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  • Machinae Supremacy's The Wired is about this, due to being inspired by the ending of Serial Experiments Lain.
  • This is commonplace in bands and music ensembles when members who were with the band before they hit it big, leave or are kicked out prior to the group becoming famous.
    • Iron Maiden has gone so far as to in many a Greatest Hits Album have singer Bruce Dickinson on all tracks, even in songs originally performed by his predecessor Paul Di'Anno (helps that band leader Steve Harris developed some Creator Backlash with Di'Anno's albums) and his not-very-popular replacement Blaze Bayley (though Dickinson has denounced fans who like to pretend Bayley's era of the band never happened and has made several of the songs of his era songs regulars in the band's set list).
      • You can't blame them if you know Paul's reputation for violence (including against women and audience members), the fact he is banned from the US, and the fact he claimed benefits even whilst touring the world, and went to prison many times. Upon leaving the band, Rod Smallwood actually made him sign over his rights to the songs so he wouldn't get royalties for them, instead getting one large payoff. Di'Anno spent most of the money on drugs and alcohol.
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  • In all biographical material sanctioned by Devo, the band was formed by Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale, who were classmates at Kent State. Wikipedia and the only (unofficial) book on Devo tells us that a third co-founder, Bob Lewis, was edged out before their first major label release, and as a result took legal action over his contributions to the band's concept and aesthetic. The only real acknowledgement of Lewis comes in being credited on older songs like "Be Stiff."
  • One particularly infamous example is the 2002 "remasters" of Ozzy Osbourne's first two albums. In an effort to avoid paying royalties to Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake (the original bassist and drummer), the rhythm tracks were rerecorded by Ozzy's current bassist and drummer, Daisley and Kerslake's names were removed from the songwriting credits, and they were completely removed from the photos in the liner notes, all without any indication that the albums were anything but straight reissues. The move caused massive backlash, and the subsequent Bark at the Moon reissue contained Daisley's original bass track (Kerslake had left the band by that point).
  • Ever since Dave Holland's arrest for having sex with a minor, Judas Priest prefer to pretend he was never in the band, including editing him out of band photos from that era.
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    • In 1996, Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes started work on a then-untitled album with Dave Holland on drums - the album was left unfinished due to the reunion of Black Sabbath. After being widely bootlegged, the completed songs finally saw official release in 2004, under the title The 1996 DEP Sessions... With Holland's parts re-recorded entirely by Jimmy Copley for the same reason.
  • Country Music group Gloriana was in the middle of recording their second album A Thousand Miles Left Behind when Cheyenne Kimball left the group for reasons only really known to her. They ultimately re-recorded the tracks that originally had Kimball on them (including the first single, "Wanna Take You Home"), and omitted a song she co-wrote from the track list. This will happen frequently when a musician leaves, since intellectual property is involved and there can be legal and economic reasons to Unperson someone.
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  • The 2003 Greatest Hits Album for the country band Lonestar has only one mention of bassist John Rich (who was fired in 1998): specifically, as the co-writer of the #1 single "Come Cryin' to Me". All the pictures show only the most famous four-man lineup of Richie McDonald, Keech Rainwater, Dean Sams, and Michael Britt. But Rich has nothing to worry about, as he's well known as a songwriter and producer, and one-half of the duo Big & Rich.
  • When Blondie were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Debbie Harry tried to have two founding members of the band, Nigel Harrison and Frank Infante, excluded from the ceremony. She was tactfully informed the induction was for all members of the classic lineup, and whether she liked it or not, Harrison and Infante were part of the Blondie who were being honoured.
    • There was a similar controversy involving Heart on their induction into the Hall. The Wilson sisters agreed - very grudgingly - that the induction was for the original line-up of the band which included the Fisher brothers, with whom they had had a major falling-out. Roger and Mike Fisher were allowed to rejoin the rest of the original members on stage for one song, agreed to be a blistering version of "Barracuda". But that was it; they quietly stood down for two current band-members, practically anonymous sessions musicians, who filled in for the rest of the gig. Fans present noted the quality of music played soon stopped being "blistering", and became merely "average".
    • Another controversy happened in the late 90s, when Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist Bob Welch was the only major member of the band to not be inducted, despite him effectively being the "leader" of the band during the bridge period between their blues-based years and superstar Nicks/Buckingham era. His relationship with the band soured in the mid-90s and for a long while, he believed Mick Fleetwood had arranged for him to be excluded from the band's Hall of Fame list of inducted members. When he finally buried the hatchet with Fleetwood, he discovered this wasn't the case at all and suspected that the Hall of Fame's board had removed him from their inductees list because they didn't like his solo music. He opined that if he had been on better terms with Fleetwood in 1998, he would have made a better case for why Welch should be in the Hall.
    • Gram Parsons was not inducted as a member of The Byrds despite being one of the band's most famous members and often being credited as the inventor of the country rock genre. The thinking behind the exclusion may have been that he would be inducted as a solo artist in due time or because he was in the band for just six months. Despite nominations in 2002, 2004 and 2005, he hasn't made it in and hasn't been on the nomination ballot in a decade.
    • Surprisingly subverted in the case of Kiss. When only the original four members of the band were inducted in 2014, many suspected that leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had arranged for the exclusion of well-liked replacements such as Bruce Kulick, Eric Singer and the late Eric Carr. Then news came out that it was actually quite the opposite: Simmons and Stanley had actually fought with the Hall to include those members and when they were rebuffed, the band refused to perform.
  • While on the Hall of Fame, a minor case revolves around who is listed as an inducted member regarding bands. Sure, there's no problem streamlining a Revolving Door Band, specially regarding members who are borderline footnotes, unpopular replacements or reminiscents of a Dork Age. But some musicians reacted badly upon their exclusions.
