Taylor Swift performs onstage during Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour at Levi's Stadium on July 28, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. She looks a bit unsure.

Record Labels Aren’t Happy About the Success of Taylor Swift’s Re-Recordings

Taylor Swift was devastated after the tense legal battle back in 2019 over her music with Big Machine Label Group. All the albums she produced before Lover were essentially lost, since Scooter Braun sold her master recordings for $3,000,000. Despite that setback, Taylor has proven time and time again that she won’t yield, and that she’ll come back stronger than before.

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The battle led to Swift’s decision to re-record all her iconic albums, and it’s not wrong to say that fans received the re-dos with a lot of love and support. A lot of her hit songs were either altered or extended. Who could forget that time Swifties cried over all three variations of the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” when those variations were released in November 2021? That song was practically the Swifty anthem of the year.

“If I can make them the first time, I can make them again.” With these are words, Taylor is coming full circle.

Now, Taylor’s re-recordings have graced the Billboard Top 200. All re-recordings that have been released so far made their way to the Top 200, and have stayed in the top ten for weeks. Taylor was able to reclaim her music, and fans are eagerly waiting for the next re-recordings to drop so that they can listen to her classics again without benefitting anybody underserving. This success made it clear that Taylor, the artist who wrote and performed her own songs, is indispensable.

Not everybody is happy about Taylor’s hard-won success, and some record labels learned moving forward that it’s risky for artists to have the right to re-record their music. Unilad reported that some big-name record labels are now preventing their artists from re-recording their music for 10 to 30 years. This coercive and unfair clause has prompted pushback from several attorneys, who are representing equally well-known clients. Although not all artists have the urge to redo all their masters at a later point in their career, it’s still within their rights to do so. This right hasn’t been challenged until recent events, and the new clause hopefully won’t become a norm in the music industry.

(featured image: Jeff Kravitz/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.