Today I am going to be ranking the vault tracks from Red Taylor’s Version! I am planning on doing this for Fearless, 1989 and the other re-recordings to come, so stay tuned for those. If you want to check out my honorary Swiftie menu, please click here.
A Brief Note on Red
Let’s be real, Red was a cultural reset. It is the heartbreak album of her discography. We were given a complete story of her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal and how that changed everything. All Too Well was already her most superior Track #5 and then we were blessed with the 10-minute version and short-film. Does anybody actually listen to the original song now that we have this gift from above? At this stage, Red has the most vault tracks, with a total of 9. I can’t help but feel seen by this album and I know the same can be said for many of her fans worldwide. This era was celebrated exactly as it deserved to be.
Red TV was given the best rollout thus far. Taylor blessed us big time with these truly remarkable bonus songs. Without further ado, from my favourite to least favourite, let’s get into it!
1.) All Too Well 10
In first place, I have to give it to All Too Well 10. Let’s be real, it’s the best song she’s ever written. It’s also the only track to receive an epic short-film adaptation. There had always been rumours that a ten-minute version existed, but it wasn’t until Red TV was announced that fans realised their prayers had been answered. It gave us so much more context into Taylor’s heartache after ending things with Jake Gyllenhaal. It literally tells the story of their relationship from beginning to end. It’s truly a masterpiece.
2.) Better Man
In second place, we have Better Man. This is in my top 10 favourite Taylor Swift songs of all time, including ATW10. When it didn’t make the track list in 2012, she passed it to Little Big Town, believing the group’s harmonies would suit it far better. Thank the stars above she decided to re-record it, because her mature vocals take it to another level. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the LBT version, but it was her baby first and she does it so much justice. I have no doubt it’s dedicated to Jake.
3.) I Bet You Think About Me
In third place, we have I Bet You Think About Me. This vault track received its own music video, directed by Taylor’s best friend and actress, Blake Lively. Once again, it is written about Jake and how he took their love for granted. Taylor blesses us with scathing lyrics and her old-country twang in the vocals. It’s full of sarcasm and high-brow humour. The petty gal inside of me lives for it!
4.) Run (feat. Ed Sheeran)
In fourth place, we have Run, featuring Ed Sheeran. This is my favourite collab of his and Taylor’s. The others being End Game, Everything Has Changed and The Joker and the Queen. The melodies take me to another place. In fact, it makes me think about our move up north – standing on the beach, letting the waves wash over our feet. My personal connection to this vault track is why I ranked it quite high.
5.) Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
Out of all the vault tracks, Nothing New, featuring Phoebe Bridgers, has grown on me the most. I already liked this track but seeing it performed as a duet on The Eras Tour live stream, made me fall even harder. Phoebe’s lower register blends really well with Taylor’s mature vocals. It’s such a vulnerable song that reflects on how women in the music industry are depreciated over time. I love how raw and real it is.
In sixth place, we have Babe. Taylor originally co-wrote this song with Pat Monahan, the lead singer from Train. In 2018, she gifted it to Sugarland but opted to keep herself as a featured artist on the single, lending background vocals and appearing in their music video as “the other woman.” The original sounds quite different to the re-recorded version but both are undeniable bops. I love the production and catchy melodies.
7.) The Very First Night
In seventh place, we have The Very First Night. I know this is a controversial placement, given it is such a fan-favourite, but I don’t listen to it as much as the ones mentioned above. Sorry! It’s a glitter-gel pen bop that appears to be referencing the beginning of her relationship with Harry Styles. In this track, Taylor longingly reflects on the honeymoon phase, wishing she could teleport back to the moment it all began. One can’t help but smile when it comes on.
8.) Forever Winter
In second last place, we have Forever Winter. Ironically, this was one of my favourite vault tracks when Red TV was first released but has since dropped quite low in my ranking. It’s not a bad song, just super sad. It joins the ranks of Ronan, Bigger Than The Whole Sky and Soon You’ll Get Better. Taylor has admitted that it’s in relation to a friend she lost to suicide years ago. It’s beautifully written and a touching tribute that I’m sure helped fans around the world feel seen.
9.) Message In A Bottle
In last place, we have Message In A Bottle. It’s a bop! I like the production and the summer vibes it gives off but lyrically, it’s quite simple. There isn’t much to it. I can see why it didn’t make the original track list and I mean that in the nicest way possible. This is a top-down, driving by the beach, living your best life song.
Thank you so much for reading! How would you order the vault tracks? What did you think of Red TV as a whole?
Peace & Love xoxo