Love Story- Taylor’s Version

Love+Story-+Taylor%27s+Version

With Taylor Swift’s re-release of her iconic song “Love Story,” on Valentine’s Day, generations of fans are reliving their love for Swift and expressing their support for her ownership of her own music. The song was first released in 2009 under her previous label Big Machine Records, along with her albums Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation. 

In early 2020, Scooter Braun and his firm Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Records and all of its assets from Scott Borchetta, including Swift’s work produced under the label. It was quickly made clear that Braun did not intend to hold onto Swift’s work, so Swift and her team began to attempt to buy back her own work. In an Instagram post, Swift updated fans on her efforts by stating she was met with an “ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG.” This essentially trapped Swift between a rock and a hard place, with one side forcing her into silence and the other leaving her without control of a decade’s worth of her own work. 

When considering Swift’s decision, it is crucial to remember the history between Swift and Braun, with many “feuds” between herself and his clients, specifically Kanye West. Throughout the Taylor v Kanye debacle, Braun produced songs, music videos, and shoots portraying Swift in a negative light. This led Swift to make many public comments about her disdain for Braun, his label, and his actions throughout the process. 

As Swift dealt with the pain of having her early career in the hands of a man she publicly spoke against, a clause of her deal with Big Machine gave some hope for her goal of owning her own music. The clause allowed her to re-record all albums produced under the label after November of 2020. This clause in her earlier contract combined with her new contract under Universal Music Group allowing her to own all-new music produced gives Swift a way to gain royalties, sales, and control of her own work once again. With the re-recorded albums, Swift will not have to go through Braun and Borchetta to make changes and decisions regarding the use of her albums. 

With her first re-recorded track, “Love Story,” Swift released a social media post stating, “Artists should own their own work for so many reasons, but the most screamingly obvious one is that the artist is the only one who really knows that body of work.” 

The release of the track quickly became a trending topic on social media and the charts, with it reaching “10 million streams and 24,000 downloads through February 17” according to Billboard. Her quick debut and streaming reveal that re-recordings are not a waste of time. Swift’s fans are willing to abandon old records and turn to the new to support her efforts of owning her own masters. 

After the release of “Love Story,” Swift hinted that the entire Fearless- Taylor’s Version album will be released on April 19th, 2020. With this release, Swift will own the rights, control, and copyright to her most popular album to date.