THE GREATEST UNRELEASED ALBUMS

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THE GREATEST UNRELEASED ALBUMS

Postby Worst Part's Almost Over on Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:37 pm

Here's a thread for people to ramble on excitedly about albums they have that they love which, for one reason or another, never got officially released. Thanks to the internet and some bands being very kind to their fans, many unreleased albums are now available and some stand as the best work of the artists who made them.

To kick off, here's a review of the unreleased third album by Irish band JJ72. Although all 10 tracks have never surfaced online, 8 of them have and they are excellent songs - which only makes it more tragic that their record company refused to release the record for fear it wouldn't be commercial enough, a decision that drove JJ72 to call it a day out of sheer frustration with their unsupportive label.

UNRELEASED THIRD ALBUM - JJ72

1. Take From Me
2. Everything
3. She's Gone
4. Heat
5. Coming Home
6. Radio
7. Spires
8. Tokyo

With their debut album, JJ72 garnered healthy and generally positive reviews and press coverage in the British music magazines (NME, Q Magazine, even Kerrang) and were heralded as a band to keep a close eye on for future greatness. Singles 'Snow' and 'October Swimmer' reached respectable chart positions and secured the band regular playings at indie/rock themed clubs throughout the UK. A live tour saw them gathering further media interest and praise. Their second album I To Sky saw them employ the services of producer Flood - famous for working with The Smashing Pumpkins - and whilst fans enjoyed the rich new sonic textures JJ72 created, the critics were decidedly turned off. The future of the band became a non-entity in the weekly music tabloids, whilst fan devotion to the band quietly grew. When they announced a third album, some critics speculated on a resurgance in popularity for the group.

But it was not to be. Breaking up due to frustration with their record company over the lack of support, the third album from JJ72 was doomed to the abyss of lost records. Thankfully for fans, several of the songs recorded for the album later surfaced online - along with the pre-album single 'Coming Home' (designed to drum up publicity for the groups return whilst also being a confirmed album track) and it's b-sides. Combined together, only 8 tracks in total stand as the potential body of work recorded for album number 3. Nevertheless, placed together as a short album (or long E.P.) they come together beautifully to create something that hints at what could have been the best album of their short career.

'Take From Me' is a quick tempo rock number that builds up sonic tension before breaking loose on the chorus. Plenty of energy, lashings of soul in the singing of Mark Greaney and a throbbing bass line drive the song onward.

'Everything' beats along confidently with the melodic lilt of a folk song, but the production of a mid 90's alternative rock number. Beautifully poetic lyrics and some excellent, heavy guitar work make this a real stand-out track in JJ72's catalogue.

Heavy, brooding and akin to Joy Division being played by Smashing Pumpkins, 'She's Gone' is a song JJ72 fans will adore, combining as it does their genius with the soft/loud method of rock song and subtle harmonies and choral singing in the far background. A stunning track.

'Heat' is possibly one of the heaviest songs JJ72 ever recorded, crunching along at a good pace and never being anything less than aggressive in sound. In a word - menacing!

'Coming Home' was released as the first single from the album, even though no album ended up being released. More in the 'classic' vein of JJ72 songs, this is tempered yet heartfelt, melodic pop yet rocking ballad. Cellos on the verses create a truly remarkable atmosphere that works beautifully with the edgier guitar work. Another classic in the bands catalogue.

Something of a red herring, 'Radio' contains more beautiful poetry in the lyrics and very ballad/folk like melodies and instrumentation throughout the opening verse. Then the chorus comes and kicks the door in with rock anthem boots on. Possibly my favourite of the unreleased tracks, a real 'wall of sound' rock song.

'Spires' is extremely similar in style to JJ72's debut album and is as good as anything from that record - excellent instrumentation, excellent lyrics, excellent pounding beat and one of my favourite vocal melodies of their whole career. BUT...in terms of the style/mood, it stands out as oddly different from the other material and doesn't really sit comfortably on the 'album'.

'Tokyo' is similar in vibe to 'Heat' in that it is an unrelenting rock number that drives along and stays firmly in the regions of dark and unsettling. The melody is almost Smashing Pumpkins, the instrumentation bizarrely Eastern and the chorus rocks hard. This would have been a stunning live track.

