."Should've Said No" (iTunes Live from SoHo)Swift4:29
21."A Place in This World" (iTunes Live from SoHo)3:26
22."Video Interview Piece" 3:00
23."Love Story" (music video) 4:01
Total length:58:04
FearlessEnhanced CD (bonus videos)[146][147]
No.TitleDirector(s)Length
1."Love Story" (music video)Trey Fanjoy3:57
2."Change" (music video)Shawn Robbins4:33
FearlessTarget limited edition (bonus DVD)[148][149]
No.TitleLength
1."Change" (Recording)16:36
2."Breathe" (Recording) (featuring Colbie Caillat)12:59
FearlessPlatinum edition: disc one[150]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Jump then Fall"Swift3:56
2."Untouchable"
5:11
3."Forever & Always" (Piano version)Swift4:27
4."Come in With the Rain"3:58
5."Superstar"
  • Swift
  • Rose
4:21
6."The Other Side of the Door"Swift3:57
7."Fearless"4:01
8."Fifteen"Swift4:54
9."Love Story"Swift3:55
10."Hey Stephen"Swift4:14
11."White Horse"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:54
12."You Belong with Me"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:51
13."Breathe" (featuring Colbie Caillat)4:23
14."Tell Me Why"
  • Swift
  • Rose
3:20
15."You're Not Sorry"Swift4:21
16."The Way I Loved You"
  • Swift
  • Rose
4:04
17."Forever & Always"Swift3:45
18."The Best Day"Swift4:05
19."Change"Swift4:40
Total length:79:19
FearlessPlatinum edition: disc two[150]
No.TitleDirector(s)Length
1."Change" (music video)Shawn Robbins3:47
2."The Best Day" (music video)Taylor Swift4:34
3."Love Story" (music video)Trey Fanjoy3:54
4."White Horse" (music video)Trey Fanjoy4:03
5."You Belong with Me" (music video)Roman White4:37
6."Love Story" ("On the Set" Behind the Scenes) 22:00
7."White Horse" ("On the Set" Behind the Scenes) 22:00
8."You Belong with Me" ("On the Set" Behind the Scenes) 20:45
9."Fearless Tour 2009 Photo Gallery"  
10."Fearless Tour 2009 First Show Behind the Scenes!" 10:41
11."CMT Awards Thug Story" (featuring T-Pain)Peter Zavadil1:26
Target bonus videos[151]
No.TitleLength
12."Untouchable" (Live from Clear Channel's Stripped)3:45
13."Fearless" (Live from Clear Channel's Stripped)3:23
Walmart bonus videos[152][153]
No.TitleLength
12."Love Story" (Live from V Festival)4:27
13."You Belong with Me" (Live from V Festival)5:01

Notes:

  • "Untouchable" is a reworked version of Luna Halo's "Untouchable", written by Cary Barlowe, Nathan Barlowe, and Tommy Lee James.

Personnel[edit]

As listed in the liner notes.[11]

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[124] 7× Platinum 500,000[209]
Austria (IFPI Austria)[210] Gold 10,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[122] 4× Platinum 320,000^
Germany (BVMI)[211] Gold 100,000^
Hong Kong (IFPIHK)[212] Gold 7,500
Ireland (IRMA)[135] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Indonesia (ASIRI)[212] Platinum 10,000
Japan (RIAJ)[130] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[126] 3× Platinum 45,000^
Malaysia (RIM)[212] Platinum 30,000
Norway (IFPI Norway)[213] Gold 15,000*
Philippines (PARI)[215] 9× Platinum 140,000[214]
Singapore (RIAS)[212] Platinum 10,000
South Africa (RISA)[212] Gold 15,000
Taiwan (RIT)[212] Platinum 10,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[133] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[115] Diamond 7,180,000[116]
GCC (IFPI Middle East)[216] Gold 3,000*
Summaries
Worldwide 12,000,000[209]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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