Taylor Swift is back in the public eye due to Midnights (although of course, she's never truly left the public eye). We've already made a list charting her best albums. So now, we're taking things a step further and listing our favorite music videos from the beloved songstress.
We believe Taylor Swift always comes back stronger than a 90s trend partly because of the success of her videos. Today, her visuals tend to feature high-budget concepts, cameos from popular celebrities, and amazing fashion statements. But even when Taylor was a new kid on the block, her videos never failed to stun. Through her music videos, Taylor has proved that not only is she a creative genius when it comes to what you can hear, but she's also great at conjuring up entertaining pieces for the eyes.
In honor of Swift and her favorite number, we're doing a Top 13 list. Below are Swift's 13 best music videos! We hope you enjoy our ranking.
13. "Love Story"
We knew "Love Story" deserved a place on here due to its legacy in Taylor Swift history. However, we're ranking it last because you can tell from watching this thing that the budget wasn't super great. Don't get us wrong: Taylor's Juliet balcony white dress moment is EVERYTHING and that masquerade ball scene is is so romantic. But at the same time, you can tell all the shots in this thing were filmed at a college campus. Or at least it looks like they were. Still, "Love Story" never fails to put a smile on our face.
Plot-wise, "Lover" is pretty similar to most Taylor Swift videos. It's that common formula of Taylor acting alongside a love interest. But what sets lover apart from most visuals is its stellar production design. Every frame in this video is like a painting. From that hallway of string lights to the multicolored rooms and that giant fishbowl, every scene in "Lover" will make you go slack-jawed.
Can we say that this video helped catapult the cottage core aesthetic? We think we can. Besides those cozy shots of Taylor's cabin, we love the "cardigan" visual for its slowness and scenic reveals. The best part of this video? Hands down, the piano in the water scene. We're sure that dramatic moment was very difficult to film. Not only that, but just the image of Taylor confused in the raging water is GORGEOUS and we love how the video doesn't cut away from that shot too quickly. Just for that water scene alone, we knew "cardigan" deserved a spot on our list.
10. "Picture to Burn"
Oh, "Picture to Burn." How silly and innocent you were. This blast from the past makes us briefly miss the old country Taylor Swift every time we watch it. From the line "she's driving the truck" to Swift's surprised binoculars face and the shots of Taylor's band mischievously wrecking her ex's house, this song and video is nothing short of iconic. Watching this in 2022 makes us realize Taylor's come a long way as an artist. And even after all this time, no one does revenge visuals better than Taylor Swift!
When Taylor Swift directs, magical things happen. So far from Midnights, Swift has released videos for "Anti-Hero" and "Bejeweled." While we like the concept for the latter video, we think this one flows just a bit better. There's so much to love: the surprise ghosts wearing accessories from previous Swift vids, all the purple liquid glitter, giant Alice in Wonderland-esque Taylor, and of course, that hilarious nightmare scene with her kids at the wake. For a song with heavy subject matter (don't get us wrong – there are really sad parts of this video too), "Anti-Hero" is tons of fun to watch and feels easy to digest.
8. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
The iconic one-shot wonder! This video launched the Red era and was the first to feature a lot of classic Taylor staples – including her bangs, scarlet lipstick, and her transition from country to pop. It's a totally adorable little romp. The ONLY choice we don't understand is the animal-suited band. Like...they didn't have any other outfits they could wear? What does it have to do with the overall metropolitan aesthetic? We don't know. But, oh well – it gives the visual an even quirkier edge. And Taylor Swift is the queen of quirky.
7. "Shake It Off"
The concept for "Shake It Off" is pretty simple, but it works so well. There are a lot of iconic shots in this video: from Taylor shaking her groove thing in her ballerina tutu to her bouncing in-air. This video feels super inclusive, and something about "Shake It Off" tells you that this was the moment Taylor Swift turned into a mega-star. This was made during Taylor's peak 1989 era, after all.
