And Finally Artist News

Sheryl Crow clarifies comments about Taylor Swift’s Big Machine beef

By | Published on Friday 13 September 2019

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow has taken to the socials to explain that when she said that she didn’t know what “the big stink” was all about when Scooter Braun acquired Taylor Swift’s master recordings, she actually meant that she didn’t know what the big stink was all about when Scooter Braun acquired Taylor Swift’s master recordings, and not that she didn’t know what the big stink was all about when Scooter Braun acquired Taylor Swift’s master recordings.

Swift, of course, was very unhappy indeed when artist manager Scooter Braun acquired her former label Big Machine, a deal which included the master rights in all of the pop star’s albums except the new one. In an angry response to the news of Braun’s Big Machine purchase, she accused the manager of past bullying, and said she was distraught to think he now controlled all of her recorded output to date.

In then transpired that Swift’s team had previously tried to secure her ownership of the master rights in her earlier albums when negotiating a second record contract with Big Machine. But in the end, no second deal with the label could be agreed, and Swift opted to work with Universal Music on future releases instead, via a licensing agreement that would ensure she retained all the copyrights in her new work.

Crow was presumably asked about all this during a TV interview earlier this week because, earlier this year, she herself signed to Big Machine.

Responding to that query, Crow noted – correctly – that labels and catalogues are bought and sold all the time in the music industry, and it’s very common for artists and songwriters to sign deals with one company only to end up with their music owned by another. To that end, she said that she didn’t know “what the big stink was” re Swift and Big Machine.

Taken out of context, that quote could seem like Crow was being somewhat disparaging of Swift – ie she was basically saying “why all the fuss about something that, while not ideal, is industry standard?” And that’s certainly how some of Swift’s fans took it, meaning that Crow – who had to cut a show short earlier this week because of ill-health – was on the receiving end of some good old Swifty fan rage.

But what Crow actually meant was that she simply hadn’t been following the Swift/Braun/Big Machine fall out story very closely and therefore didn’t know why this particular label acquisition has resulted in some angry statements.

And, to be fair, if you read the full interview transcript, Crow did begin her answer by saying: “I’m gonna be honest with you, I live with my head in a big hole, I stay out of that world”. Then, after musing about how often music catalogues are bought and sold, she added “I’m out of the loop, I don’t really know”.

Clarifying all this on Twitter after the Swift fans went into rage mode, Crow said: “If you listen to the whole clip, I explain that I live with my head in a big hole, and don’t know the details. Don’t go for the clickbait. And stop pitting women against each other”.

Meanwhile, in a video message on the social network, she expanded: “It’s been brought to my attention that some people think I was negative about Taylor Swift on the Andy Cohen show, and that was taken totally out of context. To be honest I don’t usually weigh in about other celebrities because I don’t keep up with celebrity news. So when I said I didn’t know what the stink was about, I meant I didn’t know what the situation was about”.

“You know, I totally support Taylor”, she then adds. “I think she does great humanitarian work, she’s outspoken politically, and she’s an awesome songwriter. So all the stuff about the masters, I don’t know what her situation was. I know my masters have changed quite a few times. But I wouldn’t weigh in on what her situation is, because I really didn’t know”.

So, consider that settled angry Swift fans. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t understand what all the stink was about.