Re-Recorded (Taylor’s Version)

Today, Taylor Swift released Red (Taylor’s Version), but why did she re-record her albums in the first place?


Anna Grace Likes

What is the difference? well, let’s see.

Taylor Swift is a hallmark of any Gen-Z or millennials childhood. From the country accent in her debut album Taylor Swift, to the rebellious stage of Reputation, to the calm, indie vibes of Folklore, Swift has captured the hearts of teens worldwide since 2006. 

Now, Taylor is re-recording her first six albums, releasing Red (Taylor’s Version) today and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in February of 2021. Why, one might ask, would she record these massively popular albums again?

Well, in 2005, 15-year-old Taylor signed a contract with Big Machine Records. This contract has since expired, ending in 2018, and she then went on to sign with Republic Records for any future albums produced. This meant Big Machine still owned her first 6 albums when the company was sold to Ithaca Holdings, run by Scooter Braun. He then sold these masters for $300 million, profiting off of Swift’s initial success of her immensely popular albums. Braun then intentionally prevented Taylor from gaining control of those masters, which meant she could not use that music in performances and documentaries she made—it was all controlled by Scooter. He then manipulated her, saying that if she wanted them back, she would have to sign back with Big Machine and “earn” the rights to her own music.

Swift wanted to change this and put herself in control of her original albums. That’s why she is now in the process of re-recording all of her old albums from when she was under Big Machine’s contract. She can now take control of and make money from her own work. 

When Swift released Fearless (Taylor’s Version) back in February of 2021, she wrote on her Instagram, “Artists should own their own work for so many reasons, but the most screamingly obvious one is that the artist is the only one who really knows that body of work.”

Now, Red (Taylor’s Version) is out, and it is everything Taylor’s fans dreamed it would be. The album includes 30 songs, a huge increase from the original 2012 album’s 19 songs. These extras are unreleased music from Red which she calls her “from the vault” songs (including a TEN MINUTE version of her song “All Too Well”). Many of these newer songs feature artists such as Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton, and Phoebe Bridgers. 

Taylor Swift’s talent for songwriting has dazzled the music industry over 15 years, and she has not stopped now. Many say that she is not merely in the music industry, but she IS the music industry. Conquering country, pop, indie-pop, and everything in between, Swift is one of the most prominent singer-songwriters of this generation. On day one of the album release, Swift was able to gain over 90.8 million streams of Red (Taylor’s Version), which made it the most streamed album in one day by a female artist.

On the day of the release, Swift said in an instagram caption, “Just a friendly reminder that I would never have thought it was possible to go back and remake my previous work, uncovering lost gems along the way[…]Red is about to be mine again, but it has always been ours.” 

Red (Taylor’s Version) is not only a beautiful album which showcases Swift’s artistry, but also a bold exposition of her strength to regain her own music. From the 10-minute “All Too Well” short film to classics like “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” every moment of this album proves that Taylor Swift’s music stands the test of time.