This story was originally published in the fifth edition of The Lion’s Tale (March 26, 2021).
Just a few days before Valentine’s Day, Taylor Swift announced that the re-recorded version of her 2008 hit single Love Story would be dropped at midnight, and the Fearless album on April 9. The new version of her sophomore album, titled Fearless (Taylor’s Version) will include six unreleased songs from “the vault” along with the twenty re-recorded songs on the original album.
Swift’s rights to the copyrights of her recordings, otherwise known as ‘masters’ were sold by Big Machine Records’ Scooter Braun and Scott Borshetta for over $300 million back in July of 2019 after she signed a new contract with Universal Music Group. Although Swift does not legally own the recordings of her first six albums, her contract allows her to re-record her previous albums, which will all legally belong to her.
“…Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.” Swift wrote in a Tumblr post regarding her struggles with Braun’s purchasing of her work.
Love Story (Taylor’s Version) is almost an exact copy of the 2008 version. However, to many fans, the change in the singer’s voice stands out between the two versions. Swift was just 18 when she wrote and recorded the hit song, and the vocals in “Taylor’s Version” are stronger and more mature. In past songs, Swift often had backup singers, some male; but in this new version Taylor sings all the harmonies herself.
The new album cover for “Taylor’s Version” is similar to the 2008 Fearless, but Swift’s head is turned in the opposite direction and appears to be wearing Romeo’s shirt from the 2008 ‘Love Story’ music video, symbolizing her growth and freedom.
“This process has been more fulfilling and emotional than I could’ve imagined and has made me even more determined to re-record all of my music,” Swift shared in a recent Instagram post announcing the re-releases of her pre-2019 records. “I hope you’ll like this outing as much as I liked traveling back in time to recreate it.”
Personally, I am excited to see what Swift has in store for the re-recorded albums. I look forward to hearing the six unreleased songs and hearing the “new Taylor” singing my childhood-favorite songs that are now legally owned by Swift.