2020 has been a big year for Taylor Swift, having released her eighth studio album folklore in July, directing and producing the documentary concert film Folklore: Long Pong Studio Sessions on Disney+ for November, and even posing casually with Paul McCartney on the cover of Rolling Stone’s December issue. Now, she is hitting the studio to re-record her first six albums.
Swift left her old record label, Big Machine Records, in 2019. Legal issues occurred when record executive Scooter Braun purchased the label that year, thus also purchasing Swift’s master rights and prohibiting the use of her old music, as Billboard reported.
Following this copyright issue, Swift wrote in a Tumblr post that, “Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.”
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” the post said. “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, [founder] Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.”
She also Tweeted that Big Machine Records was prohibiting her to perform her old music at the American Music Awards last year, where she was awarded Artist of the Decade. The label denied this claim in a public statement on Twitter.
Swift signed with Big Machine Records in 2005 at the age of 15, and moved to Republic Records for her last two albums, Lover and folklore. “Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create,” she wrote on Tumblr.
This November, she was legally allowed to re-record her first six albums released with Big Machine Records. This will allow her to perform her old songs and feature the re-recorded versions in commercials, TV shows, etc.
While she has not completed the re-recording process yet, a snippet of the remake of “Love Story” was featured in a Match.com commercial written by Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool actor and a friend of Swift’s.
The commercial takes listeners through the bridge and key change that occurs during the last chorus, arguably the best part of the song. Upon first listen, the remake sounds the same as the original recording. But after listening closely, the new version sounds more mature, reminiscent of the vocals found on Swift’s newer albums. However, it lacks the passion and charm found in her younger voice from the original recording 12 years ago, when she was just shy of 19 years old.
Some fans are also speculating that Swift will record the ten-minute version of “All Too Well,” the most heartfelt track off her 2012 album Red. Fans have been waiting to hear the ten-minute version for eight years, with the original being about five and a half minutes long.
I’m especially looking forward to hearing the remake of her self-titled first album, which was defined by her country accent that mostly comes out in “Our Song” and “Pictures to Burn.” Now that she’s lost the country sound that was associated with the “Old Taylor,” it’s going to be interesting to hear how she decides to remake those songs 14 years later—if she will stay true to her country roots or change the sound to reflect her newer, mature voice.
When I first heard “Love Story” on my car radio in 2009, I immediately became a fan of Taylor Swift. Because this song has always held a special place in my heart, I was incredibly excited when I first heard the sneak peek of the remake. I feel like I grew up with Taylor’s music, so I’m eager to hear all the re-recordings in full. As she Tweeted with the Match.com commercial, she is working hard to get the music to us soon.
IMAGE TAKEN from New York Times