Whilst some artists have the utter misfortune of going largely unappreciated whilst alive only to receive critical acclaim following their death, others who manage to become successful during their lifetime have been known to release some of their most pivotal works shortly after expiring. The term ‘posthumously’ is defined by Oxford Dictionaries Online in adjective form as that ‘occurring, awarded, or appearing after the death of the originator’. Here’s a look at some of the most notable posthumously musical releases in history.
10. This Is It – Michael Jackson
Following a period of discontent and obscurity in an otherwise remarkable career, at the beginning of 2009 the King of Pop was back on track and ready to announce his return in the form of a series of huge comeback/farewell concerts set to take place at London’s O2 area over the course of the approaching summer. However the concerts, labelled under the moniker ‘This Is It’ would tragically never take place as Jackson died around 1 month before the first was set to take place. Along with a highly successful movie documenting the process of putting the shows together, an album of reworked previously released music along with 6 new tracks was released several months after MJ’s demise.
9. Don’t Worry About Me – Joey Ramone
After enjoying critical acclaim at the centre of 1970’s New York City punk outfit The Ramones in his earlier years, Joey Ramone eventually went on in a similar way to his previous band mates and decided to begin the process of creating a solo album at the turn of the 21st century. The album, entitled ‘Don’t Worry About Me’ was released in 2002 one year after the singers death which marked the end of a seven year battle of lymphoma.
8. Free As A Bird – The Beatles
Following the murder of John Lennon in 1980, the remaining members of The Beatles came together to overdub a previous demo the deceased icon had recorded 5 years before his death in 1975. The track, entitled ‘Free as a Bird’ was recorded during Lennon’s time living in New York City in the Dakota Building on the upper West Side of Manhattan. Released in 1995- some 25 years after the bands initial breakup, the song features as part of the legendary quartets prestigious ‘Anthology’ collection.
7. Apple – Mother Love Bone
Active in the grunge rock epicentre of Seattle between the years of 1988 and 1990, Mother Love Bone were widely tipped to become the next big thing. In a time following the initial successes of the likes of Motley Crue and Poison yet before the arrival of a particular Mr Cobain, the bands eclectic approach towards alternative metal was sure to cement them a place in the big leagues following the release of debut album ‘Apple’. That was until the tragic demise of frontman Andrew Wood at the hands of an overdose just months before it was scheduled for release.
6. Pearl – Janis Joplin
The final album to be released under her name to feature her direct participation, and the only to feature her ‘Full Tilt Boogie Band’ incarnate- Janis Joplin recorded ‘Pearl’ in the fall of 1970. Within a week of finishing what would be viewed later by many of her fans as her definitive works, Janis was dead as a result of a heroin overdose. Despite the singers tragic and untimely demise however, the album was released in January 1971 to much acclaim and its continually celebrated world over to this day.