Overall, if the full album had ever made it into the public domain, I think it would have seen JJ72 becoming more widely known - there's echos of the Pumpkins, sly nods to Muse and Sonic Youth, and it really stands as some of the best work they ever did. Sadly, we'll never know what album 3 should have sounded like - but as a glimpse into a possible future, it's teasingly wonderful and only leaves you wishing you had the actual CD in your collection.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:42 pm

The Jon Brion version of Fiona Apple's - Extraordinary Machine.
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Postby godzillasushi on Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:44 pm

Anyone for Doomsday? by Powerman 5000.

I had the album months in advance and I was HIGHLY anticipating it's official release. Axel Rose must have rubbed off on Spider though, because they decided at the last second not to release it.

I was devestated as it had been one of the best albums I listened to at the time.

They later tried releasing it seperately but it was too late. They have released other albums since but they lost their sound after so many members left the band. That was such a heavy album and the ones released after were very light in comparison.

Very bad.

You can find it through file sharing stuff but not even music programs like iTunes have the complete album.

And speaking of a band's popularity....they would be much bigger now then they are.

(said album also caused the band to completely change members)
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Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:00 pm

Traveling Wilburys Vol. 2!
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Postby Fawst on Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:36 pm

Parrot by Dominic Chad, former guitarist and backup vocalist for Mansun.

Chad is an amazing guitarist, and if I'm not mistaken, won an award in England for best backup vocals or some such. He wrote, arranged, performed and co-produced (along with the singer for Mansun, Paul Draper) the full album which he then decided - fuck it, why bother? As far as I know, he decided to just shelf it because Mansun was being ripped apart by the mainstream press, and he thought it would just be an exercise in pain to go through with it. Too bad, as he fronts one of the absolute best B-Sides Mansun ever put out, Golden Stone. Never released on the net that I am aware of, it would be something I'd pay a lot to get my hands on.

Untitled Demo, Discs 1 & 2 by Undo.

I found this one on a dredg forum, some group that made a demo and apparently never had an official release. I still haven't listened to it entirely. Only the majority of Disc 1. And WOW. It's a little bit trip, a little bit techno, a little bit rock, a little bit glorious. One of my favorite "zone out" sets of music ever. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to love an album by a band that you can't Google? Think about it. Go search for "undo." Have fun trying to wade through that.

Coquette by dredg.

This was actually a leaked demo of their third studio album, Catch Without Arms. It included a few tracks that never made it onto the album, though some of them eventually got the full studio recording treatment. This is the best example of what a band that is truly talented can create without being overproduced. It's very raw, not nearly as tight as the studio album, and every bit as good as the final product. It stands on its own as a wonderful work by my favorite band ever. I can go back to it now and get an entirely different vibe from it than I do with the full album.

All Else That Remains by dredg.

I made that title up for my iPod. It's a bunch of b-sides and demo tracks by dredg that were part of Blueprints, the demo version of El Cielo, as well as some other random tracks that I can't identify. dredg just fucking rules, I beg all of you to go find some of their stuff, specifically songs like Running Through Propellers, Stone By Stone, Papal Insignia, Stationary Transient, The Canyon Behind Her, Sanzen, It Only Took a Day, Triangle, and Eighteen People Living In Harmony.

Better yet... anyone who wants some great music, go to archive.org. Search for dredg, look for their shows on 9/14/06 and 9/15/06 at The Catalyst. The first night was a set including tracks from the third album along with the entirety of their first album, Leitmotif. The second night is another collection of tracks from the third album, along with the entirety of El Cielo. It's free, it's legal, it's endorsed by the entire band (the only reason they're on archive.org is because the bass player wrote to the site and gave them permission to host their live stuff). Really... free music. Go do it. Just make sure you have winamp, as the files are encoded as .flac.
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:23 pm

This is extending the idea, but what about an album that was never even recorded?

