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NPR Arts & Life

After Latest Album Release, Taylor Swift Will Rerecord All Her Old Songs

NOEL KING, HOST:

Tomorrow Taylor Swift will release her seventh studio album. And then she says she plans to go back to the recording booth. But it won't be with new music. Swift is planning to rerecord all of her old songs from her self-titled first album right on through to 2017's "Reputation."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO")

TAYLOR SWIFT: (Singing) Look what you made me do. Look what you made me do.

KING: So why all the rerecording? Ownership. Swift could not get her original master recordings when talent manager Scooter Braun bought them from her old label, Big Machine Records. Taylor Swift was upset, and on Tumblr, she wrote about Braun's involvement with Kanye West and Justin Bieber, artists that she's had bad blood with in the past.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BAD BLOOD")

SWIFT: (Singing) 'Cause, baby, now we got bad blood. You know, it used to be mad love. So take a look, what you've done.

KING: Rerecording your entire catalog sounds like a massive undertaking, but it's not unheard of. Artists like Def Leppard have rerecorded their hit songs to get control back from record labels.

AMY WANG: This is a bigger and bigger issue because it has a lot to do with how they control their own image.

KING: That's Amy Wang, the senior music business editor at Rolling Stone, and she says this move by Swift is sort of in line with how she's handled the rest of her career.

WANG: Taylor has historically been an artist that has a lot of control over her own image. Every single album that she has put out has been very, very marketing-proof and very media trained. And so not having her own masters in her control, people can imagine, would be somewhat of an issue for someone like her.

KING: But for Taylor Swift's fans, who call themselves Swifties, there is no artist like her.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME!")

SWIFT: (Singing) I promise that you'll never find another like me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.