Red is the fourth studio album released by American singer and songwriter, Taylor Swift. The album was released through Big Machine Records on October 22, 2012. Swift began working on the album shortly after the release of Speak Now and by October 2011 had written at over 25 songs for the album eventually being slimmed down to sixteen songs. Deciding to experiment with different genres for the album Swift recruited different musicians she admired in hopes of learning from them. She even asked Scott Borchette recruit Swedish producer Max Martin to help get the right sound, Shellback, who Martin often collaborates with also helped in productions, both worked on three songs for the album. Dann Huff, who has produced for several country artists also contributed to production on three songs. Swift also worked with English singer Ed Sheeran and Northern Irish Gary Lightbody from the band Snow Patrol. Both featured as guest vocals on the album. Jacknife Lee from Snow Patrol also worked on the album along with Gary Lightbody.
The first song Swift song wrote for the album was “All Too Well” which Swift ad-libbed one day during rehearsals for her Speak Now tour and was playing four chords over and over while the rest of her band members joined in. The song, without any promotion, became a fan-favorite amongst Swift’s fan base.
Like her previous two albums, Swift released countdown promotional singles leading up to the album. Four were released. The first was “Begin Again” on September 25, 2012. The second was the title-track, “Red”, released on October 2, 2012. “I Knew You Were Trouble.” was released October 9, 2012 as the third promotional single and “State of Grace” was released as the final single on October 16, 2012.
Upon its release three different versions of Red were released. A deluxe edition was released exclusively to US Target stores and contained three bonus songs written for the album, two demos and an acoustic version of one of the songs on the album. At US Walmart stores a limited Zinepak edition containing the standard sixteen track album, guitar picks, a magazine, a Taylor Swift American Greeting card and a poster, along with hand written lyrics of one of the songs on the album. When bought at US Starbucks the album was encased in a Digipak case instead of the standard jewel case. A karaoke edition featuring a CD+G and DVD version of the standard sixteen track edition was released on February 5, 2013.
The album was commercial success, selling over 1.21 million copies in the US and debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming Swift’s third consecutive album to top the chart. Within two months the album sold over 3.1 million copies. The album won Favorite Country Album at the 2013 AMA Awards and Top Album and Top Country Album at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.
In a publicized dispute over the ownership of Swift’s master recordings to her first six albums being sold off twice without her being allowed to purchase them and Scooter Braun still being able to make money off her original work after Braun purchased Big Machine Records and later sold her back catalogue to Shamrock Holdings, on November 12, 2021, Swift released Red (Taylor’s Version) to regain control of her original work and subsequently diminish the value of the original masters.
To promote the album Swift released seven singles to radio stations between 2012 and 2013. The first was the lead single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was released on August 13, 2012 and eventually peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Swift’s first single to top the chart. It also topped the Hot Country Songs chart. “Begin Again” was released as the song’s second single on October 1, 2012. While it did not reach number one the song reached the top ten on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts. The third single to be released from the album, “I Knew You Were Trouble.” was released on November 27, 2012 and peaked at number one on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Top 40. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and five on the Adult Contemporary chart. The fourth single “22” was released on March 12, 2013 and only reached the top 10 on the Billboard Adult Top 40. However, the song became a major cult phenomenon making 22nd birthdays as an age milestone. The fifth single to be released from the album on June 24, 2013 was the title-track “Red”. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, six on the Billboard Hot 100 and seven on the Country Airplay chart. The sixth single to be released from the album, “Everything Has Changed”, which features Ed Sheeran, was released on July 16, 2013. The song only reached the top 10 on the Adult Top 40 chart. “The Last Time” featuring Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol was released as the final single from the album (albeit not in the US) on November 4, 2013.
|1. “State of Grace”||Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||4:55|
|2. “Red”||Taylor Swift||Dann Huff, Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||3:42|
|3. “Treacherous”||Dan Wilson, Taylor Swift||Dan Wilson||4:02|
|4. “I Knew You Were Trouble.”||Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift||Max Martin, Shellback||3:39|
|5. “All Too Well”||Liz Rose, Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||5:28|
|6. “22”||Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift||Max Martin, Shellback||3:51|
|7. “I Almost Do”||Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||4:03|
|8. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”||Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift||Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift||3:12|
|9. “Stay Stay Stay”||Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||3:25|
|10. “The Last Time” (featuring Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol)||Gary Lightbody, Jacknife Lee, Taylor Swift||Jacknife Lee||4:58|
|11. “Holy Ground”||Taylor Swift||Jeff Bhasker||3:22|
|12. “Sad Beautiful Tragic”||Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||4:44|
|13. “The Lucky One”||Taylor Swift||Jeff Bhasker||3:59|
|14. “Everything Has Changed” (featuring. Ed Sheeran)||Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift||Butch Walker||4:04|
|15. “Starlight”||Taylor Swift||Dann Huff, Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||3:40|
|16. “Begin Again”||Taylor Swift||Dann Huff, Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||3:57|
|Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks|
|17. “The Moment I Knew”||Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||4:45|
|18. “Come Back… Be Here”||Dan Wilson, Taylor Swift||Dan Wilson||3:43|
|19. “Girl at Home”||Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||3:40|
|20. “Treacherous” (Original Demo Recording)||Dan Wilson, Taylor Swift||Dan Wilson||3:59|
|21. “Red” (Original Demo Recording)||Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||3:46|
|22. “State of Grace” (Acoustic Version)||Taylor Swift||Nathan Chapman, Taylor Swift||5:22|
- The physical deluxe edition of the album has the bonus tracks on a second disc while digital versions do not have a first or second disc.