While everyone has spent the last couple weeks listening to Midnights, Swifties also know that starting today, Taylor Swift can officially start rerecording Reputation. Reputation was a cultural reset, not only for Swift, but also for long-term fans. After a year of practically being off the grid, Swift came back in an unexpected way that many artists are now doing to announce new music: She wiped her social media and her website of any past posts in August 2017 and posted a row of glitchy snake videos. Nov. 10 marks five years since Reputation came out, making fans wonder if the rerecord is coming and how soon.
For those that don’t know, the rerecords began when Swift left Big Machine Records in 2018 and moved to Republic Records. However, the new exciting opportunity for her quickly became devastating when it was revealed that Scott Borchetta of Big Machine sold the company, as well as Swift’s masters, to Scooter Braun. Completely heartbroken, Swift made a post on her Tumblr about how she felt “This was [her] worst case scenario.” While Swift has been with Republic Records for the past four years, she only has Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) released, so there are still many other albums to get the same treatment.
While the reason for the rerecords is devastating, there’s no denying that they’ve done wonders for Swift’s career and growing the fanbase. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) was released on April 9, 2021. The album in its entirety was 26 songs, including songs from the Platinum edition of Fearless, “Today was a Fairytale” that Swift wrote for the film, Valentine’s Day, and six extra unreleased songs “from the vault.” Upon its release, it spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200. It was also nominated for Top Country Album at the 2022 Billboard Awards.
As for Red (Taylor’s Version), the anticipation for its release was even higher than Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Swift released Red (Taylor’s Version) on Nov. 12, 2021 and with it, the 10-minute version of the fan-favorite song “All Too Well.” Accompanying the song, Swift directed and wrote a short film that starred Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. Just like with Fearless (Taylor’s Version), there were nine vault tracks, bringing the album up to a total of 30 songs. Red (Taylor’s Version) also won Top Country Album, Top Country Artist, Top Country Artist, Top Country Female Artist and Billboard 200 Artist at the Billboard Music Awards in 2022. The “All Too Well” short film also won Video of the Year, Best Longform Video and Best Direction at the 2022 VMAs, where Swift announced the release of Midnights.
While Swift can start rerecording Reputation (Taylor’s Version) any time she wants now, many fans think that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is coming first. The theorizing all started when signed copies of Red (Taylor’s Version) were released on Swift’s website for $20.10 in a purple color. Speak Now was originally released in 2010 and had a purple theme to it, so fans thought that it was an easter egg that that was the album that was coming. However, ever since Midnights release, fans are back to being convinced that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is coming. The music video for “Bejeweled” is full of easter eggs that have fans certain the album is coming sooner than we expected. When Swift announced the Eras Tour, she also said, “I’m enchanted to announce my next tour…” which sounds a lot like her song “Enchanted.” Maybe I just have my clown wig on, but something’s telling me that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is coming.
Now, I don’t know when Reputation (Taylor’s Version) is coming, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own theories about what may happen when it is released. Given that the rerecordings started because of Scooter Braun, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the vault tracks reference him. For now, though, I have “Vigilante Sh*t” and “Karma” to hold me over for when I feel petty.
Though we don’t know what album Swift may be rerecording next, Reputation (Taylor’s Version) is inevitable. Until then, I will be planning out my best snake-themed outfits and jamming out to the songs that Taylor does own while I wait.