With this week's release of the first American Recordings posthumous release from Johnny Cash, ALIEN CORPSE has been pondering the cash cow of life after death in the recording industry.
Is this practice simply the record company giving the fans what we want; giving us a way to connect with our fallen/tortured/misunderstood heroes? Or are we being taken advantage of, manipulated into spending money on typically subpar releases because our beloved is no longer with us?
There is certainly a great amount of attention received after a musician passes away that encourages a record company (or the surviving members of the band) to polish and then push a release of a "not quite finished" record. There is also the "dead artist" mentality that maintains an artist's work is more valuable after the artist passes on.
Also, many times the artist was in process or nearing completion of a project when they die, and it just takes their producer adding finishing touches to release the record, sometimes (especially in the case of Elliott Smith) giving the listener insight into their state of mind prior to their death (suicide).
As one being that has tasted death, ALIEN CORPSE has decided to take this stance: Immediate releases of unfinished work are acceptable especially in the case of suicide, greatest hits are acceptale, whereas remixes/"from the vault"/B-sides/other crap are offensive to fans and should be treated as such.
Here are some posthumous examples:
- Elliott Smith - From A Basement on a Hill(2004), Smith passed on October 22, 2003.
- Johnny Cash - Unearthed (11/03) (!), My Mother's Hymn Book (4/04), The Legend of Johnny Cash (10/05) American V: A Hundred Highways(7/4/06), Cash passed September 12, 2003.
- Elvis Presley - Too many to mention, the most notable is the FRIGHTENING 2002 remix of "A Little Less Conversation," Elvis passed August, 1977.
- Russell Jones (aka ODB, Dirt McGirt) - A Son Unique (expected 06), ODB passed November 2004.
- 2Pac - Greatest Hits (1998), Until the End of Time (2001), All Eyez on Me (2001), Better Dayz (2002), Ressurection (11/03), Loyal to the Game (12/04), 2Pac passed in 1996.
- Nirvana - Nirvana (10/02), With the Lights Out (11/04), Sliver: The Best of the Box (11/05), Kurt Cobain passed April 5th, 1994.