Thursday, March 18, 2021

Taylor Swift re-records 13yr old hit ‘Love Story’

From teenage country singer to global superstar, Taylor Swift has forged a formidable music career. Celebrated as a pop cultural icon, her artistry is plagued with vulnerability and resilience, and steeped with creativity. 

The Pennsylvania-born star amassed headlines by announcing that she will be re-recording her entire discography in order to regain control of her music. In 2019 Swift’s master recordings were sold to Shamrock Capitol in 2019, against her will. 

This propelled Taylor to re-record all of her music from her first six albums in the hope of diminishing the value of her original master tapes. Unsurprisingly, Swift can now retain all ownership and royalties from those newly recorded sessions. Of course, Swift still held her publishing rights over the originals, but without authority over the masters, Swift couldn’t influence whether her music could be used in the film or advertising industry. 


Love Story (Taylor’s Version) is the first re-recording to materialize from the sessions. In April 2021 an expanded version of her album ‘Fearless’ will follow. ‘Love Story’ coined ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ was released after midnight on February 12th 2021 - thirteen years after the original release in 2008. Doused in critical praise, the track became one of the highest selling digital singles in American history and was awarded a sensational 8 x Platinum. The Romeo and Juliet inspired track is incredibly sweet and nostalgic and conveys the narrative of a forbidden love. Interlaced with starry-eyed idealism, the song opens with: ‘We were both young when I first saw you.’ For Taylor Swift fans these lyrics act as a time-capsule that echoes the lustre and effervescence of teenage youth. This sentiment also seeps through the accompanying music video where Love Story (Taylor’s Version) plays alongside a gallery of Taylor and her devoted fans.

So, what is the difference between the original 2008 version and Love Story (Taylor’s Version) of 2021? Love Story (Taylor’s Version) 2021 is fundamentally a crisper carbon copy of the original in regards to its lyrics and arrangement. Whilst the formatting is nearly identical, there is a new lease of life in Taylor’s version which fashions a sharper, cleaner and more captivating sound. Music production has become a lot sleeker since 2008, allowing Taylor’s Version to contain a richer sound. We can also pick out beautiful hidden nuances that were buried in the original track. From the opening banjo licks to the sound of the drums - everything feels smoother yet punchier. Swift’s vocals are remarkably confident, as she showcases her matured voice on the track. There is a beautiful depth and warmth to her vocals, as she enunciates clearly and effortlessly. Love Story (Taylor’s Version) magically encompasses the nostalgia and innocence of the original track but also preserves the intrinsic sparkle and charm that made the original an overnight success.


Love Story (Taylor’s Version) has already broken all kinds of records for the artist. For example: Taylor is the first to have a debut number 1 on the Hot Country Songs Chart in both decades of the 21st century as well as being the second artist to top the chart with two versions of the same song. (Dolly Parton beat her with ‘I Will Always Love You in 1982). 


It is absolutely awesome to see an artist like Taylor Swift make such a dynamic and stoic power move in her favour. ‘Fearless’ can’t come swiftly enough. (Sorry couldn’t resist)


Jaina Pankhania
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