Why is Taylor Swift re-recording her albums? Singer releases This Love (Taylor's Version) from 1989 

Taylor Swift releases re-recording for 'This Love (Taylor's Version)' from 1989 (Images via Taylor Swift)
Taylor Swift releases re-recording for 'This Love (Taylor's Version)' from 1989 (Images via Taylor Swift)

Taylor Swift seems to have come back from the dead to announce the release of her newest single, This Love (Taylor's Version), from what is widely hailed as her career pinnacle album, 1989.

This is only her second post after she broke the news of an original song, Carolina, that she wrote for the soundtrack of Where the Crawdads Sing.

On Thursday, the country-pop icon unveiled her second single from 1989 (Taylor's Version), featured in the trailer for the Amazon Prime series The Summer I Turned Pretty. The show is based on the novel of the same name by Jenny Han. In her Instagram post caption, Swift wrote that she has "always been so proud of this song."

The re-recorded This Love (Taylor's Version) follows suit on her other re-recordings, putting Taylor Swift's mature vocals at the forefront and kicking up the instrumentation just a notch. The track, which was previously a sleeper, is rejuvenated with bolder drums, lending it a theatrical finish befitting of a soundtrack.

Swift's team, Taylor Nation, didn't miss out on capitalizing on the opportunity, coyly dropping The Old Taylor Collection. The merch drop constitutes items from 1989, Speak Now, and her debut album, Taylor Swift. Swifties will be digging deep into the rabbit hole, trying to decode which re-recording is next.

Taylor Swift's long-drawn battle of re-recording and gaining ownership of her masters

A large proportion of the general public might still be unaware of what 'Taylor's Version' means and why Swift is re-recording her older albums. Long story short, doe-eyed 15-year-old Swift made a naïve error while signing her six-album contract with her previous record label Big Machine Records, giving them ownership of her masters.

When the singer-songwriter's contract concluded in 2018, she tried to negotiate the purchase of her masters, but was denied the opportunity to buy them outright. In a Tumblr post explaining her situation, Swift wrote:

"For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in."

Adding insult to injury, Big Machine's Scott Borschetta stabbed Swift in the back to sell her back catalog to Scooter Braun of Ithaca Holdings for $300 million dollars. Swift continued in her post:

"This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says, ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it."

Taylor Swift was devastated at this betrayal of her trust, since Borschetta was well-aware of the mental distress Braun's bullying had caused her. The 32-year-old rectified her previous mistake in her new contract with Universal Music Group in November 2018, which firmly placed Swift in ownership of her masters henceforth.

However, Taylor Swift refused to watch her painstakingly earned "musical legacy" escape her clutches while sitting down. Bolstered by Kelly Clarkson's suggestion of re-recording her first six albums, Swift has thrown herself into this long-drawn endeavor with renewed vigor in an attempt to control her narrative here on.

Swift proved her mettle yet again with Fearless (Taylor's Version) and Red (Taylor's Version) breaking records effortlessly. The undulating support from her fiercely loyal fanbase and the allure of never-heard-before vault tracks are fuelling Swift's campaign to diminish the value of her old masters with every re-recorded album.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul