Speak Now

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Background

Speak Now is the third studio album by American singer and songwriter, Taylor Swift. The album was released on October 25, 2010 by Big Machine Records and was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 with over 1 million copies sold in its first week and becoming Swift’s second consecutive album to debut at number one on the chart.

The album’s original working title was Enchanted, based on one of the songs on the album, but after Scott Borchetta, then president and CEO of Big Machine Records, suggested to Swift during a luncheon to change the title stating

This record isn’t about fairy tales and high school anymore. That’s not where you’re at. I don’t think the record should be called Enchanted.”

Scott Borchetta via Reuters

Swift excused herself and eventually came back with the title Speak Now.

Swift began working on the album immediately after Fearless was released and Swift wrote all the songs on the album alone. Swift had had upheavals about critics stating that Swift couldn’t write her own music. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2019, Swift revealed that

I’ve had several upheavals in my career. When I was 18, they were like, ‘She doesn’t really write those songs.’ So my third album I wrote by myself as a reaction to that.

Taylor Swift via Rolling Stone

One song on the album, “Sparks Fly”, had been written prior to the release of Swift’s eponymous debut album, and after so many requests by fans for the song to be included on the album after the song gained popularity amongst Swift’s fanbase due to a live performance that had leaked on the internet in 2007, as Swift had performed the song during several bar shows, Swift went back and reworked the song and updated the lyrics.

Like with her previous album, Fearless, Swift released three promotional singles leading up to the album’s release. The first was the title track “Speak Now” released on October 5, 2010. The second, “Back to December” was released on October 12, 2010 and the third and final single, “Mean” was released on October 19, 2010.

Upon the album’s release two version were released, the standard fourteen track edition and a deluxe edition released exclusively to US Target stores that contained a bonus CD with three extra songs written for the album, two acoustic versions of songs on the album and a pop mix of the album’s lead single “Mine”, along with enhanced features containing a behind the scenes making of the music video for “Mine” as well as the music video itself. International version of the album consisted of different mixes of “Back to December” and “The Story of Us” and the pop mix of “Mine” was used as track one on the standard versions of the album. The “US Version”, as they are dubbed internationally, were all released as bonus tracks. In Japan, the US versions of both “Back to December” and “The Story of US” were released as bonus tracks on the standard physical copy of the album, extending the track list to sixteen, and the US version of “Mine” replaced the pop mix on their deluxe edition. Outside of Japan, the “US Versions” of “Mine”, “Back to December” and “The Story of Us” were all additional tracks on the deluxe edition of the album right after the two acoustic version songs. On December 20, 2010 a karaoke edition of the standard fourteen track edition was released and on January 17, 2012 the Target deluxe edition was released to other retailers in the US.

Singles

Six singles were released to radio to promote the album. “Mine” was released as the album’s first single August 4, 2010. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, number one on the Adult Contemporary chart and number two on the Hot Country Songs chart. “Back to December” was released as the second single on November 15, 2010 and peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and three on the Hot Country Songs chart. The third single, “Mean”, was released on March 13, 2011 and peaked at number two on the Hot Country Songs chart. On April 19, 2011, “The Story of Us” was released as the fourth single from the album and did not perform as well on the charts as her previous singles. “Sparks Fly”, the album’s fifth single, was released on July 18, 2011. The song peaked at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming Swift’s first since “You Belong with Me” to do so in 2009. The final single to be released was “Ours”, a bonus track on the deluxe edition of the album. It was released on December 5, 2011 and became Swift’s second single from the album to peak at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Track listing

Standard Edition
Track TitleLength
1. “Mine”3:51
2. “Sparks Fly”4:22
3. “Back to December”4:54
4. “Speak Now”4:02
5. “Dear John”6:44
6. “Mean”3:58
7. “The Story of Us”4:26
8. “Never Grow Up”4:52
9. “Enchanted”5:22
10. “Better Than Revenge”3:39
11. “Innocent”5:02
12. “Haunted”4:04
13. “Last Kiss”6:08
14. “Long Live”5:17
Japanese Standard Physical Edition Bonus Tracks
15. “Back to December” (US Version)4:54
16. “The Story of Us” (US Version)4:25
Japanese Digital Bonus Track
15. “Mine” (US Version)3:51
Japanese Physical Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks
17. “Ours”3:58
18. “If This Was a Movie”3:55
19. “Superman”4:36
20. “Back to December” (acoustic)4:53
21. “Haunted” (acoustic)3:38
22. “Mine” (US Version)3:51
23. “On the Set”: Behind the Scenes “Mine” Music Video 31:13
24. “Mine” Music Video3:55
US Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks
15. “Ours”3:58
16. “If This Was a Movie”3:55
17. “Superman”4:36
18. “Back to December” (acoustic)4:53
19. “Haunted” (acoustic)3:38
20. “Mine” (POP Mix)3:51
21. “On the Set”: Behind the Scenes “Mine” Music Video31:13
22. “Mine” Music Video3:55
International Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks
15. “Ours”3:58
16. “If This Was a Movie”3:55
17. “Superman”4:36
18. “Back to December” (acoustic)3:51
19. “Haunted” (acoustic)3:38
20. “Mine” (US Version)3:51
21. “Back to December” (US Version)4:54
22. “The Story of Us” (US Version)4:25
23. “On the Set”: Behind the Scenes “Mine” Music Video 31:13
24. “Mine” Music Video3:55

Notes

  • All tracks are written by Taylor Swift with the exception of “If This Was a Movie” which according to the Swift’s official YouTube video credits Martin Johnson as a co-writer for the song.
  • All tracks are produced by Taylor Swift and Nathan Chapman.
  • On all physical deluxe editions of the album tracks 1-14 are on disc one while the deluxe bonus tracks are on the second disc.
  • “Mine” on all international versions of the album is replaced with the “Pop Mix”. The enhanced features with the music video also does this as well.
  • “Mine”, Back to December”, and “The Story of Us”, feature additional production by Dean Gillard and Matt Ward on international versions of the album.
  • Digital releases of the deluxe edition in the US do not feature the enhanced bonus features.
  • Japanese digital releases of the deluxe edition have the same track listing as the international release of the deluxe edition.

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