As some of you know, Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska was constructed from four-track cassette tapes he recorded in his garage in New Jersey. The tapes were recorded over several years while recording The River (1980) and writing some of the songs that appeared on Born in the USA (1984). Based around acoustic guitar, Dylanesque harmonica and simple vocals, these tracks were meant as demos for the E Street Band.

However, when Springsteen and the band went into rehearsals, Springsteen was unhappy with the sound. He would listen to the demos and wonder why he couldn't make the band feel the way he felt when he laid down the four-track recordings. Talks with his producer and engineer led them to decide the best way to release the songs was as they had been recorded. Not only would the band not perform the songs, Springsteen would not go into the studio and rerecord the tracks performing solo. Except for a few vocal dubs and some cleanup, Nebraska was what Springsteen felt sitting in his garage, writing and thinking about life during Reagan. They were some of the best work of his career and the album is considered a classic.

Some of the songs from Nebraska were later performed in concert with minimal accompaniment and sounded pretty good. But what if they had beat the problem of band arrangements?
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Postby Fievel on Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:32 pm

Cool story Dennis! I'm not much of a Springsteen fan, but having grown up in the 80's with Born In The USA spewing out hit after hit, I definitely respect him.

Here's one:

Lennon & McCartney - A Toot and a Snore in '74 - the only/final post-Beatles McCartney/Lennon collaboration.

I've never heard a note of it, but it certainly sounds interesting.
I'm half tempted to download it, but I dunno.
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Postby Seppuku on Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:58 pm

I'm not sure either of these technically qualify, but neither of them have seen a release on CD yet, so they should:

Starsailor by Tim Buckley. Hell, it even inspired a band name. A weak, watered-down indie band's name, but that's besides the point.

This is one the freakiest, most out there albums, and yet it's still yet to be re-released after its initial vinyl pressing. It's also got the best version of Song to the Siren yet recorded.


Also, Pacific Ocean Blue by the most underrated Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson, is long overdue a release. It really is better than any Beach Boy album proper. Beautiful stuff.
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Postby Worst Part's Almost Over on Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:21 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote:I'm not sure either of these technically qualify, but neither of them have seen a release on CD yet, so they should:

Starsailor by Tim Buckley. Hell, it even inspired a band name. A weak, watered-down indie band's name, but that's besides the point.

This is one the freakiest, most out there albums, and yet it's still yet to be re-released after its initial vinyl pressing. It's also got the best version of Song to the Siren yet recorded.


Also, Pacific Ocean Blue by the most underrated Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson, is long overdue a release. It really is better than any Beach Boy album proper. Beautiful stuff.


Good choices both, but they were released albums. They're not out on CD yet, but they were originally released. Any albums you've got from online or whatever that never WERE officially released dude?
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:26 pm

On a similar note, I'd love to see the albums that would have happened if Cliff Burton, John Bonham, and Bon Scott would not have died (Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC).
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Postby Seppuku on Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:50 pm

Worst Part's Almost Over wrote:
seppukudkurosawa wrote:I'm not sure either of these technically qualify, but neither of them have seen a release on CD yet, so they should:

Starsailor by Tim Buckley. Hell, it even inspired a band name. A weak, watered-down indie band's name, but that's besides the point.

This is one the freakiest, most out there albums, and yet it's still yet to be re-released after its initial vinyl pressing. It's also got the best version of Song to the Siren yet recorded.


Also, Pacific Ocean Blue by the most underrated Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson, is long overdue a release. It really is better than any Beach Boy album proper. Beautiful stuff.


Good choices both, but they were released albums. They're not out on CD yet, but they were originally released. Any albums you've got from online or whatever that never WERE officially released dude?


I'm having trouble thinking of anything at the moment. Did MyVitriol ever officially release their second album?
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Postby tapehead on Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:57 pm

The Grey Album - Dangermouse mashes Jay Z's The Black Album and The Beatles' The White Album, with hiphoptastic results.

Warning: there is a download method on the link, but it's legality might be considered somewhat questionable.
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Postby Fried Gold on Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:06 pm

Weezer - "Songs From The Black Hole" - 1995

It was conceived as a scifi rock opera about a space mission, with different character vocalists and all the songs flowing into one another.

