In August 2019, music mogul Scooter Braun acquired Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group (the former label home of Taylor Swift) for a reported $300 million dollars. Under the terms of the blockbuster deal, Braun came to own all the master recordings of Swift’s first six studio albums. The pop star, who was unaware of the acquisition until it was made public, called the sale her “worst case scenario.”
In a bid to regain control of her catalog, Swift subsequently announced plans to re-record her older music. As announced this morning, the first of these releases — a re-recording of her sophomore album Fearless which she’s officially dubbed, “Taylor’s Version” — is “done and will be with you soon.” What’s more, she’s expanded the tracklist to include six never before released songs.
“I’ve spoken a lot about why I’m remaking my first six albums, “Swift said in a statement, “but the way I’ve chosen to do this will hopefully help illuminate where I’m coming from. Artists should own their own work for so many reasons, but the most screamingly obvious one is that the artist is the only one who really *knows* that body of work. For example, only I know which songs I wrote that almost made the Fearless album. Songs I absolutely adored, but were held back for different reasons (don’t want too many breakup songs, don’t want too many down tempo songs, can’t fit that many songs on a physical CD).”
“Those reasons seem unnecessary now,” Swift went on to explain. “I’ve decided I want you to have the whole story, see the entire vivid picture, and let you into the entire dreamscape that is my Fearless album. That’s why I’ve chosen to include six never before released songs on my version of this album. Written when I was between the ages of 16 and 18, these were the ones it killed me to leave behind.”
“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 wrote to conclude her announcement. “I hope you’ll like this first outing as much as I liked traveling back in time to recreate it.”
As a preview of her newly recorded Fearless, Swift will release “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” this evening. She did not provide a release date for the full album, but as Pitchfork notes, certain letters in her statement were capitalized to spell out the date of April 9th.
Swift has been one of the most prolific artists during this era of self-isolation: she wrote and recorded two brand new albums in folklore and evermore. She also released a companion folklore concert film and a deluxe edition of evermore, and helped save democracy by endorsing Joe Biden for president.
As for Scooter Braun, he recently unloaded Big Machine’s catalog (again without Swift’s knowledge) to an investment fund.
I’m thrilled to tell you that my new version of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is done and will be with you soon. It has 26 songs including 6 never before released songs from the vault. Love Story (Taylor’s Version) will be out tonight. Pre-order now at https://t.co/NqBDS6cGFl 💛💛 pic.twitter.com/Vjyy2gA72O
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 11, 2021