Covers are nothing new to the recording industry. Music history is filled with reinterpretations of classic songs. But what is unique is rocker Ryan Adams‘s bold decision to cover country star Taylor Swift‘s pop crossover album “1989.” It was a surprise not only because the two artists have such different styles, but because “1989” was such a recent cultural phenomenon. It was released on October 27, 2014, and as of this writing it’s back in the top-five of the Billboard 200 albums chart. Suffice it to say, that’s a tough act to follow, but did it pay off for Adams?
We asked our forum posters to tell us which version of the album they like better and the result so far is a split decision. In many cases our users prefer the Swift originals, while in others they give the advantage to Adams’s reimagined versions. Meanwhile, music critics slightly favor Adams. On MetaCritic, his version has a score of 84 based on 12 reviews, while Swift scored 76 based on 29 reviews.
What do you think? Read some of our posters comments below, then vote in our poll and join the discussion in our forums.
James14: Adams’s “1989” is a very good tribute album and re-interpretation. It’s very tough to top an original in my mind and, although I like Adams a great deal more than I like Swift, I think her version of these songs in general exceeds in capturing the overall spirit of what she was going for. Both are great albums though.
Ryan2012: Can’t really say who is better because even though they are the same lyrics, they are completely different songs. That said, “I Know Places” is my favorite off of both albums.
JakeBurbage: “Blank Space” – ADAMS. He turns this into a completely different song. Maybe it’s just because I’m so used to hearing the Swift version, but it was a refreshing take.
BenitoDelicias: “Shake it Off” – SWIFT. Adams could’ve done better things, it has its moments, but it never takes off. Musically, there are some fun things here and there. This particular song is so attached to Swift’s public image … that the lyrics for me don’t translate over to Adams as I would’ve liked … “Bad Blood” – Definitely ADAMS. Swift’s version is missing a lot in the music department for me, and the Kendrick [Lamar] version is not very good as it eliminates Swift for the most part. Adams did a very good job with the music, the melody sounds amazing, it’s pretty good.