Taylor Swift surprise releases “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)”

Leaves fans wondering what’s next


Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” cover art.

Hannah Race, Reporter

In the past year, Taylor Swift has been re-releasing versions of her previously released songs, because Big Machine Records would not sell her the masters to her songs after her contract ended. Since Big Machine Records owns Swift’s songs, she does not get money from the streams of albums: “Taylor Swift,” her debut album, “Fearless,” “Speak Now,” “Red,” “1989,” and “Reputation.”

 Personally, I love everything Swift has released, so when I heard that I could stream her songs and have the money from the streams go to her, I was elated. I could finally say goodbye to the massive guilt trip I felt while listening to my favorite songs, because she would finally be getting the money that she deserves. 

But re-recording her old albums hasn’t been easy. Her re-recordings have to be released at least five years after the original album, because of her contract. On Apr. 9, 2021, Swift released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” 13 years after the original came out. 

Along with her songs that were released with the original album, Swift has not been afraid to release never heard before “From the Vault” songs. These are songs she wrote for the original album that were rejected, such as “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” When “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” was announced, I was listening to Swift’s music a lot more. The new vault song made me overjoyed to have new music from her. I felt like I could relive one of the eras that I experienced listening to Swift when I was 11 with new songs, which made it even more exciting. 

After the “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” release, Swift hinted at re-recording her “1989” album, which made me so excited. “1989” is easily my second favorite album by Swift. I was anxiously awaiting the announcement for her version of “1989,” when she announced that “Red (Taylor’s Version)” will be released on Nov. 19. I was shocked, but I’ll listen to anything by Swift, so I was able to switch my excitement about “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” (which I’m still waiting for) to “Red (Taylor’s Version).”

Swift has been known to keep her fans on their toes. She surprise-released both “Folkore” and “Evermore” hours before their midnight release date, along with dropping “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” She gave no warning other than a few posts on different social medias a few hours before. “Folklore” and “Evermore” were projects over quarantine that became sister albums because of their similar sounds. One surprise album is shocking, but two albums released less than five months apart is astounding. Especially two albums that had such meaningful lyrics. I’ll admit that I had to crack open a dictionary several times while listening to both albums, because Swift used such a wide range of vocabulary. Her surprise releases have kept fans such as myself anxious for what’s next. I can often be seen searching her social media posts for clues as to what songs she is going to release in the future. This has led to very in-depth fan theories. I love scrolling through TikTok, gathering crazy amounts of evidence on whatever she’ll do next, but fans can often be wrong.

Some fans of Swift thought that she would release a third sister album to “Folklore” and “Evermore” called “Woodvale” on April 30, 2021. Originally, the theory came from fans taking note of groupings of three in her merch store, thinking that it meant a third sister album. Also the name “Woodvale” was discovered in “Folklore” album art. “Folklore” is one of my favorite albums of all time, and I was convinced she would be releasing something.  However, the more the theories grew, the more ridiculous they seemed. Looking for more clues, fans noticed the time 4:30 in the “Cowboy Like Me” music video, which is why they believed the album would be released on April 30, 2021. It started to seem a little outlandish, but the tiniest part of me needed it to be true. To my dismay, when I woke up on Apr. 30, 2021, there was no “Woodvale” or anything else released by Swift. Her reputation for surprise-releasing songs and entire albums have left fans… and myself kicking themselves after they look at her social media accounts to see what clues they missed. 

Because of the surprise release of “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version),” fans were left wondering if she would release the rest of her re-recording of  “1989.” I thought it would be really fun to dance to “Style (Taylor’s Version)” at homecoming, so my hopes were high. Fans on TikTok took note of certain tweets and dresses that Swift used that could potentially connect to her song “Out of the Woods.” As for the album, fans discovered certain release dates in songs lining up to 1989, a possible hint for the album release being sooner, rather than later. “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” was likely released due to the viral TikTok trend of the original track. Swift re-released the song before the trend died, and according to billboard.com the song already has over 8.7 million streams

With the arrival of these so-called “Taylor’s Version[s]” of songs, Swift has been able to show how her voice has changed in comparison to the original albums. Though both versions of “Wildest Dreams” have the same lyrics, instrumentals, and run time, Swift has still been able to make a difference in sound that greatly resonates. She sounds older, more mature, and less breathy. As much as I wished she owned her masters originally, I have had a lot of fun listening to the new recordings of her songs. Now that she owns her masters, it’s like she can finally speak. Her different variations of songs create a fun spot-the-difference-picture, but with the one and only Taylor Swift. Now, fans including myself await the arrival of “Red (Taylor’s Version)” on Nov. 12 and whatever surprises Swift has in store for listeners.

5/5 paws for my girl Taylor.