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What is Taylor’s Version and why 1989 TV Might be the Biggest Re-Recording yet.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

Taylor Swift is currently on top of the world. Between the award-winning Eras Tour, new music, and the highly successful re-recording of her albums, it is practically impossible to avoid the global pop star.

The phrase ‘Taylor’s Version’ is also pretty unavoidable at the moment; however, many may not be aware of the decade-long story behind it. So what exactly does it mean when Swift’s music has ‘Taylor’s Version’ attached to it?

Taylor Swift signed a 13-year-long deal with Big Machine Records at 15 years old, giving Scott Borchetta’s company complete ownership of her subsequent albums. Swift built her career under Big Machine Records, from her debut album in 2006 to the highly successful Reputation in 2017. However, this partnership crumbled quickly in 2019 when it was announced that Scooter Braun would purchase BMR.

Scooter Braun was the manager of Kanye West, with whom Swift has had a long-standing public feud. Stemming from West interrupting Swift’s winning speech at the 2009 VMA’s and going as far as manipulating Taylor into including crude lyrics about her in his song ‘Famous’. Taylor has accused Braun of being at the center of public bullying she was victim to by his clients Kanye West and Justin Beiber. Unsurprisingly, this meant that Swift was extremely unhappy with Braun owning her life’s work. She shared this upset with the world in a bid to stop young artists from making the same mistakes.

In 2020, Taylor Swift announced that she had begun to re-record the albums owned by BMR, and, subsequently, Taylor’s Version was born. In short, Taylor’s Version means that she owns the music that she has made, a journey that Taylor’s fans have proudly supported. Fearless (TV) was the first of the re-recordings to be released in April 2021, followed by Red (TV) in November of the same year, and Speak Now (TV) in July 2023.

The re-releases of these albums have been widely successful. The process is proving to be very enjoyable to both the fans and Taylor herself, as she is able to relive the excitement of the albums. Additionally, Taylor has included previously unreleased songs from these albums in the new releases, which she has named ‘songs from the vault’. This is due to the fact that Swift is able to re-record these albums without the external pressure of how an album should sound or look and instead focus merely on releasing music that she loves. Subsequently, Taylor has been able to become even more creatively involved with her music. Following the release of the 10-minute version of the beloved song ‘All Too Well’, Swift directed a short film to accompany the song. This excitement surrounding the music has definitely rubbed off on the fans, who eagerly await the next re-record.

Excitingly, Taylor announced that the next re-recording to be released would be ‘1989’ on October 27th of this year. This album, originally released in 2014, is widely considered one of Taylor’s most significant in her discography, with it being considered her official transformation from the country genre to the pop sensation that has followed. This album contained three number-one singles that dominated the charts, followed by further singles that made waves in the top 10. The album was crowned Album of the Year at the Grammys, and its lasting impact is evident in the way that it is considered to be at the heart of 2010’s pop culture.

In considering all of this, it is no surprise that this album is predicted to be the most successful of Taylor’s re-recordings yet. Each of the ‘Taylor’s Version’ albums has seized the number one spot on the Billboard charts, with each album’s debut being more successful than the last. Combining this pattern with the icon status of ‘1989’, this prediction seems far more than reasonable. Moreover, Taylor Swift herself has shared considerable excitement for this re-record. In the Instagram post sharing the new album cover, she announced that the five vault tracks being added are her favorites yet.

Evidently, Taylor Swift has turned a saddening experience into an exciting and fulfilling one. Swift’s fanbase have proven themselves to be unfailingly loyal and continuously excited for the artist’s endeavors in owning her work. This trend is sure to be continued with the long-awaited ‘1989’ (Taylor’s Version) this coming autumn.

Hi! I am a final-year Politics and International Relations student at the University of Bristol.