Anticipating Red (Taylor’s Version)


Red (Taylor’s Version) album cover

Morgan Thompson, Editor

Taylor Swift has not failed to keep fans on their toes, even in the midst of a pandemic. After the disappointment of having to cancel her 2020 “Loverfest” tour due to Covid-19, she has made up for it in copious amounts of content. Since August of 2019, Swift has released four albums, a live recorded concert and a documentary on Netflix, another live concert and one pre-recorded concert on Disney Plus, and a Christmas single. Now, “Swifties,” as Taylor Swift’s fans call themselves, look forward to her next re-recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version), coming out on November 12th.

But why the need to re-record? The simple answer: Swift does not own the rights to her albums anymore. Swift was just fifteen when she began recording and publishing her music. In 2005 she signed a record deal with Big Machine Records. This record deal ended up expiring in 2018, meaning Big Machine Records owned the rights to her music. The company was later sold, and now Swift’s first six albums lay in the hands of Scooter Braun, CEO of Ithaca Holdings, another music publishing company. Later on, in October 2020, Swift not only was robbed of her albums, but her rights to music videos, photoshoots, and artwork previous to 2018. It was sold to yet another music production team, Shamrock Holdings.

In August 2019, Swift announced on Good Morning America that “starting November 2020 […] I can record albums one through five all over again.” It was later announced that she will be able to re-record her sixth studio album,  Reputation, but not until late 2022.

Swift was on to the re-recordings as soon as possible, eager to not only get her masters back, but to take a stand for the unfairness she went through in the process of recording her music. “This is my worst case scenario,” she told Mancunian Matters. “This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”

Fearless (Taylor’s Version), a re-recording of Swift’s second studio album, came out on April 4 of this year, reaching Billboard’s number one album in just two weeks. Soon after, Red (Taylor’s Version), her fourth studio album, was announced on June 18 to come out in mid-November. 

Now, the time is finally here, and “Swifties” around the country eagerly anticipate the new release after enduring six months of waiting. However, in these six months, Swift has not stayed quiet. Countless “easter eggs” have been revealed on her Instagram and Tiktok, and Swifties are working hard to decode their hidden meanings.

“I have a lot of speculations with things she’s been posting and saying. The squirrel stuff is really throwing me off,” junior Kaydance Vandersteen commented after Swift posted about dressing up as a squirrel for Halloween. “I don’t know what it is! Acorn? What is going on? Tell us!”

Fans have also been speculating singles to be released before the album, but to no avail. Many associations were made from different easter eggs relating to Swift’s lucky number: 13. However, rather than releasing a single from Red (Taylor’s Version), Swift dropped a re-recorded single from another album that hasn’t been re-recorded yet, 1989. Wildest Dreams was one of the most trending songs on TikTok, so when she released Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version), not only were Swifties excited, but the TikTok community was as well.

“I didn’t see it coming at all! I knew it was trending on TikTok and I guess Taylor just saw that and was like ‘Oh, let me just release it,’” said sophomore Paige Sutherland. “I did not see that coming at all. I thought she was going to release something from Red.”

After all the confusion with rumors and easter eggs of re-releasing 1989, Swift was still able to get fans into the “Red season.” In a recent Instagram Reel, Taylor Swift posted in big letters “It’s Red Season” showing many red dresses, shoes, and even new merch. 

On November 5, seven days before the album release, Swift also announced a short film to go along with one of her vault songs, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” The short film will feature actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. It will be released at the same time as the album. 

Despite all the exciting easter eggs and exciting announcements, Swifties are overall excited for the themes and emotions incorporated in the album. Fans often relate feelings of nostalgia and heartbreak with many of the songs. 

“When she wrote it she was a heartbroken person, but now to see her as somebody who’s in love and has a happy life, I think it’s going to be interesting,” Vandersteen said. 

“I like how the Red ‘old version’ was like the old her, but now that she’s a new person I like how she adds her own personal touches just to make it better,” added junior Adyn Huntington. 

In her Red (Taylor’s Version) announcement post, Swift talks about these feelings of heartbreak and happiness that goes along with the process of writing a song. “Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person,” she wrote. “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.”

All of these anticipating emotions and wonders will be put to an end the night of the Red (Taylor’s Version) release. The album drops on November 12 at midnight eastern time. The album can be found in both physical and digital copies at