Taylor Swift’s “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” breathes new life into old songs

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The cover of “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).”

Taylor Swift released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” on April 9, 2021. The album features 26 songs, including six never before released tracks from the vault. Swift’s new release was the first to sell at least 100,000 copies in one week this year. Fans of Swift have rallied around her in support of the new version of her sophomore album.

“The new version of ‘Fearless’ is amazing,” junior public relations student Branden Townes said. “I love the way she took her old album and made it new for all of the fans. It wasn’t just simply a re-recorded version of the original. I especially loved how she added six songs from the vault. My favorite is ‘Don’t You.’” 

Many people speculated the re-recordings would be exactly the same as the originals, just with older sounding vocals, considering the singer is significantly older than when the albums first hit the shelves.

“I didn’t expect to get six new songs from the vault,” junior nutrition major Savannah Barr said. “I honestly thought that Taylor would release the albums as we had known them in the past. I loved the original version of ‘Fearless,’ but this one is even better. Her voice sounds amazing, and every song just makes you feel good, even the sad ones.”

Swift became a household name as a teenager and has sold more than 200 million records worldwide. She is known for her songwriting and ability to perform in many genres.  

“I was always a fan of Taylor Swift, but I had only become a huge fan after listening to ‘1989,’” Townes said. “After that I listened to every album, watched every performance and became a true fan. All of us fans wanted her to own her music because they are her personal stories that she put countless hours of work into. When she announced she would be sharing the new versions of her albums, I was so excited for her. I had high expectations for the re-recordings because Taylor never disappoints. I wasn’t surprised to find that this album was even better than the original ‘Fearless,’ and the bonus tracks included were truly fantastic.” 

Last year, Taylor Swift announced she would be re-recording her old albums to take ownership of her masters that were sold to music manager Scooter Braun. Her first six albums, “Taylor Swift,” “Fearless,” “Speak Now,” “Red,” “1989” and “Reputation,” were all owned by Big Machine Label Group, the record label she was signed to when she was just 15 years old. In 2019, Braun and his company Ithaca Holdings bought Big Machine and therefore gained the rights of all of Swift’s masters. Swift released a statement on social media.

“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Swift said in the post. “Instead, I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world.”

After the sale was made, Swift began re-recording her music with her new label, Universal Music Group’s Republic Records. “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” was the first to be released. No release dates have been announced for the other five albums, but fan theories on social media suggest “Speak Now” will be the next re-recording shared by Swift.

“There was a lot of sadness in the fanbase when her masters were sold, and I am just glad to have this new version to listen to that she is proud of and owns,” Barr said. “I can’t wait for the other re-recordings to come out and she can officially own all of her work.”

Lindsey Vlasic covers entertainment and the arts. Contact her at [email protected]