5 Potentially Amazing Records the World Will Probably Never Hear


This week saw the release of Bat Chain Puller, the “lost” Captain Beefheart album. Although its songs have been available on various bootlegs, the album — recorded with Frank Zappa in 1976 — has never officially been released until now. In the intervening years, it’s become something of a legend — not quite on the level of Smile or the lost David Bowie album, but still, a sought-after relic of a bygone era. And while it’s finally getting an official release, there are still other similarly shelved records we’d love to hear but probably never will (we imagine them stuck in a vault somewhere, like the one the Cigarette Smoking Man tends in The X-Files). Here are a few we’d love to get our hands on.

Beastie Boys — Hot Sauce Committee Part One

It’s hard to know exactly what happened here. The chronology goes something like this: The Beastie Boys planned a double-album set called “Hot Sauce Committee,” with the first part due for release in September 2009. Then Adam Yauch was diagnosed with cancer, and the release was delayed. A year or so later, the release of Part Two was announced, but Part One was delayed indefinitely. However, what was released as Part Two may in fact be what was recorded as Part One, and the songs that were to be Part Two may or may not be released as Part One at some point. Maybe. Confused? Us too. But the point is, somewhere out there, there’s a stash of Beastie Boys songs that may never see the light of day.

Nas — The Lost Tapes 2

We’re big fans of Crown Heights’ finest rapper here at Flavorpill, and although we’re resigned to the fact that he’ll almost certainly never surpass Illmatic, we still listen to each new release with great interest. So it was that we were kinda disappointed to hear last year that he was scrapping the release of the long-promised second installment of his Lost Tapes series. The album was originally due to be released in 2003, but has been subject to an ongoing series of delays, and in May last year that he announced that he was canning the idea entirely: “The timing for [the compilation] is gone, now it’s just all about the new record.”

Leonard Cohen — Songs For Rebecca

This was to be Cohen’s fifth album, recorded with the same producer (John Lissauer) who made New Skin for the Old Ceremony. Apparently only half the record was completed, but the project was eventually shelved in favor of the Phil Spector-produced Death of a Ladies’ Man. Two of the songs from Songs for Rebecca surfaced on that record, and three more on 1979’s Recent Songs, but beyond that, Songs for Rebecca just “evaporated,” in Lissauer’s words. There’s more information in a fascinating interview with the producer (who seems like a lovely guy, and appears very philosophical about the whole thing) here.

The Avalanches — Friday Night Fever/On a Saturday/Hi!

Year after year, we hold out hope that the second Avalanches album will appear. And year after year, we’re disappointed. Word from down under is that 2012 might finally see our hopes realized, but frankly, until we’re holding a copy of the damn thing in our hands, it’s staying firmly on this list.

Lil Wayne & Drake — Untitled

Aw sorry, Pitchforkers — it looks like this one ain’t gonna happen.