In one of the longest musical performances in “Saturday Night Live” history, Taylor Swift performed the 10-minute version of her song “All Too Well” on Saturday’s episode.
The song is an extended version of a fan-favorite from Swift’s 2012 album “Red,” for which Swift just released her re-recorded “Taylor’s Version.” For those catching up, Swift is re-recording her entire discography in an effort to actually own her songs after the masters of her first six albums were purchased by Scooter Braun in his acquisition of the Big Machine record label.
The lengthy version of “All Too Well” appears on “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and was accompanied by a short film Swift wrote and directed, starring Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink.
Swift eschewed the traditional “SNL” structure on Saturday’s episode, and instead of performing two songs interspersed throughout the episode, the show gave her one uninterrupted 10-minute segment to perform “All Too Well" as her short film played on a giant screen behind her.
The Grammy-winning performer appeared on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” earlier this week and told the host that the 10-minute version of the song is the original version she wrote. “It’s a very long song as it is, but it was originally 10 minutes long,” Swift told Meyers. “But I was like you’ve gotta fit something on an album, so that’s unreasonable for it to be 10 minutes long. So I had to cut out certain verses and parts of the bridge and lots of different things that I really loved. Left some of my favorite lines on the cutting room floor, and I’m really happy that people get to hear them. I’m so proud of this version of it. I think this version is the version that was meant to be heard.”
During the same late night appearance, Swift said her fans turned “All Too Well” into a favorite from the “Red” album. “This song was never a single, it never had a video, and somehow the fans just turned it into the song from this album,” Swift said. “I used to get so sad when I would sing it and then over time I realized the fans were just screaming the words back to me so loudly, that it made it a very joyful experience for me to sing this song. It has been a joyful thing for me to sing, I play it all the time in concert.”
That joy was on full display on “SNL,” where Swift and her band seemed happy to be back together, performing what’s become the breakout song from “Taylor’s Version” of “Red.”