Taylor Swift is not letting the sale of her master rights (without her consent) keep her down. She’s re-recording her first six studio albums to regain control over her own art.
Swift has been trying to purchase the master rights to her music for years, and music executive Scooter Braun has foiled her twice. So Swift has moved ahead with re-recording, starting with her 2008 album Fearless, which will give her legal control over the new versions.
"I've spoken a lot about why I'm remaking my first six albums, but the way I've chosen to do this will hopefully help illuminate where I'm coming from," Swift wrote on 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."
Swift will drop the new version of "Love Story" Friday at midnight (you might have heard a snippet of it in Ryan Reynold’s hilarious Match.com 2020 commercial). The whole album — 26 songs, including six new ones — will be available April 9.
"I've now finished re-recording all of Fearless, which will be coming out soon," Swift said. "I've decided to add songs from the vault, which are songs that almost made the original Fearless album, but I've gone back and recorded those, so everyone will be able to hear not only the songs that made the album, but the songs that almost made it – the full picture."
She added, "I've decided I want you to have the whole story, see the entire vivid picture, and let you into the entire dreamscape that is my Fearless album. That's why I've chosen to include 6 never before released songs on my version of this album. Written when I was between the ages of 16 and 18, these were the ones it killed me to leave behind."
Artists should own their own work; the artist is the only one who really 'knows' that body of work.
It will be interesting to compare the original 2008 album with the re-recorded version, since not only will Swift be returning to her country music roots but she also now has over a decade more vocal experience and skill development.
Swifties will have the re-recorded versions of Taylor Swift, Speak Now, Red, and 1989 to look forward to, as Swift said in August 2019 during a Central Park performance that she planned to re-record them all in 2020. Of course, that was before COVID-19, but Swift has proved productive during the pandemic, releasing sister albums folklore and evermore in 2020.
Not only is Taylor Swift a unique artist for her impressive ability to reinvent herself through musical eras, but she has also built such a loyal and enthusiastic fan base that her re-recorded albums are sure to be massively successful.