Post by neoswiftie on Oct 24, 2016 20:40:26 GMT -5
Taylor Swift's Label Boss Scott Borchetta Talks 10th Anniversary of Her Debut Album: 'It Was a Lightning Bolt For Me'
Sometimes it just feels right. When Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta met a then-15-year-old Taylor Swift, he had no doubt the teenager was bound for greatness. Unlike some others in Nashville, Borchetta could sense that he was in the presence of an unusually talented, focused young woman who would change both their lives. "True talent is ageless," he told Billboard about his feelings during that first meeting more than a decade ago. "The amount of songs in her and sophisticated ideas at 15 were pretty extraordinary." Borchetta went deep on Taylor Swift, which was released 10 years ago today (Oct. 24), delving into the songs that touched him, the process of making the album and even pulling out some of the mind-blowing notes from his first few meetings with Taylor and her folks.
Taylor was only 15 when you met her, and a number of people in Nashville had already passed because they thought she was too green. But you had no trepidation, right?
I was blown away from the first minute all the way through to today. The songs have always been what's been central to me and to our relationship. I got her songs immediately. You can never predict what it will become, but I knew we had someone really special. I look at my notes from the first meeting...
Oh wow, read me some of those notes!
I put down 'this could be your Mick Jagger.' One page literally says, 'Taylor takes Japan.' Another was 'cover or Rolling Stone, host Saturday Night Live.' She had that type of energy where I thought, 'man, we might be able to run the boards.' It was a lightning bolt for me.
Had you ever felt that before?
For me she was the first one we signed that was 'game on' for us.
What sold you? Was it a song, something she said?
First off she could go from being this really funny teenager with this great sense of humor to being incredibly sophisticated. I was all in from the beginning. There wasn't ever that lifting an eyebrow like, 'hmmm.' You can have all personality in the world, the looks, etc., but if you don't have the songs it doesn't close the deal. I heard the songs first and then met her.
There's something about letting a freshman in high school have songwriting credits on all the songs, including three solo credits. That still feels like a huge deal.
Oh yeah and nobody believed it. I would say, 'look she's a real writer.' It was hard for people to [believe].
Were you worried about releasing a first single named after a major country star? "Tim McGraw?"
That was my idea. When the song came to me it was called 'When You Think Tim McGraw.' I said, 'Let's just call it Tim McGraw.' I told Taylor, 'they won't immediately remember your name, they'll say who's this young girl with this song about Tim McGraw?' If you think back to the beginning of the label, we knew we had to strike quickly and aggressively and go for the brass ring. There was no building it for five years. You had this artist with a ridiculous desire and talent who was more than willing to lock arms and take this down. How can we cut in line and get there faster? She was all about it. She was a charging bull.
Did you let Tim hear it first?
After we cut it I went and played for Tim's manager and he said, 'wow okay, what do you want me to do?' I said 'I just want to make sure you and Mike Curb don't sue me!' He went home, played it for Tim, Tim played it for Faith [Hill] and she loved it.
Talk about "Picture to Burn," which kind of set the template for Taylor's songs about hard breakups. Were you surprised at how upset it made her sound?
No, I loved it. I think that was the second or third song she played for me in our very first meeting. That was the song where I pointed and said 'that's a hit song,' and I had her play it again. I heard the first line and said, 'did you really just sing that?' That might have been the moment where [she thought] 'this guy gets me.' The great ones regardless of the time have that edge. If it were 20 years earlier it still would have risen to the top. She had that teen angst in those songs that is really at the heart of great rock n' roll. What was not usual at all was her taking you on and calling you out. Who is this young girl calling me out and really standing up for herself and demanding that you respect her space? It was such a... wow... who is this?
"Teardrops On My Guitar" is one of the more traditional sounding ballads on the record, but it's clearly from a teen perspective. Was there something about the vulnerability that spoke to you?
We talked a lot about it and I asked, 'do you actually want to say Drew?' We had a version where it was 'you' instead of 'Drew.' She said 'the song's this,' and she was right. What I love about those early records -- and it's still with her but she's spread the sonic playground so wide -- if you listen to them there's such a beautiful sadness to many of those things she wrote. Such a great heartbreak to her voice, you can't just create that.
Listening now, "Our Song" is another pretty traditional track on the record -- riding in the car, listening to the radio, it's super twangy, banjos, front porch steps, praying, her mama's there... but still it had that unmistakable feeling of a teenage voice trying to figure things out...
The lyrics were genius. I remember the first time she played it, it's so visual. She's talking about sneaking out of the house and it's such a great visual of that teenage moment, but she wanted to have those Southern visuals as part of the narrative. When it's a great artist they just suck all that in from around them and at the end of the day it's just great storytelling. All those things are real. She did write those words on a napkin.
"Tied Together With a Smile" has such a specific lyric about a young girl struggling with an eating disorder.
There's real stories behind all of those songs and that girl was struggling mightily with food issues.
Not something you typically hear in country songs...
Do you hear it in any songs? You don't have to handicap it. It's such a personal and interesting take. Here's this girl I go to school with who has real issues and she's tied together with a smile. I remember first time I heard it [thinking] 'where does it all come from?'
The story is that "Should've Said No" was added at the last minute and is one of the most powerful songs on the album. Why was it important to include it?
On the last day in the studio Taylor called me and she said she just finished a song and she really wanted to cut it and asked 'do you need to hear it?' I said 'you sound pretty excited about it, just cut it.' That was a very real moment and I just trusted her higher instincts. For all of our records I've left them open until literally the last possible day because she's always writing and when she gets in creative zone... I learned very early on to leave the door open as long as you can because there may be one more thought she has to finish it in her mind. For most of our records she had something come through in the last minute that put a bow on it.
Is there a specific memory you have that crystallizes that time in your mind? Before things went supernova?
There are so many because there was no plan B. We had to win. Maybe more for me than her, she was 15 and had her whole life ahead of her. For me this was my shot so whether we verbalized it or not we knew this was it. There were so many fun victories. The first thing that was a real validation was when she won the [2007 Country Music Association Awards best new artist] Horizon Award. At that moment when you're starting a new label with no industry support, with a brand new artist with no industry support, for us to win for her -- which she totally deserved it -- and show the industry that we could win a major award. We felt like we were putting down an anchor here. And on our gold party night where I wore a platinum-colored tie. It was like, 'congratulations on gold, but platinum is our goal.
Did you try to give her any direction that she rejected?
She was always very open. Her process is she'll take things in and while she might at first say, 'hey no,' then she might call back and say, 'I've been thinking about that and I'm gonna try it.' Or 'I'm gonna try it and then I'm gonna do this.' Even with some early lyrics changes, she was so intuitive and such a sponge. The quickest learner that I've ever worked with.
That reminds me of what people said about Michael Jackson as a child, how he would study everything happening in the studio and then come back years later with his variation. It sounds like she was just soaking it all in.
You could see in her eyes when it was coming. She would literally go to this other place, step away, say something into her iPhone and then be like, 'Okay, I'm back.' You talk to Max Martin today and I would guess he would say she loves the collaboration because she's always willing, but also very direct.
It ended up spending 277 weeks on the charts. You knew that would happen right?
[Laughs] Dark Side of the Moon was truly the goal!
I have to ask, what's next? She's traditionally released an album every two years in October and we're running out of October.
The first rule of Taylor Club is you don’t talk about Taylor Club.
Post by neoswiftie on Oct 24, 2016 21:05:56 GMT -5
Taylor Swift's Debut Album Turns 10: A Track-by-Track Retrospective of 'Taylor Swift'
Taylor Swift has always been Taylor Swift. She came upon the music world 10 years ago today (Oct. 24) with her debut album -- Taylor Swift -- with a fully formed idea of herself as an artist, despite being a mere 16 years old. With her debut, she proved the power of country music -- specifically, its confessional storytelling -- to reach teen girl audiences on a massive scale. As a result of its success, she helped make country cool again and gave young women a voice in music. She subsequently brought country storytelling to her pop crossover, used her market leverage to stand up to streaming services, and parlayed gossip-magazine interest in her love life into hit songs that may have been about certain other famous people.
She is, in fact, so ubiquitous in pop culture now that it’s hard to remember a Swift-free landscape just a decade ago. When Big Machine Records released Taylor Swift, full of suburban-teen longing and angst, the boys Swift was singing about were unknown fellow high schoolers (or figments of her adolescent fantasies). Those feelings, packaged up with twangy melodies and classically structured songwriting, spawned five consecutive chart hits, including “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops on My Guitar,” and scored Swift a Best New Artist Grammy nomination.
Aside from its strong commercial performance, Taylor Swift served as an honest introduction to what we’d get from Swift for the next 10 years. If you don’t like her now, well, it’s not like she hasn’t been telling us precisely who she is since the beginning. From the very first single, “Tim McGraw,” which is also the album’s opening track, Taylor Swift shows Swift’s obsession with the impermanence of relationships -- an astounding number of her songs foresee the end of a relationship, a future without it, often when it’s just beginning. But tracks like “Picture to Burn” also betray a bitter streak when she’s scorned. She’s a Romeo-and-Juliet romantic who’ll push you off the balcony if you betray her.
It’s a character she’d hone on the follow-up, Fearless, through Speak Now, the poppier Red, and the very pop 1989. As her love interests became more famous, she switched the name-dropping from fan-girling over Tim McGraw to subtly hinting that lyrics might refer to Jonas Brother here or a One Directioner there. She became, essentially, the perfect pop star of our time, a mastermind of tabloid publicity with the country-honed storytelling chops to feed the narrative through song. And it all began with Taylor Swift being Taylor Swift on Taylor Swift.
