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Taylor Swift is Re-Recording 22 at 31 Years Old — Here’s Why

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Red (Taylor’s Version) Coming November 19th

Grab a box of tissues and a pint (or two) of your favorite ice cream, because Taylor Swift announced that Red (Taylor’s Version) is coming this fall. In the announcement, Swift describes Red as being like a “heartbroken person” and hints that one of the 30 tracks is 10 minutes long. Fans are speculating that a new duet with Ed Sheeran that didn’t make the original Red album will be released, in addition to an updated version of “Everything Has Changed.”

Red will follow the wildly successful Fearless as Swift’s second re-recorded album to be released. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart 13 years after the original album debuted at No. 1 in 2008. Taylor Swift is the first artist to have a re-recorded album top the charts (again). Even five weeks after the release, Taylor is out-performing herself in streams and sales.

So why is Taylor Swift rerecording six full length studio albums? It all goes back to the beginning with a 16 year old Swift signed to Big Machine Records. The record deal ended in 2018, and Swift entered a new contract with Universal Music Group that would allow her to retain the rights to her masters, which is something her first contract lacked. Taylor decided to enter a new contract after discovering that Scott Borchetta, founder of Big Machine Records, planned to sell the label, and in turn, all of Swift’s masters, music videos, and album art, to Scooter Braun. Taylor has publicly accused Braun of bullying her for years and hated the idea of her work belonging to him.

Because Braun owns Swift’s masters, he can control and profit off of whether or not Swift’s first six albums are licensed for use in movies or television. Taylor claims she was denied the opportunity to bid on her own music, but Scooter claims Taylor refused his offers to discuss a potential deal. As a result, Taylor decided to re-record her work from her Big Machine Records era to officially own her own masters.

The unfortunate situation did have a positive outcome in that Taylor had full creative control to recreate her music exactly the way she wanted to. While she stayed as close to the originals as possible, there are several notable differences between the 2008 and 2021 versions of Fearless, including six vault songs that didn’t make it onto the original album.

One example of an artistic change made by Swift in production is the way instruments were mic’ed. The overall production and vocals have a much fuller sound in the 2021 version. Fans have also pointed out slight changes in pronunciation.

Brain Candy Management wants to see artists retain creative control of their work, so we created a clause we dub the “Taylor Swift Clause,” which is included in contracts with each of our artists. Like Swift, we want to revolutionize the music industry for the betterment of artists. Join the revolution of artists exploring the endless possibilities of the creative universe with Brain Candy's help here.

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