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Fearless is the second studio album by Americanmarker country pop artist Taylor Alison Swift, and was released on November 11, 2008 on Big Machine Records. The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 592,304 copies in its first week, the best first-week sales for a female artist in 2008. Fearless became the first album to sell one million copies in 2009. As of September 2009, the album has been certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA.

The album's lead single, Love Story, was her first song to achieve commercial success outside the United States; it reached number one in Australia and number two in the United Kingdom. The third single, "You Belong with Me", has become the biggest hit of Swift's career domestically, and became the highest charting country single since 2005, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album topped the Billboard 200 for 11 non-consecutive weeks and topped the Billboard Top Country Albums for 26 non-consecutive weeks. The album was re-released as Fearless: Platinum Edition with six new songs on October 26, 2009.

Release

Fearless was first released in the U.S on November 11, 2008. The album was then released in Australia on November 15, 2008, followed by the UKmarker and New Zealandmarker on March 9, 2009. The album was also released in Spainmarker and Brazilmarker in March, 2009. The album was the first album since Santana's Supernatural to top the Billboard 200 for eleven non-consecutive weeks. It spent seven consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, the most weeks since Weathered by Creed in 2001-2002. It was also the first album by a female artist in country music history to log more than seven weeks at number one on the chart and the seventh longest-running number-one album by a female artist in Billboard 200 history. Its lead single "Love Story" reached number one on both the Canadian and US country charts, and 6 singles were top 20 hits. Swift solely wrote 7 out of the 13 songs on the album and co-wrote the remaining 6 tracks. The album won Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards in 2009. Fearless became the first album in music history to produce thirteen top forty hits. Swift now holds the record for most singles on the Hot 100 at the same time by a female artist with nine.

Re-release

Swift released Fearless: Platinum Edition on October 26, 2009. The album contains the same tracks plus 6 additional tracks and a DVD.

Promotion

Swift performed "Love Story" at the CMA Awards, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, and on Saturday Night Live. She also performed "Forever & Always", "Love Story", "Picture to Burn", and "Change" on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, and aside from "Love Story", Swift also performed "Forever & Always" on Saturday Night Live. "White Horse", was played during the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy on Thursday, September 25, 2008. She performed "White Horse" at the "American Music Awards" and at the Grammy's Live Concert and "Fearless" on Late Show with David Letterman and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Swift performed the song "Fifteen" with Miley Cyrus at the 51st Grammy Awards on February 8, 2009. She went to the UK in February 2009 to promote her new single "Love Story". She then appeared on music/talk show T4, Loose Women, BBC Breakfast and appeared on many radio shows. On April 5, 2009, Swift performed "You're Not Sorry" at the "Academy of Country Music" awards show, where she won the Album of the Year and Crystal Milestone Award. Swift also performed "You Belong With Me" at the CMT Award, where she won both "Female Video of the Year" and "Video of the Year" with Love Story on June 16, 2009.

Swift performed "You Belong With Me" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where she won the award for Best Female Video for the aforementioned song. Controversy ensued while during Swift's acceptance speech for the award, rapper Kanye West stole her microphone away from her, and said that Beyoncé's Single Ladies , which was one of the videos "You Belong With Me" beat out, deserved to win the award, hailing it as "One of the best vides of all time!" Beyoncé, after winning the award for Video of the Year for "Single Ladies", invited Swift to the stage to finish her acceptance speech, instead of delivering her own.

Tour

Swift is currently headlining her massive, sold out 50-city Fearless Tour in 2009. It officially began on April 23 in Evansville, Indianamarker, with special guests Kellie Pickler and Gloriana. "My favorite thing when I go to a concert is having lots of changing things to look at, so I've been working really hard to make this show as multi-dimensional as possible," Swift said in an announcement. According to the release, it will "feature an incredibly theatrical presentation of graphics, sets and visual elements designed by Swift herself. During each show, Swift will play five different guitars, as well as the piano. Multiple costume changes and a fairy-tale castle illuminated by more than a million lumens of light are just some of the highlights of the three-act show." Most of her shows have sold out within hours. Tickets on sale for the May 22 Staples Center sold out in under 2 minutes and the August 27 Madison Square Garden sold out in less than 1 minute. Swift suggested while on a radio interview with Key 103 in Manchester, England that if Fearless is a success in the UK she will return in the fall for a UK leg of the tour. She then went on to play 2 one off dates at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on 6 and 7 May. In late June, she announced a new Fearless Tour date for Wembley Arena in London for November 23 and at the MEN Arena in Manchester for November 24. Included in the tour is a stop at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, VAmarker. The school won a performance with her as part of a promotional contest sponsored by Verizon Wireless.

