Taylor Swift and "1989" Can Save the Record Industry

October 24, 2014 6:09 PM

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Taylor Swift and "1989" Can Save the Record Industry

Even Taylor Swift’s admirers—and they are legion—spend a lot of time second guessing the pop star. They question everything from her latest hairstyle (shorter), her parade of alleged boyfriends (Joe Jonas to Jake Gyllenhaal) to her metamorphosis from a Nashville ingenue to a worldly top-40 butterfly. If that wasn’t enough, many have tied the fate of the record industry to the release her fifth album, “1989,” on Monday.

Unlike Swift, a self-described “enthusiastic optimist,” the business is in a funk. None of her peers has released an album this year that has sold more than 1 million copies in its first week. Swift’s previous two records—2012′s “Red” and 2010′s “Speak Now”—easily overshot that mark. The fear in the...

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