Imogen Heap, who co-wrote and co-produced the 1989 track “Clean” with Taylor Swift, penned a note about her experience recording the 13th song on the 2014 album and re-recording it for the just-released version, 1989 (Taylor’s Version).
“Today marks the release of ‘Taylor’s version’ of 1989 …the album originally released in 2014. The latest in line towards @taylorswift’s endeavour to re-record every album she’s ever done as part of an old record deal,” Heap wrote Friday (Oct. 27) on Instagram, where she shared photos from the studio.
“This is Taylor playing a bada– card to stay in control of her work in a commercial music industry that largely works against musicians,” she said.
Heap captioned a picture in her post: “Here’s me in my studio re-recording my bits on Clean last year, almost a decade on from the day Taylor swooped in to visit me at my home the @theround.house for 10 hours between 2 sold out shows at the 02 arena!”
She also captioned a snapshot of the two when they first worked together, writing, “downstairs in the @thehideaway.studio…Two ladies, in a room. We wrote and produced 90% of the track and still managed to eat lunch and dinner!”
“Now you can have fun playing spot the difference,” joked Heap, who thanked Swift on Instagram “for inviting me into your world!”
In awith the writer of this article, Swift recalled that “meeting Imogen Heap was an amazing experience for me because she was all I listened to in high school. Getting to not only meet her, but work with her and watch to see what she does in the studio, was really inspiring.”
So what did Swift first say upon first meeting one of her musical idols? “Hi, I’m so happy to meet you?” she answered with a laugh. “I try to keep it in check. I try to act as, like, normal as humanly possible.”
“The song ‘Clean’ is one that I wrote about sort of coming out of a relationship or trying to move on from some struggle that you had in your life, and feeling kind of tarnished by it,” Swift said during our chat, which took place before the release of 2014’s 1989. “And it kind of talks about how if you really allow yourself to feel pain, I think maybe it’s easier to get past it. For most people that I’ve known who’ve fought through struggle, a lot of them who have really just faced the pain head on have come out OK a lot faster than the ones who just pretended to be in denial of it.”
“Almost every line in that song is one that I’m proud of,” she told me.
Meanwhile, when the original 1989 was released that year, Heap admitted on her blog that prior to actually working together, she’d wrongly assumed Swift didn’t really write her own music.
“I have to be honest here and say that I ever so slightly had not done my homework on Taylor Swift but had done what I HATE others do of me, which is to pre-judge a person based on assumptions,” Heap wrote. “I had assumed Taylor didn’t write too much of her own music (as is the case with many young, extremely successful artists these days who sell a shed load of records), and was likely puppeteered by an aging gang of music executives.”
At the time Heap wanted to make it known that she’d been “reading the odd report or tweet here and there that the reason the lyrics to ‘Clean’ are so good is because I wrote the song with her but FOR SURE they are all hers she deserves all the credit!”
See Imogen Heap’s full note about re-recording “Clean” for 1989 (Taylor’s Version) below and. Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) sold over 250,000 copies in the U.S. on its first day of release, according to initial reports to data tracking firm Luminate. After just one day, the album has the third-largest sales week of 2023.