“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is the 2021 re-release and re-recording of American singer, songwriter and musician Taylor Swift’s second studio album released in 2008 titled “Fearless“, which was originally released through Big Machine Records. This album marked Swift’s first re-release of re-recorded albums. “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” was released on the 9th April 2021 through Republic Records.
Swift’s reasoning for re-releasing her older albums was due to her dispute with her previous label Big Machine (who Swift had left in 2018), whom American talent manager Scooter Braun bought for $300 million in June 2019. As part of that purchase, Braun had also acquired ownership of the master recordings of Swift’s first six studio albums. In a Tumblr post on the day of Braun’s deal with Big Machine, Swift denounced and condemned the deal:
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and “earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. […] I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
– Via Swift’s Tumblr (2019)
Swift’s solution to the masters issue was to re-record and re-release her music from the six albums, (which she owns in her right as a publisher) and make them sound like the original recordings as much as possible. This ultimately allows Swift to control the licensing of her songs for commercial use, therefore lowering the value of the previous masters that Big Machine own.