Taylor Swift Announces New Re-Recorded Version Of Her 2008 Classic Fearless
Last year, Taylor Swift confirmed that she planned to re-record the old albums that she made when she was signed to the label Big Machine. Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings had bought Big Machine and Swift’s back catalog in 2019, and Swift, who’d wanted to buy her own master recordings, pronounced herself “sad and grossed out.” Braun sold Swift’s back catalog to some investors, but Swift refused to be a part of any deal that would benefit Braun. So Swift is in the process of remaking her old albums, which means she’ll have control over the recordings. Today, Swift announced plans to release her first re-recorded album — a new version of Fearless, her 2008 sophomore LP, which will feature unreleased songs that Swift wrote back then.
On Good Morning America today, Swift showed up with a brief video message, announcing that she had finished recording what she’s calling Fearless (Taylor’s Version). On the show, Swift said, “My version of Fearless will have 26 songs on it because I’ve decided to add songs from the vault, which are songs that almost made the original Fearless album. I’ve now gone back and recorded those so that everybody will be able to hear not only the songs that made the album but the songs that almost made it — the full picture.” Swift also said that her new version of the big Fearless single “Love Story” — already previewed in a Match ad in December — will be out at midnight tonight.
With this new version of the album, Swift is hoping to make something that her fans will listen to rather than the original, and she’s also hoping that she can license these songs, rather than having the original recordings licensed out. If she pulls this off, then she’ll effectively undercut the people who bought her original recordings, rendering the older recordings essentially valueless. Fearless, the album that she’s using to begin this campaign, might be the best album she’s ever recorded. It’s a bold gambit.
Swift hasn’t yet said who worked on the album with her, but at least based on what’s playing in that Match ad, the new version of “Love Story” seems awfully faithful to the original. It doesn’t seem like Swift is trying to remake these songs to fit her current sound. In a Twitter statement this morning, she talks about the upcoming release of the LP, and she also shares the cover art of the new version — basically the original cover art, re-created through her current aesthetic.
I’m thrilled to tell you that my new version of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is done and will be with you soon. It has 26 songs including 6 never before released songs from the vault. Love Story (Taylor’s Version) will be out tonight. Pre-order now at https://t.co/NqBDS6cGFl pic.twitter.com/Vjyy2gA72O
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 11, 2021
Swift hasn’t yet announced a release date for the new version of Fearless, but The Guardian reports that fans have picked up on cryptic clues — mostly the capitalized letters in that announcement, an old Swift tactic — and speculated that it’ll be out 4/9.