Here’s How ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ Performed Compared to Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless’ in Its First Year

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On Saturday, Apr. 9, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Taylor Swift’s re-recording of her landmark 2008 sophomore album Fearless, celebrated its one-year anniversary, resulting in #1YearOfFearlessTaylorsVersion trending on Twitter and super-fans sharing memories of first experiencing Swift’s Fearless songs for the second time. The cause for commemoration was apparent: after all, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), which followed Swift’s 2019 decision to re-record her first six studio albums after the acquisition of those albums’ master recordings by Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings that year, became the first chart-topping album in history that was a re-recorded version of a previous No. 1 album.

When Fearless (Taylor’s Version) debuted on the Billboard charts last year, we compared the commercial performance of the original Fearless and the new Fearless on a week-to-week basis, to get a sense of how the newly recorded Fearless would be consumed across platforms as compared to the original Fearless. One year after its release, we can look back on how Fearless (Taylor’s Version) has performed compared to the original album over the same time period — this time, with an even greater head-to-head sample size.

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From its release day through the most recent tracking week, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) has earned 1 million equivalent album units, according to Luminate, formerly MRC Data. Over the same time period, Swift’s original Fearless has earned 242,000 equivalent album units. In its first week of release beginning on Apr. 9, 2021, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) earned 291,000 equivalent album units — at the time, the biggest debut week for any album in 2021. This means that Fearless (Taylor’s Version) earned more equivalent album units in its first week of release than Fearless earned in total over the past year.

From a chart placement perspective, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) spent 11 total weeks in the top 40 of the Billboard 200 chart over the past year, including two non-consecutive frames at No. 1 — one upon its April debut, and one last October, when Swift released a signed CD only available in her webstore and the album’s vinyl LP. Meanwhile, the original Fearless spent one week on the Billboard 200 chart in the past year, climbing back to No. 157 on the chart dated Apr. 17, 2021.

Diving deeper into the equivalent album units comparison, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) totaled 722.7 million on-demand U.S. streams over the past year, while Fearless earned 296.8 million on-demand U.S. streams over the same time period. And in terms of pure album sales, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) scored 559,000 albums sold in its first year of release, compared for 24,000 for the original Fearless.

As previously noted when comparing equivalent album unit totals between the versions, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) benefited from fan support of Swift’s re-recording project, as well as from streaming platform placement upon its release, and additional consumption from six additional “From the Vault” tracks that weren’t included on the original album. Those six tracks included collaborations with Maren Morris and Keith Urban, as well as “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” the biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit of the “From the Vault” songs, with a No. 30 peak on the chart.

“Mr. Perfectly Fine” was the most-streamed song from Fearless (Taylor’s Version) over the past year, with 98.8 million streams; “You Belong With Me” from the original Fearless was the most-streamed songs from either project over the past year, with 100.8 million streams. Interestingly, the streams for the original “Love Story” and “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” were nearly identical over the past year — 93.4 million and 93.1 million, respectively.

And as has been the case throughout the past year, the biggest singles from the original Fearless are still performing better at radio compared to their Taylor’s Version counterparts. The original “Love Story” has earned 72.7 million in cumulative radio audience over the past year, from 20,000 spins, on the over 2,000 stations that report to Luminate; the 2008 version of “You Belong With Me” has earned 68.9 million in cumulative radio audience over the same time period, from 17,700 spins.

Comparatively, “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” has earned 53.6 million in cumulative radio audience from 16,000 spins, while “You Belong With Me (Taylor’s Version)” has earned 23.1 million in cumulative radio audience from 5,400 spins. It’s worth noting that iHeartRadio, the largest radio station owner in the United States, didn’t pledge to play Swift’s re-recorded versions of her songs on their stations until last November, following the release of Red (Taylor’s Version).

Speaking of which, Red (Taylor’s Version) — Swift’s second re-recorded album of her first six studio LPs — has already surpassed Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in equivalent album units, despite being released seven months later. After earning 605,000 equivalent album units in its debut week last November, Red (Taylor’s Version) is up to 1.4 million equivalent album units earned to date — thanks in large part to another spate of “From the Vault” bonus tracks, including the Hot 100-topping “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” — setting up a potentially wider gap between the original Red and its re-recorded version at its own 1-year mark this fall.

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