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For the lyrics see Love Story (lyrics)


"Love Story" is a song written and recorded by American country pop artist Taylor Swift. It is the lead single from her second studio album, Fearless. The song was released in September 2008, and by November of that year, reached the top of the Billboard country chart, becoming her third Billboard No. 1. It also became her biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit at the time peaking at #4. "Love Story" was Swift's first international single, venturing into other markets outside North America and Australia. Additionally, "Love Story" was the third best selling digitally downloaded song by a female and sixth overall.[2]

The song was part of the track list for Now That's What I Call Country Volume 2. It was also featured in Band Hero.

Background

In Swift's words: "This is a song I wrote when I was dating a guy who wasn't exactly the popular choice. His situation was a little complicated, but I didn’t care. I started this song with the line, 'This love is difficult, but it's real.' When I wrote the ending to this song, I felt like it was the ending every girl wants to go with her love story. It's the ending that I want. You want a guy who doesn’t care what anyone thinks, what anyone says. He just says, 'Marry me, Juliet, I love you, and that's all I really know.' It's sort of told in a character kind of thing, where it's Romeo and Juliet, and it's not me saying that I'm getting married or anything...but I think it's fun to write about it." Swift has said things that imply that this was written about the same person "White Horse" was written about.[citation needed]

Composition

"Love Story" was first released as the debut single off Swift's second album, Fearless, in 2008. In an article for Billboard, Swift described "Love Story" as "a love that you've got to hide because for whatever reason it wouldn't go over well. I spun it in the direction of Romeo and Juliet; our parents are fighting. I relate to it more as a love that you cannot really elaborate on — a love that maybe society wouldn't accept or maybe your friends wouldn't accept."[3]

The song is a mid-tempo, backed by banjo and guitar. In the lyrics, the narrator alludes to Romeo and Juliet and The Scarlet Letter to describe a lover whom her father will not let her see. In the end, however, the father reconciles and the lover proposes to the female narrator. The proposal is accompanied by a modulation in key up a tone, from D to E. Swift has repeatedly mentioned in interviews that the song was written around the lyrics, "This love is difficult, but it's real."

The Pop Mix replaces the Country-style instruments (i.e. the banjo) and adds a heavier bassline, a drum loop, and heavier electric guitars.

The International Radio Mix is a hybrid mix of the album version and pop edit, keeping the storybook theme of the original song with a pop overtone arrangement.

In June 2009, Swift performed "Thug Story," a parody of "Love Story," with T-Pain for the CMT Music Awards. In October 2009, Swift performed "Love Story" on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Critical reception

The song received a mostly positive response from critics. Jim Malec of The 9513 gave "Love Story" a thumbs-up rating. Although he said that the song had a "wonderful, idealized ending" and that it seemed to comprise too much of a plot line for a four-minute song, he nonetheless made note of the lyrics, saying, "the complications and difficulties surrounding her affair are just as grave as Juliet's... the fact that Swift, arguably the genre's biggest star at the moment, has done so here is a breath of fresh air, even if the song does otherwise follow a disappointingly unoriginal pattern." He added, "None of these criticisms, however, will have a major impact on the song’s effectiveness, or on its ability to strike a resonant chord with its intended audience... what's more, 'Love Story' shows an artist willing to take chances by venturing from the format’s standard song structure, and to let her personality shine through–even if the lyric generally follows a well-worn path."[4]

Nick Levine from the UK website Digital Spy gave the song 3 stars and praised Swift for knowing her "way to a radio-friendly chorus" and stated she "has enough charm to pull off lyrics that essentially rewrite Romeo & Juliet with a happy ending". He concluded his review of the song by saying "Like a Meg Ryan rom-com, this is completely corny but hard not to like".[5]

However, the story of Romeo and Juliet is intended to be considered a tragedy as opposed to a love story. There are some who feel the song misrepresents the original ideals of the story and creates a widespread miseducation of classic literature.

On November 10, 2009, Swift was awarded with the BMI Award for "Country Song of the Year."[6]

Both the pop and original country versions of the song were used in the trailer for the 2010 film Letters to Juliet.

Chart performance

"Love Story" was released as a single on September 12, 2008. For the chart week of September 27, 2008, it debuted at number 25 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, becoming Swift's highest debuting song on that chart in her career. For the chart week of November 22, 2008, it became her third number one on the Hot Country Songs chart, although it only spent thirteen weeks on that chart. On the Billboard Hot 100, the song debuted at number 16 making it Swift's fifth-highest debut on that chart in her career behind "Today Was a Fairytale", which debuted at number two, "Fearless", which debuted at number nine, "Change", which debuted at number 10 and "You're Not Sorry", which debuted at number 11) and peaked at number four. It has also become her second biggest airplay hit peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and number one on the Billboard Pop 100 Airplay chart. As of February 20, 2009, "Love Story" was the first country crossover to reach number one on the Top 40 pop chart.[citation needed].As of October 21, it has sold 3,977,000 legal digital downloads in the United States.[7]

The single had massive success internationally. On February 22, 2009, "Love Story" entered the UK Singles Chart at number 22 on downloads alone. On 1 March 2009, "Love Story" climbed to number two, behind Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You". Swift is the first country singer to have a top 10 hit in the UK since Shania Twain's "Party for Two", which charted at number ten in 2004, and Faith Hill was number ten in 2008 with "There You'll Be" on a re-entry. "Love Story" spent 32 weeks inside the UK top 100 singles chart, with six of those in the top ten.[8] It is to date Swift's most successful single in the UK.[9]

The song proved to be hugely successful in Oceania as well. In Australia, it spent two non-consecutive weeks at number-one on the ARIA Singles Chart (the weeks ending March 23 and April 6, respectively) and a record of eleven weeks at number two on the same tally. In New Zealand, it peaked on the RIANZ Singles Chart at number three; however, it did reach number one of the Top 10 Radio Airplay Chart, and held that place for eight weeks, which has been the longest any single has been at the top in 2009. It was also certified Platinum on August 30, 2009, selling over 15,000 copies.[10] The song hit top 3 in Japan the week of release.

