Ever since she was 15, writing song lyrics on napkins in high school, Taylor Swift has shown the world her immense talent and business skills. Owning her music is important to her, to any artist really. This desire to own her own art brought her to where it is today: re-recordings of her old albums. But why is she re-recording?
Who is Taylor Swift?
Taylor Swift was born on December 13, 1989. At the age of 10, Swift began singing at local events. At age 11, she performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” at a Philadelphia 76ers game, and at age 12, she began to write and learn guitar. Swift’s family moved to Nashville to help her pursue her music career. After playing at the Bluebird Cafe, Swift was offered a contract with Scott Borcheta’s Big Machine Records. His first single “Tim McGraw” was released in 2006 and the rest is history.
Why is Taylor Swift re-recording?
In 2018, Swift’s contract with her Big Machine label expired. She then decided to switch to Universal Republic Records. However, under their contract, while Swift might own the lyrics and sheet music, Big Machine owns the masters otherwise known as recordings sold on Apple Music, Spotify, or any other listening platform.
So in essence, while Swift has her own words, she’s no longer taking advantage of her own art. The drama does not end there. After his contract with Big Machine was terminated, Scott Borcheta (former manager of Swift) sold his masters for $ 300 million to Scooter Braun’s company, Ithaca Holdings. Why is this a problem? Scooter Braun, who runs Kanye West and Justin Bieber, has reportedly bullied Swift for years.
Swift’s contract gave her the right to re-record all six of her albums from November 2020. Owning her own music is important to her, as she said in her interview for Billboard Woman of the Decade, “… la reason I’m re-recording my music next year is because I want my music to last. I want it to be in the movies, I want it to be in commercials. But I only want it if I has it.
From April 2021, Swift began releasing her re-recorded albums. However, to encourage sales of her new recordings, she also promised to include songs that were originally supposed to be on the album but had been cut.
On April 9, 2021, Swift released her album Fearless (Taylor’s Version) containing her original songs as well as songs “from the Vault”. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) broke country records by having the biggest first week country debut album in the past six years. This album also became Swift’s ninth consecutive number one album. And as of April 19, it was the best overall album release of 2021.
You would think that after releasing two original albums in the span of six months as well as a re-recorded album, the artist might want to take a break. However, on June 18, 2021, Swift announced plans to release their version of Red. In her announcement, Swift revealed that the new recording will feature 30 songs, including a 10-minute version of fan-favorite “All Too Well,” which took its number one spot on the Spotify charts. This album was released on November 12 and has already broken many records.
On the day it opened, Red (Taylor’s Version) became the most listened to female album in a day with 90.8 million streams. This record was previously held by Swift with her folklore album. She also became the most listened to artist on Spotify in one day. Swift has also announced a short film for her song “All Too Well” which already has 29 million views.
In short, Taylor Swift worked alone to build her empire. His own composition broke record after record, explored many different genres and led to the creation of over 100 songs. As Barbara Walters once said, “Taylor Swift is the music business.” Red (Taylor’s Version) is available on all streaming platforms and be sure to keep an eye out for his upcoming recordings.