Song of the Day #3,275: ‘Begin Again’ – Taylor Swift vs. Tom Petty

Two of the more compelling Round One Montauk Madness matchups pitted pop (and pop culture) sensations Beyoncé and Taylor Swift against Tom Petty and David Byrne, respectively.

Petty won his battle in one of the closest Round One contests, picking up 56% of the vote. Swift had an easier time dispatching Byrne, netting 88%. Now they face off against each other.

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Song of the Day #3,239: ‘The Cowboy Mambo (Hey Lookit Me Now)’ – David Byrne vs. Taylor Swift

Today’s Montauk Madness matchup is similar to yesterday’s, in that it pits a modern-day juggernaut against an established artist likely past his prime.

Apart from Adele, nobody has the four-quadrant appeal of Taylor Swift. She parlayed country stardom into pop superstardom and is now pretty a much a genre unto herself. David Byrne is an indie rock, New Wave and world music pioneer who has influenced scores of modern musicians. Note: For the purposes of this face-off, we are considering only Byrne’s solo work, and not Talking Heads.

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Song of the Day #3,191: ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ – ZAYN & Taylor Swift

ZAYN and Taylor Swift team up for a track from the soundtrack of Fifty Shades Darker titled ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,’ this week’s Billboard #4.

Swift co-wrote the song with Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew, making this her first new material since the smash hit 1989 was released three years ago. It’s also notable as a collaboration between Swift and her ex-boyfriend Harry Styles’ former bandmate. That had to sting for old Harry.

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Song of the Day #3,018: ‘Fearless’ – Taylor Swift

taylor_swiftBack in 2008, Taylor Swift was a country artist with major crossover appeal, and her sophomore album Fearless broke every sales record for a country album on its way to being the biggest selling album of any sort that year.

And that was the lowest point of her career to date.

With apologies to Adele and Beyoncé, Swift is no doubt the most successful, landscape-dominating artist recording today. It’s hard to imagine her next album (whatever and whenever it may be) won’t improve on the gaudy numbers of her most recent smash hit, 1989. Talk about a winning streak.

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Song of the Day #2,997: ‘Christmas Must Be Something More’ – Taylor Swift

taylor_swift_christmas_moreToday’s Random iTunes Selection is the most disturbing song ever recorded by Taylor Swift.

One of two original tracks on her 2007 holiday release Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, ‘Christmas Must Be Something More’ sounds just like a dozen Swiftian pop songs, but its message boils down to a ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ bumper sticker.

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Song of the Day #2,896: ‘Eyes Open’ – Taylor Swift

hunger_games_soundtrackHere’s the lesser-known (or at least lesser-known to me) Taylor Swift song from the original Hunger Games soundtrack. Her other contribution, ‘Safe & Sound,’ is a haunting track featuring backing vocals by the Civil Wars.

This one has a more typical Swift-ian sound, and is therefore less of a stylistic fit for the movie. Catchy song, though.

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Song of the Day #2,652: ‘Wildest Dreams’ – Taylor Swift

taylor_swift_wildest_dreamsIn Billboard’s fourth and fifth spots are a couple of repeats — one I like and one I loathe. At #4 is Fetty Wap with the horrible ‘679‘ and rounding out the top five is Shawn Mendes with the respectable ‘Stitches.’

Taylor Swift’s dominance continues as yet another 1989 single hits the top ten. ‘Wildest Dreams’ is the fifth 1989 track to reach the top ten, making this one of only 21 albums in history to have that many songs on the chart. And the album is sure to generate at least one more hit, if not several.

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