- Taylor Swift Is Confusing
- 21 Crazy and Unusual Facts About Taylor Swift
- 24 of the Biggest and Best Movie Power Ballads
- Aerosmith: I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (Armageddon)
- Celine Dion: My Heart Will Go On (Titanic) https://www..com/watch?v=FHG2oizTlpY
- Prince: Purple Rain (Purple Rain) https://www..com/watch?v=cWuyD639shc
- Tina Turner: We Don’t Need Another Hero (Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome) https://www..com/watch?v=dq4aOaDXIfY
- Bryan Adams: Everything I Do (I Do It For You) (Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves)
- Jon Bon Jovi: Blaze Of Glory (Young Guns II)
- Kiss: God Gave Rock & Roll To You (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey)
- Stan Bush: The Touch (Transformers: The Movie)
- John Parr: Restless Heart (The Running Man)
- Seal: Kiss From A Rose (Batman Forever)
- Faith Hill: There You’ll Be (Pearl Harbor) https://www..com/watch?v=BwyWmqV_RJc
- Goo Goo Dolls: Iris (City Of Angels)
- Eric Carmen: Hungry Eyes (Dirty Dancing)
- Roxette: It Must Have Been Love (Pretty Woman)
- R Kelly: I Believe I Can Fly (Space Jam)
- Bryan Adams, Sting, Rod Stewart: All For Love (The Three Musketeers)
- Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes: Up Where We Belong (An Officer And A Gentleman)
- Marc Anthony & Tina Arena: I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You (The Mask Of Zorro)
- Leona Lewis: I See You (Avatar)
Taylor Swift Is Confusing
If there was a single millisecond of spontaneity in Taylor Swift’s live performance, I missed it.Photograph by Christopher Polk / TAS / Getty for TAS
In Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” which I consider a perfect song, there’s a giggle she releases between the lines “I go on too many dates” and “But I can’t make ’em stay.” Driving around suburban St.
Louis, listening to the radio, I’ve wondered many times if Swift includes this giggle—which acts as a vocal eye roll, or maybe a middle finger, to those whose judgmental comments she’s parroting—during her live performances.
Surely, I thought, the temptation to include the giggle would be diminished by the cumulative evidence, as she performed show after show on her “1989” World Tour (which started in May and is still going), of the giggle’s utter lack of spontaneity.
As a forty-year-old woman with unapologetically mainstream musical tastes, I’ve followed Swift’s career with increasing interest.
From my vantage point, the defining aspects of her identity seem to be—surprise!—not her romantic partners but rather her appetite for hard work (that is, her ambition); her savvy and apparently early-adopting use of social media; and the enjoyable accessibility of her art, with songs that alternate between deceptive simplicity and actual simplicity. Also, she’s articulate in interviews, she’s become a vocal proponent of feminism, and apparently she’s friends with Lorde (and a bunch of other glamorous female singers, models, and actresses in their twenties).
In June, when Swift wrote an open letter, on Tumblr, to Apple (titled “To Apple, Love Taylor”), criticizing the company’s decision not to pay artists during users’ free three-month trials of its music-streaming service, Apple reversed its policy the next day.
“I unsarcastically love that Taylor Swift has acquired enormous economic & cultural power by being very good at singing about her feelings,” I tweeted, and my friend Annie tweeted back asking if I’d to join her to watch Swift perform at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, in July.
Taylor Swift fans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. *Photograph by Jo Sittenfeld *
Photograph by Jo Sittenfeld
Immediately upon Swift’s appearance onstage, the naïveté of my question about the giggle became apparent. If there was a single millisecond of spontaneity in the entire evening, I missed it.
Swift’s first song—“Welcome to New York”—was not only as choreographed as a Broadway musical but was indistinguishable from a Broadway musical, complete with the backdrop of a glittery nighttime New York skyline and, in the foreground, a park bench on which Swift beamingly sang and posed while surrounded by male dancers.
Subsequent songs were performed with the accompaniment of the dancers, plus, respectively, videos laden with B.D.S.M. imagery and a kind of lighted, rotating dock that raised Swift above the heads of the audience.
