Better Than Revenge: Taylor Swift is Re-recording Her Albums


Michael Hicks (CC-BY-ND 4.0)

Taylor Swift. performing her Reputation Tour, is reclaiming her music.

Singer Taylor Swift released her re-recorded album, Fearless, on April 9, 2021. Swift’s re-recorded album made the top ten music charts and broke a major country music record: 1 album, tying Madonna for the second-most No. 1 albums among women.

Swift confirmed in the summer of 2019 that she was planning on re-recording her old albums to gain legal control of her material. Her original Fearless album never hit the top ten music charts, but her fans being excited for this release and seeing how much she’s improved as a singer affected the outcome.

In a blog post, Swift wrote: “For years, I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. 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, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.” 

Scooter Braun, who bought Big Machine Records from Borchetta, is a media entrepreneur, record executive, and investor. He is widely known as the music manager for Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Demi Lovato, and other huge stars. Swift re-recording her music ensures that Braun won’t benefit from the use of her music. 

In 2018, Swift signed a deal with the world’s largest record company, Universal Music Group, after she walked away from the Big Machine Records deal. Lover was her first release under this new contract and sold almost a million pre-sale copies.

She has confirmed that she is planning to re-record albums one through five all over again. She is doing this in order to regain total legal control and copyright of her music, after her record label sold Fearless in a supposedly $300 million deal. 

Deciding to re-record five of her albums gave her fans more than they were expecting, as many were expecting her to re-record at least one of them. Swifties had suspicions that she was re-recording one of her albums way before she confirmed it. 

On message boards, Swifties posted infographics about how to hide her old albums tracks on Spotify and shared how to illegally download the album. 

To a non-Taylor Swift fan, it may have looked like Swifties, one of the largest and most devoted fanbases in pop music, had turned against Swift, but they were actually helping her while she made the biggest and boldest choice of her music career. She was becoming her own person, and her fans were trying to help her with that.