The world was pleasantly surprised to find out yesterday that Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of To Kill A Mockingbird, would finally be publishing her second book during 2015 after years of hiding from the spotlight. The new title, Go Set A Watchman, was actually written before Mockingbird yet is set 20 years following the events of her published book. It should be noted that Lee is not in the best of health, and some allege that publisher HarperCollins may have swooped in following the death of her sister and lawyer Alice Lee and taken advantage of the situation. We hope for the best, like what happened with the seven albums listed below, which were critical smashes when performers such as David Bowie, D'Angelo and Sade released them after decade-long spans.
Soldier of Love by Sade (2010)...10 Years
Sade was a hugely popular R&B vocalist/band during the '80s, and released a relatively plentiful three albums during the decade, most of which were received relatively well. Following the release of 1992's Love Deluxe, Sade slowed things way down and released Lovers Rock during 2000...to reviews that weren't so kind. The band decided that the obvious problem was that its next album needed even more time to gestate, and it turned out Soldier of Love in 2010, which became its most acclaimed record yet, grabbing attention from all the hip kids who were too young to remember the act at its highest point of popularity.
The Next Day by David Bowie (2013)...10 Years
The Next Day ended up being the next decade for Bowie who, after more than three decades of constant releases, seemed to have folded up shop following 2003's Reality. The announcement during early 2013 that he would be releasing The Last Day in just a few short months was a godsend for fans. The album's secrecy was planned by Bowie, forcing all who worked on it to sign non-disclosure agreements, as the performer realized the hype surrounding such a release could create unrealistic expectations. He lived up to his legacy however, earning two Grammy nominations in the process.
The Drift by Scott Walker (2006)...11 Years
The two aforementioned acts had catalogues that were still paying royalties, as well as having the ability to play sell-out shows at arenas. It stands to reason that they could wait a while between releases. Scott Walker doesn't have that luck but he's also one of the most eccentric minds in music so who are we to question? The Drift was actually the second part of a trilogy, released 11 years after Tilt, which itself had been released 11 years after the album he had put out before. That said, he's since sped up his process, releasing the third chapter, Bish Bosch, a mere six years after The Drift.
Black Messiah by D'Angelo (2014)...14 Years
D'Angelo had essentially been living the ideal punk rock lifestyle as a performer: Release two great albums and then fold before becoming a mockery of yourself. The R&B all-star made various guest appearances and even made some esteemed friends-the first hints of a third album were claims that a record titled James River would drop during 2009 and feature extensive help from Prince. Alas, that never happened, but it made us even happier when Black Messiah finally dropped last year. Despite the 14 year wait for the disc, D'Angelo reported that in fact he had rushed it release because of the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner.
Eyehategod by Eyehategod (2014)...14 Years
D'Angelo featured many a New Orleans touch on his second album Voodoo, as did sludge metal band Eyehategod when it released its last album during 2000...except the latter group was actually from New Orleans. That meant several were at ground zero when Hurricane Katrina came through and laid much of the city in ruins. Vocalist Mike Williams was arrested on drug charges in the aftermath but the band never folded. Eventually the band created a self-titled album over a three year period and reflected the reason for the gap in song titles such as "New Orleans Is The New Vietnam." It was one of the best received metal albums of 2014, topping SPIN's end of year list.
m b v by My Bloody Valentine (2013)...21 years
My Bloody Valentine was at the top of the alternative music world when it released Loveless during 1991, cited as the peak of the shoegazing movement. Of course, music that dense tends to take more time and money as a result, which led to the band being dropped from one label, and then the band began to come apart at the seams while trying to create a follow-up for Island. Frontman Kevin Shields was compared to Brian Wilson, the Beach Boy who suffered a mental breakdown during the crafting of Smile, and the band split. Finally, after a 2007 reunion the band managed to string together m b v, which albeit not Loveless, was at least a satisfactory comeback effort.
Fate Is Only Twice by Harry Taussig (2012)...47 years
None of the other performers on this list can hold a candle to the way between albums for Harry Taussig, a guitar player from the primitivist movement of the '60s. Taussig released Fate Is Only Once—a showcase of banjo and 12-string guitar fingerpicking—during 1965 while working as a physicist in California. Nothing came of it and he continued with his life, becoming an accomplished photographer with work presented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Chicago Institute of Art. However his debut album was rereleased during by Tompkins Square during 2006, instigating a resurgent interest in his music. Accordingly, he performed the snark-titled Fate Is Only Twice and made his first-ever concert performance at South by Southwest during 2013.