Just before Valentine’s Day, Taylor Swift announced that she re-recorded her Fearless album. The album was set to feature six never-before-heard songs and a new version of Love Story. The announcement came in typical Taylor Swift style with a surprise announcement and a hint of it coming very soon but with no specific release date.
She appeared on Good Morning America on February 11, 2021, just before Valentine’s Day weekend. She announced on the show that she is officially finished re-recording her Fearless album that was originally released in 2008. She went on to make a very exciting announcement that a new version of Love Story would be released that night at midnight.
While it is not officially being actively promoted on radio stations, it has been played more than 350 times in just the first few days of its release. In its first six days, the song’s airplay translates to almost 1.7 million audience impressions for this country music singer turned pop.
The new version of the song has been dubbed Love Story (Taylor’s Version). Since its release it has garnered more than 10 million on-demand audio streams in the United States through February 16. It has also sold more than 24,000 downloads through February 17.
Fearless rose to become Taylor Swift’s first Number One album on the Billboard 200. Love Story was her second Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit. Since these major milestone firsts, she has received more Number One albums and 27 more top 10 Hot 100 hits.
Re-recordings of songs or albums are handled separately from the originally recorded version. Each have their own independent chart history. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Love Story (Taylor’s Version) will chart separately from the original recordings from 2008. Love Story (Taylor’s version) is expected to debut on various weekly Billboard charts toward the end of February.
When compared side-by-side the song Love Story differs in a few ways. For starters, when the original one released, she was considered to be an innocent and young country singer. She has now matured and become more known for her pop.
She produced the new version herself and did not tinker with the arrangement or the lyrics. She did change many of the musicians, however. She wanted her touring band to get a chance to play her version. The main difference is the fidelity with crisp new sound and more separation between instruments. With this new recording, listeners can now pick out little details that were originally buried. For instance, you can now hear the sound of the pick on the banjo strings and the cymbal hits.
Taylor’s voice has also matured. In her new version, she adds warmth and more of a depth in the vocals. She enunciates more clearly in spots. Ultimately, she does a great job in capturing the romantic innocence from the version she recorded at the young age of 18.
Other seemingly minor details have become more clear as well. The electric guitars are slightly less strident, and the violin is no longer buried. The two songs have very subtle changes that may not be prominently noticeable to some. But to die-hard fans who have been following her sound for years, the new version is a welcomed change while the original is still enjoyed.