Taylor Swift didn’t appreciate it when her old masters were sold to the highest bidder. Now, she’s doing something about it.
After Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings for a cool $300 million, Taylor Swift emerged as one pissed-off critic. The reason, of course, is that Big Machine held the rights to all of Swift’s lucrative masters, and the singer had zero say on their sale.
It didn’t help that Swift bears extreme personal hatred for Braun — not to mention similar bad feelings towards Big Machine topper Scott Borchetta. Describing the sale to Braun as ‘my worst-case scenario,’ Swift also blasted Borchetta for striking the deal behind her back — without giving her an opportunity to wrest back control of her prized master recordings.
Now, Taylor Swift has collected her wits and devised a crafty revenge plan. And it just might make Braun’s life miserable.
Earlier this morning, Swift dropped the bombshell. Instead of bitching about the deal gone sour, Swift is doing something about it — that is, create brand-new versions of songs from her six original studio albums.
In an interview clip shared with Digital Music News, Swift was asked by CBS Sunday Morning’s Tracy Smith whether she was planning to re-record. In response, Swift assertively responded, “Oh yeah,” before affirming that she was “absolutely” heading back to the studio.
The interview is officially airing on — you guessed it — Sunday morning on CBS.
In terms of timing, Swift now has a little extra time to re-record. On Friday, Swift is releasing her seventh studio album, Lover, via her Republic/UMG deal.
(Update, Aug 22nd: Swift has now reaffirmed that she intends to re-record her earlier albums; we’ll have more coverage on Swift’s follow-up comments.)
This isn’t the first time the idea has popped up.
In fact, Digital Music News was one of several publications to raise the possibility. After all, if Swift — or any artist — can technically record a cover of any published work, including her own. The only issue is that most recording contracts have provisions prohibiting exactly this type of re-recording, for obvious reasons.
The clause is designed to prevent product confusion and block ‘revenge recordings’ by artists who are exactly in the emotional state that Swift finds herself. If Swift were to start re-recording and re-releasing her classics, streaming platforms like Spotify could quickly get flooded with duplicate copies, diluting Big Machine’s original investment.
So it might be legally impossible — though not sure little things like ‘the law’ can hold back the fury of Taylor Swift.
More as this develops.