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Development Hell / Music

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  • Yoshiki Hayashi's Violet UK has been in development since the early 2000s and possibly earlier. A few songs and appearances have emerged from it, enough to convince fans that something may happen someday, and an album has been being hinted at since 2007 with a promo implying a new debut in 2013. Which never happened...
    • By extension, anything related to X Japan or Yoshiki Hayashi is often subject to this. X Japan's reunion album was first teased in 2008... and still hasn't been released as of July 2021.
  • Limp Bizkit's The Unquestionable Truth (Part 2). The first one came out in 2005, and the band went on hiatus shortly after its release. They reunited later, and released Gold Cobra in 2011, then announced that The Unquestionable Truth 2 was not cancelled and would be released in 2012. As of 2019, neither this album nor "Stampede of the Disco Elephants" is released yet.
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  • The career of Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy fame: "We are working on an album, inter alia, but the matter of single releases is currently on hold..." and has been for thirteen years.
  • Sarah McLachlan had two hiatuses that were over 6 years long, back-to-back, though they were justified since she was starting a family and then having a long divorce with her husband/band drummer that caused her creativity to crash.
  • Dr. Dre spent over a decade working on his planned third studio album, Detox. Dre released two well-received promo singles intended for the album in 2011; the second, "I Need a Doctor", hit the top 5 and was nominated for a Grammy. Dre finally scrapped Detox in 2015, and released his eventual third album, Compton, a companion album for the film Straight Outta Compton.
    • Not to mention "Helta Skelta" the LOOONG delayed collaboration between Dre and Ice Cube. We are also waiting for the "New" NWA album with Snoop Dogg replacing Eazy-E. Dre has a history of announcing albums and never delivering.
  • Anthony Rapp released a single solo album, Look Around, in 2000. After that, he claimed he was giving up solo work in favor of promoting his alternative/indie rock band Albinokid, and has promised they'll release an album since 2005. Several track listings have appeared on his MySpace, and he's mentioned songs he plans to include at the band's live performances, but the album hasn't appeared four years later. In fact, from lack of information on the band, it seems that they broke up.
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  • Wintersun's album Time was first announced in 2012, although the band performed new material (including a new 10-minute song) live. They wound up recording a completely different album, The Forest Seasons, which was released in July 2017.
  • E Nomine's next album. It was stated that it would be out by 2008 but as of September 2009 there has been no news of any band activity. Because in 2012, the founding members started a new band, Schlafes Bruder. That group released its first album in 2013. And hasn't had a release since.
  • MF DOOM's Swift & Changeable still hasn't seen the light of day after being announced a few years ago. (That's not even counting the countless records that got shelved by an uncaring or hostile label, like Large Professor's The LP, KMD's Black Bastards or Jay Dee/J Dilla's Pay Jay, all of which have since either leaked or been reissued six or so years after being recorded.)
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  • Lykathea Aflame's/Lykathé's unnamed album (despite claims that it was at least 90% finished. News has also surfaced that drummer Tomás Corn has been forced to quit playing due to foot problems, leaving the album's fate up in the air).
  • Indie band Havalina announced their sixth album, Pacific, in 2004. The recording got delayed because the bassist wanted to add the percussion of a library cart being hit, and it took months for him to arrange to record this (the library wouldn't let him borrow the cart). Then the bassist left, and Matt Wignall found a new bassist, renamed the band to Matt Death & The New Intellectuals, rerecorded two songs, and tweaked the track list of the album (renamed to Death on the Pacific). Matt Wignall has said that the album is finished, and that he plans to release it as a free download. That was back in 2008...
  • Tapeworm. The super-band was headed by Trent Reznor as a side-project to Nine Inch Nails. Lineup was made of musicians from A Perfect Circle and others bands in the same "music genre"... Nothing resulted. Except a song that A Perfect Circle played live once and used in their last album (The song being "Passive"). More info here.
