Aphex Twin is (apparently) unloading over 100 rare and unreleased tracks from his 20+ year vault, now streaming for free on Soundcloud. [more inside]
Madonna has had an interesting relationship with leaks, specifically in how she has responded to them. In 2003, when she was gearing up for American Life (YT), she also spread mostly silent MP3s with the short message "What the f**k do you think you're doing? to dissuade would-be downloaders. The message got spun into "remixes" and some got pressed to CD. Jump ahead to 2012, and Madonna's album MDNA (YT) leaked a week ahead of its release date, which seems pretty minor, compared to what happened this past December. 13 tracks and artwork identifying the album with a title of Iconic or Unapologetic B*tch were leaked, ahead of any formal album announcement. But that wasn't the end of it. [more inside]
Yo Dodger Blue (L.A. Loves You) (SLYT) "It's no surprise [Harry] Nilsson was a Dodger fan. They were both Brooklyn born, and both eventually relocated to Los Angeles. In the late 80s and early 90s, when Harry was doing little in terms of his "career," he was still actively writing songs and still coming up with ideas like this to amuse his creativity. These unreleased recordings probably come from 1990. The first version is a studio recording (musicians unknown) while the second version comes from KABC in Los Angeles, where Harry personally showed up to premiere the sing along. It's a catchy, rousing stadium chant that coulda/shoulda worked, though it was never officially adopted by the team." Links to both downloadable versions can be found at the blog For The Love of Harry Nillson. (via) [more inside]
For those who wish Iron & Wine was still releasing music in the same vein as The Creek Drank the Cradle, youtube user modestaretaloger has uploaded a treasure trove of early and unreleased recordings. There is aNick Drake cover, an early version of Faded From the Winter, songs that feature drums, harmonica and mandolin, as well as just plenty of songs that would have fit right into Creek Drank the Cradle or The Sea & the Rhythm.
Merry Christmas from lostlevels.org: An unreleased beta of The Legend of Zelda! Videos showing it off: 1, 2, 3. Cutting Room Floor has documented the differences from the release version.
Michael Jackson penned and recorded lots of songs, many of which remain unreleased. Perhaps the most infamous, and rarest recording, is his version of Behind the Mask. Legend has it that upon hearing Yellow Magic Orchestra's original track, somewhen around 1979, Quincy Jones fell in love with the track, and he and Michael worked together on their own version. Jackson wrote new lyrics for it - adding to those of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Chris Mosdell - and eventually recorded it during his Off The Wall sessions. For unknown reasons the track never made the final cut of, arguably, Jones' and Jackson's greatest work. Not long afterwards Greg Phillinganes, Jackson's keyboard player, released his own version of the song, which was later taken up and re-recorded by Eric Clapton for his 1986, Phil Collins produced album, August. The track has since been recorded/remixed by Human League, Senor Coconut, Orbital and others. Does an original Jones/Jackson recording of the song even exist? Perhaps, as the world continues to mourn the star's sad death, someone will finally allow us a listen.
A few years ago an old NES game called Sunman was discovered. Developed by a company called Sunsoft, it was clearly a repurposed Superman game, with the Man of Steel seemingly having been replaced at some point during the games development by a generic new superhero. This was likely done to avoid expensive licensing costs for a game that was due to be released around the end of the active lifespan for the NES (and would probably not sell well as a result) but this was purely speculation. Until now. For now a build of the original Superman game by Sunsoft has been found and you can download it for free here. [more inside]