Swift will continue the Fearless 2009 tour with a 2010 leg of this tour. This part begins in February 2010 in Australia and as of now it ends on June 2 in Washington DC. Kellie Pickler and Gloriana will continue with Swift in this leg of the tour into 2010.

Critical reception

Fearless has received generally positive reviews from music critics. According to the music review aggregator Metacritic, it has received an average score of 73. Newsday gave the album an "A" rating, calling it "wise beyond her years". James Reed of the Boston Globe gave the album a strong positive review saying the "Young country star's 'Fearless' proves she's just that, and more". Allmusic quote the way Swift writes her music and how she matured into her new album: "Swift's gentle touch is as enduring as her songcraft, and this musical maturity may not quite jibe with her age but it does help make Fearless one of the best mainstream pop albums of 2008." Rolling Stone magazine said that her "music mixes an almost impersonal professionalism - it's so rigorously crafted it sounds like it has been scientifically engineered in a hit factory - with confessions that are squirmingly intimate and true."Fearless is listed as the 39th best album of 2008 by Rolling Stone. In the Philippines, the album was also listed #3 in Top 10 Best-Selling Album overall in the year 2009, also the album became the number one album of 2009.

Chart performance

First day sales of Fearless totalled 217,000, with sales of 592,304 copies sold in the first week, 129,000 of them being digital downloads, the fourth biggest-week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking them in 2004. The album debuted at number-one on the U.S. Billboard 200, U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums, Canadian Albums Chart, and Canadian Top Country Albums Chart. In its second week of release, the album dropped to number four. In the fifth week, The album made its ascent back to the number-one spot, where it stayed for the next seven weeks for a total of eight non-consecutive weeks at number-one, making it the longest-running album among the releases that topped the chart in 2008 and the first album by a female artist in country music history to log eight weeks at number-one on the Billboard 200. It dropped to number two in its twelfth week, and in the next week it dropped further to number four, although it was the greatest gainer. In its 14th week, the album reclaimed the number-one position, spending a total of eleven weeks, the most weeks at the top since Santana's Supernatural remained atop the chart for twelve weeks. In its 15th week, it was bumped to the number two position by U2's No Line on the Horizon.Fearless is the fifth longest-running number-one album by a female artist in the Billboard 200 history. In addition she is the only singer to have achieved the longest-running album as a country female recording act in the Billboard 200 history.The album has spent 45 weeks in the top ten on the Billboard 200, becoming the longest run for a country album in the top ten since Shania Twain's Come On Over, which had 53 weeks from 1997-1999. The album has also sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.

On July 3, 2009, it was announced by Yahoo! Music that Fearless was the top-selling album of the first half of 2009 in the United States. In New Zealandmarker, the album debuted at number two on March 16, 2009, jumping to number one the following week. The album was certified Gold after four weeks on the chart, selling over 7,500 copies. The album was then certified Platinum after seventeen weeks, selling over 15,000 copies. In Australia, the album has been certified Platinum. In the United Kingdommarker, the album debuted strongly at number 5 and is currently placed strongly at number 11, so far spending ten consecutive weeks in the top 20. Whilst being interviewed on The Paul O'Grady Show in May 2009, she was presented with a Gold disc for sales of over 200,000 in the United Kingdom. According to Billboard, Fearless has sold 4,031,000 copies as of October 28, 2009.

On the chart week of November 14, 2009, Swift set a record for the most songs on the Billboard Hot 100 by a female artist at the same time with eight singles from the re-release of her 2008 album Fearless namely five debut new songs in the top 30: "Jump Then Fall" at #10, "Untouchable" at #19, "The Other Side of the Door" at #22, "Superstar" at #27 and "Come in With the Rain" at #30 and three already-charted songs that were released as singles — "You Belong with Me" (#14), "Forever & Always" which re-entered the chart at #34, and "Fifteen" (#46). In addition, the song "Two Is Better Than One" by Boys Like Girls which features Swift, debuted at #80 in the same issue. This gives Swift six debuts in one week, the biggest number of debuts by any female artist of all time. It also lifts the number of her simultaneously-charting songs to nine, setting another record for the biggest number of charting songs by the same female artist in the same week. When "Fifteen" reached #38 on the chart week of November 21, 2009, Swift became the female artist with most Top 40 singles this decade, surpassing Beyoncé Knowles, who currently has 19 Top 40 singles. "Fifteen" became Swift's thirteenth Top 40 single from Fearless and her twentieth overall.