  • The music industry is notorious when it comes to shelving or stalling albums by female pop artists. Unfortunately, female pop artists have the least creative control. Usually they have to fight over artistic direction and their own public image and style, thus sending their albums to development hell territory.
    • This is especially true for female pop, R&B, and rap artists, Adina Howard being among the most known examples. Her '97-'98 Fantasy Island record was shelved because she wanted to do more than just sexually explicit songs. It was eventually bootlegged and released to the streets. Funnily, the album was still rather overtly sexual, leading people to wonder just how much sexier her label wanted the album to be.
    • Female rap group Da 5 Footaz Lifetime album never saw the light of day either, despite press kits being available. Their album was supposed to have been released as far back as '96. It has since been released underground via bootleg.
    • Charli Baltimore's record is in perpetual Development Hell.
    • JoJo's got her third album stuck in so much development hell she sued her now out-of-business record company and then proceeded to delay it to the "right time". She ended up releasing 2 mix-tapes ("Can't Take That Away From Me" and "Agape") because she does want to give her fans things and cares. All I Want Is Everything (the third album mentioned) was later retitled as "Jumping Trains" and then was retitled again.
  • Nas' collab with DJ Premier, announced back in 2006, hasn't had any other info released since, but supposedly it's still being worked on.
    • As of October 2013, Premier claims that project is still on, but they are waiting until after Nas releases his Life Is Good follow-up, which will complete his contract with Def Jam. That album, ultimately titled Nasir, wasn't released until June 2018.
  • LeAnn Rimes's cover album Lady & Gentlemen. First announced in 2009; first single (a cover of John Anderson's "Swingin'") stalled at the bottom of the charts. The announced release date came and went. LeAnn tweeted that the album would see release later in 2010 with a bonus re-recording of her debut single "Blue". A non-cover single ("Crazy Women") dropped in 2011 but fell out of the 40 in the blink of an eye. Finally in mid-2011, another new single ("Give", also not a cover) cracked the charts and the album was finally released in 2011. Likely, the label thought Rimes' relationship and later marriage to the already-married Eddie Cibrian which made them US Weekly regulars would poison any attempt to release the record, as many of her existing fans and collaborators bailed from her out of disgust with her behavior.
  • And a more extreme example from Curb is Amy Dalley, who put out seven singles between 2003 and 2007, but despite getting as high as #23 ("Men Don't Change"), none were deemed successful enough for an album launch. Most country music labels are satisfied if a new artist even breaks Top 40...
  • The Kovenant's Aria Galactica has been in limbo since 2003. Sort of the Duke Nukem Forever of music.
  • Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park fame started a solo rap project known as Fort Minor during the band's break between records in 2005 and fans have never missed a moment to inquire about a second album. Mike has said he would return to Fort Minor. Someday. (Though at this point one wonders if he was being honest as he is infamous for playing Trolling Creator with the fans and teasing them...)
    • Frontman Chester Bennington's solo group Dead by Sunrise released one album back in 2009, much like Mike, he expressed interest in doing more solo work, but the plans have ultimately been derailed by his 2017 suicide. This, ironically, led to Mike's 2018 album Post Traumatic, explicitly under Mike's real name.
  • My Vitriol are another famous example. Their 2001 debut Finelines faced no success in the US due to Executive Meddling which caused exhausting touring that put them into a 4-year hiatus. Then they got back together and started recording and then scrapped an album's worth of material (except four tracks that appeared on an EP) after lukewarm fan reception. Since then the follow-up has left fans waiting over 10 years. The band has had no word on when or if the album will ever be completed.
  • Lindsay Lohan's third album Spirit In The Dark was first announced back in 2008, the single "Bossy" was released and was very successful on the dance charts, but production was halted as Lindsay had decided it wasn't feasible for her to work on both her acting and singing career at the same time, numerous release dates were announced but nothing ultimately came of them due to Lindsay's own inability to decide when to work on the album, though several tracks have been leaked on to the internet over the years. It's unknown just how far along in production "Spirit" is, the album getting released depends on Lindsay getting around to finishing it, and by December 2010, when that would happen was anybody's guess.
