Taylor Swift Announces Release Date for ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’

The announcement marks Swift’s third re-recorded album


via taylorswift.com

With a release date of July 7, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” is already predicted to perform better (in terms of streaming and charting), than Swift’s 2022 release, “Midnights.”

Kay Copeland, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger

Spending the weekend in Nashville for her “Eras Tour,” Taylor Swift let the Nissan Stadium crowd of nearly 70,000 be the first to know that her tertiary album “Speak Now” would finally be receiving the “Taylor’s Version” treatment. 

Swift announced a release date of July 7, leaving fans with plenty of time to preorder the album in all formats. 

“I think rather than me speaking about it,” she spoke to screaming fans during the surprise song segment of her show on May 5, the crowd realizing from the language that the long-awaited announcement was at hand. “I thought I would show you, so if you would direct your attention to the big screens…” There, the album cover and release date were revealed as Swift went into an acoustic rendition of the “Speak Now” track, “Sparks Fly.”

Originally released in 2010, “Speak Now” is an album characterized by Swift’s sharp wit and clever wordplay, as she often takes aim at those who have wronged her. From the pointed jabs in “Better Than Revenge” to the introspective musings of “Enchanted,” Swift uses her lyrics to explore a range of emotions; from heartache and regret to love and hope.

Thematically, “Speak Now” is a celebration of individuality and the power of self-expression. Many of the songs on the album focus on Swift’s own experiences and the importance of speaking up for oneself, as seen in the title track “Speak Now,” and “Mean.” Other tracks like “Dear John” and “Back to December” deal with the complexities of past relationships and the process of moving on, standing out for their raw emotion and personal lyrics.

“I first made ‘Speak Now,’ completely self-written, between the ages of 18 and 20.” Swift wrote in a social media post announcing the re-record, “The songs that came from this time in my life were marked by their brutal honesty, unfiltered diaristic confessions and wild wistfulness. I love this album because it tells a tale of growing up, flailing, flying and crashing…and living to speak about it.”

In the cover art for the “Speak Now” re-recording (right), Swift is depicted wearing a dress that resembles the one she wore on the original album cover (left). (via Big Machine Label Group/Taylor Swift)

With 22 songs, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” will include six previously unreleased songs “From the Vault.” This also marks Swift’s shortest re-recorded album thus far, with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” containing 26 songs, and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” having a 30 song tracklist. 

In an additional image, Swift wrote, “I always looked at this album as my album, and the lump in my throat expands to a quivering voice as I say this. Thanks to you, dear reader, it finally will be. I consider this music to be, along with your faith in me, the best thing that’s ever been mine.” The “it finally will be” in this message presumably refers to Swift now having a version of the album that she entirely owns, as opposed to the 2010 Big Machine recording. 

Swift began re-recording her albums as a response to a long-standing dispute with her former record label, Big Machine Label Group. In 2019, Big Machine was acquired by Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, which resulted in Braun owning the master recordings of Swift’s first six studio albums. In response, she announced her plans to re-record her old albums, beginning with “Fearless” in April 2021. By doing so, Swift aims to regain control of her music and ensure that her fans can listen to the original versions of her songs without supporting the individuals who she claims treated her unfairly. 

In the cover art for the “Speak Now” re-recording, Swift is depicted wearing a dress that resembles the one she wore on the original album cover. However, this time around, her expression is more serious, highlighting the contrast between her current self and the 20-year-old artist featured on the Big Machine edition’s cover.

During the album’s initial release, six of its tracks, namely “Mine,” “Back to December,” “Mean,” “The Story of Us,” “Sparks Fly,” and “Ours,” made it to the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Although none of these tracks reached the top position, “Speak Now” itself debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, selling over a million copies in its first week. The Big Machine edition of the album spent six weeks at No. 1 and has since received a 6x platinum certification.

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