You have probably heard about Taylor Swift’s ambitious endeavor to re-record her first six studio albums. With the re-release of Red (Taylor’s Version) incoming on November 12, we thought we’d look into the nitty-gritty details of just why she’s doing this in the first place.
While artists have re-recorded songs and albums before, none have done it to this extent, and fewer have achieved this success. Her re-released singles Love Story (Taylor’s version) and Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s version) and album Fearless (Taylor’s Version) have proven her undertaking successful. Her album achieved what no other re-recorded version of an album has done before: reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. According to this Billboard comparison, the re-released album dwarfed the equivalent album units total for the original Fearless. So, you could say that the world is still anxiously awaiting her next re-recorded albums.
Okay, that’s enough from us. Check out these podcasts below to learn about why she’s doing this, what it means for the music industry, and get a little background on this genre-breaking musician.
For a full timeline of just what happened to Taylor Swift’s rights to her own music, “Today, Explained” talked to The Atlantic’s Shirley Li back in April about how we got here. In 2019, Scooter Braun purchased the rights to, at the time, Taylor Swift’s six albums under the Big Machine record label. As Taylor Swift forayed into the pop music world, her country music label decided to move on as well, and instead of offering her the opportunity to buy the masters of all of her songs, they sold them to Braun. And Swift, in retaliation, has decided that in order to deem those past recordings essentially worthless, she will re-record all of her own songs.
The Emily Show
Okay, so we’ve covered the basics of what happened. Her music was purchased and sold without her consent, and now some random businessman gets to make money off of her without her ever signing a contract. Sounds like there’s a lot of legal business going on in there. Luckily, former LA County Deputy District Attorney and legal commentator Emily D. Baker is here to explain to us copyright law in the context of music and Taylor Swift.
Pop Shop Podcast
Music has a history of being re-recorded: from Prince’s 1999 to Def Leppard’s and Jojo’s biggest hits. Billboard’s “Pop Shop Podcast” recorded this episode after Swift’s release of Love Story (Taylor’s Version) and went beyond the question of why she’s re-recording, but instead asking: is re-recording your catalogue an unprecedented move? They look at the other gargantuan artists who did it first, and why this move is nothing new in the industry. Also, “Pop Shop Podcast” looked at Taylor’s six new “From The Vault” songs on Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in April.
Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia
After she surprised fans with folklore and evermore, Taylor released her first re-record in April of 2021, which was her sophomore album Fearless (Taylor’s Version). On the album is the astoundingly eight times platinum Love Story, which dominated the airwaves in 2008. “Hit Parade’s” Chris Molanphy is analyzing Taylor’s new version of the album, noting the slight differences, as well as looking back on how she went from the Queen of Country to the Queen of Pop like no other star before her.
Ringer Dish: Every Single Album
In preparation for the onslaught of re-releases that Taylor Swift is about to inflict on the music industry, “Ringer Dish” created an “Every Single Album” series in which, yes, they listen and review every single one of Taylor’s albums. They will no doubt be covering the upcoming release of Red (Taylor’s Version) after it’s released on November 12 of this year, so catch up on her entire discography with them.
Switched On Pop
We’ll give a little love to the albums that saved quarantine. “Switched On Pop” gives a really interesting analysis of Taylor’s unexpected folklore album that dropped literally out of nowhere in the summer of 2020. They analyze her songwriting skills and the connections to past songs that have the indelible stamp of Swift. From one note melodies to descending motifs, “Switched On Pop” could not get enough of her eighth studio album.
We couldn’t skip a “Popcast” episode about evermore. Her second album written and recorded in lockdown has people reconsidering our current notions of musical genres as she continues to move past pop into a world all her own. While some of the hosts here are team folklore and some are team evermore, it’s difficult to see this sequel as a standalone album and not the baby brother of the former. Either way, it caught us in a rough December back in 2020, so the ambience it provided kept us a little cozier through the winter.
13: A Taylor Swift Fan Podcast
If there are any Swifties in the building, “13: A Taylor Swift Fan Podcast” is all the way in it. Whether it’s covering a single song, ranking her greatest hits, sharing fan theories or digging into Taylor Swift’s cryptic messaging to her fans, this KiddNation podcast has got you covered.