Owning The Industry (Taylor’s Version)

Students at Western Branch’s opinions on Taylor Swift and her album re-recordings.


A screenshot of a student’s phone, while listening to “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).

Ashtyn Barnes, Editor

In 2006 Taylor Swift’s Debut album came out and her fan base and fame have only grown from there. 15 years later with millions of “Swifties” around the world, Swift is taking back what’s hers and rerecording her original albums.

“I first started listening to her in 2010 or 2011. She talks about breakups but I’ve never been through one. There are some songs that she uses to relate to her parents and things that she’s gone through that I’ve related to,” Lauren Edmondson, 12, said.

Taylor Swift has made her mark on numerous genres with her most popular being country, pop, and now alternative rock. A few of her most popular songs based on The Billboard Top 100 to date are “Shake It Off,” “Wildest Dreams,” “Style,” and “Mine.”

“My favorite album is definitely Red, there are so many different songs and so many different scenarios on all the albums, there’s something for everything. “All Too Well,” “Better Than Revenge,” and “Sparks Fly” are my favorite songs,” Anne King, 12, said.

When Swift was a teenager and starting her career she signed with the Nashville, Tennessee “Big Machine Label Group.” This record label was sold to Scooter Braum in June 2019, giving him the rights to Taylor’s original recordings and the ability to gain royalties from their streams.

“The fact that he thinks that it’s his music when she wrote and sang all of it is disgusting,” King said.

After many attempts to purchase her rights back from Braum, Swift announced in late 2019 that she would begin re-recording her first six studio albums starting with the 2008 album Fearless. While many fans were ecstatic about the announcement, critics would go on to claim she was only in it for the money profit she would gain.

“I think about it through the perspective of [how] she’s making it how she wanted it to be originally, she had to cut songs she didn’t want to, so she’s making music for herself and her fans,” Samantha Williamson, 10, said.

After the enormous success of the Fearless re-recording, Swift gave her fans several clues leading up to the final announcement on June 18, 2021, of her second re-recorded album Red which was set to be released on November 19th but was moved ahead to November 12th. This version would contain many fan favorites but Swift would also go to add nine songs “from the vault.”

“My favorite songs off the re-released album are either “Red” or “Better Man,” King said.

A fan favorite from the original album, “All Too Well,” was rumored to be a 5 ½ minute version of what was supposed to be a 10-minute song that was then confirmed by Swift herself. 

“My favorite song is 100% the “All Too Well” 10-minute version,” Edmondson said.

Along with announcing the 10-minute version of the song would be released as a vault track, she also shared there would be a short film of the song starring Sadie Sink and Dylan Obrien.

“The short film was so good I cried the whole time. I loved the parts where Sadie and Dylan were speaking and in an interview, it said several parts were completely improvised and it just tied it all together perfectly,” Williamson said.

Many love the plot and were able to relate it to their own previous relationships, however; based on the social-media response from fans even more loved than the song was the supposed calling out of Swift’s 2010 ex-boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal. 

“We don’t know Jake Gyllenhaal, we don’t know his life, but I know Taylor Swift’s life and it would’ve been a lot better without him,” King said.

The two were seen together from October 2010 to the beginning of the new year in 2011 when Swift was 19 years old and Gyllenhaal was 29. The age difference has gotten mixed reviews with some saying she was being taken advantage of.

“Someone needs to tell his PR team to hide because Taylor fans are brutal and he’s being called out for what he should’ve been a long time ago,” Williamson said.

Whereas others feel as though the two’s age difference wasn’t an issue.

“I think that honestly if it’s something you want to go for, go for it,”  Edmondson said. “Age doesn’t really matter.”

With the Red album out and on the top of the music charts, Taylor Swift’s fans have already begun the anticipation for another announcement of the next re-recording. Many fans are suspecting the next album to either be the 2010 Speak Now or the 2014 1989.

“She’s crazy, we’ve established that she has too much fun playing with our brains. There are so many clues to what could be next, but I definitely think it’s either 1989 or Speak Now,” Williamson said.

Swift is known for her puzzles and easter eggs she gives her fans to hint at what she has coming next for them and she stands true to that now with possible hints to the next rerecording.

“She rereleased “Wildest Dreams” which is off 1989, but there are so many clues leading to Speak Now like prices on her website have been at $20.10 and that’s 2010 which is when Speak Now came out and it was in purple font,” Williamson said.

Despite the criticism she receives daily, she continues to live rent-free in the minds of all her supporters.

“I think she does everything for a reason and it’s all thought through extremely well, she’s very wise,” Edmondson said.