Why and When are Taylor Swift's Rerecordings coming?
Written By: Ariana Pasquini
Taylor Swift Fearless (Taylor’s Version), shot by Beth Garrabrant
American singer-songwriter Taylor Allison Swift’s career first started in 2005 with her signing under Big Machine Records which produced her first six albums: Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation. Shortly after Reputation’s release in 2017, Swift left Big Machine and signed with Universal Music Group (Republic Records) with little to no word towards the public as to why. She followed her latest production label signing by releasing her albums Lover, Folklore, and Evermore shortly after. From breaking records, to outstanding performances, to her 44 grammy nominations, Swift has definitely made a name for herself in the competitive music industry. So what pushed Taylor to announce that she planned to completely re-record 6 albums of her early work?
In June of 2019, Swift finally broke her two year silence and opened up about her reasoning for leaving Big Machine Records. After pleading with Scott Borchetta, Big Machines founder for years to buy her masters; the official original recording of a song and the source from which all the later copies are made; Broorchetta offered Scooter Barun (best known for being Justin Bieber’s manager and the owner-founder of School Boy Records) the opportunity to purchase them for $300 million. An opportunity that Taylor was not offered, Scott had told Swift that she could regain the masters to her music IF she recorded 6 new albums under their label, stating she could, “earn one album [master] back . . . for every new one [she] turned in.” Taylor didn’t take this deal because she feared that Big Machine was certain to be sold eventually “thereby selling [her and her] future” Pushing her to leave the label and 15+ years of her work. Swift has stated she was completely unaware of this sale and only learned of Braun’s purchase as it was announced to the world. Considering Her past with Braun, Taylor called this her, “worst case-scenario” She called Brochetta out saying that, “He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controtrolling a woman who didn’t
want to be associated with them.” Taylor has endured consistent issues with Braun dating back to 2016, including the manipulation and deception he put her through during her public tiff with Kim and Kanye; and has even spoken out to the Kevin Mazur Getty Images for TAS public to state, “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.” For something she had been fighting so long for , something neither of these men had any hand in creating, seeing her songs in their hands left Taylor feeling defenseless.
In November of 2020, Taylor’s masters were sold once again, this time by Scooter Braun to Shamrock Holdings. She took to social media to address the situation explaining her and her team tried to get involved and stop the deal, Taylor had stated that, “Scooter’s team wanted me to sign an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive, before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG,... So, I had to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work. My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal and they’ve never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off. He would never even quote my team a price.” The sale to Shamrock went through and Taylor tried yet again regain her masters, only to “[learn] that under their terms, Scooter Braun [would] continue to profit off [her] old musical catalog for years,” pushing the possibility for a partnership with Shamrock out the window since Taylor wanted no association with Scooter.
In August of 2019, after years of trials and tribulations, Swift spoke publicly about her plans to re-record her first 6 albums in an interview on CBS Sunday Morning. She stated that she could begin rerecording the first 5 of her albums in November of 2020 and that she was passionate about this project because she strongly believes that all, “artists deserve to own their work”. While the originals of all her music would still exist, she believes that her loyal fan base would choose to listen to her version of her music instead, especially knowing how important and passionate Taylor felt about the situation. With everything Taylor has
accomplished in the past year from releasing three new albums under republic records, her countless music videos that were released alongside them, her netflix original documentary Ms. Americana, and her Disney Plus original series Long Pond Sessions, 2021 seems like the perfect time for Taylor to Photo from Disney+ Long Pond Sessions drop her re-recordings.
Swift fans got a sneak peak of what to expect back in December when a friend of Taylors, Ryan Renolds reached out in hopes of using a snippet of her new recordings in a commercial he was writing for the dating site Match.com. On February 11, 2021 Taylor announced the release of her re-recorded 2008 single “Love Story” as Fearless (Taylors Version) which racked up 5.8 million streams on the first day alone. While fearless was Swift's sophomore album she decided to re-record it first as she felt that, “as an album, it was a real coming of age, and I look back on that album and I just — it fills me with such pride. It was an album about hope and lessons learned and the effervescence of teenage youth and all that, so what more fun than to go back and explore that.” Swift also unveiled the track list
that included the original 20 tracks, as well as 6 never before released songs which she referred to as ‘from the vault’ ones she wrote but didn't make it onto the original album. Taylor commented, “I would make decisions based on, ‘Oh, there are too many breakup Jason Kempin (Fearless tour @ Maddison songs on this album, I can’t put this one on too.
Square Garden) There are too many slow songs on this album, I can’t put this one on too.’ I think curating an album is really important, but at the same time, it’s really fun to go back and show the fans the full picture of what I had created at that time.” While Taylor didn't announce the release date of the full album fans did notice that within her “Love Story” announcement random capital letters spelled out “APRIL 9TH” which is now suspected to be the release date of Fearless (Taylor’s Version). After the two surprise album releases of Folklore and Evermore in 2020, it leaves all of us in anticipation as all we can do is play the waiting game.