Wildest Dreams

Album: 1989 (2014)
Charted: 40 5

Songfacts®:

  • This 1989 track finds Taylor reflecting on romance in a different way to her previous love songs. "I think the way I used to approach relationships was very idealistic," she admitted to Rolling Stone. "I used to go into them thinking, 'Maybe this is the one - we'll get married and have a family, this could be forever. Whereas now I go in thinking, 'How long do we have on the clock - before something comes along and puts a wrench in it, or your publicist calls and says this isn't a good idea?"
  • The throwback video was directed by Joseph Kahn, who has created visuals for the likes of Shakira, Mariah Carey, Maroon 5, Britney Spears, and Kelly Clarkson. He also was behind the camera for Swift's "Bad Blood" and "Blank Space" clips.

    Set on August 2, 1950, the visual shows Swift and The Longest Ride actor Scott Eastwood playing two movie stars shooting a film on the Africa plains. Scott Eastwood is the youngest son of movie legend Clint Eastwood. The younger Eastwood claims that his agents advised him not to take the gig, saying they didn't want him cast as Swift's "Boy Toy." Eastwood's response: "I would love to be Taylor Swift's boy toy."
  • The video received criticism from some media outlets for depicting wild animals and white people with barely a black person in sight. The Huffington Post's Lauren Duca wrote, "For a clip that's set in Africa - it's about as white as a Sunday morning farmer's market."

    Kahn denied that the video only includes white people, pointing out that he is Asian American, while two of the key creatives who worked on the clip, producer Jill Hardin and editor Chancler Haynes are African Americans. "We collectively decided it would have been historically inaccurate to load the crew with more black actors as the video would have been accused of rewriting history," he said.

    The director added: "This video is set in the past by a crew set in the present and we are all proud of our work. There are black Africans in the video in a number of shots, but I rarely cut to crew faces outside of the director as the vast majority of screen time is Taylor and Scott (Eastwood)."
  • Taylor added a personal touch to the percussive elements on the track. In addition to the mallets and the tambourine, a recording of her heartbeat thumps throughout the song, a trick she may have picked up from the King of Pop, who did the same on 1987's "Smooth Criminal."
  • The title is repeated eight times throughout, paired with the nonsense vocal hook "ah-ah, ha-ha." The clever tactic adds a touch of sweetness to the vocals while ensuring the title is unforgettable.
  • Just how wild are these dreams? Taylor clues us in to the secret tryst ("No one has to know what we do.") without getting too explicit:

    His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room

    Tangled up with you all night, burning it down
  • Taylor's uncharacteristic lower-pitched vocals during the first two verses, paired with the melodramatic love story and overall sultry vibe had critics comparing her to "Honeymoon" singer Lana Del Rey.
  • The composer team Duomo did an orchestral cover for their 2018 album Berlin:Redux. It was later used to soundtrack a steamy scene in the "Swish" episode of Netflix's television period drama series Bridgerton.

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