Taylor Swift Releases Her Version of ‘Red’


Art by Alexi Romero

Leanna Willett

It is known that Taylor Swift has a huge fan base, but after November 12th that fanbase grew to another level. Here’s a little backstory as to why: Back in 2012, the original “Red” album was released by the record label Big Machine Label Group. However, only 16 of the 30 songs Taylor had in store for the album made the cut. This is not what Taylor wanted nor is it what she thought would be best for her album. They disagreed, publishing it anyway. After 13 years of being signed to Big Machine Taylor ended her contract in 2018 and is currently signed to the Universal Music group. 

When Taylor signed to this new label she gained more freedom to create and publish the music she wanted. The big choice she made was to re-record the “Red” album and add the other 14 unreleased songs. The updated (Taylor owned) album is now #1 on all charts. 

“All too well” was also released back in 2012… But not the full version. Now, 2021 Taylor gave her audience her version by releasing the full 10 minutes in the updated “Red” album (Taylor’s Version). Additionally to the release of the whole song she created a short film which you can stream on youtube. In Taylor’s short film starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O‘Brien she directs her song ‘All Too Well’ by portraying her tangled relationship with an unstated ex-partner. Who fans guess is about her previous relationship with actor Jake Gyllanhall, due to the age gap shown with Dylan and Sadie. 

The short film is not meant to be romantic; instead Taylor created it to shed light on the problematic emotional effects of age gaps in relationships. The video (Dylan O’brien and Sadie Sink) showcase(s) the emotional abuse and the manipulation that the relationship entailed. Some are getting the wrong idea and not seeing the important message Taylor is trying to send through her music and other creative outlets. At the end of the short film Taylor (played by Taylor) is shown at an author event reading her book to an audience which represents her sharing her story through the album and song “All Too Well.”

Taylor’s aesthetic is described to be very fall-like and she definitely shows that part of her by incorporating fall-like details in the short film. Even throughout the entire album some of the imagery in the lyrics relate to autumn. An appropriate release for the season. 

At the end of the album Taylor told her audience that “Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heart-broken person. It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end. Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild and tortured by memories past.” Describing the creative process and feelings placed into the album. 

Though her past label doubted her, Taylor Swift proved that hiding your creativity is often not the answer, because on the day she released the rest of the album she received 90.8 million streams on Spotify. Breaking the record for most streams in a day by a female artist.