This November has been marked by the re-release of Taylor Swift’s hit album Red (Taylor’s Version). This album features her original 21 songs from the original release in 2012 but re-recorded with modified vocals and instrumentals. It also includes an extra 8 songs “From the Vault”, which she wrote for the original album but didn’t include, and a 10-minute version of her original and iconic single, “All Too Well”. The addition of “(Taylor’s Version)” to each song and the title of the album means that Swift has all royalties and rights to each song, and has complete ownership over her music. During her original release, she would only make a small portion of the money she deserved from her music because of ownership rights and the record label she was under. However, now she owns all of her music and has all the rights.
Within 2 days of release, every song off Red (Taylor’s Version) was in the top 50 of the U.S music charts. It is her biggest release to date, with the most streams ever recorded within the first 24 hours, beating her previous record-breaking album Folklore. Swift did multiple promotion interviews right before the release, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she talked about her excitement for the album. She explained her excitement to be able to own yet another one of her albums. She told Fallon, “When you see a song that says ‘Taylor’s Version’ in parentheses, it means that I own it which is very cool!”. In addition to her feature on the Tonight Show, Taylor celebrated the Red release by performing the new 10-minute version of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” on Saturday Night Live.
The release of her new 10-minute version of “All Too Well” did not go uncelebrated. The day after the album was released, a few fans had the opportunity to watch the “All Too Well Short Film” directed by Swift, starring herself alongside Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink. Swift invited some fans to a screening of the film at AMC Lincoln Theater in New York City. There, they were able to watch the premiere of her film on YouTube. The film was a hit with critics everywhere, even Harvard Crimson. The Harvard Crimson describes the film, writing, “[it] satisfyingly aligns with the song’s lyrics without feeling like a traditional music video, all while carrying a storyline that explores the unbalanced power dynamics of a doomed relationship.”
In another “From the Vault” work, Swift features fellow artist and friend, Phoebe Bridgers, in their collaboration piece “Nothing New”. The piece was written by 22-year-old Swift, speaking about the hardships of being a new artist in the industry. It was written for the original release of the album back in 2012 but was never finished. She now proudly showcases it alongside her other vault pieces, like “Message in a Bottle”, “Babe”, and “I Bet You Think About Me”. The vault songs have been hits with Swift’s fans, who love to hear more music from the original era that has been worked on to fit a current post-Evermore era.
The release of Red (Taylor’s Version) has been a November anthem and will go down to be one of Swift’s most popular and record-breaking albums. From re-worked songs like “22” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” to ten-minute releases, and to new songs, the album has once again proved that Taylor Swift can do anything. If there’s one thing that will go down in music history, it’s that November is Red (Taylor’s Version).
Author’s Top Song: “Nothing New”
Erin Erturan ’23