Taylor Swift, an American singer-songwriter, is one of the most successful and prolific musicians in the world. Among her 142 major music awards, she has received 11 Grammys – she is also the only solo female artist to win the Album of the Year Grammy on three separate occasions. She has also set over 30 world records, one of which was accomplished with her recently re-released song titled All Too Well.
All Too Well was first released in October 2012 and then 9 years later in November 2021. After the royalties for her music were sold in 2019 to Scooter Braun, a veteran music manager and entrepreneur, Swift began the process of re-recording all her earlier albums. This was done in order to reclaim and re-release them under the directive ‘Taylor’s Version’. The album showcases a number of genres including Pop, Country and Rock.
Her fans relished the arrival of this highly anticipated 10-minute-long original version. This song is from the full re-release of her fourth studio album Red (Taylor’s Version).
The first release was a fan favourite, and the new re-release is no exception. At a length of 10 minutes and 13 seconds, All Too Well has become the longest song to reach Number 1 on the Billboard 100 USA music charts, surpassing Don MacLaine’s American Pie at 8 minutes and 37 seconds.
The 10-minute hit single encapsulates all the reasons listeners love Swift’s music. It is giving us a lot more of what we loved the first time she released this song.
All Too Well (10 Minute Version) is a slow burn. It brings the listener into the familiar shared themes of young heartbreak that so many of us can connect with. With lyrics like: “… after plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own, now you mail back my things and I walk home alone”, the listener shares the familiar feeling of yearning to remember while longing to move on.
This song is for anybody who is a fan of Swift’s music. It tells the story of a couple’s journey and the heartbreak of young love. Starting with a highlight reel of their relationship, the song delves back and forth between conflicting lowlights and highlights of the relationship. Taylor Swift – All Too Well: The Short Film, directed and produced by none other than Swift herself, accompanied the re-release of her album ‘Red’. With notable actors in Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, the short film was incredibly popular and has reached over 63 million views on YouTube.
In the 2020 documentary Miss Americana, Swift discusses one of the many reasons she has been able to reach so many with her songs; “…everybody in music has their own niche specialty thing that they do that sets them apart from everybody else and my storytelling is what it is for me.” All Too Well (10 Minute Version) proves this theory correct. The impact of being able to connect with a song holds a unique power that keeps the listener coming back for more.
The Insider explores the psychological response known as period nostalgia and how it impacts the listener’s ability to form an attachment with music. It explains how All Too Well (10 Minute Version) can trigger an emotional response in the listener, providing a reason as to why the new rendition is so successful so many years later.
In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Swift discusses Red (Taylor’s version) and the re-release of All Too Well (10 Minute Version). She speaks of how the song was almost not recorded and why it was originally cut down. “Because ten minutes is absurd!”, she said. She goes on to explore how she believed the longer version would connect with fans, commenting that “I think I know what they are wanting.”
She was right. According to Billboard, the hit song was streamed in the USA over 54 million times in its first week. In Australia, it topped the Australian Recording Industry Charts and became Swift’s eighth number one single.
The action of Swift rerecording her old music has been well publicised and highlights how little rights many musicians have over their own art. Swift has been forthcoming with these issues in the music industry. In her 2016 Vogue interview, she expresses that her best advice to new singers is to “… get a good lawyer.”
This is another of the many reasons All Too Well (10 Minute Version) and its accompanying album, Red (Taylor’s Version) have become such a success. Taylor Swift’s fans continue to rally behind her, enjoying the new releases and listening to support her versions just as they support her journey in reclaiming her art.
The song eventually ends in a moment that many can relate to, as Swift sings “… it was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well”. It gives the listener a shared feeling of reflection and encourages the listener to find positivity in relationships that also caused pain.
As a fan of her music, I would have to agree that Taylor Swift’s distinct ability to connect with the listener through the creative portrayal of key life milestones is what sets her music apart from the rest. It is the reason we couldn’t get enough of her 10-minute hit, and I for one, am excited to see what she does next.
Original photos by Elly Collie