Singles

North America UK, Ireland Europe, Asia Oceania
"Love Story"
September 16, 2008
"Love Story"
March 2, 2009
"Love Story" "Love Story"
February 13, 2009
"White Horse"
December 9, 2008
"Teardrops on My Guitar"
June 1, 2009
"You Belong with Me" "You Belong with Me"
July 6, 2009
"You Belong with Me"
April 21, 2009
"You Belong with Me"
September 14, 2009
"Should've Said No"
(New Zealand)
"Fifteen"
September 1, 2009
"Fifteen"
November 23, 2009
"Fifteen"
September, 2009


  • "Love Story" was the lead single from Fearless and was released in September, 2008 to the United Statesmarker as the lead single. The single was not released to any other continents until Spring, 2009. The song became Swift's first top 5 single on the US charts, and was her third non-consecutive #1 on the US country charts. The music video for "Love Story" made its premiere on Friday, September 12, 2008 at 8:30 P.M. EDT on CMT. On 22 February 2009, "Love Story" entered the UK Singles Chart at number 22 on downloads alone. On March 1, 2009, "Love Story" reached its peak number 2, behind Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You". Swift is the first country singer to have a top 10 hit in the UK since Shania Twain's "Party for Two", which charted at number 10 in 2004. The single stayed at number 2 for two weeks and in the top 5 for five weeks. Seven weeks into its release the single is still charted in the top 10. In the Philippines, the song was the first country song that reached #1 in the MYX chart; spending eight consecutive weeks.


  • "White Horse" was the second official US single from Fearless and was released in November, 2008 to the US as the second official single. The single has yet to be released to any other countries except Australia and the Philippinesmarker. When it was released to Australia, it was released as a single only two days after the release of the first official Australian single, Love Story. "White Horse" was the second single from the album that charted in the Philippines' chart but only reaching #2 behind David Archuleta's "Touch My Hand". The single was also very successful on the US charts, like its predecessor, but became successful before its single release, being a fan favorite. The song was not as successful as "Love Story", however, and did not became a #1 on the country charts, while still reaching the top 3. The single is presumed to be a US and Australia only single, due to having no planned releases anywhere else, and the upcoming single release of "You Belong With Me". White Horse Also Reached Number 60 on the UK Singles Chart but was not an official single. It charted one week after "Love Story" but only lasted one week on the chart.


  • "You Belong with Me" was the third official US single from Fearless and was released on April 21, 2009. The song will also serve as the third official single for the UK. It will be released in the UK on September 14, 2009. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Swift's highest charting single to date, just above "Love Story", which peaked at #4. In an international countdown covered by MYX Philippinesmarker, "You Belong with Me" got the #1 spot for six consecutive weeks.


  • "Fifteen" was announced to be the fourth official US single from Fearless and will be released for airplay on August 31, 2009 according to the MusicRow website. The single officially released on September 1, 2009.


Digital singles
Prior to the release of the album, four digital-only singles were released, all reaching the top 20 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: "Change" (#10), "Fearless" (#9), "You're Not Sorry" (#11) and "You Belong with Me" (#12). The song "White Horse", without a single release and no promotion, debuted at #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. With "White Horse", Swift made "a calendar-year record for any artist in the 50-year history of the chart - she is now tied for second place with Mariah Carey and the Beatles for the most top 20 debuts in a career. One more new entry inside this elite tier will put her in a three-way tie for first place with Janet Jackson and Madonna." On the week dated November 14, 2009, two more singles, namely "Jump Then Fall" and "Untouchable" debuted at #10 and #19 respectively, hence now making her the artist with the most number of Top 20 debuts in her career.

  • In its debut week, seven songs in total on Fearless were charted on Billboard Hot 100, tying Swift with Hannah Montana for the most by a female artist in a single week. With "White Horse" charted at #13, this gave Swift her sixth top 20 debut of 2008, a calendar year record for any artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. Of the 13 tracks on Fearless, 11 have already spent time on the Hot 100.
  • On the country charts, "Change" reached #57 based on unsolicited airplay, overlapping with the first country release, "Love Story", which became her third number one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Following it on the country charts was "White Horse".


