Taylor’s version vs. the original: what’s the difference?

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 2022! Seriously, the new year is off to a great start, especially in the music industry, specifically through Taylor Swift, as she continues to release inspiring and brilliant projects that never fail to impress, including her updated releases of her prior projects that she calls “Taylor’s Version.”

Taylor Swift posing in a red car for the Red (Taylor’s Version) photo shoot [Credit: Beth Garrabrant]

As a Swiftie, a huge supporter of the record-breaking artist, I love hearing announcements relating to new music or releases from Taylor. I often find myself so excited about what Taylor is doing, but not everyone knows what I’m talking about.

If we go back to December, I would constantly find myself exclaiming “Oh my, my, my! There are rumors that Taylor might be releasing Speak Now on Friday!”

But my friends would say to me, “Didn’t that album come out 12 years ago?”

The answer is yes, it did, but what many don’t understand is that Taylor is re-recording almost all of her albums due to some serious trouble with Big Machine Records (BMLG), her previous record label, and the money-scheming and manipulative record executive, Scooter Braun.

At age 15, Taylor Swift signed to Big Machine, leading her to record her six award-winning albums with the record label until 2018 when the contract ended. But, her experience with Scott Borechetta, the CEO of the label, was actually very tumultuous.

Taylor Swift and Scott Borchetta at the ACMAS in 2013. [Credit: Getty Images]

Taylor dealt with many limitations while she was a part of the label. She didn’t have control over the projects of which her music was a part, the production methods of her music and the money that was made. Overall, it was a completely unfair situation, if you ask me.

In November of 2018, Swift announced that she had left Big Machine Records and had signed a contract with her current label, Universal Music and Republic Records. Initially, peace was made between Taylor and BMLG until 2020.

Without Taylor’s permission, her masters (the official original recording of a song, sound or performance) was sold to a private group called Ithaca Holdings, which is where Scooter Braun comes into play and bad blood was established between the two.

Swift during her AMAS performance in 2019, wearing all of the albums owned by BMLG in order to make a statement about her stolen work. [Credit: JC Olivera/Getty Images]

Braun proceeded to sell Swift’s masters for $300 million, and she was never given the opportunity to buy it back herself. According to Taylor, this was “the second time [her] music had been sold without [her] knowledge.”

Taylor was completely oblivious and didn’t find out about what was going on with her music until word got out to the public, which really made her furious.

Now, every time someone streams any of Taylor’s music that was released from 2006-2018 through Big Machine on any music platform, she doesn’t earn the money for her own work.

Scooter’s team wanted me to sign an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive…I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work.

Taylor Swift

Although Taylor doesn’t currently own all of her music, she does have the copyrights to these pieces since she wrote all of her own songs, therefore giving her the right to re-record old albums and take ownership of these projects, finally allowing her to forever and always earn the money for her own streams.

“Every week, we get a dozen synch requests to use ‘Shake It Off’ in some advertisement or ‘Blank Space’ in some movie trailer, and we say no to every single one of them…The reason I’m re-recording my music next year is because I do want my music to live on. I do want it to be in movies, I do want it to be in commercials. But I only want that if I own it.”

Taylor Swift

As a symbol of the complete ownership of her own music and new releases, all of her re-recordings are titled the same as the original, but with a twist. Every song includes the phrase “Taylor’s Version.”

Now, we can finally look forward to the new and improved album releases from Miss Swift, as well as the nostalgic new songs she includes called “vault tracks,” which are unreleased songs that were written during the production of the albums, but never actually released.

A side by side comparison of the original cover of Fearless (2008) and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (2021). [Credit: Google Images]

Some of my personal favorites include “Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version),” and “The Very First Night (Taylor’s Version).”

An extended 10-minute version of the song “All Too Well” was also included in the new release of Red, featuring the original lyrics to the popular fan-favorite. Definitely have your tissues ready for that one!

So far, Taylor has released her version of Red and Fearless, but fans are anticipating the releases of Taylor Swift, Speak Now, 1989 and Reputation, the other four albums she’s able to rerecord.

As a Taylor Swift lover, I’m so happy that the superstar is finally getting ownership of the enchanting albums she has written and recorded! Now that I cleared that up, it’s time for you to run to Spotify and stream Red, but make sure it’s Taylor’s version!

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