Taylor Swift and her dedicated “Swifties” fanbase are up in arms over a new live-performance album that Swift’s former record label, Big Machine Records, has released.
Having been informed of Big Machine’s plan by fans, Swift vented about the release in an Instagram story; one of her diehard followers posted a copy of the message on Twitter. “This recording is from a 2008 radio show performance I did when I was 18,” Taylor wrote.
“I just wanted to tell you that this release is not approved by me,” the text continues. “It looks to me like Scooter Braun and his financial backers.” Swift named several parties, including “Alex Soros and the Soros family,” who “have seen the latest balance sheets and realized that paying $330 MILLION for my music wasn’t exactly a wise choice.”
Taylor Swift concluded the message by writing, “Just another case of shameless greed in the time of Coronavirus. So tasteless, but very transparent.”
The live-performance album is entitled Live from Clear Channel Stripped 2008, and some social media users are reporting that the work has been uploaded to their respective countries’ music streaming services. At the time of this writing, however, the album hadn’t debuted on Spotify or Apple Music US.
That said, Swift’s supporters have taken the liberty of making the 2008 performance available, seemingly in its entirety, on YouTube.
This surprise album release is the latest chapter in an extensive, long-running feud between Taylor Swift, her former record label, Big Machine Records, and manager Scooter Braun, who, via his Ithaca Holdings company, acquired Big Machine Label Group (and the master recordings from Swift’s first six records) in 2019.
Since then, he and Swift have engaged in a very heated, very public dispute both over his conduct towards her and his unwillingness to part with her masters. Swift signed with Universal Music Group (UMG) subsidiary Republic Records in 2018, and under this new deal’s terms, she retains ownership of her masters.
As part of her ongoing spat with Braun, Taylor intends to rerecord her Big Machine albums to damage Braun’s investment; she says she’s contractually able to start rerecording this November.