  • Delta Goodrem has this happen a lot, mostly by her own making, Her third self titled album spent four years in development (04-07), her fourth album (Child Of the Universe) took about 5 years, three rewrites and two break ups, to come out. Both times are self inflicted development hells of sorts.
  • Christina Aguilera usually takes four years between albums, averted with Lotus which was a 2 year job.
  • The Veronicas recording company pushed back their third album 4 times now.
  • After the release of The Beach Boys' critically acclaimed Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson immediately went to work on Smile, an album that he planned to be his magnum opus. Public interest in the album quickly rose with the preview single "Good Vibrations" in the fall of 1966, but Wilson's good fortune quickly took a turn for the worse due to a combination of a drug induced breakdown, his bandmates' unenthusiastic response to the project (which, depending on who you asked, ranged from mild confusion to outright hostility), and the "Heroes and Villains" single stiffing on the charts, which greatly affected Brian's confidence in the project. By May 1967, Wilson shelved the project, more or less ending his role as the main creative force in the group. Some of its songs were re-recorded in often inferior versions for Smiley Smile (the originals were finally released officially on the 1993 box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of the Beach Boys), "Cabinessence"'s original recording was eventually released on 20/20 in 1969 and "Surf's Up" made it out on the eponymous 1971 album, in a patchwork form that included a new lead vocal by Carl Wilson recorded over the original 1966 backing track, and a heavily overdubbed second section using Brian's vocals and piano demo of the song. Meanwhile, the album would remain untouched (and bootlegged) for the next 37 years before Wilson decided to give it another shot. Smile was finally released as a solo album in 2004, with surprisingly positive reviews. In 2011, Capitol Records released The Smile Sessions, which includes a reconstructed version of the album using The Beach Boys' original recordings.
  • Leona Lewis had her album Glassheart pushed back by a year by her recording company. Her first two albums Spirit and Echo didn't have this problem. (It did eventually come out in October 2012.)
  • Vanessa Amorosi has dealt with recording company issues and getting someone behind her work twice. First with her Somewhere In The Real World album, which had trouble getting destributed.
  • Several songs Hayden Panettiere recorded during her time as a Hollywood Records artist have been heard on Disney compilations and on soundtrack albums (as well as in her movies, such as The Dust Factory and Tiger Cruise), and her first album was due to be released during her time on Heroes... but the release date was pushed back several times, and with her only official pop single (2008's "Wake Up Call") not being a hit - and being an Old Shame of hers to boot - it's unlikely to ever come out. Her efforts with Nashville have been a different story, however (including two sort-of solo albums).
  • Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee (Part 1), Part 2 of which was actually released. The album was originally scheduled for September 15, 2009, but was frequently delayed by MCA's health problems, resulting in his 2012 death. (The songs that were scheduled for Part 1 ended up on Part 2, which was released in 2011.) The group managed to record again before MCA died, but it is not known if that material will ever be released.
  • Shirley Manson's solo album. She eventually completed one, but her label denied to release it for not being commercial enough. She admits that said album even had a funeral for it.
  • Kraftwerk has been teasing a new album since 2003. While long absences aren't uncommon for the band (for instance after 1991's The Mix they basically went missing for nearly a decade), the fact that in the time since their last album founding member Florian Schneider quit (and subsequently passed away) leaves this new album's fate uncertain.
  • Despite the success of the Blue Öyster Cult and their solid record of acclaimed albums, it still took the best part of twenty years for band Svengali Sandy Pearlman to get his pet project, Imaginos, off the ground. Even though individual tracks had appeared on the band's early LP's and were sound and well received, delays and stalling and indifference from record companies meant it was 1988 before Pearlman's supernatural concept LP saw the light of day. By then, only the "Two Oyster Cult" were left - two of the original lineup - and the record was scratchily completed by a gaggle of hopefuls and disinterested studio session musicians. It was not a hit and to this day, the new tracks from the album are never performed on stage.
