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Taylor Swift fan says her 'Speak Now' vinyl came pressed with 'creepy' electronic music instead of new album

Instead of the opening tracks from Swift's newly re-recorded "Speak Now" album, Rachel Hunter heard electronic music from the 1990s, she said.
Taylor Swift in Kansas City, Mo., on  July 7, 2023.
Taylor Swift in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday.John Shearer / TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

When Rachel Hunter returned to her home in Staffordshire, England, after a vacation, her top priority was opening her just-delivered Taylor Swift vinyl.

After having waited more than a month for "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)" to arrive, Hunter, 30, finally had the opportunity to listen to the album alone in her home Monday.

But what played from her speakers gave her chills.

"This voice started, and I was like, 'Oh, my God, do I have, like, a secret message from Taylor on my album?'" Hunter said in a Zoom interview. "And I was like, that's not Taylor Swift."

Instead of hearing Swift's re-recording of the 2010 album, Hunter heard the song "Happy Land," an electronic song by the group Ultramarine. When Hunter flipped to the B-side of the album, she heard the song "Soul Vine (70 Billion People)" by the English music group Cabaret Voltaire.

"It's just the weirdest thing," Hunter said. "It must have been a mix-up, but I haven't yet seen a single other person with the same mix-up."

Initially, Hunter planned to record an unboxing of the album for TikTok. When she heard the music — with lyrics asking, “The 70 billion people of Earth: Where are they hiding?” — she decided to share the bizarre error with TikTok. She also shared a video to Twitter, and within hours of its posting Monday, her video had gone viral.

By Tuesday, Hunter's video had more than 2.7 million views on TikTok, and on Twitter it has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

Hunter played the vinyl in a Zoom interview. She also shared screenshots of her purchase of the vinyl.

"I played it at night, as well, when it was dark, and then I have this creepy voice coming out of it," Hunter said. "I was like, 'This is terrifying.'"

What started as a creepy mix-up began to evolve into an inside joke among Hunter and other Swifties on social media, who found the error hilarious.

"Taylor plays these secret songs every day on her tour, and everyone now has been saying that they want her to play this '70 Billion' song and the 'Happy Land' song to be played at that show," Hunter, who is attending Swift's Eras Tour in London next year, said with a laugh.

Thanks to social media sleuths, Hunter eventually discovered that the erroneous songs appear on the album "Happy Land: A Compendium of Electronic Music from the British Isles 1992-1996 Volume 1."

Swift's album is distributed by Universal Music Group, while "Happy Land" is distributed by the record label Above Board Distribution.

In a statement to NBC News, Dan Hill, the founder and managing director of Above Board, said that while the vinyl error was regrettable, he hopes anyone who got a copy of "Happy Land" instead of "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)" still enjoys the music.

"Due to a pressing blunder, some Taylor Swift fans received a misprinted copy of ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),’ which we have learned features audio of ‘Happy Land (A Compendium of Music from the British Isles 1992-1996),’" Hill said. "While this error was beyond our control, we sincerely hope anyone who received what is Not Taylor’s Version of the vinyl enjoys the beats. It might very well end up being a collector’s item!"

Hunter reached out to Universal Music UK's customer service team after she realized the vinyl was playing the wrong songs. In screenshots shared with NBC News, a representative from Universal Music UK tells Hunter they are looking into the incorrectly pressed vinyl.

It wasn't immediately clear where Hunter's vinyl was pressed. The wrapping of the vinyl, which she shared with NBC News, has a sticker that says "Made in France."

In a statement emailed to NBC News, Universal Music Group said it was aware some incorrect vinyls had been distributed.

“There are an extremely limited number of incorrectly pressed vinyl copies in circulation," a spokesperson said.

"If you have purchased one of the affected goods, please contact customer service at your respective retailer for a replacement or refund.”

Swift's representatives did not immediately responded to a request for comment.

For now, Hunter plans to hold on to the possibly one-of-a-kind vinyl. She said there's only one way she'd part with it.

"I've been joking that, like, I would swap it for VIP tickets," Hunter said, referring to tickets to Swift's tour.

CORRECTION (July 11, 2023, 6:03 p.m. ET): A previous version of the article misstated the record label that distributed the album “Happy Land (A Compendium of Music from the British Isles 1992-1996).” It was Above Board Distribution, not Universal Music Group.