Red (Taylor’s Version) – The Return of a Beloved Album

By Elliot Ingram

On Friday, November 12th, 11 time Grammy winner, Taylor Swift re-released her 2012 hit album, Red, this time owned solely by herself. Apart from Swift’s pursuit to own all of her own work, this time around the album included brand-new songs and the highly anticipated All Too Well (ten-minute version). 

To understand the importance of “Taylor’s Version” you have to understand the reasoning behind her choice to re-release old music for a second time. In 2019, Taylor Swift’s manager, Scooter Braun, sold her first six studio albums to Big Machine Records for a reported total of 300 million dollars. What was later revealed was that this was all done without the singer’s knowledge, and Taylor Swift had expressed interest in owning her own music and was willing to do what it took in order to do so. In response, Taylor left Scooter Braun and started releasing new albums that she owned. Now, she undergoes the process of taking back the older albums, starting with the re-release of Fearless last spring, she now puts out Red (Taylor’s Version.) 

Containing 30 tracks, this new version of the classic album holds more importance, value, and meaning than the original from 2012. With new collaborations with Phoebe Bridgers and Ed Sheeran, Swift added nine “from the vault” tracks that didn’t make the original album. One of the standouts from the 2012 release, the song All Too Well, instantly became a fan favourite and one of the most personal songs Taylor Swift has ever written. This time around, Swift included the fully uncut 10-minute version of the song that was first written before having to be edited to a “normal length song.” Along with the song, Taylor wrote and directed a short film with the same name. Starring Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink, and The Maze Runner’s Dylan O’Brien, both illustrate this song’s heavy meaning, the love and downfall of Taylor’s 2010 romance with actor Jake Gylenhall. With many direct hints at the three-month relationship, in 2012 fans were quick to call out the meaning behind these breakup anthems.

However, the love for this album stretches far beyond just the Taylor Swift fandom, the release weekend for this record was all over the entertainment world. Starbucks created the “Taylor’s Version” drink, a nonfat caramel latte with a special sticker to make it more than just a basic drink. The Empire State Building lite up in red on the night of the album’s release, and many high-profile celebrities shared their love for the artist by both watching her performance on Saturday Night Live, and sharing through social media. Hundreds of dedicated fans were invited to watch the All Too Well short film premier in New York City, while others began ordering brand-new merchandise. This time around, the release for Red Taylor’s Version has been sweeping the music charts and overall being a more positive experience for both Taylor Swift and her fans. Swift said, “It’s much better this time,” in an interview with Seth Meyers, explaining how having grown since writing the original songs and releasing the album has allowed her to have a much healthier and enjoyable relationship with her album.

With this music returning into our world, fans reignite their furry towards Jake Gylenhall, demand for her “red scarf” to be returned, scream the words of 22, and We Are Never Getting Back Together, this time around all owned by the singer-songwriter herself, Taylor Swift.