Taylor Swift | still from video
Taylor Swift gets her discography re-recording project under way with Fearless (Taylor’s Version); listen to the new version of “Love Story”
Over the last year, Taylor Swift has released two albums — her widely successful Folklore, and its sister album Evermore — as surprise releases, as well as recording a live session and documentary for her Disney Plus exclusive Folklore: The Longpond Studio Sessions. If this wasn’t enough, Swift has also begun working on re-recording her first six albums, a move she announced following her departure with Big Machine Records in 2018.
With Swift’s contract under Big Machine, all of her master recordings belonged to the label, something that is starkly different about her new Republic Records contract — she owns the rights to all of her master recordings.
The re-recording of her old catalog was sparked when Big Machine, and the rights to all of Swift’s records under them, was bought by Scooter Braun, someone Swift has outwardly spoken of negative experiences with. In a Tumblr post, Swift described her disappointment and hopelessness with then-Big Machine owner Scott Borschetta and Braun:
“When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.”
Braun’s purchase of Big Machine meant someone who subjected Swift to “incessant, manipulative bullying” retained the ownership of a majority of her widely successful catalog, which boasts 10 Grammys and made Swift the most decorated woman in American Music Awards history.
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibD— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 16, 2020
In her usual hint-dropping style, Swift announced an appearance on Good Morning America that would come with a special news: that the remake of her 2008 album Fearless would be released this coming April as Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” as its first single.
In a statement about the album release, Swift spoke at length about the album’s sentimental value and motivations for its release starting the re-recording process (and perhaps another hint with randomly capitalized letters throughout spelling out “April 9th”):
“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. 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. For example, only I know which songs I wrote that almost made the Fearless album. Songs I absolutely adored, but were held back for different reasons (don’t want too many breakup songs, don’t want too many down tempo songs, can’t fit that many songs on a physical CD).”
“Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” maintains the same spirit of the mega-hit track, but with the vocals of a more mature Swift, over a decade after its initial breakthrough. While it has the element of nostalgia for devoted fans of Swift, her progress as a musician seasons the track, making it its own revolutionized version yet still paying tribute to the song the Nashville superstar wrote on her bedroom floor in 20 minutes when she was 17. Listen to “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” below.