  • Vocaloid CV04. Fans rejoiced when they learned that it was the fourth product in Crypton Future Media's "Character Vocal" series. Fans rejoiced further when it was announced that he would be a male voice instead of a female one. The few fans that heard the demos rejoiced even further when it was implied that Yuuki Kaji would supply the voice. The fans were incredibly annoyed when they realized that he was taking so dang long to be released and that they don't even know his real name. It's been about three years since his existence was made known and still nothing. And don't go searching for those demos either, they're long gone. Worse still, it's been announced that Vocaloid 3 will be released this September and the CV series is in Vocaloid 2. Unless CV04 is released soon or released with Vocaloid 3, he may stay this way forever.
  • Sky Ferreira had been signed to Capitol Records since 2008, and hadn't released an album until 2013. Keep in mind that her debut set had been delayed at least three times; its original release date was January 2011, with additional planned releases in 2012 and 2013 that proved to be nonstarters. While she had released two EPs and a couple of singles over the five year period, nothing she had put out prior to the release of her debut album had made much of an impact, and she basically coasted on blog hype and random modeling gigs to keep her name out there.
    • It's happened again- her sophomore album Masochism has been repeatedly teased and delayed since at least 2016 without any sign of an imminent release.
  • James Wesley, a Country Music artist. He signed with Warner (Bros.) Records in 1999 and put out two singles under his real name of James Prosser, but the corresponding album was apparently scrapped. In 2010, he signed with Broken Bow Records, charting five singles between then and 2013. Although the second and third singles were Top 40 hits ("Real" at #22 and "Didn't I" at #24), the album still failed to see release.
  • In the late 1990s, country singer John Berry was supposed to put out Crazy for This Girl, but curtailed it a few weeks into its first single's run because he was having vocal cord troubles. After he healed up, he recorded Better Than a Biscuit, but exited his contract a week before it was supposed to be released.
  • Montgomery Gentry had this happen at the end of their tenure with Columbia Records in the late 2000s. They were supposed to do an album called Freedom, whose lead-off single was "Oughta Be More Songs About That". After the single failed, the label decided instead to release an EP, whose lead single was "While You're Still Young". But after that failed, the EP was shelved and they left the label.
  • Jessica Andrews was slated to release her fourth album for DreamWorks Records in 2005. Its singles went nowhere, and the closure of the label left her high and dry. She moved to Disney-owned Lyric Street Records and released a song titled "Everything", which also underperformed… and then got screwed over again when Lyric Street closed.
  • Jamie O'Neal had a hard time following up her first album, Shiver. "Every Little Thing" was supposed to be on an album titled On My Way to You, slated for a 2003 release but it flopped and she left Mercury Records in favor of Capitol Records. The change of label got three hits off Brave between 2004 and 2006, but "God Don't Make Mistakes" went nowhere, as did two singles released in 2008-09 on a small indie label. She finally returned in 2014 with a Cover Album.
  • Rebecca Lynn Howard had three unreleased albums. The first was Laughter & Tears, which had two singles in "What a Shame" and "I Need a Vacation", and was never released due to underperformance of both singles. She then moved to Arista Records and released two cuts that also went nowhere (they would've been on an album called Alive and Well), then a song called "Soon" for a never-finished album on Show Dog-Universal Music. She finally put out No Rules on Saguaro Road in 2008.
  • Necrophagist has slowly been becoming a punchline much like Winter Sun and Duke Nukem Forever in regards to how long they have been taking to make a new album. Necrophagist started work on the new album back in 2008, but as of March 2014 there still isn't any new info on the new album. Their last album, Epitaph came out in 2004.
  • Insane Clown Posse's side-project called Soopa Villainz, in which ICP and other Psychopathic artists portrayed comic book-type villains, has fallen into a seemingly infinite state of limbo. Their first album, Furious, was released in 2005 to luke-warm response. (At the same time, Twiztid were meant to portray an equivalent group called Soopa Heroez, whose corresponding album never did see release.) Then, in 2006, the whole Soopa Villainz project suffered a rather large blow when former-Villainz member Esham released an album of SV's unreleased material as a free, download-only release without ICP's permission - and managed to get ICP in a heap of trouble over the scathing, appallingly homophobic track "Slow Your Roll", which was more than likely presented out of its intended context.
