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All things come to those who wait
May 10, 2011 4:01 PM   Subscribe

From the pop of "Nursey, Nursey" to the pomp of "Epitaph: Angel", the ambitious double album White-Faced Lady by seminal British psych/prog band Fairfield Parlour (formerly Kaleidoscope) had all the makings of a 1971 hit record. By the time of its actual release, in 1991, the moment had long since passed. The cause of the twenty-year delay is explained in this interview with ex-frontman Peter Daltrey (spoiler: it was the labels).

Other examples of shelved and/or "lost" albums in various genres:

Electro
Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras: Catholic (recorded 1975–79, released 2009)

Folk
Sibylle Baier: Colour Green (recorded 1970–73, released 2006)
Bill Fay Group: Tomorrow Tomorrow and Tomorrow (recorded 1978–81, released 2005)

Hip-hop
KMD: Black Bastards (recorded 1993, released 2000)
Resident Alien: It Takes a Nation of Suckas to Let Us In (recorded 1991, never released)

Jazz
Sun Ra: Heliocentric Worlds Vol. 3 (recorded 1965, released 2005)

Powerpop
Chris Bell: I Am the Cosmos (recorded mid-1970s, released 1992)
The Last: Look Again (recorded 1980, never released)

Prog
Älgarnas Trädgård: Delayed (recorded 1973–74, released 2001)
Eskaton: I Care (recorded 1985, never released)
Shuttah: The Image Maker (recorded 1971, released 2007)
Slapp Happy: Acnalbasac Moon (recorded 1973, released 1980)
Third Ear Band: The Magus (recorded 1972, released 2005)

Psych
Dragonwyck: Chapter 2 (recorded 1972–73, released 2006)
Les Goths: Rêve de Silence (recorded 1968, released 2011)
The Pandamonium: The Unreleased Album (recorded 1970, released 2004)

Punk
Death: ... For the Whole World to See (recorded 1974, released 2009)
The Puddle: Songs for Emily Valentine (recorded 1992, released 2006)
The Sound: Propaganda (recorded 1979, released 1999)
Subway Sect: Untitled album (recorded 1977–78, never released)
posted by Modlizki (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Excellent post - excellent enough for me to drop the $5 and chime in. (hello)

First thing I thought of that wasn't on your list was Kamaal/The Abstract by the guy most often known as Q-Tip. Recorded 2001, released 2009.
posted by blue t-shirt at 4:24 PM on May 10, 2011


Also: Os Mutantes' Tecnicolor, their "english album", released after thirty years on a shelf. (Incidentally, my personal favorite of theirs.)
posted by blue t-shirt at 4:27 PM on May 10, 2011


Very cool. Man, what a difference 20 years made (71'-91'). Lot more than 1991-2011.
posted by stbalbach at 5:04 PM on May 10, 2011


The paucity of the hip-hop and jazz sections is due to ignorance on my part. With Os Mutantes I have less of an excuse, but psych-wise I'm still sort of stuck in Europe and the US.
posted by Modlizki at 5:25 PM on May 10, 2011


Nice.
posted by parki at 5:38 PM on May 10, 2011


I think everything from Brian Eno's 1991 album, My Squelchy Life, was eventually released in box sets, b-sides, and other albums, but it's too bad it never got out as an album. Much more interesting than Nerve Net, I think.
posted by rikschell at 6:21 PM on May 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cool post. I had no idea about that Patrick Cowley album.

A few more:

Prince's Black Album was recorded in '86 and released in '94.

The Velvet Underground's "lost album" was recorded in '68-'69 and released in '85.

Harmonia 76's (Harmonia + Brian Eno) Tracks and Traces was recorded in '76 and released in '97.
posted by corey le fou at 7:23 PM on May 10, 2011


and then there was brian wilson's smile - which got abandoned in 1967 and was re-arranged and re-recorded in 2004 - and actually managed to live up to its legend
posted by pyramid termite at 9:02 PM on May 10, 2011


and then there was brian wilson's smile

Oh, and it's getting actually released this summer.
posted by hippybear at 9:12 PM on May 10, 2011


There are more of these floating around out there which still have never been released, too.

Like the Aerosmith album which was heavily inspired by electronica and dance music which Steven Tyler said in an interview was finished, but then the band sat down and gave it a listen and realized that it really wasn't an Aerosmith album, so they shelved it.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 PM on May 10, 2011


and then there was brian wilson's smile - which got abandoned in 1967 and was re-arranged and re-recorded in 2004 - and actually managed to live up to its legend

But nobody wanted a current version. Judging by the Beach Boys fans I know, Brian Wilson's Smile was roundly ignored in favour of more plays of Pet Sounds. The release of the original recordings has the potential to cause more of a stir, I think.
posted by Modlizki at 11:58 PM on May 10, 2011


Like the Aerosmith album which was heavily inspired by electronica and dance music which Steven Tyler said in an interview was finished, but then the band sat down and gave it a listen and realized that it really wasn't an Aerosmith album, so they shelved it.

That sounds like some Warehouse 13 kind of eldritch horror, crated up and locked away for the safety of all mankind.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:04 AM on May 11, 2011


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