Swift wore perilously high heels and an array of skimpy outfits as her image was reflected not only on large screens on either side of the stage but also on the single biggest screen that I’ve seen in my life, which, curiously, faced the backs of most of the crowd and the front of only Swift herself, lending it a mirror-above-the-bed quality of self-interest notable even in these highly narcissistic times.
The crowd at Gillette represented the whitest and femalest gathering I’ve ever found myself in, which I say as a white female. Interspersed with songs, Swift delivered monologues to us about the specialness of the night, how much she loves her fans, and how uncool she’s always felt.
Tonally, these fell somewhere between the speeches of a dim high-school student and a tipsy bridesmaid.
Sometimes, during a set or costume change, the screens showed videos asking Swift-related trivia or featuring testimonials from her coterie of famous girlfriends about the fun that they have and the enormous quantities of food they to consume, which seemed a preëmptive rebuttal to anyone noting Swift’s thinness.
Of the three people I attended the show with—in addition to Annie, my sister Jo and my brother-in-law Thad, both of whom are photographers—I’m confident that I was there the least anthropologically and the most earnestly. Not that I take pride in this, but I could actually answer the trivia questions about, say, Swift’s cats.
And I swear that I was ready to enjoy myself—to sing along to “I Knew You Were Trouble” while feeling cheerfully silly about my own middle-aged dorkiness.
Instead, the cognitive dissonance induced by the show bewildered me: Why was Swift, a shrewd businesswoman, blathering on so cheesily? If she were trying to speak in terms understandable to the youngest members of her audience, many of whom looked to be in grade school, then why was she wearing a garter belt and showing those B.D.S.M.
videos? When she floated above the audience in her high, high heels on that lighted dock, facing a stadium of sixty-eight thousand people, how could she feel anything except either a messiah complex or profound loneliness?
There was a preponderance of tweens and mother-daughter duos in the crowd at Swift’s concert. PHOTOGRAPH BY JO SITTENFELD
PHOTOGRAPH BY JO SITTENFELD
Later that night, I said to my husband, “I thought of her as a singer-songwriter.” And my husband, who has never voluntarily listened to a single word escaping Taylor Swift’s mouth, laughed. “Singer-songwriters don’t perform in stadiums,” he said.
But before all that, before my buzz-killing realization that my admiration for Swift should not have been confused with a wish to see her live—before, in fact, the concert even started—I felt the sweetness and promise of what she offers.
She encourages audience members to dress her, either as she does now or as she did in a previous incarnation, which meant that, upon our arrival in Foxboro, when we’d parked about a mile from the stadium, we’d passed women and girls sporting all manner of red lipstick, cowboy boots, braided headbands, tutus, metallic temporary tattoos, glittery hair spray, cheerleading outfits, fringed homemade T-shirts, and Swift’s name and favorite number (thirteen) painted on their arms and hands.
It was a lovely summer evening, and among the tailgaters there was a preponderance of tweens and mother-daughter duos. Their giddy anticipation of the night ahead emanated from them as they snacked on fruit and cheese, beaded, and drew posters.
In fact, the tailgaters were so winning that, the next night, my sister went back to photograph them. (You can view all of the photographs here.) One mom told Jo that she’d bought her tickets eight months prior and given them to her daughter for Christmas.
They’d screen-printed T-shirts at their local mall, and, after driving two hours to the concert, they were sitting on the asphalt by their car applying beads to the shirts’ tassels. On both nights, many audience members wore shirts that bore the phrase “Taylor Swift’s #1 Fan.
” I’m not sorry that I went to the show, even if that isn’t an article of clothing, or a title, I’ll be fighting anyone for.
Jo Sittenfeld is a fine-art and commercial photographer in Providence, Rhode Island.
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21 Crazy and Unusual Facts About Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is only 25 years old, but that hasn't stopped her from kicking butt and taking names across the music industry. It doesn't matter if she's onstage in front of thousands of fans or dancing with a youngster, she knows how to impress.
See which of these 21 crazy and unusual facts about Taylor Swift are new to you:
1. Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania, to Scott Kingsley Swift and Andrea Gardner (Finlay) Swift. She was named after James Taylor, a famous singer and performer in his own right.
2. Swift is crazy paranoid about being secretly recorded. She revealed in a 2014 Rolling Stone interview: “The janitor who’s being paid by TMZ [could record me]. This is gonna sound I’m a crazy person–but we don’t even know. I have to stop myself from thinking about how many aspects of technology I don’t understand.”
