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Red (Taylor’s Version) Cheat Sheet

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Alabama chapter.

For my Swifties and non-Swiftie fans alike, it’s Red season. Taylor Swift’s fourth album is getting a revamp and re-record, and fans everywhere are going mad. Here’s some answered questions, so you feel like you’ve been there since the debut.

Why is she re-recording?

Taylor had a six-record deal with Big Machine Records under manager Scott Borchetta, and she had an inkling that Borchetta would sell the company and her records with it. According to her Tumblr post, she made peace with her past and wanted to focus on her future. Swift signed with Republic Records (Universal Music Group) where she would own all her future records.

Before releasing her seventh album, Lover, Swift discovered (along with the rest of the world) that Borchetta sold Big Machine to Scooter Braun. Braun orchestrated the bullying and takedown of Swift in 2016.

Refusing to let the songs she wrote “on her bedroom floor” be owned by the man who bullied her, she decided to re-record them. Definition of men are trash.

There are new songs?

New to us, old to her. Swift wrote these EIGHT songs during 2010-12 but didn’t put them on the original album. It is unknown if she wasn’t allowed to put them on there or didn’t want to put 31 songs on her album. The new songs will feature Ed Sheeran, Phoebe Bridgers, and Chris Stapleton. Songs she wrote for other artists like Sugarland’s “Babe” and Little Big Town’s “Better Man” are on the album too.

10 Minutes of All Too Well?

It’s impossible to think that “All Too Well” could become more heartbreaking or unhinged, but  Blondie did it. Every time I thought I knew the next lyric; she added a whole new verse. Homegirl called out Jake Gyllenhaal even more. She alluded to his absence on her 21st birthday, their age difference, and reflected on their relationship together. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” feels so personal and detailed, I felt like I dated Jake and he broke my heart on my 21st birthday.

Woah, Jake Gyllenhaal? Like Mysterio from Spiderman?

Villain then, villain now. Taylor and Jake started dating in the fall of 2010. They went to Upstate New York and visited his sister, Maggie, where she left her Gucci scarf. Reportedly, Taylor lost her virginity to Jake, and that’s why the three-month relationship hurt so much. Red (Taylor’s Version) is chock-full of small details, but the biggest ones that stick out to me are:

  • The first verse on “State of Grace”
  • The entirety of “The Moment I Knew”
  • Her call out of this lifestyle on “I Bet You Think About Me”
  • The fact she released a whole song about being “22” because 21 sucked so much

So, if Red is so good, why didn’t it win Album of the Year?

Good freaking question. Swifties should be grateful for the loss, because without it we would have never had 1989, or Taylor’s pop era. In 2012, Red was the third highest selling album, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard pop and country charts. This past weekend, Taylor broke two Spotify records: most-streamed female artist in a day and most- streamed album in a day.

What else is coming?

Swift and her team released new merch, signed copies of the album, and a four CD vinyl. Two music videos accompany the songs: watch the “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) short film here and the “I Bet You Think About Me” music video here.

Now you are up to date all things Taylor and could win any Taylor Trivia!

MJ Miller

Alabama '24

MJ Miller is from Los Angeles, California and is thoroughly enjoying her studies at the University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa. MJ loves spending time with her friends and making Taylor Swift playlists.