Breaking up is complicated… especially if you’re a diehard Taylor Swift fan wanting to break up with her old albums, which she has urged her fans to no longer support as her campaign to issue re-recorded versions in their stead gets underway in earnest.
Friday, Swift will be releasing “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” a remake of her 2008 sophomore album, and it’s understood that many Swifties who support the singer’s choices will want to retire the original from their digital collections or playlists. But what if songs from “Fearless” — Big Machine’s version — accidentally pop up as choices on streaming sites, like old boyfriends whose pictures you thought you’d burned but hadn’t? Is there a way to make these unsightly reminders of songs that had once been most-playeds but have now joined the self-forbidden list never appear as recommended possibilities again?
There is. The Twitter account @swifferupdates is one of at least several offering advice on how to make Swift’s OG Big Machine tracks (or at least the ones that she has yet released replacements for) disappear from fans’ Spotify recommendations for good.
The thread offers a tutorial on “How to Hide Fearless (Original) on Spotify,” which is simple enough, although somewhat time-consuming, as it involves clicking “hide the song” individually on each track from several different Big Machine editions of the album, plus a live release, plus a number of stand-along bonus tracks or remixes.
The step-by-step process includes “hiding the song” for each number of “Fearless (Platinum Edition),” then each song on “Fearless (International Version),” then “Fearless (Big Machine Radio Release Special),” then the individual track “Today Was a Fairytale” (a soundtrack cut never included on “Fearless,” but a bonus track on the new release), then the collection “Live From Clear Channel Stripped 2008” (a release Big Machine uploaded to streaming services after she left the label, to her public displeasure), then “Love Story *Digital Dog Remix),” then “Love Story (Pop Mix)” and, finally, “You’re Not Sorry (CSI Remix).”
The user @swifferupdates did miss one angle, though: As a respondent pointed out, there was no instruction to hide the original-original version of “Fearless,” which also remains on Spotify, sans the bonus tracks added for all the special editions.
There may be simpler ways to play the new album without being afraid of a Big Machine-benefitting version creeping into view that don’t involve doing more than 50 individual hides. As a respondent wrote: “I just made my own Playlist and added the songs she owns only …. and I don’t allow it to play ‘suggested music’ when it completes the playlist — you can turn that off — and also by pressing repeat all in the Playlist so it will continuously loop the Playlist.”
Anyhow, with five more albums to go after “Fearless” in Swift’s series of Big Machine album re-records, someone might be able to make some coin offering a concierge service to manually eliminate all these choices for overburdened or techncially challenged Swifties. Others, of course, will accept the risk of accidentally letting a 2008 come up and putting a fraction of a cent into the pockets of Scooter Braun and the investors to whom he uploaded her catalog last year.