The move follows the extremely contentious sale of Big Machine that included Taylor Swift’s valuable early masters.
Perhaps timing isn’t Big Machine’s strong suit. Or, maybe the just-sold label group doesn’t really care. Either way, recently-acquired Big Machine Label Group is now hawking colored 7″ vinyl releases of some of Taylor Swift’s earliest (and most valuable) hits.
For $10 a pop, Big Machine is currently selling limited-edition vinyl copies of Swift’s ‘Tim McGraw’ and ‘Teardrops on My Guitar,’ both from Swift’s classic, self-titled debut album from 2006. And those are just the first two singles being re-released.
The singles are part of a broader 13th anniversary celebration of the album release. The anniversary officially arrives in October.
Accordingly, Big Machine is staggering the release of singles from the album to heighten anticipation. Of the two, ‘Tim McGraw’ is a traditional black vinyl, while ‘Teardrops’ starts the colored rotation.
Taylor Swift fans are being alerted to the 7″ limited-edition vinyls via email (guess Big Machine kept the email list, too). Earlier today (July 10th), Big Machine notified fans to the availability of the ‘Teardrops’ vinyl. It looks like the alert for ‘Tim McGraw’ was sent weeks ago, quietly kicking off the series (and right before the sale of Big Machine was announced).
“Act fast!” the latest email urges. “We just released a Limited Edition 7” Vinyl of ‘Teardrops On My Guitar’ with Acoustic B-Side Recording!”
The acoustic b-side was recorded in 2007, just one year after Swift released her debut.
Interestingly, Big Machine also announced the vinyl releases on Instagram — with comments disabled.
Of course, there’s nothing especially interesting about a 13th anniversary, especially one that arrives in October.
So perhaps this July-timed release is happening at exactly the right time — at least for Big Machine to rub it in.
Just last month, Big Machine Label Group was sold to Scooter Braun-owned Ithaca Holdings in a deal valued north of $300 million. The acquisition was blasted by Taylor Swift, who lambasted Scooter Braun as scum and labelled Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta as a sellout (to put it mildly).
Swift said she didn’t have an opportunity to repurchase her own masters, something Borchetta flatly denied.
“This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept,” Swift slammed on Tumblr, referencing Borchetta. “And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”
Taylor Swift’s attorney, Donald Passman, later stated that Swift never had a chance to gain ownership control over her masters. Apparently only Scooter Braun was afforded that luxury, which may explain Swift’s consternation.
Drama aside, Swift fans are quickly scooping up the limited-edition gems.
‘Tim McGraw’ is now sold out. ‘Teardrops on My Guitar’ remains on pre-order, and is likely to be sold out within days (if not hours). Other singles are currently in the pipeline.
And the drama continues…