1. "Tim McGraw”
Swift wrote the song in math class during her freshman year of high school, humming the melody to herself while thinking about her boyfriend at the time. She knew they were going to break up when he went off to college in the fall; they shared a love of McGraw. And thus she came up with the marketing gimmick that likely helped the song break through -- the unknown newcomer name-dropping a successful artist in her genre. It was presumably unwitting, though given Swift’s savvy since then, you never know; from a 2016 perspective, this technique looks like a precursor to her now-legendary ability to spin tabloid romances into coy hit songs. As a single, it hit the Billboard 100, peaking at No. 40, and established Swift as a singer-songwriter to be reckoned with. The video demonstrated that she was young and pretty and relatable, showing her in lush, romantic scenes straight out of a swoony teen romance. These were tropes that would serve her dear-diary approach in the future.
2. "Picture to Burn”
Welcome to another of Swift’s defining song types: the woman-scorned track. She’d later perfect this art form with the chanting and drumbeats of “Bad Blood,” but the country-radio translation here includes some electric guitar, banjo, and a “stupid old pick-up truck you never let me drive” (not to mention a bit of excessive twang in Swift’s vocal delivery). Oh, and here’s a lyrical nugget she’d also return to many times to come: “Go ahead and tell your friends I’m obsessive and crazy.” The blessing of Swift as a lyricist is that she admits she’s a bit intense in relationships -- it’s this emotional vulnerability and self-awareness that make her a great lyricist, even if she sometimes denies these qualities in interviews.
3. "Teardrops on My Guitar”
This track’s chorus serves as nothing less than a thesis statement for Swift’s songwriting: “He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar.” So specific that the object of her affection has a name -- Drew -- and yet so universal: the boy you love loves someone else. So perfectly tuned to teen longing. No wonder it was the best-performing single from the album, peaking at No. 13 on the Hot 100. The guitar of the title also has the nice, subtle effect of underscoring Swift’s identity as a songwriter -- she's not just a teen star singing adults’ lyrics.
4. “A Place in This World”
“I’m just a girl … tryin’ to find a place in this world.” This is the last time Swift could believably sing such a regular-kid statement, and surely her fans ate up every word. I’m here from the future to tell you, Taylor, that you will do okay.
5. "Cold As You”
Not a total dud, but hardly a standout. On the emotion spectrum, it hits a mushy spot between the wistfulness of “Teardrops on My Guitar” and the anger of “Picture to Burn,” without an interesting unifying concept like “Tim McGraw.” With lines like, “you do what you want ‘cause I’m not what you wanted,” she’s working out wordplay skills that will later serve her better on songs such as “Mine” and “Red.” But at this ballad tempo, we need something more to grab onto than, “I’ve never been anywhere cold as you.”
6. "The Outside”
This creeps awfully close to pop, aside from the occasional sound of a steel guitar, and it introduces another of Swift’s favorite themes: being an outsider. In this song, she’s literally on the outside looking in at a group of kids, feeling excluded. It’s an idea she’d return to later with lyrics like, “She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers” in “You Belong With Me.” And though she certainly looks more like the cheerleader type, she has said she wrote “The Outside” when she was just 12, feeling shunned for being different -- taller than other girls, and more apt to spend a weekend singing at a festival than attending a sleepover.
7. "Tied Together With a Smile”
She opens with a line that feels like it addresses the listener directly: “Seems the only one who doesn’t see your beauty is the face in the mirror looking back at you.” It’s a trick -- a good-natured one -- that makes a certain kind of pop song extra-appealing, whether it’s Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” or One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” You find yourself singing it to yourself later because the lyrics make you feel great. No one needs this message more than the teen girls who made up Swift’s original fan base: You’re more beautiful and wonderful than you realize.
8. "Stay Beautiful”
Forget Drew from five tracks ago. “Cory’s eyes are like a jungle/He smiles, it’s like the radio.” The similes might be a little messy, but we get it. This paean to a cute boy has the added punch of Swift’s trademark way of always looking at her present life from the sage vantage point of the future: “And when you find everything you’ve looked for/I hope your love leads you back to my door/Oh, but if it don’t, stay beautiful.” This ditty’s light-hearted approach tells us that Future Taylor knows she’ll be just fine without her Cory, and we’ll be just fine without our Corys, too.
9. “Should’ve Said No”
The opening steel guitar riff is basically a sped-up version of the “Tim McGraw” opening, and the lyrics make this song your basic why-did-you-cheat-on-me jam -- a less-interesting kiss-off song than “Picture to Burn.” That said, listeners love a good kiss-off song, and this relatively ho-hum track still charted, peaking at No. 33 on the Hot 100 as the album’s final single.
