Diving headfirst, Taylor Swift’s new ‘Fearless’ rerecording debuts at number one on Billboard

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Republic Records

Taylor Swift has re-recorded her 2008 album “Fearless” which was released on April 9, 2021.

Maggie Hurley, Herald Reporter

Taylor Swift’s second studio album “Fearless” was released in 2008 and brought her massive success through radio hits like “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me.” The album took home the award for Album of the Year at the 52nd Grammy Awards, making Swift, 20 at the time, the youngest person ever to win that award.

In 2014, American broadcaster Barbara Walters said “Taylor Swift is the music industry.” With her album releases, Swift continues to break records and set the standard. Her cultural relevance has not diminished and it will not be fading anytime soon.

Her recent venture into rerecording her first six studio albums has proven that. When announcing the release date for the first rerecorded album, Swift took to Twitter: “Artists should own their own work for so many reasons, but the most screamingly obvious one is that the artist is the only one who really *knows* that body of work.”

Back in the summer of 2019, Swift revealed that the rights to her entire catalog had been sold out from under her by her former manager Scott Borchetta to Scooter Braun. Braun is the manager of artists such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato. Swift also revealed she was never given the option herself to buy her masters from Big Machine Records.

Additionally, in October of 2020, Braun sold the rights to Swift’s masters to Shamrock Holdings for $300 million. However, Braun and Borchetta’s ventures seem destined to fail. When she announced she no longer had ownership of her music, Swift also announced she would be rerecording all six albums she released under Borchetta’s management.

April 9, 2021 saw the birth of this massive undertaking with the release of “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” The album has all 19 songs originally released in the 2008 platinum edition of the album with an additional seven songs, six of which were previously unreleased.

This new album shows massive growth in Swift’s vocal abilities, from enunciation to breathwork. It is especially evident in the rerecorded “Fifteen,” when Swift sings “but in your life, you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team. I didn’t know it at fifteen.” With her age now doubled, she has learned and grown as not only a musician but also as an individual.

“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, making it the biggest debut of 2021 so far. If Swift could do this with “Fearless,” it is easy to imagine the records she’ll set and break with the rerecordings to come.