    • ICP eventually planned on attempting to revive the Soopa Villainz project with a trio of releases - an expanded edition of Furious, a new album titled The Land of the Banned, and an EP of Soopa Heroez material. NONE of this ever appeared.
    • Speaking of ICP, the big boxed set of the first six Joker's Cards which has been discussed for months (since mid-2013) and still has yet to come out? Yeah... we'll likely keep waiting, too.
  • Bloodhound Gang notoriously took six years to follow up their major hit album Hooray For Boobies with the relative flop Hefty Fine. The follow up to that , Hard-Off, would take another ten years to release, with only one new song coming out in-between, "Altogether Ooky" in the 2010 Greatest Hits Album Show Us Your Hits.
  • Space had a major case of this with their third album, Love You More Than Football. Originally scheduled for release in 1999, the release date was pushed back to 2000. In early 2000, a single, 'Diary Of A Wimp', was released, and a tracklisting appeared on the band's website. 'Gravity', which had been premiered on the Bad Days tour in 1998, was a potential next single (and is featured on one of the Greatest Hits albums, as is the title track). However, the album itself ended up being shelved due to clashes between the band and the record company. Fortunately, some fans managed to get bootlegs of the songs.
  • Country Music singer Clint Daniels had two albums canceled on two different labels: a self-titled effort for Arista in 1998 (although the lead single fell just outside the Top 40) and an unnamed second disc for Epic in 2003. After the second one, he gave up singing in favor of songwriting.
  • Faith Hill has been trying to mount a comeback album since 2011, but so far, only two singles have been released: a cover of OneRepublic's "Come Home" in 2011, and "American Heart" a year later. Both flopped, and the comeback went on hiatus. However, she had a Top 5 hit in 2014 backing her husband, Tim McGraw, on "Meanwhile Back at Mama's". In 2017, she and Tim released a duets album through Arista Records Nashville.
  • Greek Black Metal band Astarte's sixth album was delayed for a long time by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Tristessa's health problems, which resulted in her death in 2014. Some of her bandmates are finishing the album and it is planned to be released under the name Lloth (the band's original name).
  • Decrepit Birth released their last studio album in 2010 and lost everyone except Bill Robinson and Matt Sotelo shortly after. It took four years for the writing process for Axis Mundi to even truly start, five for the recording process to start, six for the recording process to actually conclude due to the staggered schedule and decentralized nature of the process, and seven for the damn thing to actually see a release, as the album was done and had been turned in circa September of 2016.
  • Andrew W.K. Is becoming a bit notorious for doing everything but his music. He's been doing self-help articles with The Village Voice, Starred as the host of Destroy Build Destroy, Hosts a talk show for The Blaze Radio Network, and still no album! His last original album (besides his Jazz record 55 Cadillac) was Close Calls with Brick Walls in 2006. The last full-length project he's done as a cover album about Mobile Suit Gundam in 2009. The Last music he's made period was 2011's The "Party All Goddamn Night" EP. He said at a brony convention that he plans to release a album called Raucous in 2013. Still waiting....
  • Leslie Carter (Nick and Aaron's sister) released her first single, "Like, Wow," in 2000, with its parent album of the same name slated to release later that year. The single even appeared on the Shrek soundtrack. Unfortunately, DreamWorks Records folded shortly after and the complete album never saw a proper release. Not helping matters was Carter saying that she never wanted to record an album and her mother forced her to, as well as her later untimely death from a drug overdose in 2012.
