“Red (Taylor’s Version)”: Why Taylor Swift has decided to re-record her previous albums

Hannah Scott

Taylor Swift has been a household name for years and her music has been known by many as the epitome of heartbreak, relationships and relatable lyrics surrounding the theme of growing up for many individuals. However, her journey in the music industry has not necessarily been an easy one and she has had issues along the way when it has come to trying to keep her work as her own.

For years, Swift worked under the record label Big Machine Records, however when she decided to leave in 2018, the deals that she had made under the record meant that all of the music she had recorded while working with Big Machine Records no longer belonged to her. In 2019 Scooter Braun, known largely for being a high-profile music executive who has worked with the likes of Justin Bieber and Kanye West, became the owner of Big Machine Records.

Swift had long standing issues with many of the artists that had worked with Braun, including Kanye West and all of a sudden found herself in a situation where her work would be owned under an individual that she did not feel comfortable having her name associated with.

“All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” said Swift in a Tumblr post in 2019. “Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of somebody who tried to dismantle it. This is my worst case scenario.”

Though she attempted negotiations with Braun in order to hold claim of her own work, during these efforts Big Machine Records was once again sold to a group called Shamrock Holdings that Braun would still profit off of.

With all of the issues surrounding her music and ownership rights, Swift decided to simply re-record all of her albums that were made while working with Big Machine Records. 

While many have wondered why Swift is re-releasing all of her previous works, to her it seems to be more about her own efforts and ownership than anything else.

“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” said Swift in a Tumblr post in 2019. “Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.”

So far Swift has re-recorded two of her previous albums, “Fearless” and “Red.” Both of these albums have the same name as before but instead are now given the specification of being “(Taylor’s Version).”

Although many individuals have stated that the albums sound exactly the same, many Swift fans claim that they can hear the differences, though Swift herself wanted to keep the songs as faithful to the original recordings as possible. 

Each new release comes with a few extra bonus tracks and has not only given fans another chance to enjoy Swift’s works, but also for Swift herself to have her work back as her own.