3. After learning from a visiting computer repairman how to play three guitar chords, Swift wrote her first song, “Lucky You,” at the age of 12. Today, she can play guitar, banjo, piano, ukulele, and electric guitar.
4. After attending a traditional high school during her freshman and sophomore years, Swift transferred to Aaron Academy to be homeschooled. This worked best with her busy tour schedule.
5. Swift is obsessed with Perrier (the drink), and at any given time has a variety of different flavors in her refrigerator, including black cherry, pomegranate, blueberry, strawberry, key lime, and tangerine lime.
6. Swift is the first country singer to win an MTV Video Music Award, and at the age of 11 won a talent contest by covering “Big Deal,” a song made popular by LeAnn Rimes.
7. Talk about a strange sense of style: Swift has a fish tank filled with vintage baseballs in her living room.
9. Swift has received more than 200 awards from nearly 600 nominations. Some of the most prestigious include seven Grammy Awards, 22 Billboard Music Awards, and 16 American Music Awards.
10. Swift keeps a bedroom in her house for her BFF Karlie Kloss, complete with Karlie’s favorite snacks and tons of photos of her on the wall.
11. You may know her as Taylor Swift, but friends have many nicknames for her, such as Tay, T-Swift, Swifty, and T-Swizzle.
12. In 2014, Swift told Rolling Stone she was distancing herself from the country scene, making her transition to pop complete. She announced at that time that she would no longer go to country music award shows or promote her albums on country radio stations.
13. Swift is more than just a pretty face with a killer voice. She is also a history buff, noting on her website that she knows American history ” the back of my hand.”
14. Swift enjoys writing many of her own songs, with some of the most popular including “Bad Blood,” “Our Song,” and “Back to December.
” “Our Song” was written for her high school talent show, but eventually ended up on her debut album. It later became a No. 1 single that won her many awards.
In fact, she's such a prolific writer that she's credited as one on every song she’s ever released and is the sole writer on more than half of them.
15. Swift is so over the dating scene–and she blames you! “And most of all, I don't how all these factors add up to build the pressure so high in a new relationship that it gets snuffed out before it even has a chance to start. And so,” she told Rolling Stone, “I just don’t date.”
17. Swift is obsessed with “Disney everything.” She even appeared in the Disney feature movie Hannah Montana.
18. Swift is such a force of nature in the music industry that it took her less than 24 hours to get Apple to back down from its decision not to pay royalties to artists for songs played during trials of its new music-streaming service. In a letter posted to Tumblr, she had threatened to withhold her top-charted album 1989 from the service.
20. Swift clearly has a great sense of humor and also isn't afraid to throw a bit of shade when it's warranted. She has a framed photograph of the infamous onstage Kanye West encounter hanging in her Nashville home, captioned, “Life is full of little interruptions.”
21. She regularly shares her good fortune (and fortune) with others, such as by funding the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Published on: Oct 1, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
24 of the Biggest and Best Movie Power Ballads
For a glorious period from the mid-80s throughout the ’90s, the biggest summer blockbusters were only worth their salt if they had an equally gargantuan song at the head their soundtrack.
Often the success of one was inexorably linked to the other, with the s of Four Weddings And A Funeral‘s feats matched and even exceeded by Wet Wet Wet’s accompanying Love Is All Around.
The greatest and most successful songs belong to the power ballad genre, and are as emotionally charged and forceful as the gods of epic balladry such as Journey, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and Meat Loaf.
As the 90s became the 00s and the charts became increasingly irrelevant, the movie ballad became almost defunct, with even the song-dominant film soundtrack being usurped by the re-emergence of traditional scores.
Until the s of Adele, Katy Perry and company are recruited to help promote blockbusters that aren’t James Bond, we’ll have to make do with the enduring appeal of these essential power ballad classics.
The fact that it’s the standout song on an amazing soundtrack for the relatively mediocre Days Of Thunder (note that Tom Cruise films have a wealth of great ballads attached to them, see later), which includes power ballad immortals David Coverdale and Tina Turner, says a lot of McKee’s biggest hit. Perhaps not as ‘powerful’ as others on the list, there’s no denying the divine chorus that helped it stay top of the UK charts for four weeks in 1990.
