Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings.
Now that David Bowie’s unreleased album Toy has leaked and the Beach Boys are finally officially releasing the original Smile sessions (none of that “Brian Wilson records the songs” in 2004, nonsense), it’s time for a call to action: just officially release your albums already, folks. Here’s five awesome unreleased albums that should be available right about … now.
1. The Mountain Goats’ Hail and Farewell, Gothenburg
The Mountain Goats have several projects that the band deemed unfit to see the light of day. Although Hail and Farewell, Gothenburg was leaked and circulated, frontman John Darnielle never wanted anybody to hear the 1995 album. He’s even taken to forums to say that the masters are “too fast,” which explains why Darnielle’s voice sounds a bit high (moreso than usual). That said, it’s a great acoustic record. The album plays out like a bedroom demo, including a solid cover of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”
2. Neil Young’s Homegrown.
Neil Young has a few unreleased albums but the big two are Homegrown and Chrome Dreams. That said, since most of the songs on Chrome Dreams were released on different albums in the ’70s and ’80s, Homegrown is the real lost treasure. There isn’t a bootleg to be found of the album, which was scrapped when Young opted to release Tonight’s the Night instead.
3. Duran Duran’s Reportage.
While Duran Duran is currently rubbing elbows with David Lynch, back in 2005 and 2006, they recorded an album called Reportage with help from two unlikely collaborators: Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. Also of note: they recorded it in Andre Agassi’s mansion. How is that album not awesome?
4. Prince’s Sampling Series box set.
The Purple One has a laundry list of unreleased material, including albums Dream Factory, Camille and Crystal Ball, all of which eventually folded into Sign o the Times. But the most awesome sounding unreleased project is a 7-CD box set of Prince samples, announced in 1999, which would’ve given DJs access to hundreds of Prince’s beats for a cool $700. The thing was shelved, and while a few of the samples have surfaced, there’s still an ocean-sized hole where that box set would’ve lived.
5. Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaquille O’Neal Presents His Superfriends, Vol. 1
What sounds like a hilarious joke actually might’ve been a pretty awesome rap album. MTV reported in 2001 that Superfriends would feature the rap stylings of Shaq, as well as hip-hop heavy hitters Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Common, Talib Kweli, Black Thought, Ludacris and the late Nate Dogg. And hopefully some sort of Shaq-Fu reference.