In 2019, Taylor Swift announced plans to rerecord all of her albums. Now, the first of Swift’s newly rerecorded albums is here! Swift has rerecorded “Fearless,” which was originally released in 2008, and critics are saying that revamped songs are even better than the originals.
She’s been busy during the pandemic. While she was working on this fresh version of “Fearless,” Swift also recorded two new albums, “Folklore” and “Evermore.” Swift’s new albums are both hits, and “Folklore” earned her an Album of the Year Grammy.
Why Is Taylor Swift Making New Albums Out of Her Old Ones?
If you want to understand why Swift is going back into her old catalogs to rerecord her previously published music — especially when she seems to have plenty of material for new albums — it’s helpful to brush up on her longstanding and emotionally fraught battle with her old manager Scooter Braun. According to BBC News, when Swift was a young artist just starting out, she signed a deal with the record label Big Machine, which gave them the rights to her first six albums in exchange for a cash advance to launch her career. But in 2020, Braun sold the entire catalog to a private investment company, effectively taking away Swift’s ownership of her own songs and her ability to profit off her own work.
Hence, Swift’s new album release of “Fearless” is more than just a chance to revisit some of her classic hits like “You Belong with Me” and “Love Story.” It’s a chance for Swift to reclaim her rights to her own work and her own artistic property.
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Swift wrote on Tumblr. “Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in.”
“I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, [Big Machine CEO] Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future,” she continued. “I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”
Hence, Swift made the difficult decision to begin recording all of her old albums anew. Not only does the new “Taylor’s Version” of “Fearless” feature all of the old tracks rerecorded for the new album, but it also includes six previously unreleased tracks, some of which predate even her first album.
When Did Taylor Swift Release Her New Version of Her “Fearless” Album?
Swift tweeted the “new” album release on the night of April 8, writing, “It was the night things changed. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is out now.”
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) April 9, 2021
One of these vault songs, “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” is rumored to be about Joe Jonas, which has fans a-buzz on Twitter. Twitter user @@_schlacks_ jokes:
Imagine Joe Jonas thinking he was in the clear once Taylor started writing songs about other guys and then 13 years later she was like “actually let’s circle back”
— Emily Schlacks (@_schlacks_) April 7, 2021
While Twitter user @timemystical20 points out that if Swift is opening the vault and bringing back her old hits as well as previously unreleased songs, there are other ex-boyfriends who should be very nervous right now, too.
If this is the kind of obliteration Joe Jonas is getting, I think Jake Gyllenhaal should go into witness protection when Taylor releases vault songs from Red
— Avani 🦋 (@timemystical20) April 7, 2021
But, for Swift, rereleasing her old music has nothing to do with burning old boyfriends and everything to do with reclaiming the rights to her own creations and years of hard work.
“The reason I’m re-recording my music next year is because I do want my music to live on. I do want it to be in movies, I do want it to be in commercials,” Swift told Vanity Fair. “But I only want that if I own it. It’s going to be fun because it’ll feel like regaining a freedom and taking back what’s mine.”
You can hear Swift’s new version of her album “Fearless” on Apple, Spotify, Amazon and elsewhere.