Taylor Swift’s surprise release of a re-recorded version of “Wildest Dreams” quickly piqued the interest of fans Friday. Just a little more than four hours after her new rendering of the seven-year-old song was released to DSPs Friday, it passed the 2 million plays mark on Spotify.
That impressive early number for “Wildest Dream (Taylor’s Version)” easily surpassed the previous records for the most listens to the original version of the song on Spotify in a single day, which had been set and reset just this week. On Wednesday, the Big Machine-owned recording from 2014 dramatically spiked as the song racked up 735,000 plays. On Thursday, it peaked further still, at 750,000. But these numbers were no match for the thrill of Swifties getting a fresh version and quickly establishing new margins.
Interest in “Wildest Dreams” — the O.G. version — had been surging earlier in the week, irrespective of any known plan to release a new version, thanks to the song’s sudden popularity on TikTok. On that app, a groundswell of users was using snippets of the tune in conjunction with TikTok’s “slow zoom” function.
Of course, this new version of “Wildest Dreams” has its work cut out for it in catching up with the total plays for the original, which stand at 395,608,000 on Spotify.
Over the past 12 months, daily Spotify plays for Big Machine’s “Wildest Dreams” have been indicative of a modest ongoing popularity for the tune, hovering just under or above 400,000 plays a day until recently. The spike to roughly 700,000 a day, as a result of the TikTok trend, has been fairly abrupt.
News of the release of a fresh recording of the song was startling to Swifties as they woke up Friday, as fans were expecting a teaser track to come along at any time for the “Red (Taylor’s Version)” album, which is up for pre-order and coming out the weekend before Thanksgiving. Although it was known that Swift had put in work on her remake of the “1989” album as well, and maybe even had the completed project in the can, there would have been no reason for her to put out a track from that ahead of putting out anything from the “Red” redo, unless fate intervened, as it did with the “Wildest Dreams” TikTok phenomenon.
Seeing the huge wave of streams for a recording of the song she doesn’t own, Swift — who urged fans not to consume her Big Machine catalog after it was sold off twice without her input — pivoted and put her new “Wildest Dreams” out far earlier than she likely would have otherwise.
“Hi!” she wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “Saw you guys got Wildest Dreams trending on Tiktok, thought you should have my version.”
She elaborated more playfully on TikTok itself. “Some said slow zoom makes you look like the main character; I said make it Taylor’s Version pls… Felt cute might drop the whole song later,” she wrote in a TikTok caption. In a subsequent, separate TikTok video, she posted footage of herself in non-glam mode in overalls with the caption, “You set a date in November with Red but then someone mentions 1989.” She affected a look of distraction, and then the video cut to her in more glamorous mode, with bright red lipstick and sunglasses, a la the “1989” imagery, winking at the camera as the new version of “Wildest Dreams” played.
In its original version from seven years ago, “Wildest Dreams” reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went to No. 1 on the Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Top 40 charts.
“Red (Taylor’s Version)” is set for Nov. 19 release. Although the album is up for pre-order, no singles from that collection have been issued as of yet. Fans will presumably have to wait until at least next year to get the full “1989” do-over, as Swift hasn’t indicated whether that album is even coming next after “Red” in the rollout of re-records.
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