Taylor Swift says she plans to re-record her earlier songs in an attempt to get around Scooter Braun’s acquisition of her masters.
“Might you do that?” Tracy Smith asked Swift, 29, in their forthcoming interview for “CBS Sunday Morning.”
“Oh yeah,” Swift says.
“That’s a plan?” Smith, 53, asks.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Swift says.
But Page Six has exclusively learned that it would be “impossible” for Swift to do so because her contract prevents the bold move.
“She can’t re-record because she’s not contractually allowed to do so,” a music industry expert with knowledge of the deal told us on Wednesday. “The only thing she could be allowed to do is…re-do the lyrics, but contractually she can’t. Even if she could, no one would want old songs with new lyrics.”
The expert explained to us that following Prince’s move to re-record his masters as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, most record labels put these safeguards into place to prevent other artists from doing the same.
Of course, Swift isn’t the first artist not to own her masters. In fact, it’s common practice by record labels as they feel they’re taking a risk in investing in new talent. The payoff is that should the artist become successful a la Swift, the label owns the masters.
“This kind of deal is neither unusual or controversial,” media mogul David Geffen told the New York Times after news of Braun’s acquisition broke. “She didn’t want to put up $300 million. Someone else did. They offered her a deal that she rejected to get ownership of her masters. Only time will tell who made the wise decision.”
A separate source also told us that Swift still “refuses to engage” with Braun and his team after his group acquired Big Machine Records. In a fiery Tumblr post, Swift claimed that she was unaware of the deal, but former Big Machine Records owner Scott Borchetta published correspondence between him and Swift that appeared to prove otherwise.
Our source also told us that Swift’s attorneys and her father’s attorneys wrote a letter asking for more time to review the deal before it was finalized, which highlights that they were aware despite claiming she was in the dark.
However, another industry source tells us Swift will, in fact, be able to re-record her earlier songs.
While Swifties anxiously wait to see what happens next, they’ll at least have her new album, “Lover,” to hold them over.
A rep for Swift did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment.
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