Why is Taylor Swift re-recording her music?



Taylor Swifts’ re-recorded albums feature “vault tracks”. These are the songs that she wasn’t able to release with the original album.

Annie Elizandro, Ranger Review reporter

Taylor Swift is re-recording her masters after they were sold in October of 2020. Re-recording music means that all of the songs are now owned by the original artist. By recording the songs as new tracks she bypasses the worth of the originals. Swift isn’t the first artist to do this. Some other artists to do this include The Everly Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Def Leppard, Kid Rock, and Gloria Gaynor. 


Just a thought, U should go in & re-record all the songs that U don’t own the masters on exactly how U did them but put brand new art & some kind of incentive so fans will no longer buy the old versions,” Kelly Clarkson said via Twitter. “I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point.”


Most artists don’t publicize and announce when they re-record their music, though. Since Swift is the original publisher of the music she is legally allowed to record the music again. When Swift first signed a contract with Big Machine Records (BMR) when she was just fifteen years old and was unknowingly signing away the rights to any music she made with that company. 


This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept,” Swift wrote via Tumblr. “And when that man says ‘Music has value,’ he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”


BMR is owned by Scott Borchetta. Six of her studio albums were produced and released with him. In 2016 Swift left the public eye during a feud she had with Kanye West. After the feud, Swift disappeared for almost two years. When she came back to the public eye she released her sixth studio album, Reputation. After the release of this album. Scott Borchetta sold Swift’s masters to Scooter Braun. 


Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter,” Swift said. “Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to.”


Scooter Braun is the manager of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande (just to name a few). This, of course, made Swift upset so she left Big Machine Records and signed on with Republic Records (RR). Swift has released three studio albums with RR. 


“My contract says that starting Nov. 2020, so next year, I can record albums one-five all over again,” Swift said in an interview with Robin Roberts. “I’m very excited about it. Because I think that artists deserve to own their work. I feel very passionate about that.”


After Braun sold Swift’s masters again in 2019, Swift announced that she would be re-recording her music so that she could finally own them after releasing her first album in 2005. Swift began her re-recording process by releasing Love Story (Taylor’s Version) in April of 2021. After Love Story (TV) she released her entire sophomore album, Fearless (TV), in May of 2021. In July of 2021, she announced that her fourth studio album, Red (TV), would be released in November of 2021. 


“The reason I’m rerecording my music next year is because I do want my music to live on,” Swift said in an interview for Billboard’s Woman of the Year. “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. It’ll feel like regaining freedom and taking back what’s mine. When I created (these songs), I didn’t know what they would grow up to be.”


The album just dropped on November 13, 2021, along with the ten-minute version of one of her most beloved songs, All Too Well. Swift has four albums left to re-record including Reputation. Unfortunately, she can’t record Reputation (TV) until November of next year. Fans are excited to listen to the new versions of Swift’s most iconic songs. 


“I recently began re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling,” Swift said via Twitter. “I have plenty of surprises in store.”