Taylor Swift: Why is Max Martin not a producer on 1989 Taylor's Version?
30 October 2023, 15:42
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Max Martin worked closely with Taylor Swift on Red, 1989 and Reputation but he's been absent from the rerecordings so far.
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Taylor Swift's Taylor's Version albums have seen her reunite with her past producers but a key person is absent: Max Martin.
Max Martin has been one of Taylor Swift's favourite producers to work with over the years. After Speak Now, Taylor wanted to experiment with pop and decided to work with the best in the business. Max Martin had previously produced Number 1 hits like Britney Spears '...Baby One More Time', Kelly Clarkson's 'Since U Been Gone' and Katy Perry's 'Teenage Dream'.
Together, Max and Taylor worked on some of the biggest songs of her career. 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together', 'I Knew You Were Trouble', 'Shake It Off', 'Blank Space' and 'Style' all have Max's touch and fans have long appreciated the way in which Max compliments Taylor's incredible songwriting talents with his laser-focused production style.
Nevertheless, Taylor has not reunited with Max for her rerecordings. Despite having multiple songs on Red and 1989, Max isn't on Red (Taylor's Version) or 1989 (Taylor's Version). So why is that and will Max be on Reputation (Taylor's Version)?
As it stands, neither Taylor nor Max have opened up about why Max isn't involved in any of the Taylor's Version albums. For the most part, Taylor has reunited with the people she originally made her songs with to rerecord them. However, her early collaborator Nathan Chapman and Max Martin have both been replaced by a producer called Christopher Rowe.
Shellback, who worked with Max and Taylor on Red, 1989 and Reputation, produced 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor's Version)', 'I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor's Version)' and '22 (Taylor's Version)' with Taylor and Christopher. However, he has not returned to work on 1989 (Taylor's Version).
Some fans have praised Taylor's rerecordings without Max. However, other people have argued that songs like 'Blank Space' and 'Style' don't sound as good without Max's involvement. So where is he?
Here are a few fan theories as to why Max hasn't taken part in the Taylor's Version albums at the moment.
1) Max's production fee was too high
Max is one of the most expensive producers in pop. One fan theory is that Taylor chose to cut costs by working without him. However, given that Taylor is one of the most successful artists in the music industry, it seems unlikely that she would avoid working with Max due to costs. Every Taylor's Version so far has also been a huge commercial success.
2) Taylor wanted to take a more active role in producing her rerecordings
When Taylor has worked with Max in the past, she's rarely been credited as a producer on their recordings. It's possible that Taylor wanted to actively work as a producer on all her Taylor's Version songs and made the executive decision not to work with Max. As it stands, Taylor is credited as a producer on ever Taylor's Version song.
3) Max said no to the rerecordings
In recent years, Max has taken a step back from producing as much as he used to. There's a chance that Taylor asked him to work on the rerecordings but he said no due to the time it would require. Fans also think he maybe wasn't interested in recreating songs that he and Taylor had perfected previously.
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Will Max Martin be on Reputation Taylor's Version?
It's worth reiterating that all of these theories are speculation and until Taylor or Max say something, we will never know why Max isn't a producer on the Taylor's Version albums. It's also possible that Max will return for Reputation (Taylor's Version) but it seems unlikely that he would take part in that album and not 1989 (Taylor's Version) or Red (Taylor's Version).
Whatever the reason, it appears that Taylor and Max are still on good terms as Taylor thanks both Max and Shellback in the album booklet prologue for 1989 (Taylor's Version). Taylor writes: "I had Max Martin and Shellback who were happy to help me explore this new sonic landscape I was enamored with."
Given that Max has co-written many Taylor songs, he also still has writing credits on both Red (Taylor's Version) and 1989 (Taylor's Version).
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- Read Taylor Swift's 1989 (Taylor's Version) prologue in full here
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