Taylor Swift is ready to (re-)paint the town red.
The 11-time Grammy winner announced Friday that the next album on her re-recording venture would be 2012′s “Red” — the star’s first foray into full-fledged pop music after establishing herself as a country belle — set for release on Nov. 19.
“Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person,” she wrote in an Instagram post Friday. “Like trying on pieces of a new life, I went into the studio and experimented with different sounds and collaborators. And I’m not sure if it was pouring my thoughts into this album, hearing thousands of your voices sing the lyrics back to me in passionate solidarity, or if it was simply time, but something was healed along the way.”
Quickly becoming the number one trending topic on Twitter, the new album contains 30 tracks — which include such hits as “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “22” — dwarfing the original’s 19 tunes. The additional tracks will be “from the vault,” or songs recorded for the 2012 album but eventually cut.
The re-recording will also include a 10-minute version of one of her songs, suspected by fans to be her magnum opus, “All Too Well,” long speculated to be about her break-up with actor Jake Gyllenhaal. In a Rolling Stone podcast in 2020, Swift said she recorded a version of the song that clocked in at 10 minutes, had seven extra verses, and an F-bomb.
Swift’s 11th studio album features a cover of her in a rust-colored newsboy cap, a bedazzled ring with the word “Red” spelled out in jewels, a beige coat, and — of course — her signature red lipstick from the era. In the original album cover, the brim of a hat cast a shadow on the then-23-year-old Swift, with her long blond hair framing the same bold red lipstick.
The singer-songwriter, who released her re-recorded version of her starmaker “Fearless” in April, is notorious for dropping cryptic hints for her fans to dissect — and do they ever deliver. The “Red” announcement, however, was a surprise to most Swifties, who were convinced 2014′s “1989″ would be the next re-release.
During an interview in April with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” following the re-release of “Fearless,” she ended by telling Colbert to “shake it off,” the title of one of the biggest hits from “1989.” Just last Friday, she released a new merch collection on her website that seemed to match the color scheme of the “1989″ album cover.
Amid fans losing their minds on Twitter, they discovered that “Red” is set for release in exactly 22 weeks, speculating that “22” would be the album’s first single.
Swift is re-recording her first six studio albums after a dispute over her master recordings. Under contract with Big Machine Records for 12 years, she signed with Universal Music Group in 2018, but Big Machine retained her masters. In 2019, Big Machine sold talent manager Scooter Braun the masters of her back catalog — a move she did not authorize — and Braun sold them in October 2020 to Shamrock Holdings for a reported price upwards of $300 million.
In prime Swift passive aggressive fashion, she announced the release of “Red” on Braun’s birthday.
She began re-recording her back catalog in November 2020, and her contract with Universal ensures she will retain all ownership rights of her master recordings.
If November is too long to wait for some quality entertainment, head over to Twitter any time over the next couple of days to see Swifties collectively implode, or listen to the original album to feel 22 again.
the way taylor swift made the announcement 5 months earlier so we all will have time to mentally prepared for ourselves— Irene🧣 (@lillyswiftt13) June 18, 2021
Dana Gerber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @danagerber6