December 10, 2018 / 2:43 AM

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7 Albums Released Without The Artist's Permission: Bob Dylan, Radiohead, And More

 

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In a perfect world, an artist would have complete control over how their music is released and sold. However, there are plenty of instances of record labels acting against an artist's wishes, even going so far as to release albums without their permission. Here are seven albums released without the artist's permission.

1. Van Morrison - Blowin' Your Mind! (1967)

If you ask Van Morrison, his debut album was his 1968 classic Astral Weeks, even though that wasn't the first album released under his name. In 1967, Morrison recorded eight songs with producer Bert Berns, believing that they would be released across four singles. Instead, Berns compiled and released these eight songs into the album Blowin' Your Mind! without Morrison's permission. Other than its classic lead single "Brown Eyed Girl," the album is largely dismissed by critics.

2. Bob Dylan - Dylan (1973)

Though Dylan's '60s work is largely unimpeachable, his genius streak seemed to slip as soon as the '70s came around. 1970's Self Portrait was seen as a joke, and though his next two albums New Morning and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid were improvements, his 1973 album Dylan is considered one of his worst ever. Consisting entirely of outtakes from Self Portrait and New Morning (all covers), the album was thrown together without Dylan's involvement, and was the last album he released for Columbia Records.

3. Elvis Presley - Having Fun With Elvis On Stage (1974)

This 1974 Elvis live album is considered by many to be one of the worst ever released. The album contains no music whatsoever, but rather 37 minutes of Elvis talking between songs on stage, and was conceived by Elvis' manager Col. Tom Parker as an album that he would entirely own the rights to (since RCA owned the rights to Elvis' music). Though it was originally sold at concerts with Elvis' permission, RCA eventually released it commercially, marketing it as an actual concert album.

4, 5, 6. Frank Zappa - Studio Tan/Sleep Dirt/Orchestral Favorites (1978/1979/1979)

It should come as no surprise that the famously difficult and idiosyncratic Frank Zappa had a problem or two with his label Warner Bros. Records. When he issued his massive quadruple album Läther to the label in 1977, they refused to release it in such an unwieldy format. Warner Bros. split the album into four separate releases: Zappa in New York, Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt, and Orchestral Favorites, only one of which, Zappa in New York, was released with Zappa's permission and input.

7. Radiohead - Radiohead: The Best Of (2008)

Radiohead isn't exactly a "greatest hits" type of band, which made the release of their 2008 compilation Radiohead: The Best Of so surprising. The album was compiled and released without Radiohead's permission by their former label EMI, who owned the rights to all of the band's music released between 1992-2003. Lead singer Thom Yorke referred to the album as "a wasted opportunity."

What other albums were released without the artist's permission? Let us know down in the comments section!

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