Who remembers the Swift vs Braun debacle of 2019? It was a social media war of epic proportions that even had Justin Bieber caught in the crossfire. Though it may seem like a glint in the ocean of shit the last few months have brought us, the Swifties’ #TaylorIsFree hashtag serves to celebrate the singer regaining control of her work after one of the music industry’s biggest case of double-dealing to date.
— Patrick (@READYF0RlT) November 2, 2020
It all started last summer, when the Wonderland cover star’s former record label – Big Machine (a subsidiary of UMG) – had sold the master rights of the pop icon’s discography, spanning her self-titled debut Taylor Swift to 2017’s reputation. Fans were shocked and horrified to discover these masters had been acquired by manager Scooter Braun, but what’s worse is that Swift claimed she was never aware of such a deal. “I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world,” she wrote in a now infamously-lengthy Tumblr post.
The ensuing chaos would even spill over into Swift’s 2019 AMA’s performance, where she received the highly-coveted Artist of the Year award, amongst several others. Swift had planned to perform a medley of her greatest hits over the past decade, but shared on Twitter that this would no longer be the case owing to the masters deal. After mounting pressures from stans and fellow artists alike, Big Machine and Braun relented and the stunning performance went ahead as planned, with nothing else really being said on the matter until this past August.
Don’t know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019
On the promo-run for her dreamy-pop classic, Lover, Swift took to CBS Sunday Morning and shared plans to re-record her back catalogue as a means of reclaiming her work. “Starting November 2020 — so, next year — I can record albums 1 through 5 all over again — I’m very excited about it,” she said. “I think artists deserve to own their work. I just feel very passionately about that.”
As of November 1st, Swift now has the legal right to re-record any (and all) of her old albums excluding 2017’s reputation, which Swift will still be able to reimagine, just in 2022. We can only dream of what the chart-topping legend has in store for her old creations, perhaps a gothic take on “22”, or maybe a DnB iteration of ‘00s classic – “Love Story”? Only time will tell…