Looking Back at Ryan Adams’ 1989

A caveat for this post: I am well aware that Ryan Adams hardly qualifies as an independent artist, and is definitely NOT creative commons. But I’d like to talk about music in general on the blog, so I’m going to continue writing about things that spark joy.

Ryan Adam’s 2015 album 1989 is a direct track-for-track cover of Taylor Swift’s album of the same name. Let me just say that I love cover songs, especially those that cross into a different genre. Sure, cover bands are a staple of local pubs (before COVID, naturally), but there’s something fun about hearing a familiar song done completely different.

Ryan Adams gives 1989 a softer side. The notes and lyrics are all the same, but it’s acoustic. I think it’s nice to hear a stripped down version of the song and actually listen to the lyrics. Often it can be easy to lose the meaning behind a song when it’s surrounded by all the pop production. I honestly can’t say how deep Swift’s lyrics are, I haven’t actually listened that closely, but I am saying it’s all pretty clear in Adams’ voice.

I can’t remember when I first heard about this album but I know it was after it was initially released. I don’t have a lot more to say about it, other than it is great to listen to. Sometimes it feels a little slow, but overall a good entry to the world of covers. I think it’s especially fun to listen to if you enjoy Ritt Monmey’s recent cover of Put Your Records On (which I also enjoy).

To close, here’s one note of interest that I found on the Wikipedia entry for the album: apparently, it debuted on the US Billboard 200 chart ahead of Swift’s original album, which was in its 48th week on the chart at the time. I think that’s pretty cool!

All links in this post are Spotify links – it’s how I listen to music. None of them are affiliate links in any way, though.

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