Taylor Swift refused to hide her discomfort following the announcement that Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings had acquired Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group, especially since ownership of her masters were a huge part of the deal. During an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Swift revealed a plan to circumvent Braun’s ownership of her early recordings by re-recording them.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the interviewer asked Swift point-blank if she planned on re-recording her masters, something both Swift’s fans and peers (including Kelly Clarkson) had recommended she do. She responded, “oh yeah.” When asked once more if that was a plan, Swift doubled-down with “absolutely.” Video from the interview has yet to be released, but the full interview will air this Sunday at 9 a.m. EST.
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Swift was signed to Big Machine Label Group for 13 years until her contract expired in November. She then chose to sign a new deal with Republic Records and Universal Music Group. For her new deal, she negotiated ownership for all her future masters while BMLG retained ownership of her first six albums.
After the deal between Borchetta and Braun had been announced in late June, Swift took to Tumblr to show her disapproval. She wrote that her “musical legacy was about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it,” referring to Braun’s involvement in her ongoing feuds with both Kanye West and Justin Bieber as manager for both artists. She also claimed she had no knowledge of the deal until it was announced online, which Borchetta refuted in his own blog post. Swift maintained that she was not previously informed of the deal in her CBS This Morning interview.
In re-recording her masters, Swift would be joining a small — but vocal — group of artists like JoJo and Def Leppard who have re-recorded hit songs in attempt to wrest control back from their record labels. Any re-records of Swift’s older songs would be competing directly for listeners (and royalty revenue) with the original recordings owned by Big Machine, unless Swift were to negotiate a deal to pull those original recordings offline.
Rolling Stone has reached out to both Swift and Borchetta’s camps for comment.
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