Why is Taylor re-recording her songs?


Margaret Ann Mickelberg

Taylor Swift adds “RED” to her list of re-recorded albums.

Margaret Ann Mickelberg, Perspectives Editor

The world has been ablaze this past week with Taylor Swift’s release of “RED (Taylor’s Version)” on Nov. 12. With this “new” album being the second re-recorded of Swift’s, the public could be wondering why the 11-time-Grammy-winner is putting out new versions of her older hits. 

The short answer: she can. Duh, she is Taylor Swift. But in all seriousness, there are quite a few reasons why Swift keeps putting out “Taylor’s Version” albums, not just because she wants to.

The number one reason Swift is re-recording is to gain ownership of her own songs. Before switching record labels and working with Republic Records, Swift’s old label Big Machine Records owned every song and album she wrote and put out from 2006-2017. Since signing with Republic, Swift has been able to own every album produced with them (“Lover,” “folklore,” “evermore” and now both Taylor’s Versions). Swift explained the situation in her Seth Meyers interview.

“There was something that happened years ago where I made it very clear that I wanted to be able to buy my own music. That opportunity was not given to me and my music was sold to someone else,” said Swift. “I figured I was the one who made the music first, so I can just make it again… So when you see (Taylor’s Version) next to a song that means I own it.”

Another reason is of course for the fun of it. Swift has expressed her love for her backup band over the years, and they have finally gotten back together for her re-recording projects. 

“It’s really amazing, I haven’t played with my band in years,” said Swift. “We all find it hard to not cry because we get to play together again.”

Re-recording and producing older albums has allowed Swift to appreciate different aspects of the artistic process. Having new experiences with fans and herself as the album skyrockets on the charts (again) is eye-opening for her.

“It’s really interesting to kind of go back and relive this nostalgia with fans who are the reason I get to do this,” said Swift. “This time around I really get to do the things they, and I, wish I did the first time.” 

“RED” is without a doubt a heart-break album, so when it was first released Swift was going through what she was singing about which she acknowledges now as difficult.

“‘RED’ came out about a decade ago, going back that release week was so stressful… I would wonder if people would like it… and honestly, I was really sad because I had actually gone through what was being produced,” said Swift. “This time around I have my sunglasses on, it’s chill time. It’s really nice to put this album out and not be sad… it’s a lot better this way.”