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Taylor Swift’s ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ Tops iTunes Chart Hours After Release

Topline

Taylor Swift released a re-recorded version of her hit 2012 album, Red, on Friday, her second re-recorded offering as part of ongoing efforts to regain control over her material after the rights were controversially acquired, and later sold, by music mogul Scooter Braun without her consent.

Key Facts

Swift announced the drop, cryptically teased back in August, on social media Friday, writing: “Red is about to be mine again” on Twitter. 

Within hours of its release, Red (Taylor’s Version) jumped to the top of the U.S. iTunes album chart and individual lyric videos for some of the songs—including a 10 minute version of “All Too Well”—had notched up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. 

The album includes a hefty 30 tracks, including re-recordings of Red’s original 16 tracks bolstered by 14 bonus songs.

Nine of the extra songs come from Swift’s “vault,” songs originally written for the album that did not make the cut.

 Key Background 

Red (Taylor’s Version) is the second re-recorded album in Swift’s campaign to regain control of her back catalog, which Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings controversially acquired in 2019. Swift vehemently opposed the acquisition, which she described at the time as her “worst case scenario” and accused Braun of “bullying” and attempting to “dismantle” her “musical legacy.” The catalog was later sold to a private equity firm, Shamrock Capital, which, according to Swift, was without her knowledge or consent. After multiple failed attempts to re-acquire the rights herself, Swift re-recorded it in its entirety. The singer released Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in April, scoring herself another number one album. 

What To Watch For

Swift will drop a new music video—a “short film”—for the song “All Too Well” late on Friday. At the time of writing and some 14 hours ahead of the clip’s premier, more than 5,000 people are “waiting” to watch the YouTube video. 

Big Number

$300 million. That’s how much Shamrock Capital reportedly paid for Swift’s back catalog, around the same amount Braun had paid for the entire music label that owned it. The value of Shamrock’s investment is falling with each of Swift’s re-recordings as the singer, who has full ownership over the new recordings, will be putting them on streaming services and licensing them for commercial uses instead of the old ones. Swift has acknowledged the impact this might have on Shamrock’s investment in the past. 

Further Listening

Further Reading

Every ‘From The Vault’ Song Ranked on Taylor Swift’s ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’: Critic’s Picks (Billboard)

Taylor Swift Releases First Re-Recorded Album, ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’, Following Sale Of Master Recordings (Forbes)

Taylor Swift’s Re-Recordings Could Make Her One Of The Most Successful Acts In Billboard 200 History (Forbes)

Taylor Swift Drops New Version Of ‘Wildest Dreams’ — Why It Matters (Forbes)

Here’s Why Taylor Swift Hates Scooter Braun So Much (Forbes)

Taylor Swift To Re-Record Songs After Music Catalogue Is Sold To Private Equity Fund For $300 Million (Forbes)

Here’s Why Taylor Swift Is Fighting With A Utah Theme Park (Forbes)

We Compared ‘Taylor’s Version’ Songs With the Original Taylor Swift Albums (WSJ)

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