  • Chuck Schuldiner of Death fame planned a second Control Denied album, When Man and Machine Collide, but his death prevented it. He did, nonetheless, record quite a lot of music for the album, but it was unfinished at the time of his death. Surviving band members have expressed a wish to complete the album, but various factors including a legal dispute with the band's record label and the theft of the band's equipment have prevented it from occurring as of this writing (January 2016). Note that Chuck died in December 2001, meaning that the project has been in a state of hibernation for over fourteen years.
  • Ulver at one point planned an orchestral version of their album Nattens madrigal, but it's been revealed that the project is "in a state of total dormancy". It's not clear at this point if the band have any intention of resuming its production.
  • Peter Gabriel teased the idea that his follow-up to Up could be a double-album, which he tentatively named I/O. This was in 2002. The album still hasn't been released yet (he's released two albums since, one rearranging his old songs and one covering other people's, but still hasn't released an album of original material since). He's since said that the album might end up taking less ambitious proportions, but it remains unreleased.
  • Cledus T. Judd's Boogity, Boogity: A Tribute to the Comedic Genius of Ray Stevens was originally supposed to be released in 2005 by Koch Records (now E1 Music), but they closed their Nashville branch. The album finally got put out in 2007 on Curb.
  • Downfall were a short-lived Ska Punk group formed by former Operation Ivy members Tim Armstrong, Matt Freeman, and Dave Mello in 1989. Their first album, Get Ready For Action, was supposed to be released by Lookout! Records in 1994, though by then Armstrong and Freeman had already broken up the band and formed Rancid. A few years later, Brett Gurewitz remixed the album for a belated release, which also ended up in Development Hell, seemingly because Rancid became much more popular and thus harder for the small label to get in contact with. Get Ready For Action did leak in full, albeit not from the reportedly more polished Gurewitz mix, and with degraded sound quality. Outside of the unreleased album, their official discography consists of a few appearances on various artists compilations.
  • The Band Perry's third studio album, Heart + Beat, was announced with a late 2015 release. But after its lead single "Live Forever" underperformed, the album was delayed... and then the band ended up exiting Republic Records in 2016, leaving Heart + Beat in the dust. They released a new single titled "Comeback Kid" for Mercury Records in late 2016, but it also bombed. A new single for Mercury, "Stay in the Dark", was issued in the first quarter of 2017, with a new album title of My Bad Imagination.
  • While both Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham have wanted to do a CD version of their pre-Fleetwood Mac album Buckingham Nicks for over 25 years, the project has stalled mainly due to difficulty in finding usable master tapes.
  • Country Music singer Josh Turner's sixth studio album has been on hold due to poor single performance. Original lead single "Lay Low" petered out at #25 in late 2014-early 2015. After that, he switched producers from Frank Rogers (who had been his producer since his debut single in 2002) to Kenny Greenberg and launched "Hometown Girl" in May 2016. The album, Deep South, was finally released in March 2017.
  • Lauryn Hill's second studio album was reported to be in some stage of development since shortly after her first, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1999. Hill ended up taking an extended hiatus from recording - she didn't release a new studio single until 2010, and put out a few more singles after that, but a new album never came to fruition. As of 2021, Hill doesn't appear to have plans to ever record another album.
  • Brad Paisley's eleventh studio album, Love and War, was delayed for nearly a year after its originally intended lead single "Without a Fight" (a duet with Demi Lovato) completely bombed at radio. Its release date was moved up to March 2017, then again after that to April. This gave second single "Today" a wider berth.
  • Very strangely, Country Music singer Chase Bryant has released two singles that both hit the Top 10 ("Take It On Back" and "Little Bit of You"), but the label has shown absolutely zero interest in even trying to release an album from him. You'd think just putting out an album on him would be a far better return on investment than doggedly pushing his singles up the charts as long as humanly possible...
  • Hunter Hayes has had a terrible time following up his first album. After his second album Storyline bombed, he released a new lead single called "21", which was supposed to lead off a third album. Its poor performance caused the song to be put on a digital-only EP titled The 21 Project. A new single called "Yesterday's Song" dropped in October 2016, but lingered on the Country Airplay charts as late as March without ever hitting Top 40.
