Writer, Diane Xi
On Friday, November 12, Taylor Swift released the highly-anticipated rerecording of her 2012 album, Red. It included the original 20 tracks, along with 10 vault tracks that were not included on the original album but were originally intended to be part of it.
The original version of Red was her 4th album, a crossover between the country style of her previous albums and pop. It is about the aftermath of a relationship that didn’t work out and the conflicting feelings that follow. Red was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Country Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards, making it her first album to be nominated for Album of the Year. Red was certified 7 times platinum in the USA, selling 4.49 million units and 4 times platinum in Canada where it sold 320k units. Worldwide, it’s sold over 8 million units. The lead single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together rose to #1 from #72 the week after its release, making it her first song to reach #1. Red was a big part of her transition from country to pop, with some songs on it being considered her first fully pop songs.
One question many people have is, why is Taylor rerecording and rereleasing her old albums? She released them when she was signed to her old label, Big Machine Records. In 2018, her contract with them expired and she switched labels, leaving her masters, or rights to her songs with Big Machine Records. Scooter Braun purchased Big Machine Records in June 2019. In October of 2020, Braun sold her masters, videos and artworks to Shamrock Holdings. Because of this, most profits from her old music do not go to her and her first 6 albums do not belong to her. Taylor stated that she was upset about this because they sold it without consulting her and without her consent and she believes artists should own the music they worked hard to create. Therefore, she decided to rerelease her old albums under her new label.
On June 18, she announced she would be releasing Red (Taylor’s Version) on November 12, along with 10 previously unreleased songs that weren’t included on the original album but were intended to be. One of the 10 songs is a 10-minute version of All Too Well, a fan favourite that is widely considered as one of her best songs because of how well-written and powerful the lyrics are. She also released a short film for the ten-minute version, starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, which can be found on Youtube. On the 1st day, Red (Taylor’s Version) became the most streamed album on Spotify in one day by a female artist, with 90.8 million streams, beating the record set by her 2020 album Folklore (80.6 million). Taylor Swift also became the most streamed female artist in a day with 122.9 million streams on Spotify on the day of its release. Starbucks teamed up with here to release a special drink to celebrate the release, a nonfat caramel latte. Customers can order it by asking for “Taylor’s Latte”.
The impact Taylor Swift has on the music industry is unquestionable and how she took matters into her own hands after her masters were sold and rerecording them and her success with a re-release of a 9-year-old album proves that. With that said, Red (Taylor’s Version) is an incredible album and I encourage all of you to listen to it.