April 9, 2021
LONDON (Reuters) – American music star Taylor Swift released a re-recording of her 2008 hit album “Fearless” on Friday, as the Grammy Award winner seeks to take back control of her early catalogue.
“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” features 26 tracks, including six previously unreleased songs from the vault. It has all of the original album’s 13 songs and six more from the record’s platinum version.
It also features single “Today Was a Fairytale” and a remix bonus track of “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” by Swedish producer Elvira.
“It was the night things changed,” Swift wrote to her 153 million Instagram followers announcing the album’s release.
The 31-year-old, who has won 11 Grammy Awards, said in February she would release a re-recording of “Fearless” following a long-running dispute with her former record company Big Machine and music executive Scooter Braun over the rights to some of her biggest hits.
Braun bought Big Machine in 2019 after Swift left the label in 2018 for a new deal with Universal Music Group. Last year, he sold Swift’s master recordings to a private equity company in a deal reported to be worth more than $300 million.
Swift released “Fearless” as an 18-year-old and the album, her second, catapulted her to global stardom as well as winning her the coveted album of the year award at the Grammys.
Critics said her fans would be pleased with the re-recording, with the singer staying loyal to the original version 13 years on.
“It would take a deeply devoted Swiftologist — of which there are millions, each eagerly armed with a fine-toothed comb — to suss out the minute differences, so thoroughly has the singer re-created her original arrangements,” the Los Angeles Times said.
Music website NME said the re-recording “celebrates and stays true to Swift’s ‘Fearless’-era”.
“Production here is crisper and warmer than that of the original, and Swift’s vocals are, understandably, more mature,” it wrote.
“Listening back to the whole album has a similar effect to reading back an old diary – especially as these songs are steeped in nostalgia given the prominence on first release.”
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Barbara Lewis)