Taylor Swift's New Album Is Here: Nabbing All the Bonus Tracks Will Cost You

It's Taylor time. Here's a guide to the many, many ways you can purchase the superstar's new release.

Tamara Palmer Contributing writer
Tamara Palmer is a DJ, author and publisher of the small-batch print magazine California Eating.
Tamara Palmer
5 min read
Taylor Swift holding a mic and singing on stage

Taylor Swift performing in Sydney in February.

Don Arnold/TAS24/Getty Images

Taylor Swift's upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department, is here, and it turns out it's a double album, with 31 songs. Swift surprised fans at 2 am Eastern by revealing an extra 15 songs to go along with the 16 already expected.

"Tt's a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album," Swift wrote on Instagram. "I'd written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here's the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn't mine anymore… it's all yours."

The day before the big event, the singer revealed the first single off that now-double album. According to Swift's Instagram post, the first single is called Fortnight, and it features rapper Post Malone.

"I've been such a huge fan of Post because of the writer he is, his musical experimentation and those melodies he creates that just stick in your head forever," Swift wrote on Instagram. "I got to witness that magic come to life firsthand when we worked together on Fortnight. Honestly can't wait for you guys to hear this song at midnight TONIGHT and see the video at 8 pm ET TOMORROW."

Swift announced the April 19 release of her next album while accepting the award for best pop vocal album at the Feb. 4 Grammy Awards. She's subsequently offered multiple special editions of the new album for presale, and each one has a different bonus song that's not on the others.

Swift fans are somewhat used to different versions of her albums. Her 2022 album, Midnights, came in six different colored vinyl editions, so fans had to pick their favorite or buy the same music over and over again just to add a slight variation to their collection.

See also: TikTok Is Changing the Way You Discover Music. Meet the Young Creators Making It Happen

And more famously, Swift remade her first six albums after music manager Scooter Braun sold the rights to that music to Disney family investment firm Shamrock Holdings in 2020 for an estimated $300 million to $450 million. Since then, she's encouraged fans to buy new versions of the same songs, dubbing them "Taylor's Version." So it's possible fans have already bought multiple copies of Swift's music.

But in this case, The Tortured Poets Department is a brand-new album release with multiple editions that vary by only one song. Fans who view themselves as collectors or completists would have to buy the same album three times to get the three different bonus tracks -- there's no way to buy just the bonus tracks separately.

Adding to the complexity, we live in a world dominated by music streaming services but also filled with multiple physical formats, including cassette tapes, compact discs and vinyl records.  

Let's sing out the differences.

The Tortured Poets Department: What to know

The Tortured Poets Department is Taylor Swift's 11th studio album. The standard version of the album features 16 songs, including opener Fortnight, performed with Post Malone and now revealed as the album's first single, and a duet with Florence and the Machine called Florida!!! (Exclamation points are Swift's.) 

The Tortured Poets Department is out in both digital and physical formats. Choosing that should probably be pretty simple -- how do you listen to music? Pick your format.

Four different editions

But then you'll have another choice to make. In addition to the standard 16-song version, there are three special editions, each containing its own bonus song. Two of the three are already unavailable, though you never know -- they could pop up for purchase again.

Here are all the choices:

  • The basic version: The cheapest way to get The Tortured Poets Department is to order the standard digital album. It costs $12 and includes the 16 basic tracks and no bonus tracks at all.
  • Editions with The Manuscript bonus track: If you do buy the basic version, you'll be missing out on a Swift bonus track called The Manuscript. Want that? You'll need to buy the album on cassette, CD or vinyl to get it. Those editions all remain available to preorder for delivery on April 19. The CD version is $13, cassette is $29 and the vinyl album is $35.
  • The Albatross version: There were also two versions of the album that contained the 16 tracks and bonus songs of their own but didn't have The Manuscript bonus track. One edition, featuring a bonus track called The Albatross, was available for presale until 11 a.m. PT on Feb. 26. So if you've missed that deadline, well, you might be out of luck. 
  • The Bolter version: The Albatross and The Manuscript weren't the only bonus tracks. Entertainment Weekly reported that on Feb. 16, Swift announced yet another special edition of the album with a bonus song called The Bolter. Like The Albatross edition, it had a limited preorder time and doesn't appear to be available anymore.

There's no official word yet on whether the special editions of the album that feature The Albatross or The Bolter will be sold again. A representative for Swift didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

We should note that no one has heard any of the songs yet, so we don't know what the titles The Manuscript, The Albatross or The Bolter refer to lyrically.

Fan reaction is mixed

Not all fans are thrilled with the prospect of buying different variants of the album over and over just for one new bonus song.

"This really is SOOO upsetting and I'm glad I'm not the only Swiftie who feels like we're getting taken advantage of," one fan wrote as a response to Swift's Facebook post about The Albatross edition.

Another fan agreed, writing, "I [understand] releasing one bonus album, but [multiple bonus tracks on multiple albums] is just a marketing ploy to get more money."

Some fans, of course, defended Swift. One pointed out that Swift's last few albums have offered different versions, writing, "Why is it such a big deal this time?" 

Another wrote, "Well, this is her business. She's here to make money, not friends.

And others pointed out that there's no way the bonus tracks will stay secret once fans receive their preorders, even if the music ends up being shared illegally on YouTube.

Swift isn't the only artist to offer different bonus tracks on different versions of the same album. Olivia Rodrigo's 2023 album Guts, for example, came in four limited-edition versions on vinyl. Each album is a different color, and each color has its own bonus track. But because of Swift's enormous fan following, her bonus tracks have drawn more attention.

"I understand this more with Olivia," wrote one Reddit user. "Yes, she had a crazy successful debut. But she's still a new artist (and presumably was trying to avoid a sophomore slump). Taylor doing this is giving 'your-richest-friend-Venmo-requesting-you-$3.'"

There's no discount for buying multiple versions of Swift's new albums.