Taylor Swift Can Officially Begin Re-Recording Her First Five Albums
It's a good day to be Taylor Swift—the superstar singer-songwriter can officially begin re-recording her first five studio albums:Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red and 1989.
In August 2019, during an interview on Good Morning America, Swift confirmed when she would be legally free to begin re-recording when asked about her (at the time) rumored plan to re-record her first five albums after losing the rights to her masters.
"Yeah, that's true and it's something that I'm very excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020 ... I can record albums one through five all over again," she shared, according to Fader. The singer explained that she was "very excited" to re-record because she believes "that artists deserve to own their work. I feel very passionately about that."
After releasing her sixth and final record under Nashville-based Big Machine Records, Reputation, released on November 10, 2017, Swift declined to renew her contract with the label. A year later she signed a new deal with Universal Music Group and Republic Records, which allowed her to maintain ownership of her masters for future music releases.
In 2018, however, Big Machine was placed for sale. Swift lost the rights to her masters in June 2019, when Big Machine was acquired by Braun's Ithaca Holdings for a reported $300 million.
Swift immediately denounced Braun's purchase of her first six albums' masters, referring to him as an "incessant, manipulative bully" and claiming in a public statement that she learned about the purchase at the same time "it was announced to the world."
Roughly a year later, the artist released her seventh studio album, Lover, on August 23, 2019. At the time of its release through Republic Records, it became the first album owned by Swift in its entirety. The country-turned-pop star released her surprise eighth studio album, Folklore, on July 24, 2020.
It remains to be seen whether or not Swift will indeed begin working on re-recording her first five albums this month, all things considered. (See: deadly pandemic still in full swing, contentious election and its aftermath forthcoming, general state of the world hanging in the balance, etc.) It's also unclear when she'll be contractually permitted to re-record her sixth album, Reputation, if she chooses to do so.
But one thing's for sure: we can't wait for her to regain control of her early music.