Taylor Swift fans are seeing (and hearing) her version of ‘Red’ now that she’s released the long-awaited, rerecorded hit album.
Following the arrival of ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ last spring, ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ makes good on the Grammy winner’s 2019 pledge to take back ownership of the six-album catalogue she lost when Scooter Braun purchased — and subsequently sold — her previous record label, Big Machine.
Originally planned for November 19, Swift released ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ late Thursday and accompanied it with a short film for ‘All Too Well,’ which she wrote and directed. The film stars Swift, Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien and was shot on 35mm film by cinematographer Rina Yang. It’s also set to the 10-minute song she previously teased fans about.
“It never would have been possible to go back & remake my previous work, uncovering lost art & forgotten gems along the way if you hadn’t emboldened me,” Swift tweeted to her fans upon the release. “Red is about to be mine again, but it has always been ours. Now we begin again.”
Released in 2012, ‘Red’ signaled the country-music darling’s crossover to pop music by embracing a synth-pop sound and a vindictive edge that broke with her previous songwriting. At the time, she said she wrote the songs “about the other kinds of love” that she recently fell in and out of and “love that was red.”
The original album — and the new version — boasts the Grammy-nominated breakup anthem ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ and classic pop single ‘I Knew You Were Trouble,’ as well as the standout hits ‘All Too Well,’ ‘Begin Again,’ ‘Everything Has Changed’ and the birthday bop ‘22.’
Like her latest version of ‘Fearless,’ Swift’s modern take on ‘Red’ unearths several previously unreleased songs that previously ended up on the cutting-room floor, resulting in a whopping 30 total tracks.
Tracks 22 to 30 are new and titled: ‘Better Man,’ ‘Nothing New,’ ‘Babe,’ ‘Message in a Bottle,’ Bet You Think About Me” (featuring Chris Stapleton), ‘Forever Winter,’ ‘Run’ (featuring Ed Sheeran), ‘The Very First Night’ and the 10-minute version of ‘All Too Well.’
“Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person,” Swift said in June when she announced she was rerecording ‘Red’ next. “It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end. Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild, and tortured by memories past. Like trying on pieces of a new life, I went into the studio and experimented with different sounds and collaborators. And I’m not sure if it was pouring my thoughts into this album, hearing thousands of your voices sing the lyrics back to me in passionate solidarity, or if it was simply time, but something was healed along the way.”
On Friday, coffee purveyor Starbucks also celebrated the occasion with a promotion: Fans can now order Swift’s favourite drink — a grande caramel nonfat latte — in the company’s seasonal red cups by saying ‘Taylor’s Latte’ or ‘Taylor’s Version.’
Swift will likely play a song or two from ‘Red’ when she appears as the musical guest on ‘Saturday Night Live’ this weekend, with actor Jonathan Majors hosting.
Fans welcomed the new album Friday, taking to Twitter to celebrate its arrival and how Swift’s maturing vocals hit differently. Many also speculated how the purported subjects of her songs (ahem, Jake Gyllenhaal) would react to the tracks getting a second life and embellished their tweets with a red scarf emoji — a cheeky reference to Swift’s ‘All Too Well.’
‘Shivers’ singer Sheeran noted that ‘Run’ is the first song that he and Swift wrote together, and ‘Everything Has Changed’ was the second. The British star tweeted that it was “so fun getting to revisit these again.”
Swift even got a shout-out from ‘Sesame Street’ star Elmo, who celebrated their shared crimson hue.
“Only RED today. Love you @taylorswift13,” tweeted longtime fan and ‘Modern Family’ star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, whose shirt was emblazoned with Swift’s name.
“Missed out on taylor swift’s red era before. im not gonna let it happen again,” tweeted another fan.