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Why IS Taylor Swift re-recording new versions of her albums?

Taylor Swift: The Name On Everyone’s Lips

If you’ve been on the internet at all this week, you’ve probably seen the name Taylor Swift thrown around. With 11 Grammys and millions of album sales under her belt, plus a fiercely dedicated fan base, Swift is already a hot topic in popular culture. It isn’t uncommon to hear her songs on the radio, or see a photo of her at a new award show. But why this week has she garnered so much attention?

The answer is her re-recordings. Earlier this year, Taylor Swift released a re-recording of her second album Fearless, featuring matured vocals and never before heard tracks said to be taken ‘From The Vault’. Her second re-recording, Red, was released on November 12th, and has taken fans by storm.

Originally released in 2012, Red was Taylor Swift’s first instance of dipping her toes into the pop world. With memorable tracks such as I Knew You Were Trouble, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, and 22, the record made an impact. In fact, it was her album with the most UK number 1‘s. Swift’s re-recording of this album includes all 19 original tracks, plus bonus tracks, and 9 unreleased songs ‘From The Vault’. With features from Phoebe Bridgers, Ed Sheeran, and Chris Stapleton, plus a cleaner sound, Taylor’s Version of the record has gained popularity. 


Why IS Taylor Swift re-recording new versions of her albums? | Rock & Art

The Reason Why

But why has she done this? Why, nearly a decade later, would she release the exact same songs again. In 2018, Taylor Swift left her record label Big Machine Records, in favour of joining Republic Records and Universal Music Group.

All seemed peaceful, until it was revealed that label owner Scott Borchetta had not given Swift the opportunity to buy the masters for her songs.

In 2019, Borchetta announced he was selling Big Machine Records to Scooter Braun. Swift’s past with Braun was not a positive one.

In a social media post, she stated that ‘Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to.‘ A man that she was associated with in this way, now owned the masters to her life’s work. Taylor’s re-recordings are her taking this back, and not letting these men control the things she’d worked to create over nearly a decade.


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Taylor Swift during a photoshoot for the Red (Taylors Version) album

Taking Back Her Narrative

Her own words, composition, and experiences live in the albums she’s created. She’s written about past relationships, friendships, and even illness and loss. To have those precious moments encapsulated in a song is something special. The re-recordings have a big impact, not only do they devalue the original recordings, ensuring Braun and Borchetta cannot milk it for all its worth, but they also have an emotional impact. Fans who grew up with these songs get to experience them again, and so does Taylor Swift herself.

This is more than a compilation of songs, it’s a statement, and a powerful one. Swift has looked greed in the face and said no. These men cannot use what she created to control and intimidate her, because she has reclaimed it. And whilst reclaiming Red, she’s given it new life and depth, as well as two sparkly new videos.

Taylor Swift
Photo from a recent Taylor Swift performance

Remembering It All Too Well

Possibly the most ambitious aspect of the Red re-recording has to be Swift’s self-directed short film. All too well is a powerful song, and a fan favourite. With a slow build, dramatic bridge, and heart wrenching lyrics, this song lives in the hearts of Taylor’s fans. Red (Taylor’s Version), gave All Too Well a makeover in the form of an extended 10 minute long version. And if this wasn’t enough, accompanying it is a short film.

Starring Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink, and Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien, All Too Well The Short Film follows a tragic relationship from start to end. The song was originally about Taylor’s ex boyfriend, and the film seems to reflect that also, capturing key moments from their relationship. We see the highest highs and the lowest lows, and the cinematography reflects both the joy and heartbreak it can bring. Cinematographer Rina Yang captures Autumn in all its beauty, and the acting is immersive and brilliant.

All Too Well

I Bet You Think About Me

Alongside this short film came another music video, this time for a new track. I Bet You Think About Me is a country-esque song with punchy lyrics, about how an ex may still have Taylor on the brain. The video for this, a wedding scene being messed with by Swift herself, was directed by close friend and actress Blake Lively. Filled with red imagery, the video makes an impact, in the same way the song does.

The release of such high budget films and music videos makes this an impactful era for Taylor Swift. Considering how popular her music from the original Red album became, she has matched its flair and aesthetic perfectly.

Sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now

In one of her most divisive songs, Swift once said that the old Taylor is dead. Well, if she wasn’t before, she sure will be after these re-recordings. Taylor Swift has taken her old work, and made it a product of her new self. She refuses to be owned by men who bully and antagonise her, and the public are celebrating that.

And thats why people cant shut up about Taylor Swift right now. In a sense, she’s redoing her entire musical career, giving both old and new fans the chance to experience it with her. Now, with two re-recordings completed, and four more to go, Swift has entered a new era, one in which she has control of the narrative, and she owns the art she’s created.

Taylor Swift currently owns the masters to five different albums: Lover, Folklore, Evermore, Fearless (Taylors Version) and Red (Taylors Version). Within the coming years, she’ll grow to own all of her music, creating her own versions of the experiences she captured in song. 

Red (Taylors Version) is now available on streaming sites and in store worldwide.

Buy Red (Taylors Version) now!