10. "Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)”
Swift’s evocative storytelling gift is back in full force on this one, about a couple who originally meet as family friends at ages 7 and 9 and grow up to fall in love, much to their parents’ delight. The details make the song -- turning up creek beds and riding in trucks at 2 a.m. -- but you’re right there with her if you’ve ever been in a similar situation. (Mine was named David.) Spoiler alert: This isn’t the last time a guy is going to get down on one knee in the last verse of a Taylor Swift song.
11. “Our Song”
The concluding track pulls out all the tricks. Mellifluous lyrics begging to be sung with a twang: “I was riding shotgun with my hair undone in the front seat of his car.” And then, immediately, the sweetest imagery ever: “He’s got a one-hand feel on the steering wheel, the other on my heart.” The central conceit has Swift lamenting to a beau that they don’t have a song. His answer is beyond romantic: Their song is the sound of him tapping on her window when they’re sneaking out, of her voice on the phone, of him wishing he’d kissed her on their first date, “And when I got home, before I said Amen, asking God if he could play it again.” Then, just when you think it couldn’t get cuter, she adds the meta coda you’ve been waiting for: “I grabbed a pen and an old napkin and I wrote down our song.” It’s the perfect ending to this debut effort -- and a hint that there would be plenty of similar songwriting in her future.
Rick Barker: This Monday to celebrate the 10 year Anniversary of the release of Taylor’s first CD I will be doing a FB Live at Noon CT sharing stories from her first week of Radio Tour in 2006. Should be a good time. The pictures below are of Taylor and my daughter Brianna and son Logan during that time.
@taylorswift , Thankyou for spending the last 10 years with me.
Who would’ve known that a wide-eyed 8-year-old, who happened to stumble across a wide-eyed 18 year old would sit here today, 10 years on. These last 10 years have been the most amazing experience. I was blessed with tickets to the Speak Now World Tour in 2012, and the Red Tour in 2013 and was lucky enough to meet Mama Swift, who upgraded mine and my mums $89 tickets to Pit and now @taylorswift follows me on Tumblr.
I cannot wait to spend many decades to come by your side, I love you so much xx
davepastern: The Ready for it... video was good (but I loved Ghost in the Shell so that was gonna always be a given lol), not really a fan of End Game (the song or video). Sorry, but it's my least favourite song on Reputation, and joins the ranks of a few other songs
Jan 14, 2018 8:42:01 GMT -5
davepastern: that I dislike (should've said no, better than revenge, holy ground, and style).
Jan 14, 2018 8:42:32 GMT -5
neoswiftie: no need to be sorry, wasn't my favorite song on reputation either, but I do love the video, especially the London sequence
Jan 14, 2018 8:45:13 GMT -5
neoswiftie: lol gonna need to brighten that gif, 20 frames in photoshop, will do that tomorrow
Jan 14, 2018 8:46:35 GMT -5
13swiftie13ds: Under a winter storm warning here Looking at a good 4-6 inches lol!
Jan 15, 2018 0:00:28 GMT -5
neoswiftie: Aly swifte
Jan 15, 2018 14:04:03 GMT -5
neoswiftie: Hi StarlightDreamer, I'm not a member there... but I'm pretty sure some of our members are there too, I guess they prefer to be on both fora. Why do you ask?
Jan 16, 2018 7:22:53 GMT -5
neoswiftie: I don't mind that you promote your forum and everyone can join here and stay a member there too, I really don't mind, there is also taycon.proboards.com/ they were first
Jan 16, 2018 7:26:25 GMT -5
swiftvote: I've been here from the start... no drama like on TC or the new 'The Swift Life' app, I don't need another forum
Jan 16, 2018 7:37:49 GMT -5
swiftvote: I guess most swifties are now on tumblr and The Swift Life, but they are also chatting in 'private chatrooms', problem with those chatrooms is that 1 person has to approve who is allowed in, and who is allowed to stay, heard that there was drama there too.
Jan 16, 2018 7:41:24 GMT -5
neoswiftie: When there are a lot of members, doesn't matter where, you are gonna get drama... that's why certain topics are better avoided
Jan 16, 2018 7:43:25 GMT -5
neoswiftie: Here we have a safe place for everyone that loves Taylor for who she is, what she does without having to whine about the 3 things other 'huge' fora forbid... Po Ra Re, there are enough other places for those topics
Jan 16, 2018 7:46:23 GMT -5
swiftvote: Agreed, those topics are what causes the most misery on TSL
Jan 16, 2018 7:48:31 GMT -5
twothirtyam: I like TSL but you can't really connect to anyone, short conversations are possible on someone's post... but once you go somewhere else it's not possible to find it back
Jan 16, 2018 8:30:58 GMT -5