Most of us like to keep track of our favourite pop stars’ on-goings, are are often informed by the media the moment they hit the recording studio. When the album is finally released we’ve already heard half of the leaked tracks and memorized the lyrics off-by-heart. But there are some that did it differently! In a world where everybody knows everybody’s business, it astounds us how these 10 artists managed to keep their record a secret:
1. Drake, If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late (2015)
In November 2014, Drake let it slip he was intending to release a free mixtape within the next few months. So it was a huge surprise when in February 2015 he shocked fans with his fourth full-length 17 track studio album! The news was revealed through Drake’s twitter as a simple link to his iTunes page, and his record was met with rave reviews.
2. Beyoncé, Beyoncé (2013)
After giving birth to her daughter Blue Ivy in 2012, Beyoncé took a much-deserved break from singing. We all assumed it would be a few years until she’d announce any new projects, but in December 2013 she blew our minds! Suddenly, we were introduced to one of the most diverse and sexy R&B records in music history, with smash-hit songs such as ‘XO’ and ‘Drunk in Love. The album instantly became number 1 on the US Billboard chart and was ranked as one of the greatest albums of the year.
3. David Bowie, The Next Day (2013)
It had been 10 years since David Bowie released his last album Reality in 2003. He was hardly ever spotted out in public and it was widely accepted that he had retired from a long and influential career. But on his 66th birthday, January 8th 2013, something incredible happened – he announced on his website he had a brand new 14-track album out on iTunes! How did he keep it a secret? He required everybody involved in the production to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Now that’s dedication!
4. Miley Cyrus, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz (2015)
You’d never think someone like Miley Cyrus could keep a secret from the public eye for too long, but she did just that with her fifth album. Not long after her Bangerz tour ended, she had quietly began collaborating with Wayne Coyne and his band the Flaming Lips. Then in August 2015, she released something that was totally unexpected, not only because it was a surprise, but also because it was a step away from anything she had done before. The album was described as experimental and psychedelic synthpop containing a whopping 23 tracks! It regularly referenced drugs, sexuality and the loss her former pets.
5. Radiohead, The King of Limbs (2011)
In February 2011, after a four year break, Radiohead announced they were releasing a new album the following Saturday. Fans were delighted by the news, even more so when they dropped a double surprise and launched The King of Limbs a day early! It contained only 8 tracks and no singles were released, but still managed to sell 69,000 copies in its first week!
6. Skrillex, Recess (2014)
In 2013, electronic DJ Skrillex was touring the world showcasing his previous EPs and musical contributions. Unbeknownst to fans, Skrillex was secretly producing his first solo studio album in between shows! Sonny Moore (his real name) decided to release in the most creative way possible by launching a new mobile app called Alien Ride, which featured a ‘Space Invaders’-style arcade game. The app also contained a countdown which, when it reached zero, would link to a stream of the first song from his album Recess. The countdowns then continued until every song was made available. How clever!
7. Jay-Z, Magna Carta… Holy Grail (2013)
In the two years before Magna Carta… Holy Grail was first issued, there had been many rumours that Jay-Z was recording new music, but no one exactly exactly what or when it would see the light of day. Finally in June 2013, he told fans he had a full studio album ready for release in July, just a month later! The record was full of exciting collaborations from artists such as Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, and even his missus, Beyoncé!
8. My Bloody Valentine, m b v (2013)
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange (2012)