By Matthew Dutton
Taylor Swift, a world-renowned musician and songwriter, announced the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) for Nov. 12. But what does “Taylor’s Version” even mean?
To provide some context, Swift started her career with the release of her debut album, Taylor Swift which was just the start for the iconic singer/songwriter.
Swift signed to Big Machine Record Label in 2006 to help boost her career to success and ended up writing and producing six albums with the company.
In 2018, Swift left Big Machine and signed a deal with Republic Records and Universal Music Group.
In 2019, Big Machine was sold to Scooter Braun which gave him ownership over Swift’s master recordings of those six albums. Swift spoke out against the deal as she believes in artist having ownership over their records.
As a result, Swift announced in August of 2019 that she would begin re-recording her older albums starting November of 2020.
“I’m very excited about it. Because I think that artists deserve to own their work. I feel very passionate about that,” Swift said in a Good Morning America interview with Robin Roberts.
The order in which Swift plans to release her re-recordings still remains a mystery after she announced the first re-record would be the album Fearless (Taylor’s Version) which was released April 9, 2021. Ironically, Fearless was Swift’s second studio album.
Fans were ecstatic to see what rerecording Swift would release next and speculation swarmed social media throughout summer of 2021. Swift eventually announced that the next rerecording would be of Red, her third studio album.
So, the looming question still remains, what does “(Taylor’s Version)” mean?
The first thing to point out about the process of rerecording is that the rerecorded version of each song can be similar but not exactly the same as the original. Swift legally owns the lyrics and composition of the songs, thus allowing her to make the new version very similar to the original.
Swift’s rerecording journey has given fans more to look forward to than ever and students at Flagler are making the best of the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) by organizing a listening party for the album.
Dayna Rieger, a junior resident advisor, helped introduce the idea and make preparations for the event.
“We are going to stream the album, watch the short film and eat some food. We are also going to give some information about red flags, toxic relationships and emotional processing for students,” Rieger said.
As a dedicated Taylor Swift fan, Rieger hopes to make the event fun and use it as a valuable teaching moment.
“Sitting and listening to music is much easier to process than someone speaking at you,” Rieger said. “I know this is something a lot of people have asked for and we want to create awareness for what goes on in the music industry.”
Students are already preparing for the wave of emotions the album and listening party will bring like Carolyn Smith who has been a fan since she was 6 years old.
“I’m excited for the listening party because it’s an opportunity to be surrounded by new, likeminded people who share the same love for storytelling that Taylor is able to capture in her music,” Smith said.
The Red (Taylor’s Version) listening party will be held on Monday Nov. 15 from 6pm-8pm in the Virginia Room in Ringhaver student center. Food and beverages will be provided.