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The Story Behind Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Taylor Swift recently released a new re-recorded version of her 2008 album Fearless. It quickly rose to number 1 on the Billboard 200 and broke the record of the biggest debut album in 2021. Taylor Swift has decided to re-record her first five studio albums, Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, and 1989. This decision was made because she wishes to have authority over her own albums, as she currently has no control over the albums managed by her original producer, Big Machine Label Group. 

The reason this created so much conflict is that producer Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine in 2019. Scooter Braun then owned her first six studio albums, and sold them again for over $300 million. Taylor found out that her work had been sold at the same time that the information was released publicly, and was frustrated that the rights to her music belonged to the person who managed Kanye West, who she has also had conflict with. 

Swift has stated before that she believes that this imbalance of power in the music industry isn’t right, especially for women in the music industry who face additional barriers. Women in music tend to be far less respected than the men who are doing similar things, and are often valued based off of their “look” rather than the art they produce. Re-recording her old albums is her way of protesting these issues, as she will finally have ownership of her own work.

This is exciting news for Taylor Swift’s fans. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) includes all 20 songs from the original (platinum edition) album, six unreleased songs labeled “from the vault” that were never included in the first recording of Fearless, plus a bonus track. The lyrics and instrumentals are largely the same as the original songs, with a few vocal differences given that she was 18 the first time it was popular. This release has brought many of us back to the 2000s, before her major shift from country music to pop with her album 1989. She has shifted musical genres multiple times in her career, so this album is once again a stark difference from her previous album, Evermore, which was released in December of 2020.

Taylor Swift is famous for including easter eggs that hint at future plans in music videos, interviews, lyrics, etc. After an interview on The Late Show with Steven Colbert, fans are speculating that her next re-recording will be her 2014 album, 1989 because of hints in photographs that were displayed on the show, as well as a brief mention of the album. She has already tweeted about recording in the studio, and it seems that this is yet another album on the way. Many Northwest School students are enjoying the new album and are excited for the new one to drop, but even non-Swifties should listen!

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