In recent years, it has become increasingly popular for musicians to make the decision to re-release their old music. This trend is an innovative development in the music industry because it allows musicians to showcase their musical growth, capture the nostalgia of their old music for their fans and capitalize on the achievements of music that has already proven to be successful.
One reason that artists re-release old music is so they can demonstrate and acknowledge how far they have come in their careers musically, personally or otherwise. Forbes Magazine reported that pop artist Demi Lovato took on her re-recording project to showcase her musical evolution by shifting into the rock genre. Her album “REVAMPED,” released Sept. 15, consists of rock versions of 10 of her biggest hits, including “Heart Attack” and “Sorry Not Sorry.”
Additionally, the genre shift makes great sense for Lovato’s appeal as an artist. It not only puts a creative spin on her old music, but it could also attract a new demographic of listeners to her music.
Time Magazine reported that Taylor Swift embarked on her journey of re-recording her first six albums after her former record label sold her master recordings in 2019. Swift is using her re-recording projects to not only showcase her growth, but also to reclaim her art as her own.
Unlike Lovato, Swift tends to stay true to the original genre and production in her re-recordings with the three “Taylor’s Version” albums she has released thus far. However, Swift has undoubtedly evolved a great deal musically since the albums were originally released upwards of a decade ago, making these new recordings uniquely her own.
Swift taking back control of her catalog allows her to both reminisce on her career while also setting the precedent that artists should have control over their art.
Another benefit of artists re-recording their music is the nostalgia it provides for longtime fans and the opportunity it gives newer fans to experience the release of the old music for the first time.
Ariana Grande’s recent re-release of her debut album “Yours Truly” to celebrate its 10-year anniversary was also made to show her gratitude to her fans for their support, Billboard reported. Leading up to the original album’s re-release Aug. 30, Grande curated a week of surprises for her fans. She answered questions on TikTok live streams, dropped previously unreleased footage and merchandise from the era and released newly filmed live performances of six songs off of the album.
While some may argue that re-recording old music is a lazy way for artists to make money, it is actually a brilliant business move that is nothing but beneficial for artists and their fans.
For example, Billboard reported the differences in the sales of Swift’s original albums compared to their re-released “Taylor’s Version” albums. “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” (April 2021) sold approximately 696,000 more copies and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” (Nov. 2021) sold 905,000 more copies than their respective original recordings since the time of their re-release. With the increased streams and sales of album-specific merchandise, re-recording her music has definitely proven to be financially smart for Swift.
The concept of musicians re-recording their music is an opportunity for artists to reclaim and evolve their art while also allowing fans to experience artists’ beloved music for a second time.