The journey to “Red (Taylor’s Version)”

Taylor Swift announced in late 2019 that she’d be re-recording all six of her original studio albums. “Red (Taylor’s Version) will be released November 12, 2021.

Taylor Swift on her Red tour (photo licensed by Creative Commons)

Taylor Swift on her “Red” tour (photo licensed by Creative Commons)

On June 30th, 2021, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift published an open letter on her Tumblr account, stating, “Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.” 


That “someone” was Scooter Braun, a media proprietor who had purchased the masters to Swift’s first six studio albums, despite Swift’s claims of suffering “incessant, manipulative bullying” at his hands. 


To many fans, that Tumblr post seemed to be a swan song for Swift’s earlier work. The harsh truth was that with Swift’s masters in hand, Braun and his label Big Machine had full ownership and power over the use of her music. 


This went as far as blocking Swift from using her older material for her performance as artist of the decade at the 2019 American Music Awards. 


However, Swift announced in late 2019 that she’d be re-recording all six of her original studio albums. Her journey began with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” released on April 9th, 2021, and then “Red (Taylor’s Version)” which is set to release this November 12th. 


“I think that it is inspiring that Taylor is putting her chin up and making an unfortunate situation into something beautiful,” Hills junior Leila Dhawan said. “All fans of Taylor Swift were devastated when we heard that Scooter Braun stole the rights to Taylor’s old albums, but now that Taylor is rerecording her music, it is like a trip down memory lane.”


“Red (Taylor’s Version)” will include re-recorded versions of the original album’s 19 songs, including hits such as “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” and 10 new songs “from the vault.” Vault songs are ones that were intended to be on the original albums but did not make the final cut. 


Whether it’s a trip down memory lane, or a peek into what Swift has had stored away since her youth, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” will please a wide range of her fans. 


“I’m really excited for this album because I’m a huge fan of some of the songs from ‘Red,’” exclaimed Hills senior Darcy Bergstein. “I think this will be even better than the original. She’s grown a lot, and it’s been a long time since ‘Red’ originally came out. Her growth and improvement will show in the re-recordings.” 


It’s been nine years since “Red”’s 2012 release, and although Scooter Braun’s acquisition of the original masters was a stain for many fans, we are witnessing Taylor Swift work to fully reclaim her art.