Taylor Swift, vinyl lover: She tells EW why she's releasing 'Speak Now' as an LP

taylor-swiftImage Credit: Joseph Anthony BakerTaylor Swift has emerged as one of the biggest pop stars of the MP3 age, but deep down, the 20-year-old singer is an old-fashioned vinyl collector. Swift personally made sure that her third album, Speak Now, would be available as a vinyl record as well as a CD and a digital download. The double LP will arrive Nov. 16, a few weeks after the album’s Oct. 25 release date in other formats. “The vinyl is really important to me,” Swift tells EW, “because I’m so in love with the concept of an album — a collection of memories from your life that you’re giving to people. It’s a piece of you. Buying them on vinyl is just taking that one step further and acknowledging that albums are important.”

Swift’s love for vinyl is no joke. She says she has a record player in a “central, prominent location” in her kitchen at home, and she brought a turntable with her on tour so she could rock out on the road. At a recent trip with EW to Nashville’s Great Escape Music Store, she snapped up LPs by Bruce Springsteen (Working on a Dream, Magic), Ryan Adams (Easy Tiger), the Black Keys (Rubber Factory), and more. (Check out the latest issue of EW, on stands tomorrow, to read the full story of Swift’s record-buying expedition.)

Big, beautiful cover art is one reason why Swift loves vinyl. “There’s something so fascinating about the cover art — every single one of those was a decision by somebody and people put a lot of time and effort into it,” she says. “With my albums, I have a lot of fun with the art direction and a lot of what I do is trying to visually express what the song says. You take the lyrics and you see what picture it paints and you try to do a photo set up that looks like it… We’re incorporating the same art in the vinyl album as we do in the CD, but it’s done in a different format. It’s really put forth in its own way.”

Shortly after that record-buying spree, EW was with Swift when she tore off the brown paper covering and sees Speak Now‘s vinyl edition for the first time. “It’s like Christmas,” she says. “Oh my God, whoa! This is so crazy. It feels unreal. I’m so happy about this.” —Reporting by Eileen Finan

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Comments (24 total) Add your comment
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  • Taylor

    Not trying to be negative, but honest to God how would you play these nowadays? I see a lot of artists releasing it like this and I think it would be so cool but I wouldn’t know where to begin looking to find one.

    • VR

      Many of the big electronics stores (like Best Buy)still sell turntables, and some places like Target do as well. If there’s a specialty vinyl shop in your area I’m sure they’d be happy to help you locate one. Plus you could always try and find one online. Good luck!

    • Preston

      Crosley, an electronics company based in Kentucky, makes turntables. When I saw one at a department store on one of the after Thanksgiving sales in 2003, I immediately got it! My other record player that I’ve had since the early ’80s broke down and at least I can have something to play the vinyl albums I’ve had for years! They’ve been selling them in department stores since 2001 or 2002. Best Buy and other stores returned to selling them in either 2008 or 2009.

      • Evan

        LP sales are on the increase as CD sales continue to decline. It looks as though albums will remain a popular medium. The turntables sold at stores like Best Buy and the department stores are really cheaply manufactured garbage. If you wish to buy new I have heard good things about the Pro-ject Debut III and the Music Hall MMF 2.2 in the sub-$400 range. Buying new anything less than what these cost won’t do justice to the records and may actually damage them. Of course, you can save a lot buying used. A more retro choice new would be the Technics (pronounced “techniques”) SL-1200 mk2, which has been in its current form has been in production since 1978 and it’s basic design dates to 1971, though there is a unconfirmed rumor that it may be discontinued soon.

  • FromChicago

    This is a gimmick.

    • lms10045

      Tell that to the audiophiles who have insisted for 30 years that vinyl is superior to the CD in sound quality. They probably would say it’s the mp3 that is the gimmick.

      • Evan

        mp3 is the gimmick, just as 8-tracks once were they are a trade off of sound quality for convenience portability.

    • krishna

      hayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy superb songs taylor i loveeeeeeeeeeeee u sooooooooooooo much

  • ST

    Actually, vinyl LP sales were up 33% in 2009. i’m not saying i think it will overtake digital downloads but there is obviously a fan base for it so this will likely sell. I actually think that Taylor, one of the highest grossing artists is showing her support for something she loves.

  • Oh my!

    Sweet! I’m a collector as well! Just another reason for me to love her!!! There’s nothing wrong with promoting vinyl! She actually have a collection so why not incorporate it to her album!! Geez! Going buy this with her CDs as well! God excited!!!!

  • Mr. Holloway

    Yes, but what am I supposed to tell my lonely cassette player?

  • awesome!

    ah, going to get it! i collect them too. wow, she collects too, love her! can’t wait for it to come out!

  • Preston

    I am pleased that a very current artist in Taylor Swift loves vinyl records even in an era of CDs, Itunes and downloading. It’s not just new fans buying vinyl but people who remembered buying them years ago and are saying “LONG OVERDUE!” that they’re back to selling them in the stores again!

  • kassnkris@hotmail.com

    Taylor Swift seems like an old soul in a young girls body. I love her music and her appreciation for records as well. I think there is something so pure about records that CDs or MP3s cannot match.

  • Ella

    The funny thing about all this that no one’s mentioned — in the very first sentence, Taylor is referred to as a “pop star.” Not country. You see, everyone knows she’s just using country as part of her carefully-planned “act.”

  • Steve

    vinyl has, and has always had, sonic superiority over digital. Just do a little research and the facts will be presented. I’m still not sure what this has to do with the talentless ms Swift however

  • Steve

    don’t get me wrong, I’d do her if she promised to keep her mouth shut

  • Aesop

    Just go to Guitar Center or one of the aforementioned stores to locate a turntable. Target has several attractive throw-back style turntables with USB support if you’re not interested in a more club-style turntable. Plus, vinyl art just looks nice on the walls.

  • DavidSSS

    Records sound better than CDs, the cover art is better presented because it’s bigger. Turntables can be easily bought new or second hand from rubbish cheapos to $100,000 marvels with lots in between. With the superiority of records it’s no wonder record sales are rising while CD sales fall. I doubt record sales will be more than CD sales any time soon but I have no doubt that when CDs are a distant memory records will still be pressed.

  • tresorparis

    Thanks for interesting blog post. You guys are always provide information that it makes it impossible not to want to buy your next product ;I cant wait to see what you guys come up with based on all your research and data that you gather.

  • tresorparis

    Great article. I cant wait to hear more about your research tool. If it is as good as your other products, then you will have another winner. Your article pretty much summed up what I have been seeing too. Great to see some hard data.

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