The unstoppable hit from one of the quintessential romantic movies dominated the UK singles chart for ten weeks in 1992.
An update of Dolly Parton’s country classic ups the ante and has some of the best examples of power ballad’s key components: the wonderful soft-porn saxophone solo in the middle, the dramatic key changes and ultimately the single thump of the drum that heralds Whitney’s specular “And IIIIIIIIIIII…”.
Aerosmith: I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (Armageddon)
Arguably the last unstoppable movie power ballad was the perfect accompaniment to the heartbreaking pomposity of Michael Bay’s Armageddon. Just think of those guys walking down the tarmac in their orange spacesuits while listening to Steven Tyler wail over the orchestral backing and you’ll either have your arms waving aloft, eyes welling up or both.
Celine Dion: My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)
Not the Canadian’s best power ballad, with that accolade being battled out by Think Twice and It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, but still a song that was almost as big as the film it accompanied, winning Oscars, Grammys and number 1 positions worldwide. Understandably you might have bad memories of images of Di Caprio’s floppy curtains and James Cameron’s overblown dramatics, but try listening while executing a double-handed power grab and forget how uncool it is to admit to liking it.
Prince: Purple Rain (Purple Rain)
Though not a blockbuster in the traditional sense, the title track of Prince’s own biopic deserves its place for simply being one of the best power ballads ever written.
The lyrics are absolutely heartbreaking, and this orchestral, gospel masterpiece is a flawless tearjerking epic from the late Artist.
If you aren’t moved by the simple guitar melodies and Prince’s high-pitched crooning at the end you probably have no soul.
We miss you, Prince.
Tina Turner: We Don’t Need Another Hero (Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome)
To be fair Fury Road would have felt weird with a power ballad accompanying it, but we still watched hoping someone was going to break out a saxophone in homage to this thunderous ballad from the third Mad Max film. The fact this arms aloft slice of majesty from the Queen of Rock trumps the saxual, arena shaking monolith The Best for aorta pumping passion is testament to its appeal.
Bryan Adams: Everything I Do (I Do It For You) (Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves)
Under any other circumstances, someone claiming they’d die for you in the name of love would be rightly met with ridicule, but when it’s backed up by a film Russell Crowe would describe as a feature length Bon Jovi video ( that’s a bad thing?) you believe every single word of the unflinching heroism. The song still holds the record for the longest reign atop the UK singles chart, demonstrating the irresistible dual appeal of both movie and accompanying ballad.
Jon Bon Jovi: Blaze Of Glory (Young Guns II)
He’d go on to perfect the rock power ballad later with Bon Jovi, but the band’s lead singer got damn close on this country-tinged homage to the antics of the film’s rugged band of outlaws, in which he also made a cameo appearance. It’s a shame this mighty track wasn’t included on the superior and more historically accurate original.
The most over the top Rocky film deserved the most over the top soundtrack, which included not one but two Survivor songs and Robert Tepper’s heroic No Easy Way Out. However, the accolade for the best tune goes to this synth-tinkling heart-stopper that’ll make you want to run up snowy peaks and punch chemically-enhanced giants in the face in order to defeat Communism.
Kiss: God Gave Rock & Roll To You (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey)
Originally by British band Argent, the regal dual guitars of Kiss’ version were famously performed by Wyld Stallyns after they go back in time in order to become awesome musicians, thereby creating music that unites the world in peace. Obviously the real song hasn’t quite achieved that feat but we can only assume that’s only because the entire world is yet to hear it.
Stan Bush: The Touch (Transformers: The Movie)
A highlight of yet another 80s soundtrack you must seek out, with the majestic line “When all hell’s breaking lose you’ll be riding the eye of the storm” the ideal backing music to kicking Decepticons right between the circuits. Stan Bush even recorded an updated version of the song for Michael Bay’s live action franchise, but criminally it never made the cut, losing out to some forgettable nu metal plodders.
John Parr: Restless Heart (The Running Man)
I know, I know, you were expecting John Parr’s sky-scraping melodies on the namesake of Brat Pack classic St. Elmo’s Fire. However, Parr’s true gem is this lighters aloft anthem that comes from left field at the end of Schwarzenegger’s dystopian action classic. That the lyrics and vibe of the song have seemingly very little to do with the film only adds to its charm.
