Taylor Swift Re-Recordings

Taylor Swift gets ready to release her new album Red (Taylors Version). Album cover is above.

Taylor Swift gets ready to release her new album “Red (Taylors Version)”. Album cover is above.

Isabella Lehr, Staff Reporter

In 2008, Taylor Swift became a household name with the release of her second album Fearless. Today, songs such as Love Story and You Belong with Me, two singles off the album, are still some of Swift’s most popular releases. But you may have noticed a difference if you’ve listened to these songs, or any off of Fearless, recently. That difference is the addition of two words at the end of the song title: Taylor’s Version. What does this mean, and why do only some of Swift’s songs have this inclusion at the end?

 In August of 2019, Taylor Swift announced she would be rerecording her first six albums: Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and reputation. This came only two months after Swift’s old label, Big Machine Records, was sold to the company Ithaca Holdings. From 2005 to Swift’s contract expiration in 2018, Taylor released countless hits such as Shake It Off, Our Song, and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together with Big Machine. But Swift has never owned these albums. Rather, her record label does. Big Machine Records being sold to Ithaca Holdings may not seem like a big deal considering Swift never had control of her masters. However, the sale of Big Machine, and ultimately the sale of Swift’s first six albums, was extremely problematic considering Taylor’s relationship with the owner of Ithaca Holdings, Scooter Braun. Swift claims that Braun, who manages clients such as Ariana Grande and Kanye West, has bullied her personally and through those he manages. In a Tumblr post, she wrote “​​My musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it,” and later “Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter.” Clearly, there is bad blood between the two. But even worse for Swift is that Braun went on to sell her masters to another company, Shamrock Holdings, for $300 million. Swift alleges she was never given the opportunity to purchase her first six albums before the sale, and now will not be able to legally own them. As a result, Swift has decided to re-record her whole first six albums.

 Under her new contract with Republic Records, she has been granted full ownership of all her new masters created with the label. This includes her last three albums – Lover, Folklore, and Evermore – and all the future recordings. Currently, Swift has already released one of her first 6 albums: Fearless (Taylor’s Version). While this album has the same songs as the first (and six bonus or “vault” songs that didn’t make the original album), it means something different to fans. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the first of many albums symbolizing Taylor Swift’s maturity and freedom. 

“Taylor’s Version” displays Swift’s rightful ownership of her past and power over her future. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is an album of memories for older fans and new favorites for younger ones. But most importantly, all of her rerecordings cement Taylor’s legacy as one of the most influential artists of all time. Be sure to listen to Red (Taylor’s Version) when it comes out on November 12, 2021!