  • Shortly after the première of Les huguenots in 1836, both Giacomo Meyerbeer and Eugène Scribe started to develop two further operas together. However, due to their own commitments, Le prophète did not reach the stage until 1849 and L'africaine (which for some time was titled Vasco da Gama) had to wait until 1865 — nearly a year after Meyerbeer's death and four after Scribe's.
  • Toby Keith's eighteenth album, 35 MPH Town, was repeatedly delayed due to its singles underperforming on the charts. Lead single "Drunk Americans" both debuted and peaked at #27, while the followups didn't hit the Top 40. In 2016, he launched the single "A Few More Cowboys" only to see it bomb, and instead opted to release an album of his "bus songs" (a series of mostly-NSFW tongue in cheek songs that he sometimes sings in concert).
  • Enfold Darkness saw an eight-year gap between Our Cursed Rapture and Adversary Omnipotent that can be chalked up to, among other things, an inability to keep a steady lineup, label issues after Sumerian abruptly dropped them, Greg Vance and his girlfriend both having their cars totaled within weeks of one another (and Greg's girlfriend coming out far worse than he did), and, just as they were about to finally get the damn thing recorded, Matt Brown converting to Islam and leaving the band, necessitating another member search. The fact that the album was announced and put up for preorder basically right after the mastering process was concluded can be chalked up to people being sick enough of delays to basically eliminate the need for promotion.
  • Eric Paslay's second album has been repeatedly stalled. Lead single "High Class" was met with negative reception and a poor chart showing of #32 on the country charts, while follow up "Angels in This Town" came and went without anyone noticing.
  • Deryl Dodd had this happen twice. His second album Deryl Dodd was delayed when its original lead single "Time on My Hands" failed to light up the charts, and that song ultimately did not make the album's track list. Then his third album, Pearl Snaps, was delayed for nearly three years... because he had contracted viral encephalitis, which resulted in him having to relearn how to sing and play guitar.
  • Anderson, Wakeman, and Rabin, the group reuniting three former Yes members, first formed in 2010, but did not have a public performance until six years later. New material has been worked on since then with an album (or, depending on what you hear, an EP) sometimes being teased, although nothing's been confirmed as of 2018.
  • A rough timeline of Treble Charger: formed in 1992, put out five studio albums at a rough rate of one every two or three years, went on "hiatus" in 2004, officially broke up in 2006, reunited with half its members in 2012 to play a handful of festival shows, went back into the studio to record in 2014, and claim that the new album will be done in fall of 2018. At this point fans aren't really holding their breath any more.
  • Josh Thompson's second album, Change, was to have been issued in 2011 on RCA Records. However, he was quickly dropped due to a combination of label leadership changes and single underperformance. After doing one more album on Show Dog-Universal Music, he finally got the rights to Change back and issued it independently in 2017.
  • Tears for Fears announced they were working on a new album in 2013 and after numerous delays and rerecordings, stated it was complete, titled "The Tipping Point" and would come out on Warner Bros in 2017...shortly after which they resigned with Universal Records who got the rights to release the new album, but insisted the group release a new Greatest Hits collection featuring two of the new songs as a way to drum up publicity for it. "The Tipping Point" is still unreleased as of late 2018, and when it will come out is anyone's guess, the group was planning a tour to tie in with it, but postponed this until 2019 due to Orzabal being unwell.
    • The above had the knockon effect of delaying The Seeds Of Love Deluxe Edition (which is complete) was planned as a 25 year anniversary edition to being a 30 year anniversary edition instead (if it even comes out at all). Appropriately, the original release of The Seeds Of Love was originally announced in 1986 though due to the group deciding to completely change their production style, took until 1989 to come out.
  • Thomas Dolby stated on his forum in 2009 that he was working on deluxe editions of his third and fourth albums "Aliens Ate My Buick" and "Astronauts And Heretics" for release a few months after the deluxe editions of "The Golden Age Of Wireless" and "The Flat Earth" earlier that year, but they ultimately never did. He has stated since that due to record label mergers, it has been much harder to access the original tapes, although has also said that there isn't much unreleased material from this period as there was for the other albums.
