Morgan Wallen is taking a cue from pop superstar Taylor Swift by re-recording a song from his old catalog as a form of protest to derail the plans of some former colleagues.
On Thursday, the country music star took to his Instagram page to give his side of the story as to why he decided to interrupt a hunting trip to re-record Spin You Around, which is from his debut Extended Play (EP) Stand Alone (2015).
Before hitting the big time in the music industry, Wallen signed a music deal without legal representation, something he deeply regrets in hindsight that resulted in 13 new songs, five of which made it on to the debut EP.
Now, after nearly 10 years since splitting from his original team, some of his former colleagues are releasing a 10th Anniversary edition of Stand Alone, which goes against his wishes.
Realizing his old collaborators were set to drop that special edition, Wallen and his current team decided to fight back by hastily arranging a recording session in Nashville in order to have the new version of Spin You Around 1/24 be released at the same time Friday night.
Morgan Wallen, 30, decided to re-record his song Spin You Around after learning his old team are set to release a 10th Anniversary edition of his debut EP Stand Alone without his consent
The Sneedville, Tennessee native let it be known he has nothing to do with the re-release of Stand Alone, which basically amounts to the unveiling of eight previously unreleased songs.
The problem is Wallen didn’t feel those eight songs were good enough to make on the original record, and that nothing has changed in the decade that has since past.
‘We made 13 songs. Some were ok, most were terrible as I was just learning how to write in general & figuring it all out,’ he explained in the caption of his Instagram post.
‘I was not the only collaborator, so many of these songs were not my idea nor to my standards. We deemed 5 worthy-enough to make the Stand Alone EP which includes a fan-favorite, Spin You Around.’
The country music star singled out how his former managers are assisting in this project that goes against his wishes.
‘For months I’ve been exploring every avenue possible to acquire the rights to this old music & keep the quality of my catalog consistent with songs I choose to release & believe in, he continued. ‘It’s gross, greedy & an example of how the dark side of the music business can suck the soul out of artists.’
It’s obvious he and his current collaborators looked at how Taylor Swift faced a similar situation.
Swift decided to re-record her first six albums after she found out Scooter Braun bought her former label Big Machine Records and then sold it and its original Swift masters to the Disney family’s Shamrock Holdings for $405 million under the condition that he keeps profiting from the masters.
Outraged that she allegedly never got the chance to make a bid to buy back her masters, Swift has since re-recorded four of those records: Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version), Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and 1989 (Taylor’s Version).
Swift now has just two of those old albums left to re-record: her debut self-titled album and Reputation, before completely owning all of her music once again.
By wanting the new version of Spin You Around to coincide with the release of the 10th Anniversary edition of Stand Alone, Waller even went as far as to make the cover image for the single himself while out in the woods duck hunting.
The country crooner went on to call his business situation with his old team an example of ‘how the dark side of the music business can suck the soul out of artists.’
Wallen confessed to signing a music deal without legal representation, resulting in him not owning 13 songs by himself; five songs made it on to Stand Alone (2015), while the other eight have remained unreleased until now
The Last Night star renamed his first hit single for this protest release, now calling it Spin You Around 1/24, as a way to avoid any legal action
Wallen maintains eight from the original 13 songs did not live up to his standards, which was part of his motivation to try to fight its release
Swift’s plan to own all of her own music entails re-recording her first six albums, in order to give fans an option to own the record and not buy the originals that were sold out f4rom under her few years ago by her old label; she has finished four of those albums to date
Backing up his complaints, Waller is also pledging $100,000 from his foundation to the Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts (VLPA) program, in an effort to see that this sort of thing doesn’t keep happening to other young artists.
Part of his motivation to take on his old colleagues was to let fans know that he’s not interested in releasing those old songs and that he’s more focused on offering up new music to his fans.
‘I want you to know this is NOT my new music & I don’t want to see this happen to anyone else,’ he explained, adding, ‘I cringe when I listen to these songs & I’m concerned my fans may mistakenly believe this is a new release by me.’
Waller goes on to reveal that he begins to record new music for his next project at the end of February , and that he’s ‘feeling inspired creatively & super excited to make more music I’m proud of.’
‘I hope young aspiring musicians read this story and know they should never have to give up their creative freedoms for an opportunity in this business,’ the More Than My Hometown star said.