Lionel has many ballads to his name, but this Oscar-winner just has that little extra oomph that elevates it to power ballad status. We can only assume that the song’s emotional power was what brought future couple director Taylor Hackford and actress Helen Mirren together on set.
Seal: Kiss From A Rose (Batman Forever)
The undisputed highlight of this mid-90s superhero dross was this belter of a tune. The subtlety of the strings and acoustic strum don’t distract from Seal’s soulful vocal in a song that he’d initially written a decade before and, unbelievably, hated. Thank goodness he saw sense and let Joel Schumacher film him next to the Bat-signal and a wind machine.
Faith Hill: There You’ll Be (Pearl Harbor)
Speaking of dross, this slightly overblown but affecting ballad from country star Faith Hill deserved far better than the film to which it’s attached.
Building with strings, piano, acoustic guitar and the singer’s understated but powerful vocal it’s the percussion before the choruses that would make it perfect end-of-the-night-wedding-party-fodder had it not been so unfairly soiled by association.
Goo Goo Dolls: Iris (City Of Angels)
Enjoying somewhat of a renaissance nearly 20 years after its release. The tender harmonies and pomp of the song’s bridge perfectly suited this Nicholas Cage romantic drama and, coming off the back of the incredible run of The Rock, Face/Off, and Con Air, made up for the fact there were no massive action set pieces.
Eric Carmen: Hungry Eyes (Dirty Dancing)
The film has certainly led to many dance floor related injuries over the years, while the strength of the soundtrack meant it’s certified among the top 20 selling albums ever. Eric Carmen’s iconic number has keyboards that are so ’80s it hurts, while the flamboyant saxophone solo ensures its place among the power ballad pantheon.
Roxette: It Must Have Been Love (Pretty Woman)
One of two superb power ballads by the Swedish duo (probably the only two songs by them that anyone knows) unsurprisingly comes from another romantic drama that has gone down as one of the genre’s most beloved. The piano solo breakdown in the middle is moving enough on its own, let alone the delicate melodies and Marie Fredriksson’s deeply poignant vocals.
Berlin’s Take My Breath Away, Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone, Steve Stevens’ soaring guitar line and even Great Balls Of Fire are all synonymous with Tom Cruise flying jets and playing topless volleyball.
However, the definitive power ballad on this exceptional soundtrack to Navy recruitment is this hidden ditty from Canadian rockers Loverboy, which has more than enough of the emotional clout needed to qualify for this list.
R Kelly: I Believe I Can Fly (Space Jam)
R Kelly loves a good old croon, and though The World’s Greatest from Ali packs a wonderful, gospel crescendo, we had to plump for this slice of fried ’90s balladry gold. Not only has it held up in spite of the singer’s troubled career since, but it still makes you want to shoot some hoops with Bill Murray.
Bryan Adams, Sting, Rod Stewart: All For Love (The Three Musketeers)
You can imagine the meeting now: “What shall we do for a song for the film lads? How about we assemble three singers to perform a song about the Three Musketeers? And instead of ‘All for one’ we’ll change it to ‘All for love’! Genius.” However the meeting went, hearing the three singing ‘all’ separately before coming in together for the rest of the chorus is stirring, heroic stuff.
Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes: Up Where We Belong (An Officer And A Gentleman)
Notice how a lot of these ballads are connected to Richard Gere films? The duet is the soundtrack to every man or woman who has dreamt about carried work in the arms of their loved one, who’s preferably dressed in an astonishingly white military uniform. A special mention for the rendition of Stewie Griffin and his nemesis Bertram in Family Guy season three.
Marc Anthony & Tina Arena: I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You (The Mask Of Zorro)
Not a great song, but just fits into the power ballad category due to the dramatic mid-song crescendo and the ridiculously long song title. Another duet that’s testament to the winning combination of blockbusting 90s action adventure and chart-bothering ballad.
Leona Lewis: I See You (Avatar)
A special mention here for Leona and James Cameron to trying to create a movie power ballad renaissance. Sadly, much the film, Leona’s soaring voice and the song’s pomposity have plenty of force but no actual staying power. Also see Ellie Goulding for 50 Shades Of Grey for modern attempts, albeit not especially successful ones…