Taylor’s Version of “Red” Is Missing One Very Important Piece of Information
Taylor Swift's "Red (Taylor's Version)", the exclusive one being offered at Target, is getting horrible reviews from folks on the Target website because they're playing it at the wrong speed.
Those of us of a certain age grew up with the 45RPM single. The small records with the big hole in the center. So we know some records play at 45RPM. And if you ever got the extended mix singles for songs, you also know that some records with the diameter of an album sometimes are pressed to be played at 45RPM. (My first was the 12 inch single for Madonna's "Angel" because I wanted a copy of "Into the Groove".)
Yet, if you were a kid when Taylor originally released "Red", there's a chance you never collected 45's or 12-inch singles. There's a good chance you never played records. And somehow, as records have regained their popularity, you found your way into collecting vinyl. So it's understandable you get ahold of an album, you're going to play it at the standard 33RPM on your turntable or record player.
The thing is, I chuckled to myself when I first read this story on Vulture. Why? I had the same thing happen to me with a record earlier this fall. My buddy Mike lent me the new Alice Cooper record "Detroit Stories".
I got it home, put it on the turntable, and started to give it a spin. Right off the bat, it didn't sound like Alice Cooper to me. It sounded like some studio effect. I just let it play. For like three or four songs. Because it didn't sound bad. The only thing missing was Alice Cooper's voice.
I finally checked and realized the album needed to be played at 45RPM. So I switched the selector and started side one again from the beginning. Ahh yes, it was much more an Alice Cooper record when played at the correct speed. Somehow I had just missed the note on the record's label.
As for Taylor's vinyl version of "Red" available through Target, the problem seems to be they didn't put a hype sticker on the shrink wrap or a note on the label telling folks to play the record at 45RPM. And in a world of digital downloads, and playing music on your phone, playing the record at 45RPM isn't top of mind. And I'm proof that even someone who knows records can make that mistake.