“Speak Now” Taylor’s Version Release

Maryam Sadeghifard, Staff Writer

With anticipation rising and gossip resurfacing, Taylor Swift announced on all social media platforms that her original country pop Taylor era will make a comeback on Jul. 7, 2023. Taylor Swift’s fans, or as she likes to call them, Swifties, are beyond excited for the re-record to hear the originals revamped and upgraded in this new rendition. Not only will this version contain all the original 16 songs that came with the “Speak Now” album, but it will also include six tracks from “From the Vault”—unreleased songs that were supposed to be in “Speak Now” but did not make it to the final cut of the 2010 version.

“I am definitely most excited for the unreleased songs we didn’t get to hear in 2010. I know they’re going to be amazing because around this time was the same time that she wrote
‘Back to December’ and ‘Better than Revenge,’ two classics that I could not imagine living without,” said Arcadia High School senior Mellanie Grbavac. 

For those who are not very familiar with Taylor Swift, there may be confusion surrounding the whole concept of “Taylor’s Version” and the reason behind the re-records. Having this done for her “Red” album in Nov. 2021, as well as “Fearless” in Apr. 2021, some are wondering what’s with the “new” old songs. Swift’s most iconic songs are her classics in the album, “Speak Now,” that encapsulated the raw, developing Taylor Swift as we know her today. 

This version of Taylor was just getting into the pop industry, straying away from the country image that most envisioned her in, circa 2010—although with this newly rising fame, she had signed with Big Machine Records in 2005 as a fresh-faced Nashville singer, and her contract was to expire in 2018. Within this amount of time, Swift had produced six albums with renowned hits that sold out tours and made it to the radio stations. 

Now, however, Big Machine has full ownership over the original recordings and sold it to Scooter Braun, who then sold it to another company, Shamrock Holdings, for $300 million. Swift had already had “bad blood” with Braun after she reported he had bullied her many times prior to this, and now, ironically, is making profit off of her music.

Since this transpired, Swift has informed her fans and made it clear what her intentions will be following this incident. 

“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,” said Swift in an Instagram post in Mar. 2021.

It’s an artist’s right to have ownership of their music, yet more often than not, as an artist grows more popular, the contracts they made when they were less known end up taking advantage of their fame, leaving the artist without options. Swift took notice of this and decided to make the re-recorded versions of her album to stand up for her and many other artists who deal with the same thing.

“Taylor Swift is very brave for doing this and standing up to big record companies who overtake new and upcoming artists. I will be sure to listen to the new ‘Speak Now’ album as soon as it comes out because Taylor deserves masters [owning the original music] to her own music,” said Grbavac. 

Overall, this re-record is one that many fans are looking forward to hearing. Even though most of the content hasn’t changed from the original “Speak Now” album (besides the more advanced vocal ranges), the intention behind it has. In 2023, as successful as she is, Swift deserves to own rights to her masters, and her fans are supporting her behind her endeavors in “Taylor’s Version.”


Photo courtesy of FLICKR