It’s time to fall back in love with “Love Story,” the smash hit single that took Taylor Swift from country up-and-comer to worldwide superstar and inspired a thousand Tumblr posts about how “that’s not how Romeo and Juliet ends.” (She knows, okay? It’s a song.) “Love Story (Taylor’s Version),” recorded during quarantine, dropped at midnight on Thursday, February 11 and is already making fans emotional and climbing the music charts.
It’s the first song to come out from Swift’s re-record of her album Fearless, which will drop in full on April 9 and include six previously unreleased songs “from the vault” for a total of 26 tracks. As Swifties well know, this follows a long battle with music manager Scooter Braun, who for years has owned, in full or in part, the master recordings of Swift’s first five albums. After releasing multiple statements about her issues with Braun and attempts to buy back her masters without his involvement, Swift decided that the best path forward would be to re-record and re-release her old music so that fans can listen to it without supporting Braun.
This makes “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” something of a turning point. It’s no longer the romantic fantasy of a teenager in love, it’s about a grown woman’s relationship with her work. In the lyrics, the protagonist fights for what she wants. Everyone is trying to “tell her how to feel,” but she persists.
In the lyric video for the new version of the track, Swift makes it clear what matters to her this time: the fans. The video is a montage of moments from her early years touring and greeting fans backstage and on the bus.
And in return, fans are supporting the hell out of the song.
They’ve also spotted one of Swift’s signature “easter eggs” in the cover art: recreating her carefree pose from the Fearless album, Swift is wearing a blouse that’s similar to the one worn by her love interest in the original “Love Story” video. She’s the knight in shining armor now.
Listeners got a sneak peak of the re-record in an ad back in December, but the full version is just so much better. Happy early Valentine’s Day to us.