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The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

The Student News Site of The American School in Japan

HANABI

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How India Plays Both Sides of the Global Geopolitical Divide

How India Plays Both Sides of the Global Geopolitical Divide

January 27, 2024

In 2009, a new global establishment was founded. BRICS is an economic and political alliance between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, that seeks to counterbalance traditional Western influence.? As...

Avatar: The Way of Water — Cultural Appropriation or Appreciation?

Avatar: The Way of Water — Cultural Appropriation or Appreciation?

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Nearly 15 years after its release, Avatar (2009) remains the highest-grossing feature film of all time. Its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) proved to be another massive hit, ranking as the third...

Gregory Khezrnejat and The Distinctive Craft of Transnational Writing

Gregory Khezrnejat and The Distinctive Craft of Transnational Writing

January 20, 2024

Last month, the 九色社区 English and Japanese departments had the privilege of hearing from Gregory Khezrnejat, a transnational writer and professor at Hosei University. As a diverse student body with a wide...

Taylor-made: The Success of Taylor Swift’s Re-Recorded Albums

Taylor-made%3A+The+Success+of+Taylor+Swift%E2%80%99s+Re-Recorded+Albums
Reading Time: 3 minutes

After nearly two decades, Taylor Swift has cemented herself as a household name in the music industry. Her ongoing, massively successful “Eras Tour” is her. She has also written a substantial amount of music, including studio albums, four live albums, and most recently, four re-recorded albums.?

Taylor’s Version is a term placed after any of Swift’s re-recorded songs or albums and acts as a marker, indicating that she owns the to that piece of music. Taylor’s Version was the product of a dispute with her record label, Big Machine. When the masters of her albums were sold without her knowledge, Swift, with the intent to regain the rights to her songs, started her journey of re-recording her albums.?

Artists re-recording albums is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it has been done quite frequently by artists such as , Bob Dylan, and David Bowie. There are an abundance of reasons why an artist would choose to re-record their songs, varying from disputes with label companies to a desire for improvement or even simple experimentation.?

In 2012, in a case similar to that of Taylor Swift, Def Leppard re-recorded their biggest hits due to a conflict between the band and their record label, Universal Music Group. Lead singer , “We’re trying to wrestle back our career and ownership of these songs.” While Def Leppard’s re-recordings gained some traction in the media, their impact on the music industry was small in comparison to the profound effect that Taylor’s Version has had.?

So far, Swift has released four re-recorded albums: Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version), Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), and most recently 1989 (Taylor’s Version). Fearless (Taylor’s Version), released in April of 2021, has been streamed times—earning Swift an estimated $20,477,599 in royalties. These huge profits continued with Swift’s next re-recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version), which was able to exceed Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in both streams and royalties earned.?

Taylor’s revenue from these records blows those of other artists’ re-recordings out of the water, but with the immense success she is experiencing, the question lingers: what makes Taylor’s Version different??

An important factor in Taylor Swift’s success is her large base of dedicated fans. United under the nickname “Swifties,” her supporters exhibit an extreme amount of loyalty, supporting every one of her career moves. Swift knows that her fans are the driving force behind her success and as a result, thanks her fans at every opportunity, whether it be at her concerts or in public interactions.?

Along with a loyal fan base, another factor in her success is her skillful. Swift’s marketing can be broken down into two aspects: the general promotion of her music and merchandise through social and traditional media, and the unique puzzle games placed within those marketing campaigns aimed at her devoted fandom.?

Most recently, in the lead-up to the release of the 1989 re-record, Swift made her fans work for the titles of the additional “vault” tracks—new songs not included on the original 1989 record—that would be on the album. In a Google Search game, fans deciphered a series of anagrams related to her song lyrics. Only after fans collectively solved 33 million puzzles were the titles of the previously unreleased tracks revealed. In less than 19 hours, Swift’s devoted fans managed to reach the threshold and unlock the new tracks.?

Between Swift’s clever marketing and dedicated fanbase, it is no wonder that Taylor’s Version has become a huge success, not just among re-recorded albums, but in the music industry as a whole.

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About the Contributor
Hana Smith, Writer
Hi, my name is Hana. I was born in Japan and I'm currently a sophomore. My interests include reading, art, and listening to music! My current favorite Taylor Swift album is Folklore but it does vary depending on my mood!

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