6. "I Knew You Were Trouble"
This is another video that had a simple concept, but proved to be a huge success. We credit that to the gorgeous color correction and fancy aspect ratio, the edgy and grungy sets (that desert landscape is BREATHTAKING), and maybe even Reeve Carney's performance opposite Taylor. (If you don't know who he is, he played the original Orpheus in the Broadway Musical Hadestown). Of all Taylor Swift videos, "I Knew You Were Trouble" feels the most cinematic. We definitely think this could be adapted into a feature film someday. Also, this video was further cemented into the pop culture mainstream when it was featured in a certain goat screaming meme on YouTube.
5. "Bad Blood"
Watching this video still makes us squeal with delight! You can attribute most of "Bad Blood's" success to its effortless celebrity cameos. Yeah – this was made during the height of the Taylor Swift "squad" era. Some of our favorite faces that appear include Kendrick Lamar, Hayley Williams, and Zendaya. Also Ellie Goulding with a bazooka is hilarious. And we will never get over Selena Gomez as the evil villain! Besides the star power, we love how action-packed this Joseph Kahn directed visual is. The opening title with Taylor on the car is such a great hook, and the ending with the fiery landscape is so epic.
4. "Look What You Made Me Do"
Okay, so "Look What You Made Me Do" may not be Taylor's best song. In fact, Reputation is far from being her best album (although it was a big commercial success). However, when Swift dropped the music video for "Look What You Made Me Do" back in 2017, the internet practically exploded. Not only is the production design on this thing killer, but it notably features several different versions of Taylor – including Taylors from previous album eras (like her Fearless music video personas and her ballerina look from "Shake It Off") as well as a zombie Taylor and snake charmer Taylor. If anything, "Look What You Made Me Do" shows that Swift has the ability to laugh at herself and the toxic press, and that's what makes her powerful.
3. "You Belong With Me"
This is classic, iconic, nostalgic, 100% pure Taylor Swift. This music video is everything. "You Belong With Me" put her on the map, began Taylor's trend of playing multiple characters in videos, and proved she had some acting chops to boot. This is probably her most heartfelt video from the Fearless era and featured a fantastic cameo from a young Lucas Till (of Hannah Montana: The Movie). With this beloved video, Taylor showed young women everywhere that you can be your quirky and nerdy self and still be liked by the person of your dreams.
2. "Blank Space"
On paper, the concept for "Blank Space" doesn't sound that interesting. But when you watch this thing, you realize just how perfectly it matches the song's message about behavior in relationships. Not only that, but the house is beautiful, the fashion choices are fierce, the cake stabbing and bicycle riding look so fun, and Taylor's crazy-girl acting is so enjoyable to watch. We had to leave a blank space on our list for "Blank Space," because Joseph Kahn and Swift really do create the best visuals, don't they?
1. "All Too Well"
This isn't just a Taylor Swift music video – this is a Taylor Swift short film. We'll say it again: when Taylor Swift directs, magic happens. "All Too Well" stars Teen Wolf hearthrob Dylan O' Brien and Stranger Things star Sadie Sink as a young couple. This visual gets steamy, serene, and dramatic as the ten minutes pass. And Taylor's cameo at the end is a welcome surprise! All the technical aspects of a good music video are there, as well as fantastic storytelling elements. And of course, the visual matches the mood of the emotional song perfectly. For those reasons, "All Too Well" takes our #1 spot on this list. We're keeping our fingers crossed it gets a Live Action Short Film Oscar nod at the Academy Awards next year, since it does qualify!
Check out our selection of free stations streaming Taylor Swift music at Live365.com.
Rather listen on our app? Download the Live365 app on iOS or Android. Ready to start your own station? Contact one of our Product Consultants or visit our website today. Keep up with the latest news by following us on Facebook (Live365 (Official) and Live365 Broadcasting) and Twitter (@Live365 and @Broadcast365)!