Taylor Swift has taken her fans back to their teenage days with the re-recorded version of her hit album, Fearless, drawing in positive reactions.
Big Machine Records signed Nashville singer, Taylor Swift, in 2005. The contract came to an end in 2018, but not before her career rocketed with hits like I Knew You Were Trouble and she had sold-out stadium tours over the course of six albums. The record label was later sold to private equity group, Ithaca Holdings in June 2019. The entity is owned by music manager, Scooter Braun. This meant that all of Swift’s albums from 2017 and earlier would be owned by Braun.
In an interview with Variety, Swift stated, “This just happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent. After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, yet to this day, none of these investors have bothered to contact me or my team directly to ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, the music I wrote, the videos I created, photos of me, my handwriting, my album designs.” She added: “The fact is that private equity enabled this man to think, according to his own social media post, that he could ‘buy me.’ But I’m obviously not going willingly.”
Braun reportedly sold her masters to another company, Shamrock Holdings, for a reported $300 million. Swift then did the unexpected and re-recorded her songs so that whenever her version of the song is played, she would receive royalties.
There is a new lushness in the opening banjo twangs and an extra beat when she sings Just Say Yes. The difference between the 2008 version of Love Story and the 2021 re-release of the same song is pretty subtle. The re-recordings, collectively titled Fearless (Taylor’s Version), are available on streaming platforms.
Swift’s old contract with Big Machine did not afford her full ownership of her songs, as it stipulated that she would only get a certain amount of royalties. After her contract ended, she signed with Universal Republic Records, making sure that she receives full ownership of her songs.