  • Broken Iris released their first album in 2007. They've been working on their second one since at least 2013. They've released songs since then, but not a second album.
  • Used in-universe in Billy Joel's "Piano Man". The line "Paul is a real estate novelist" refers to a man who sells real estate while he writes a novel. However, he's been writing that novel for years.
  • Charli XCX had a lot of trouble getting her third album made once it was announced to be in development in 2015. Initial production seemed to be going smoothly, and its debut single, "After the Afterparty", was released in 2016, but in early 2017, her Google Drive was hacked, and hundreds of demos, release-ready tracks, and other promotional material trickled onto Reddit over several months. Combined with label politics, Charli decided to reboot the entire project in late 2018 and finally saw an album come to light titled Charli, released in late 2019 and featuring mostly all-new music. Due to her disillusionment following the leak, Charli has stated that she no longer has interest to release any of the initial version's material legitimately.
  • The follow up to Slaughter to Prevail's 2017 album Misery Sermon has been stuck in the oven for quite some time due to various issues. They started work on the album sometime during 2017-18 but due to heavy touring it got put on the back burner. The decentralized nature of the band (Alex, Evgeny, and Mike are in Russia and Jack Simmons is in Britain) makes it hard to get everyone on the same page. They did release two new singles ("Agony" in 2019 and "Demolisher" in 2020) and had other songs in the works, but Sumerian thought that the band wasn't writing their best material. After sorting out their issues with Sumerian, COVID-19 hit, making it hard to hit the studio (and in general slowing down music releases). According to drummer Evgeny, the instrumentals are all done as of September 2020, so the new album just needs mixing/mastering before it drops. If things go well the new Slaughter to Prevail album will moved to the escaped section soon.
  • Country singer and American Idol Season 2 contestant Josh Gracin was supposed to release his second album All About Y'all for Lyric Street Records in 2006. However, the label delayed the album when lead single "Favorite State of Mind" stalled out on the charts. A rename to I Keep Coming Back and a slated release date of 2007 also came and went when the song of the same name fared even worse at radio. Gracin then went back into the studio to cut some new songs, of which "We Weren't Crazy" was selected as both the next single and the title track. Once that song had completed a nearly 40-week crawl into the top 10, Lyric Street finally released We Weren't Crazy in April 2008. (Other than the preceding two singles and one other song, none of the content which would have been on All About Y'all and/or I Keep Coming Back was retained.) However, all the waiting sapped his career momentum, as the album quickly petered out at a dismal 18,000 copies and the next two singles (the self-penned "Unbelievable (Ann Marie)" and a cover of Tim McGraw's "Telluride") barely touched the charts. Gracin was dropped from Lyric Street in 2009, less than a year before the label went under entirely — with many fans citing the extreme Executive Meddling applied to both Gracin and nearly every other artist on the label as a factor.
  • Dark Wave band Midnight Resistance have been teasing a third album since 2017, (their second having been released way back in 2012) but nothing tangible has surfaced, aside from three singles.
  • The Offspring began working on a follow-up to Days Go By as early as 2013, just a year after the album had come out. A single was released in 2015, along with the promise of an album later that year. Then 2016. Then 2017. Then 2018, 2019, and 2020 went by with promised release dates coming and going before Let the Bad Times Roll finally released in April 2021, a full eight years after development began. Among smaller things, the band dealt with record label shakeups, the acrimonious departure of founding bassist Greg K., and the COVID-19 Pandemic pushed the album back multiple times while forcing rewrites and rerecordings.
  • Gary Allan's tenth album was delayed for six years. It was originally slated for release in 2015, but lead single "Hangover Tonight" underperformed. Two other singles also bombed on the charts, and then COVID-19 delayed recording sessions. The album, Ruthless, finally dropped in June 2021 with none of its first three intended singles making the final product.


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