Why Has Taylor Swift Been Re-Releasing Her Initial Albums?
Do you love listening to some iconic Taylor Swift love songs? Did you notice any difference between her old tracks and the ones she re-released last year? But, wait a minute! What exactly is Taylor Swift doing? Why is she re-recording her old songs? Red is the second album that Taylor has re-recorded recently. But why is she doing so? Are you also looking for an answer?
It’s because of her fight to reclaim the ownership and rights to her music. The feud between Taylor Swift and music businessman Scooter Braun first originated in 2019 when he bought the label company that owned her first six albums and has continued ever since. Having found no way to buy them back, Taylor has decided to re-record them as quickly as possible. She started with Fearless, the re-recorded version of which she dropped in April last year, and now she has completed re-recording Red too. Only four more to go!
What’s Different with Taylor Swift’s New Work?
On paying close attention, you will notice the new vibes emerging from the opening banjo beats and another extra beat when she sings the line – “Baby just say yes” – as well as the overall maturity in her voice. However, the differences between her 2021 rerelease and the 2008 original version of Love Story are very subtle. It’s not the lyrics or the production style that has changed but her business that has shifted altogether. Taylor has now transitioned completely to indie-pop – as evident from her Grammy-winning album, Folklore.
What we didn’t know was the struggle she was carrying on underneath over the means, method of production, and distribution of her work. Art makes us feel different, it also creates money, and Taylor is a master at both. However, her recent aim is to keep her art within her control. With her status and power, she is more than capable of doing so.
Why Doesn’t Taylor Swift Own Her Old Music?
When Swift signed her first music records deal with Big Machine Records, she was just 14 years old – a fresh young and blonde singer from Nashville along with a guitar – very much new to the music world. With the deal, the company acquired the rights of her first six albums, paying advance cash to Taylor in return. Thus, Big Machine Records owned the master recordings of all her songs from her first six albums and profited heavily by selling copies of the master track recorded on CDs and those used in platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
By the time their deal expired in 2018, Taylor had already skyrocketed to fame and glory, high into the list of all-time great pop artists with her numerous Grammy-winning tracks from her six albums and worldwide sold-out stadium tours.
What Happened Between Scooter Braun and Taylor Swift?
The feud originated when Scooter bought Big Machine Label Group (the owner of the first six albums of Taylor) in June 2019 for $300 million. Scooter also owns a company named SB Projects that handles several big artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, Ariana Grande, David Guetta, Demi Lovato, and Justin Bieber, to name a few.
Taylor reportedly accused Scooter of bullying her over the years and wanting to ruin the work she has created. She didn’t want her music to lie in the hands of the person who wanted to destroy her legacy. When Taylor tried to buy back her music, Scooter’s team tried to force her to sign a non-disclosure agreement that would have prevented her from ever speaking negatively about him in public. Scooter, however, sold the master recordings of Taylor’s first six albums to Shamrock Holdings in November 2020, but Taylor claims that he still profits from them.
What is Taylor Swift Doing Currently?
Taylor signed a new deal with Republic Records back in 2018 that allows her to keep the rights of her own music to herself. Since then, she has released three new albums while re-recording two previous ones. She dropped Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in April 2021 and Red (Taylor’s Version) in November 2021.
By re-recording her two old albums, Taylor has created new ‘master tracks’ of her old songs that she solely owns. When these versions are played on Apple Music or Spotify, the profit now goes to Taylor and not any third party.
Even though Taylor has released new versions of her old albums, she still doesn’t have the rights over the older versions, and therefore, when people play those tracks, Shamrock Holdings continue to earn the profit.
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