Taylor Swift Re-Recording Masters

Coming into the spotlight at fifteen years old, after signing with Big Machine Records, Swift released her debut single ‘Tim McGraw’ on June 19th, 2006, which scored her first Top 40 hit. 

Taylor Swift – Tim McGraw | Into the Popvoid
Pictured: Taylor in front of a vintage car posing for the image on her debut single “Tim McGraw”

Taylor received great acclaim by Americans all across the country, as well as overseas, and is still an impactful woman in Hollywood even more than ten years later. She’s still standing strong and that is greatly rooted in her dedicated fan base, who’ve backed her up a countless amount of times on social media. 

Student at Brooklyn Technical High School, Tasnia Jennifer, is amongst those loyal fans of Taylor Swift, who are called ‘Swifties’ and has been a Swiftie for nine years since 2012, before her album “Red” came out. “Taylor Swift has been a vital part of my childhood and her music has helped me grow up,” Jennifer said. 

Taylor Swift released her first album, self-titled “Taylor Swift,” on November 11, 2006. The debut album reached number 19 on the Billboard 200 and sold around 40,000 copies its first week. The album was a commercial success. All of the albums that Swift has recorded thus far have sold various copies and were praised by various musical legends, including Elton John and lyrical mastermind and One Republic frontman, Ryan Tedder. 

So following all of this success and high commendation, why does Taylor want to re-record her previous albums, from her debut album Taylor Swift (2006) to Reputation (2017), with six albums being in the mix? Well, the answer is simple: she doesn’t own the rights for those albums. 

Swift was initially signed to Big Machine Records at fifteen years old by Scott Borchetta. The Nashville-based record label was rumored to be up for sale for years in the music industry, and on June 30th, 2019, Ithaca Holdings LLC, a media company led by Scooter Braun, manager of big names, such as Justin Bieber and Kanye West, purchased the label for an amount encircling $300 million. 

BREAKING: Artist Manager Scooter Braun Reaches Deal To Acquire Big Machine  Label Group - MusicRow.com
Pictured: (Right) Scott Borchetta and (left) Scooter Braun Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ithaca Holdings

When news came out of Scooter Braun purchasing Big Machine Records, Swift was hurt, but knew it was coming, as she stated in her 2019 Tumblr blogpost. As a result of this, Braun now owns the masters of Swift’s back catalog. “As a result of the deal, Ithaca Holdings owns and controls all six of Taylor Swift’s multi-platinum studio albums including “Taylor Swift”, “Fearless”, “Speak Now”, “Red”, “1989” and “Reputation.” Tim Ingham, Writer at www.musicbusinessworldwide.com states in his article ‘TAYLOR SWIFT: SCOOTER BRAUN HAS ‘STRIPPED ME OF MY LIFE’S WORK.’

Student and Swiftie, Tasnia Jennifer explains why she believes it is important for Swift to own her work, “Scooter is not respected in the industry by various artists and consumers who know how he is. And it’s not even about the money for Taylor, it’s her claiming her work and showing other women and artists in the industry that these types of people need to be put down. They can’t make money off of other artists’ hard work, especially when they’ve had nothing to do with the process…It’s not fair,” Tasnia Jennifer said. 

Swift always had a rocky relationship with Scooter Braun and released a statement about her feelings in the 2019 Tumblr blog post below. 

Justin Bieber criticizes Taylor Swift for 'hating on' Scooter Braun for  buying her old music | | Express Digest
Pictured: Taylor Swift’s Blog Post from Tumblr 

“Swift concedes that Big Machine did give her the opportunity to acquire her original masters, but on one condition — that she sign a new deal with BM (i.e., turning down her Universal deal), which would see her “earn one album [master] back . . . for every new one I turned in.” Brian Hiatt, Writer at Rolling Stone states. Instead of signing with Big Machine Records again, Swift decided to sign with Universal Music Group for all upcoming releases which gives her the ability to own all of her work under their label. 

Swift said in an interview with CBS News that she’s excited to re-record the previous albums that helped her get where she is today. “It’s something I’m really excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020, I can record albums one through five all over again,” she said. And given the state of her fans and her fanbase, Swifties are ready to stream and buy the re-recordings when she puts them out. The re-recording of “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” topped charts again in 2021 and reentered the Billboard Hot 100. She plans to add ‘Taylor’s Version’ to all of the re-recordings. 

Comparing Taylor Swift's 'Love Story (Taylor's Version)' with the original
Pictured: Cover of  Love Story (Taylor’s Version). 

“Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” will have astoundingly amazing reviews as predicted by longtime Swiftie, Tasnia Jennifer, who also listened to the original when it came out. “I listened to it and both were good except the new one lacked the nostalgic factor that makes me really really enjoy it. Her voice is much better in the new one and categorically, I think they belong in two different genres. Both of which I’d listen to.” Jennifer said. 

Swift also additionally recorded two new sister albums with her re-recordings titled, “Folklore” and “Evermore”. Both of which received amazing reviews, as well as charted on the Billboard charts. “Quarantine and a stable work partner, our king, Joe Alwyn,” said Jennifer is what she thinks gives Swift the energy and time to re-record her past albums and release two new ones in the duration of two-ish years. Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift have been together for four years and counting. She also thanked him in her Grammy speech for Album of the Year. As for songs by Taylor like “Better Than Revenge” in her original recordings with lyrics that some claim are “sexist”, Jennifer says she hopes Swift keeps them in and records the lyrics as is. “…I hope she re-records it as-is for the nostalgic factor. I don’t think she’d completely scrape it from her album since it is a part of her original work. She may change a few lyrics because she’s always under heavy scrutiny by the public, and no doubt they’d try to villainize her with the song re-recordings, but I hope she doesn’t. If she does change it though, that’s fine. I’d support her decision either way.” She said. 

Tasnia Jennifer mentions that she cannot wait to stream the new music being put out, and buy the new merch that Taylor Swift releases with each upcoming old new album. “I also can’t wait to hear them on the radio again and see them win the awards they rightfully deserve.” Said Jennifer. Swifties on Instagram and Twitter share the same point of view and excitement. 

Taylor Swift’s first number one album, “Fearless”, has been re-recorded and fans speculate that it will be released on April 9th. It will be the first full re-recorded album out of the six to be released, including songs that were not chosen to be on the original album. Swift calls them songs “From The Vault.” 

Pictured: Taylor Swift’s Tweet  Credit: Swift’s Twitter

Ishrat Hassan

Hi, I’m Ishrat Hassan from Queens, NY and I love creating. During my free time, I like to watch TV shows/movies, paint, write, etc. After college, I’d love to have a career in interior design and real estate and eventually, start my own company within those fields.