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Why Do We Need Taylor’s Version?

If you’re a Swiftie like me, you’re probably eagerly awaiting the re-recordings of her 2012 album “Red”, set to drop this Thursday. If you’re Jake Gyllenhaal, you’re probably crying and throwing up everywhere. Having barely recovered from the “Folklore” and “Evermore” induced emotional rollercoaster of last year, I’m bracing myself for some angsty walks across campus with the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” blaring through my headphones. 

From the re-release of her 2008 Album “Fearless” earlier this year to the upcoming re-release of “Red,” it’s a great time to be a Taylor Swift fan. The sudden surge of new music, though, has some fans questioning, “Why is she re-releasing old music?” 

So, why do we need Taylor’s version?

It started with music manager Scooter Braun. Managing artists like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato, Braun certainly holds influence in the music industry. According to a Vox article, tensions arose when Braun acquired Big Machine Records in 2019, the label Taylor Swift left in 2018. Big Machine Records held the master recordings of Swift’s albums prior to “Lover” in 2016; following the acquisition, Braun held the rights to the master recordings for all of Swift’s music. Accordingly, Braun required permission and a licensing fee for anyone wanting to use Swift’s music in a TV show or movie. 

Upset at the fact that Braun, who also worked with known enemy Kanye West, held rights to her music, Swift decided to take action. In one of the greatest girl-boss, stick-it-to-the-man moments ever, Swift set out to re-record and re-release all of her albums under Braun’s ownership. Except this time, she owns the master recordings.

I know some of you may be thinking, “Taylor Swift is already a multi-millionaire. Why does she need purchasing rights to her music?” It’s a valid question. Monetarily, Taylor Swift will be just fine without purchasing rights to her first few albums. For Swift, it’s about more than that. It’s about ownership of her art. The thought of pouring your heart into music only to have it monopolized by a manager you dislike would be disheartening to any artist. Taylor is no exception. 

So, what does this mean for us Swifties? It means we get to support Taylor as she reclaims ownership of her art. It also means that we get to enjoy our favorite throwback Taylor songs all over again with a new, mature sound. Not only do we get to hear our old favorites, but we also get “From the Vault” tracks—previously written, but unreleased songs. “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” boasts 6 vault songs, with more to be expected on “Red (Taylor’s Version).” 

Needless to say, I’m excited to stream “Red (Taylor’s Version).” You should be too. Happy listening!

Preeta Kamat

Northwestern '24

Preeta is a freshman from Rochester, Michigan studying Neuroscience and Global Health Studies in the seven year med program. When she's not working on school, you can find her on coffee runs, exploring campus with friends, baking, or watching reality TV.
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