Taylor’s Version-Why Taylor Swift is Rerecording her First Six Albums


Lucy O'Brien , Freelance Editor

On August 19th, 2019, American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift announced her plans on Good Morning America to rerecord her first 6 studio albums: Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation. Since then, we have gotten 2 rerecordings: Fearless (Taylors Version), released on April 9th, 2021 with 26 tracks, 6 of which were From the Vault, and Red (Taylors Version), released on November 12th, 2021, with 31 tracks, 9 of which were from the vault. Following the successful releases of both albums, many people didn’t understand why she would choose to rerecord her old work. The short answer is that she wanted to own her music, but if you want to know the longer version, keep reading!

Back in 2005, Taylor signed with Big Machine Records, entering into a contract that would last until 2018. Over that time, she rocketed to international stardom, becoming a household name. Flash-forward to 2018 when her deal was up, and Taylor switched labels to Universal’s Republic Records, this time taking care to be sure she would secure ownership of her future masters. Taylor’s original six albums were still owned by Big Machine, which went on to be bought by mega-manager Scooter Brauns compony Ithaca Holdings. He then proceeded to sell her music to Shamrock Holdings for a reported 300 million in 2019.

This caused Taylor Swift to take to tumbler, where she accused Scooter Braun and Scott Borschetta (CEO of Big Machine Records) of bullying her. (Braun had bullied her through clients such as Justin Beiber and Kanye West’s social media posts, and timed leaks of sensitive information). She stated that she had been trying to buy back her albums for years, but was instead only given the opportunity to earn back one album at a time for every new one she turned in. She stated she had been the victim of Scooters bullying for years, and while she had made peace with the fact that Scott Borschetta would eventually sell her music, she never would have imagined it would be to Braun, as he was well aware of how she felt about him. Additionally, she stated that she was never informed about the deal, and that the sale was made behind her back, with no offer extended to her to buy her own music. This all is what lead her to make the decision to rerecord all of her old music, so that she would finally be able to own her work.

Her original recordings will still be available, however listening to the original recordings, which have been affectionately dubbed with the name ‘stolen version’ by her fans, will be putting money into Brauns pocket. She continues to work on the rerecordings, and additionally released three brand new albums: Lover, Folklore, and Evermore. All of her rerecorded albums will also include music ‘From the Vault’, which are songs that were written along with the rest of the album but did not make the final cut. This means that her rerecorded albums allow fans to relive some of their favorite eras and experience them again for the first time. She is yet to announce what rerecording will be released next; I am hoping for Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)