Track listing

Standard Edition

1 Specific letters were capitalized in the lyrics in her cover booklet, spelling out hidden messages for each song.

Platinum Edition



Certain letters in the lyrics for each song in the booklet are capitalized and spell out the following:



1. Jump Then Fall - LAST SUMMER WAS MAGICAL

2. Untouchable - WE ALWAYS WANT WHAT WE CAN'T REACH

3. Forever & Always (Piano Version) - STILL MISS WHO I THOUGHT HE WAS

4. Come In With The Rain - WON'T ADMIT THAT I'D WISH YOU'D COME BACK

5. Superstar - I'LL NEVER TELL

6. The Other Side Of The Door - WHAT I WAS REALLY THINKING WHEN I SLAMMED THE DOOR

7. Fearless - I LOVED YOU BEFORE I MET YOU

8. Fifteen - I CRIED WHILE RECORDING THIS

9. Love Story - SOMEDAY I'LL FIND THIS

10. Hey Stephen - LOVE AND THEFT

11. White Horse - ALL I EVER WANTED WAS THE TRUTH

12. You Belong With Me - LOVE IS BLIND SO YOU COULDN'T SEE ME

13. Breathe - I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY

14. Tell Me Why - GUESS I WAS FOOLED BY YOUR SMILE

15. You're Not Sorry - SHE CAN HAVE YOU

16. The Way I Loved You - WE CAN'T GO BACK

17. Forever & Always - IF YOU PLAY THESE GAMES WE'RE BOTH GOING TO LOSE

18. The Best Day - GOD BLESS ANDREA SWIFT

19. Change - YOU MADE THINGS CHANGE FOR ME



Personnel

As listed on backing card.

Strings composed, performed and arranged by Jonathan Yudkin.

Finger snaps on "Hey Stephen" by Andrew Bowers, Nicholas Brown, Carolyn Cooper, Burlas Cox, Lauren Elcan, and Martina McBride's two daughters, Delaney and Emma McBride.

Production

  • Produced By Nathan Chapman & Taylor Swift
  • Mixed By Chad Carlson, Nathan Chapman & Justin Niebank
  • Mix Assistants: Steve Blackmon, Drew Bollman, Todd Tidwell & Shawn Daughtry
  • Engineering: Chad Carlson, Kyle Ford, Kyle Ginther, Matt Legge, Mark Petaccia, Todd Tidwell
  • Mastering: Hank Williams


Chart positions

The album has been on the U.S. Billboard 200 actual issues for 55 weeks (November 29, 2008 - December 12, 2009). All consecutive weeks in the Top 19 and is currently at #8. The album has spent 46 weeks in the Top 10.

Chart (2008/2009) Peak

position
Certification Total sales
Australian ARIA Albums Chart 2 3x Platinum 240,000+
Australian Country Chart 1
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders) 52 55,000
Canadian Albums Chart 1 4x Platinum 340,000+
Canadian Top Country Albums 1
Dutch Albums Chart 43 25,000
Turkish Top Country Albums 1 40,000
France Albums Top 150 26
German Albums Chart 12 40,000
Greek International Albums Chart 11 35,000
Irish Albums Chart 7 40,000
Oricon Albums Chart (Japan) 4 37,265
Polish Albums Chart 71 25,000
Mexican Albums Chart 37 Gold 50,000
New Zealand Albums Chart 1 Platinum 15,000+
Norwegian Albums Chart 5 Platinum 30,000+
Spanish Album Chart 11 15,000
U.S. Billboard 200 1 4x Platinum 4,508,629+
UK Albums Chart 5 Gold 300,000+
Swedish Albums Chart 12 15,000


Chart procession and succession

Release history

Country Date
United Statesmarker November 11, 2008
Canadamarker
Australia November 15, 2008
Australia (Limited Edition) February 27, 2009
Spainmarker March 2, 2009
Irelandmarker March 6, 2009
Italymarker
Taiwanmarker
United Kingdommarker March 8, 2009
Philippinesmarker
Malaysiamarker
Indiamarker Indian Edition March 2009
New Zealandmarker March 9, 2009
Russiamarker March 9, 2009
Swedenmarker March 11, 2009
Belgiummarker
Mexicomarker March 17, 2009
Europe March 20, 2009
Brazilmarker March 31, 2009
Germanymarker May 15, 2009
Japanmarker June 24, 2009
Francemarker July 20, 2009
United Statesmarker (Platinum Edition) October 26, 2009
Australia (Platinum Edition) November 16, 2009
United Kingdommarker (Platinum Edition)
Spainmarker (Platinum Edition)


References

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