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Taylor Swift confirms plans to re-record first five albums in 2020

By | Published on Friday 23 August 2019

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has spoken more about her plans to re-record all her early albums now that her arch nemesis Scooter Braun owns the master rights in the originals.

Earlier this week, ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ previewed an upcoming interview with Swift where she confirmed that recording new versions of the old material was a formal plan.

Now that’s been trumped by ‘Good Morning America’, which yesterday aired an interview in which she said a bit more than just “oh yeah” and “yeah, absolutely”. Which I think might be why CBS was so keen to get its minimal bit of chat out into the world so promptly, even before their ‘Sunday Morning’ show had aired on, well, Sunday morning.

The latest conversation steered to the topic of masters after Swift referenced that new album ‘Lover’, which is out today, will be “the first one [where] I will own of my work”. That’s a reference to her new record deal with Universal Music, which kicks in with this album and allows her to keep her master rights, rather than handing them over to her label.

She has previously said that one of the hardest things about parting company with former label Big Machine was having to leave the masters of all her albums to date behind. Then what she described as the “worst case scenario” occurred, when her apparent mortal enemy Braun became the new owner of that label.

The suggestion that she re-record her previous albums – mainly to spite Braun – came up shortly after his Big Machine deal was announced. But it seemed unlikely Swift would go through the tedious process of actually doing it.

However, now she’s laid out plans to record new versions of the first five LPs in full. And she’s confirmed that, while her Big Machine contract banned re-records for a time period – as is normal – that time period expires towards the end of next year.

“It’s something that I’m very excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020, so next year, I can record albums one to five all over again”, she told ‘Good Morning America’. “I’m very excited about it. Because I think that artists deserve to own their work. I feel very passionate about that… it’s next year. It’s right around the corner. I’m gonna be busy. I’m really excited”.

In case you didn’t get any of that, it’s next year and she’s excited. It’s still not clear exactly what she plans to do with this re-records project. The most vindictive method would be to painstakingly recreate the original recordings so the new versions sound identical, which would be difficult, not least because she was fifteen when she started recording music.

The other option would be to record new versions more in-keeping with her style nearly fifteen years into her career. That might bring those albums to an audience more familiar with her more pop-focussed material, but the many fans who’ve been around since the beginning (or have maybe even gone off her since she went pop) would probably stick with the originals that they love.

Maybe everyone would just end up confused. Maybe that’s the best thing for everyone. Maybe I don’t know. Maybe I don’t care. Anyway, the new album, ‘Lover’, is out now, and would be brilliant if it stopped dead after track ten, rather than plodding on aimlessly for eight (EIGHT) more songs. But, hey, at least she owns them all. She’s also put out a new video for the album’s title track, which you can watch here: