Last year Taylor Swift revealed that she was going to be re-recording her old music. It was an unprecedented step in Swift’s ongoing battle to regain ownership of her music, after the artist claimed that her master recordings had been sold off without her knowledge. The plan was to create new versions of her first six albums, which Swift would retain ownership of and would replace the old versions of her work.
Now, then, we’ve had the first taste of what these new recordings will be like. Fresh from announcing that the first album she would be re-recording and releasing would be ‘Fearless’ – her smash-hit second record that catapulted Swift to stratospheric levels of success – she’s shared her new version of ‘Love Story’, this time going until the name of ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’.
This new version a charming blast of nostalgia – fusing Swift’s iconic lyrics and melodies with subtly updated production – yet, at the core, Swift has managed to retain the sparkle and warmth that made ‘Love Story’, a song she wrote as a teenager in her bedroom in 20 minutes, a smash-hit.
With the release ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ today, and ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ due out in April, here’s everything we learned from Swift’s latest single.
She worked with her touring band!
In pre-recorded clips sent to country radio in the US, Swift reveals: “I really wanted my touring band to get a chance to play on this version, because you know they spent a lot of years playing this song over and over again, so it was really important to me to have my band who have toured with and shared a stage with for so many years playing on the record.”
— sarah✰ |💛💛 (@thelasttay) February 12, 2021
She also explains that to recreate the sound she also worked with fiddle player Jonathan Yudkin, and backing vocalist Caitlin Evanson; who both appeared on the original version of the song.” It’s a combination of the originals and people who have been sweating on stages with me for over a decade playing on this album,” she explains in the radio station clips.
It regains the charm of the 2008 rendition – but with sleeker production
The two recordings are very similar – but on the 2021 version everything feels sharper. The opening banjo line is crisper, fiddle riffs float on top of the mix and drums are punchier. Understandably – given there’s over a decade between the two versions – Swift’s vocals vary. In 2008, Swift recorded the song as a teenager and there’s an earnest quality to her vocals; but while on the 2021 rendition she channels her younger self, Swift’s voice now holds new power.
It’s owned by Taylor Swift
Swift’s ongoing battle to reclaim her music is the reason that she’s re-recording her previous albums; and fans are excited to see that in the credits for this version show that ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ is performed, written and produced by Taylor Swift, and that she has ownership of this version.
✨ Performed by: Taylor Swift
✨ Written by: Taylor Swift
✨ Produced by: Taylor Swift
👊 OWNED BY: Taylor Swift pic.twitter.com/sHrVHzaywW
— Taylor Swift News 💛 (@TSwiftNZ) February 12, 2021
WE CAN NOW FINALLY SAY
— Rome 💛💛 (@slayswiftslay) February 12, 2021
It celebrates the Swift’s ‘Fearless’-era
‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ comes with a moving lyric video. Acting as a visual scrapback of Swift’s ‘Fearless’ era, it’s filled with clips of Swift during this time of her life, including on tour and with fans. N’aww.
— fearlessly, 𝒂 𝒍 𝒚 ᴵᵁ⁵ 💌✨ (@jieunfirefly) February 12, 2021
It’s an indication of what to expect on the rest of ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’
If the rest of Swift’s new recordings follow in the footsteps of ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ we can expect similar renditions of her old tunes – new versions that stay true to the original recordings, but elevate the production values with a new sharpness.
In a statement Swift released last year giving an update on her ongoing battle to regain her masters, she told fans “I have plenty of surprises in store”. One of these surprises is the inclusion of ” 6 never before released songs” on ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ – but fans will have to wait and see if this is the only major surprise on her upcoming album.
……so y'all do realise that if fearless has 6 unreleased songs, then RED will probably have the 10 minutes version of All Too Well?
— fearlessly, dee💛💛 (@wisteriagrow13) February 11, 2021
Fans are hoping, though, that with all these new songs for ‘Fearless’, that it could mean when Taylor releases the new version of ‘Red’ we may finally hear that 10-minute version of ‘All Too Well’.