There is some amazing music around that you can listen to but what about the stuff that is just tantalizingly out of your reach? I’m talking about the the unreleased albums.
There have been many rumors and reports of unreleased masterpieces over the years, and here are some of the best and worst of them.
Best and Worst Unreleased Albums Revealed
The Beach Boys – Smile
Arguably the most famous unreleased album of all time, Smile was supposedly the pinnacle of deranged genius Brian Wilson´s deranged geniusness and a “teenage symphony to God”. This utterly bizarre concept album brought together the hither-to unrelated worlds of yodeling, barber shop singing and toy train whistles. While tracks and snippets from Smile have been released, there is no way of telling what musical madness Wilson originally intended for this album.
Bruce Springsteen – Electric Nebraska
Springsteen famously recorded the Nebraska album on a cheap tape recorder, using a guitar, a harmonica and almost no yodeling at all. It´s probably the most low key music ever recorded by a rock god. Yet, it was only intended to be a demo. The full band version is known as Electric Nebraska and it is beginning to look (30 years after being recorded) that we might never get to hear it. That´s just a hunch but releasing it after 3 decades sounds a bit unlikely.
Jimi Hendrix – Black Gold
An incredible amount of mystery surrounds this album. It was recorded by Hendrix with just his acoustic guitar a few months before his death. He gave the tapes to his drummer Mitch Mitchell for his opinion on them. Mitch then did exactly what any sensible rock and roll drummer with a surname almost identical to his first name would do; he forgot about them for decades. As Mitchell has also now died, no one apparently even knows who has the tapes anymore. There are bootlegs of a few tracks but we can pretty much give up any hope of hearing the whole shooting match ever.
Green Day – Cigarettes and Valentines
While the previous unreleased albums can be put down to eccentric geniuses, recalcitrant rockers and forgetful drummers, we´re chalking this one down to plain, old fashioned thievery. This was the follow up to Warning and Billie Joe gushed enthusiastically that it was, err, “good stuff”. This good stuff was almost ready to make you part with some money when ruffians stole the original master tapes. The band decided to just forget it about and record American Idiot instead.
Neil Young – Chrome Dreams
The king of unreleased albums, Young probably has enough old tapes lying around to bathe in. In fact, the rascally old skunk probably does exactly that. Chrome Dreams is the most famous of them and some critics think that it might have been just about his best ever album if he had only bothered releasing the damned thing.
Jay-Z and The Notorious B.I.G. – The Commission
This hip hop supergroup included some of the biggest names of the time but the album never got completely finished due to death of The Notorious B.I.G. It has reached legendary status since then, although, and it has been name-checked in other records.
Pink Floyd – Household Objects
Let´s imagine for a second that you are part of a famous group in the mid 1970s and you need to release a follow up to the universally acclaimed Dark Side of the Moon. You´d try and do it without any instruments at all you crazy diamond, wouldn´t you? The idea behind Household Objects was to record songs using the sound of – you guessed it – household objects. More specifically, they used pencils, rubber bands and “old saucepans and stuff”. In the end, their insane project ended up being abandoned and it isn´t clear how many tracks of saucepan bashing are still in existence.