The song also spent 29 consecutive weeks on the Venezuelan charts and peaked at #3 on the year-end charts for the most played singles of 2009.

On the chart week of June 6, 2009, the song reached Number One on the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart becoming her first Number One single on this chart.

She also sang "Love Story" on the show for the UK charity campaign Children in Need 2009. After the performance she donated £13,000 to Children in Need.

Music video

The music video premiered on Country Music Television on September 12, 2008.[11]

The video begins with Swift seeing a guy sitting under a tree in the present day, played by Justin Gaston.[12] Then, there are some video scenes alternating flashbacks and present scenes, which appear to be an allusion to Pride and Prejudice. Swift, dressed in a ball gown, is seen singing outside a castle while she is waiting for her version of Mr Darcy. She is singing and some scenes alternate with the past, where she is dancing during a gala with a gentleman. The "love story" ends with the gentleman's arrival and the video comes back to the present. The boy is seen getting up and they approach each other. The video won CMA Award for Music Video of the Year on November 11, 2009.

The present-day scenes were filmed at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, while the performance shots were shot at Castle Gwynn, just outside of Murfeesboro, Tennessee.

Track listing

Promo CD Single
  1. "Love Story" (International Radio Mix)
  2. "Love Story" (U.S. Pop Mix)
  3. "Love Story" (U.S. Album Version)
Promo Remix CD Single
  1. "Love Story" (Radio Edit)
  2. "Love Story" (J Stax Full Mix)
  3. "Love Story" (J Stax Edit)
  4. "Love Story" (Digital Dog Remix)
  5. "Love Story" (Digital Dog Edit)
  6. "Love Story" (Digital Dog Dub)
United Kingdom CD Single
  1. "Love Story" (Radio Edit)
  2. "Beautiful Eyes"
  3. "Love Story" (Digital Dog Radio Mix)

Covers

Dutch poprock band Destine often covers this song live.

Charts

Chart (2008–2009) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart

[13]

40
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia) 39
Canadian Adult Contemporary Singles 1
Canadian Radio & Records Country Singles 1
Canadian Hot 100 4
Czech Singles Chart 4
Danish Singles Chart 16
Dutch Singles Chart 13
French Singles Chart 14
German Singles Chart 22
Greek International Airplay Chart 14
Irish Singles Chart 3
Japan Hot 100 Chart 3
New Zealand Singles Chart[14] 3
Norwegian Singles Chart 7
Spanish Singles Chart 47
Swedish Singles Chart 10
Swiss Singles Chart

[15]

50
UK Singles Chart 2
US Billboard Hot 100 4
US Billboard Hot Country Songs 1
US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 (Pop Songs) 1

Year-End Charts

Chart (2009) Position
Australian Singles Chart

[16]

3
New Zealand Singles Chart

[17]

13
UK Singles Chart

[18]

29
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 5

References

  1. http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx
  2. "Taylor Swift Sets Historic Top 40 Radio Milestone for Country Artist". Universal Republic Records. 2009-02-17. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/taylor-swift-sets-historic-top-40-radio-milestone-for-country-artist,719640.shtml. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  3. Cohen, Jonathan (2008-09-12). "New Taylor Swift album set for November". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003849577. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  4. Malec, Jim (2008-09-16). "Taylor Swift - "Love Story"". The 9513. http://www.the9513.com/taylor-swift-love-story/. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  5. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/a145668/taylor-swift-love-story.html
  6. BMI.Com | News | BMI Country Award 2009 Big Winners
  7. Week Ending Oct. 18, 2009: Taylor Swift's Minor Miracle. Oct 18, 2009. Retrieved Oct 21, 2009.
  8. "Chart Stats - Taylor Swift - Love Story". Chart Stats. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  9. "Chart Stats - Taylor Swift". Chart Stats. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  10. http://www.radioscope.net.nz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=77&Itemid=61
  11. "Taylor Swift Premiering New Video on CMT". CMT.com. September 12, 2008. http://www.cmt.com/news/news-in-brief/1594680/taylor-swift-premiering-new-video-on-cmt.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  12. Westmark, Jan (September 16, 2008). "Taylor Swift Releases New Music Video For Song "Love Story"". Celebrity News Service. http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7012317170. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  13. [1]
  14. "RIANZ - Top 40 Singles Chart". Monday 6 April 2009. http://www.rianz.org.nz/rianz/chart.asp. 
  15. [2]
  16. "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2008". Australian Recording Industry Association. http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-end-of-year-charts-top-100-singles-2008.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  17. "RIANZ Annual Top 50 Singles Chart 2008 (see "2008 – Singles")". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. http://www.rianz.org.nz/rianz/chart_annual.asp. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  18. John, Alan (2010-01-30). "Bad Romance is back on top". Music Week. http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?storyCode=1039511&sectioncode=22. Retrieved 2010-02-06. "Total sales for 2009 was 882,059" 
  19. "Charts Year End: The Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2009-12-19. http://www.billboard.com/#/charts-year-end/hot-100-songs?year=2009. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 

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