  • When searching allmusic, you can find stray mentions to Bryan Adams, but not his own pages - because he's such a Reclusive Artist that he asked the site to take them down.
  • Even though Gary Glitter was an important and significant artiste in the seventies' glam-rock scene, try finding any radio or TV station that will acknowledge this, after his convictions for child sex abuse. Glitter has effectively been airbrushed out of 1970's music history, and nearly every playing of his crowd anthem Rock and Roll Part 2 in a stadium or arena is always a Suspiciously Similar Song so he doesn't get performance royalties from the original song.note 
  • Megadeth's Dave Mustaine always gave the impression just him and Dave Ellefson formed the band, but eventually mentioned in his book the names of several ex-members of Megadeth before he settled on a touring lineup. Early on, Dave was seriously considering hiring somebody else to be a lead singer, and tried out a few, one of whom actually suggested the name Megadeth for Dave's band. Mustaine felt that most of the auditionees were too glam metal for the band, and eventually just decided to sing himself.
  • The Plasmatics: Guitarist Richie Stotts was a co-founder of the band, but after the release of "Coup d' Etat" he was edited out of band videos and not referred to by name in a 2006 compulation DVD of the band.
  • This is what In Extremo's Spielmannsfluch is about. Two musicians come to the court of a king, and the queen falls in love with the younger musician. The king then kills the young musician, and the old musician curses him with the Spielmannsfluch (the musicians curse), causing every musician, poet, writer etc. to never mention the king or any of his deeds.
    • It's based on the ballad Des Sängers Fluch (The singers curse) by Ludwig Uhland, which has the same plot.
  • In recent ABBA documentaries, the importance of manager Stig Anderson - who wrote most of the band's lyrics up to 1979, used his business savvy to promote and market the band worldwide, and was generally considered the "fifth member" of the group - has been downplayed to the point that he is rarely mentioned at all. Depending on who you believe, this is either because of Stig's falling out with the band before his death or it's part of Benny and Bjorn's sinister plot to take over the world.
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono spent a lot of time not only telling the world about peace and love, and how much in love they were... But also how no other women had ever existed in John's life.
    • John's first wife, Cynthia Lennon, was portrayed as a dead weight he had been forced to marry in a shotgun wedding. They had been together for ten years, but after John started using drugs they divorced. He later claimed to never have written love songs about her and that their marriage was rushed because of her pregnancy. This extended to incivility after his death. Lennon's first wife and their son were pointedly not invited to the funeral rites. They still do not know the secret location where Yoko interred or otherwise bestowed the ashes and cannot even pay private respects there. Julian Lennon had to fight Yoko for years to be acknowledged as a son with a right to some part of his father's estate.
    • John's girlfriend for eighteen months, May Pang, got a worse treatment. In 1972, Yoko Ono told Pang she should have a relationship with John. Pang refused at first, but accepted afterwards. John moved with May Pang, and in eighteen months produced three records (including his most successful solo work, "Walls and Bridges") and reunited with long time friend Paul McCartney and estranged son Julian. Still, when John went back to Yoko, he called his time with May "the lost weekend". It had been a very productive weekend, on musical and personal accounts.
  • A number of outsider musicians have done this to themselves, to varying degrees, some prominent examples being The Residents, free-jazz pioneer Sun Ra, and reclusive singer-songwriter Jandek.
    • Jandek is a particularly unusual case: While the man himself has almost certainly been identified, his musical collaborators prior to his live debut in 2004 remain unknown. Take into account that this man has been making records on a yearly basis since 1978...
    • Technically outdone by The Residents (active since at least 1969), but the identities of (most of) the group members has been all but public knowledge since the late-'70s, and co-founder and lyricist Hardy Fox admitted his membership with the band shortly before his 2018 death.
  • Kerry Katona left Atomic Kitten just before their single 'Whole Again' became a huge hit, reaching number one in the charts. Her replacement, Jenny Frost, joined the band within days. The music video was reshot, replacing Kerry with Jenny. Their album was also reissued with Jenny's vocals instead of Kerry's.
  • Parlophone Records has almost completely erased The Beatles from the label's history. This was right after Parlophone broke off from EMI during that company's sale to UMG, whilst keeping the Beatles' recordings. The website mentions the group only once in their "About" page, and current Beatles albums reissues only retain mentions of Parlophone in the packaging for reproduction purposes. Despite this, Parlophone's YouTube page continued to host the music video for "You Got to Hide Your Love Away," from the film and studio album Help!, uploaded years before EMI's collapse, for a number of years, before UMG began taking down Beatles videos from the site.
  • Van Halen gave this status to their third singer, Gary Cherone, and Un-album status to Van Halen III.
  • Similar to the Gary Glitter example further above, no music station will screen/play any song by Lostprophets after singer Ian Watkins's paedophilia conviction.
  • On Your Mark, a music video animated by Studio Ghibli, was pulled from a Blu-ray box set of Ghibli films after one of the performers for the song used in the video was arrested on drug charges. In late 2014, Walt Disney Japan reconsidered their stance and re-added the music video in subsequent box sets.
  • After Kenji Yamamoto, the composer for Dragon Ball Kai, was found to have plagiarized other composer's works, his music was pulled from reruns and future DVD releases in Japan, replacing his music with Shunsuke Kikuchi's own works that were featured in Dragon Ball Z. In North America, Funimation rereleased Kai in box-sets, this time replacing all of the music with Kikuchi's own. This even extended to re-releases of the video games featuring Yamamoto's music.
  • After he was fired in 1991, The Moody Blues have flat out denied Patrick Moraz was ever an official band member at all, describing him as a mere session musician, despite being credited as such on all the albums he performed on. The band also edited him out of all the photos featuring him on compilation albums and reissues of albums from his time with the band.
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