It ended up being abandoned but some of the songs ended up on "Pinkerton" (which is a great album). Only one of the Black Hole tracks were completed as intended and it really does seem like it could have been amazing. While a few of the songs were leaked here and there in low quality, only this year has there been an official release of some of the songs on Rivers Cuomo's home recordings collection. Based on supposed tracklistings, you can piece the album together


[Weezer do this a lot. They record loads of tracks, get bored and start again even though they sound great...and they have the sense to release them for free on their website]


I seem to think there was a lost Green Day record too, which they abandoned after the master tapes were stolen.
Last edited by Fried Gold on Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:08 pm

tapehead wrote:The Grey Album - Dangermouse mashes Jay Z's The Black Album and The Beatles' The White Album, with hiphoptastic results.

Warning: there is a download method on the link, but it's legality might be considered somewhat questionable.


It's legal tape. The album just cant be sold.
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Postby tapehead on Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:14 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:
tapehead wrote:The Grey Album - Dangermouse mashes Jay Z's The Black Album and The Beatles' The White Album, with hiphoptastic results.

Warning: there is a download method on the link, but it's legality might be considered somewhat questionable.


It's legal tape. The album just cant be sold.


cool - probably most people interested have obtained a copy by now anyway.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:46 pm

tapehead wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:
tapehead wrote:The Grey Album - Dangermouse mashes Jay Z's The Black Album and The Beatles' The White Album, with hiphoptastic results.

Warning: there is a download method on the link, but it's legality might be considered somewhat questionable.


It's legal tape. The album just cant be sold.


cool - probably most people interested have obtained a copy by now anyway.


The Grey album started the Jay Z mash-up craze a couple years ago.

I LOVE Dangermouse. Ghetto Pop Life is one of my favorite hip-hop albums.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:15 pm

Fried Gold wrote:"Pinkerton" (which is a fucking amazing album).


fixed that for you...
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:19 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Fried Gold wrote:"Pinkerton" (which is a fucking amazing album).


fixed that for you...


Much better KCBC, though everyone should know that fact already!
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Postby Fried Gold on Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:41 am

stereosforgeeks wrote:
Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Fried Gold wrote:"Pinkerton" (which is a fucking amazing album).


fixed that for you...


Much better KCBC, though everyone should know that fact already!

I consider that and the Blue Album the greatest records ever made.

It's shocking how undervalued Pinkerton, and Weezer in general, are.
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Postby Worst Part's Almost Over on Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:56 am

Fried Gold wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:
Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Fried Gold wrote:"Pinkerton" (which is a fucking amazing album).


fixed that for you...


Much better KCBC, though everyone should know that fact already!

I consider that and the Blue Album the greatest records ever made.

It's shocking how undervalued Pinkerton, and Weezer in general, are.


The best Weezer albums, in my opinion, are Pinkerton and Weezer 4.5, which is another unreleased album I was going to bring up in this thread - the record that got dumped in favour of the mediocre Make Believe.
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Postby Fried Gold on Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:25 am

Yeah I hinted a mention of the A5 demos above. Cuomo apparently writes so many songs now, they usually have about 100 demoed tracks to select from for each album. At least they're able to release them on their website, so they aren't unreleased in the full sense.

I don't agree that Make Believe is a mediocre record though.
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Postby Worst Part's Almost Over on Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:10 pm

Fried Gold wrote:I don't agree that Make Believe is a mediocre record though.


I think my opinion of Make Believe is based solely on what came before, in those demos. There's some truly excellent stuff in there that would've been amazing to hear re-recorded for the album. The only song on Make Believe that I feel is an outstanding one in Weezer's career is 'Freak Me Out'.

Just one man's opinion though.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:16 pm

I haven't listened to Make Believe in awhile, but I thought it was satisfactory. Comparatively to everything beteween Pinkerton and Make Believe it is pure gold, however.
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Re: THE GREATEST UNRELEASED ALBUMS

Postby samelion001 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:51 am

An acoustic album is my #1 album want from Lady Gaga. I would also love to hear her play the Maple Leaf Rag, a classical piece, a jazz standard, maybe even tribute David Bowie and Queen.
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