Take Two: Artists Who Re-Recorded Their Music
Just because something gets put to tape once, that doesn't mean it can't be put to tape again.
There are countless reasons why an artist might choose to re-record one of their songs or even an entire LP. It's oftentimes for legal reasons, as they attempt to regain control over their work after it was bought or sold by other people or entities – as with Taylor Swift's "Taylor's Version."
"Our contract is such that [Universal Music Group] can't do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing," Joe Elliott of Def Leppard told Billboard in 2012. His band re-recorded a number of their hits following a dispute with the label over their compensation. "So we just sent them a letter saying, 'No matter what you want, you are going to get 'no' as an answer, so don't ask.' That's the way we've left it. We'll just replace our back catalog with brand new, exact same versions of what we did."
Other times, artists decide to re-record tracks for their greatest hits compilations. Maybe there wasn't anything wrong with the first version, but it can never hurt to do things a slightly different way.
Then there's the idea of just doing it for fun. In the early 2000s, Joni Mitchell recorded an entire LP of previously released songs, Travelogue, freshly arranged with a full orchestra. In 2023, Roger Waters announced he'd be releasing a new version of The Dark Side of the Moon, for really no other reason besides the creative joy of doing so. In Waters' own words, he "started to consider what the wisdom of an 80-year-old could bring to a reimagined version."
We're taking a look at Artists Who Re-Recorded Their Music, and you can decide for yourself which versions are your favorite.
Artists Who Re-Recorded Their Music
They Hated Their Own Albums