Last week, Taylor Swift began her journey of re-releasing five of her old albums by dropping her re-recorded debut album now titled Fearless (Taylor’s Version).
With the album topping the charts again within minutes of its release, many people are still clueless as to why she’s re-recording her old albums. If you’re one of them, no worries, JUICE will break it down for you… you’re welcome.
As an unsigned singer, you tend to do everything you can in order to pop into the music industry which was what Taylor did until she got signed by Big Machine Records in 2005. Many promising, new artistes sign contracts with labels where the labels have ownership over the artistes’ music in exchange for financial backing for promotion, management and the likes.
When the Love Story singer left Big Machine in 2018, she had to leave behind masters of her old albums in the hands of new owner Scooter Braun, who bought over Big Machine. This meant Swift no longer had control over the licensing of her own music. To make matters worse, Scooter Braun sold her masters to a private equity company, Shamrock Holdings.
In a Tumblr post on 30 July 2019, Taylor revealed that she had asked to purchase her own rights to the master recordings of her old albums but Big Machine did not agree. Instead, the label counter-offered the singer with a deal that is probably worse than the last – to sign back again with them and deliver six more albums to earn back her rights for her old albums. Damn those suits!
She declined knowing that Scott Borchetta, Big Machine’s founder was planning to sell the company to Braun.
While Braun and Shamrock Holdings will continue to profit off the 30-year-old’s music, Taylor has been working hard to reclaim her creations by re-recording those five best-selling albums with new arrangements and enhanced instrumentals along with the added postscript (Taylor’s Version) at the end of each song title.
She also released a few songs from her own vault, including a song fans have been raging about on social media that is speculated to be about her former boyfriend Joe Jonas, titled ‘Mr Perfectly Fine’.
With the re-release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), the singer is hoping to regain ownership of her old albums, even if it means starting from scratch again, which is a lesson for all emerging artistes who think the industry is a bed of roses.