‘Red(Taylor’s Version)’ Continues to Break Records


On November 12th, the long-awaited “Red (Taylor’s Version)” album, including vault tracks, was released. Taylor Swift is a staple in the music industry, having eleven Grammys, nine studio albums, and having broken dozens of records in music history. She puts everything into her work, reinventing herself for each new “era” by changing colors, songwriting style, outfits, and scheme. Swift releases cryptic messages and easter eggs in her promotions and music. Red was a big surprise when it was announced, as fans had expected Swift to re-release her album “1989” During the waiting period for “Red (Taylor’s Version)” Swift continued to confuse her fans, including references to her albums “1989” and “Reputation” in her promotion posts. 

So, why is Swift re-releasing albums that are already out and have been out for years? Is it a money grab? An opportunity to get more awards for albums that are already award-winning? The truth is that she was taken advantage of. In 2006, Swift was a teenager when she signed with Big Machine and didn’t truly know the contract she was signing. In 2019, Big Machine was sold to Ithaca Holdings, owned by Scooter Braun. She was unaware of this sale and even tried to buy back her work, but the terms were unendurable. From her debut album to her 2017 album “Reputation”, Swift doesn’t own the recordings. However, Swift can still legally re-record the albums and release them as long as they are distinguishable from the original recordings. Swift started with her 2008 album “Fearless” in April of this year. The album not only included her previously released songs, but also never heard before vault tracks from the time period she wrote them. Now, Taylor is in her new and improved “Red era” and we have 10 new songs from the vault. 

The two biggest noticeable differences that fans have found in the album are in “We Are Never Getting Back Together (Taylor’s Version) ” and “Girl at Home (Taylor’s Version).” Fans have criticized that the “We” in “We Are Never Getting Back Together (Taylor’s Version)”  sounds like it’s from Kidz-Bop. This seems to be the biggest complaint. “Girl At Home (Taylor’s Version)” was given a more pop feel, rather than country as it was in the 2012 recording. Overall, the songs sound the same, which is the purpose. Swift wants her fans to listen to the new recordings in order to support her instead of Scooter Braun. 

The most anticipated song has been “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” The parentheses are certainly a mouthful, but it is definitely a favorite among listeners. In an interview for “Red” in 2012, Swift mentioned that the original version of her song “All Too Well” was 10 minutes long, and ever since fans have been anticipating a release. Lines like “You kept me like a secret but I kept you like an oath,” and “I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age” have broken the hearts of listeners. Swift also directed a short film based on the song starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. The film trended at number one on YouTube and briefly took the number one rated spot on Letterboxd as the song broke similar records by topping U.S. and global Spotify statistics at number one on the 13th of November. The song also took number one on the iTunes chart and Spotify top 50. 

So many more records were broken with this album. On release day, it broke the record for most-streamed album in a day by a female, even causing Spotify to crash for a brief period of time. The previous album to hold this title was Swift’s 2020 album “Folklore”, breaking her own record. She also broke the record for most streamed female in a day in Spotify history. Swift had all 30 songs on the album in the Spotify Top 50 USA, along with her song “Enchanted” from her 2010 album “Speak Now.” Throughout the month, Swift has topped charts and broken many records. 

Swift continues to push her musical boundaries and move in more unanticipated ways that keep fans on their toes. Fans joke that Swift isn’t just an artist, but “is the music industry” and this becomes more true as she continues to break records and release successful music in her various genres.