Taylor Swift slams 'unapproved' live album as 'tasteless' cash grab


  • Music
  • Friday, 24 Apr 2020

Taylor Swift was not pleased when fans began alerting her Thursday to the apparent impending release of a live album from her early days as a recording artiste. Photo: AFP

Taylor Swift was not pleased when fans began alerting her Thursday to the apparent impending release of a live album from her early days as a recording artist, taking to social media to slam Big Machine for being "tasteless" and showing "shameless greed" in exploiting her catalog.

In her ire, Swift did not hesitate to call out not just Scooter Braun but individual investors she sees as being at fault for enabling his investment in Big Machine last year, claiming, hyperbolically or otherwise, that they must need money after overpaying for her catalog.

"Hey guys," she wrote on Instagram Live. "I want to thank my fans for making me aware that my former record label is put out an 'album' of live performances of mine tonight. This recording is from a 2008 radio show performance I did when I was 18. Big Machine has listed the date as a 2017 release but they're actually releasing it tonight at midnight."

Fans have circulated screenshots of an eight-song release titled Live from Clear Channel Stripped 2008, with an official release date of 2017, as they appeared in the listings of Spotify and also, in foreign territories, Apple Music.

"I'm always honest with you guys about this stuff," she continued,"so I just wanted to tell you that this release is not approved by me. It looks to me like Scooter Braun and his financial backers, 23 Capital, Alex Soros and the Soros family and The Carlyle Group have seen the latest balance sheets and realised that paying $330 MILLION for my music wasn't exactly a wise choice and they need money." (This last sentence was accompanied by a laughing-till-you're-crying emoticon.)

"In my opinion... Just another case of shameless greed in the time of Coronavirus. So tasteless, but very transparent."

Although screen shots circulated of its apparent appearance on Spotify and other services, a Thursday afternoon search did not reveal any current Spotify listings for the album.

Representatives for Big Machine and Braun did not immediately respond to requests for comment about Swift's assertions or whether the album is indeed set for release tonight. Variety will update the story if they respond. – By Chris Willman/Reuters

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