Ryan Adams’s 1989 vs. Taylor Swift’s 1989: Who sang it better?

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  • Daniel Montgomery
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    #412549

    I kinda love to idea of an artist’s album being covered by a completely different kind of artist. According to MetaCritic, the Ryan Adams “1989” is better than Taylor Swift’s “1989” (though Swift’s rating is based on many more reviews). For those who have listened to both, which is better and why?

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    james14
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    #412551

    Adams’ 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, and there are a couple of instances where I think his versions of songs re-interpreted are better than hers.

    Welcome to New York – Swift
    Blank Space –  Swift (very close)
    Style – Swift
    Out of the Woods – Swift (but it’s the best song on BOTH albums)
    All You Had to Do Was Stay – Adams
    Shake It Off – Adams (song most improved by Adams)
    I Wish You Would – Adams 
    Bad Blood – Adams
    Wildest Dreams – Swift
    How You Get the Girl – Swift / Adams (tie)
    This Love – Swift
    I Know Places – Swift
    Clean – Swift 

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    Jake Burbage
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    #412552

    Just my opinion:
    • Welcome to New York – ADAMS. I don’t like this song, especially off of Swift’s 1989. But Adams does something good for it.
    • 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.
    • Style – ADAMS. Far and away. His version sounds like a U2 stadium anthem. Swift’s, comparatively, it just a pulsating crotch thruster.
    • Out of the Woods – SWIFT. Arguably the best song on her album. Adams’ is really, really great and special sounding, but the Swift version is just so damn good.
    • All You Had to Do Was Stay – SWIFT. I love what Adams did to it, but I think that this song on Swift’s original record should have been the lead single over Shake It Off. I understand all the reasons why it wasn’t (there are many) but it’s my favorite of the upbeat 1989 songs.
    • Shake It Off – ADAMS. I didn’t like this song when Swift released it as her first single and it still hasn’t grown on me since. I’ve learned to tolerate it, but I’m really not a fan.
    • I Wish You Would – ADAMS. He turns this song into something wistful, nostalgic, and a little melancholy. Swift’s is sort of a pseudo-Nsync beat tripper.
    • Bad Blood – ADAMS. I’m not a huge fan of the Swift version (especially the single version with Kendrick). Adams, again, turns this into something so different, adding levels of depth and feeling to an otherwise pretty surface “single” tune.
    • Wildest Dreams – ADAMS. I want to say Swift. Despite all the Lana comparisons, I really dig it. But out of all of the re-recorded Adams versions, this is the one that I constantly can’t get out of my head. It’s got such a great, twangy groove.
    • How You Get the Girl – SWIFT. I love the way Adams does the chorus, but the rest of his is a little too Springsteen. That’s not his fault. The song just lends itself to feeling that way when translated into Adams’ style.
    • This Love – ADAMS. Holy shit. This sounds like it should be playing over the credits after an early nineties Disney movie. And I mean that in a good way. Swift’s version doesn’t hold a candle.
    • I Know Places – SWIFT. Again, I love the way Adams does the chorus on this one. But it’s a Taylor Swift kind of song, unique to her voice and style of music.
    Clean – SWIFT. Adams does this well. Sounds like it should be playing at the end of a movie as it fades to the credits. But there was no contest for me, since this is my favorite of the original 1989 bunch.

    I kind of wish he had done the bonus tracks. I would have liked to hear how he interpreted You’re In Love. That song lends itself to an acoustic, singer/songwriter redux.

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    BenitoDelicias
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    #412553

    I’ve only heard the singles enough times to actually judge this. I’ve heard the whole album only twice, don’t think that’s enough. 

    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, the whole thing is like a joke that worked very well for her, that the lyrics for me don’t translate over to Adams as I would’ve liked.

    Bad Blod – Definitely ADAMS. Swift’s version is missing a lot in the music department for me, and the Kendrick 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. 

    Blank Space – Can’t Decide. This is for me the best song on the album and I just got into Swift’s version, so I can’t quite get over her just yet. Adams did a good job, I guess I’ll give this one to Swift for now. 

    Out of the Woods – SWIFT. I can’t even understand what Adams is doing here, what he’s saying, where the music is going. This is 100% better on the original 1989.

    Style – ADAMS. This one is just excellent. Adams did a great job with this one.

    Like I said on the other thread, I wanted to see where Adams would go with this girl’s lyrics, if he would sound completely insane singing some of ther silly lines that work for her, but not for a 40 year old man, but his versions are so much the Ryan Adams that I’ve loved for so long, that it kind of doesn’t matter. He did a great job and it would be cool if this inspired other artists to do similar things. The curiousity factor is huge.
     

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    Ryan2012
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    #412554

    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. 

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