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New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Ranked: Taylor Swift’s vault tracks

From devastating heartbreak ballads to solo-dance-party anthems, there is a vault track for everybody.
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Manasa Gudavalli
File Photo: Taylor Swift performing her surprise songs at the Eras Tour concert in Boston, 2023. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

This Friday, Taylor Swift is releasing her latest re-recording, “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” which will include five previously unreleased songs from that era — her “From The Vault” tracks. She currently has 21 vault tracks released on “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” Red (Taylor’s Version)” and “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” re-recordings. In anticipation of her new releases, we decided to rank our top 13 favorites — in honor of Taylor’s lucky number. 

Be kind to us — this ranking is the hardest thing we have ever had to do.

  1. Forever Winter (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]

Taylor loves some good heart-wrenching lyrics hidden by a fun little beat. If this is your first listen, you might “fall to pieces on the floor.” Good luck!

  1. Don’t You (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]

It’s a simple, atmospheric song with classic Jack Antonoff producing and “evermore” vibes. It’s the perfect stare-at-a-wall-and-think song. Take that as you will.

  1. That’s When (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault] [feat. Keith Urban]

Remember when we got “Snow On The Beach (feat. More Lana Del Rey)?” We want “That’s When (feat. More Keith Urban).” Does he already have his own verse? Sure! But their voices blend perfectly, and more of this magic is not a want but a need. 

  1. Better Man (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]

We recommend this as our honorary go-to sob song, because “sometimes, in the middle of the night,” you need one. After not making it onto the original “Red” release, Taylor gave this song to Little Big Town in 2016. Her vocals on the song are game-changing, so we are forever thankful she decided to record it herself. 

  1. Castles Crumbling (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault] [feat. Hayley Williams]

Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams come together to create a slow-building song full of tension and emotions. The song focuses on their shared experiences of being young in the spotlight, but anyone can relate to the lyrics in the chorus that say, “And you don’t want to know me, I will just let you down.” With the 2023 we’ve been having, we definitely feel our “castles crumbling.” 

  1. Run (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault] [feat. Ed Sheeran]

It’s emotional, it’s fall vibes, it’s Ed Sheeran. What more could you want? 

  1. Foolish One (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]

It’s relatable, it’s fun and it very much so deserves a spot on this list. Taylor is blunt yet honest as she sings, “Foolish one / Stop checkin’ your mailbox for confessions of love / That ain’t never gonna come.” If that wasn’t enough, Taylor proves her bridges are unmatched with the line, “I’ll get your longing glances, but she’ll get your ring.” Ouch.

  1. The Very First Night (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]

“The Very First Night” we heard this song, all we wanted to do was get up and “dance in the kitchen.” And that’s what you should do every time you listen.

  1. I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]

The music video is iconic and stars Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Taylor Lautner and friend Joey King. It’s filled with Easter eggs — Taylor’s hints at her future projects like the “Mastermind” she is.  The end of the video shows the actors driving their “Getaway Car” under a bridge that hints at Taylor’s next rerecording with a “1989 tv” sign. This song is fun, flirtatious and our favorite “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” vault track. 

  1. I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault] [feat. Chris Stapleton]

Taylor’s roots truly shine here with her country twang, and Chris Stapleton’s backup vocals are the perfect addition. Taylor mocks the media’s portrayal of her romantic relationships with lines like “I bet you think about me when you say / ‘Oh my god, she’s insane, she wrote a song about me.’” To top it all off, the music video stars Miles Teller alongside Taylor and is directed by Blake Lively. 

  1. Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]

The perfect car-screaming-men-hating anthem. The list needed one, and dare we say, it has aged well.

  1. Nothing New (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault] [feat. Phoebe Bridgers]

We were lucky enough to witness one of the few shows where Taylor and Phoebe graced the stage together to perform this song, so we may be biased, but this song is truly a masterpiece. Taylor and Phoebe together are a lyric lover’s dream. As early 20-somethings, we did not need to hear the lyric, “How can a person know everythin’ at 18 / But nothing at 22?” But we did, and we are forever changed.

  1. All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]

It may be the obvious choice, but it’s for good reason. How many 10-minute songs do you know that have hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100? While the original five-minute version was full of clever lyrics like “so casually cruel in the name of being honest,” the length of the 10-minute version allows for more in-depth storytelling. “All Too Well: The Short Film” features a young Taylor (Sadie Sink) with her antagonistic love interest (Dylan O’Brien), and is presumably based on her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. The actors’ age difference emphasizes the age gap in Taylor’s relationship that’s detailed in lyrics like “And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punch line goes / ‘I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age.’” A punch to the gut — what Taylor does best.

Contact Emily Genova and Natalie Thomas at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Emily Genova
Emily Genova, Managing Editor
Emily Genova is a senior studying Media, Culture, and Communication at Steinhardt. She spends her free time reading, obsessing over pop artists, and speed walking around campus. You can find her on Instagram @emilygenova or email her @[email protected]
Natalie Thomas
Natalie Thomas, Editor-at-Large
Manasa Gudavalli
Manasa Gudavalli, Editor-in-Chief
Manasa Gudavalli is a super senior studying a super strange combination of psychology, mathematics, journalism, and chemistry. When they are not editing the Washington Square News, they are probably reading Freud, watching college football, or developing film photos. You can find them on Instagram @manasa.gudavalli and @gudavalli.photography.

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