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As music superfans, we relish every opportunity to hear new music from our favorite artists, even if it p*sses them off. We've found sixteen of the best (and worst) unknown songs by the world's biggest artists because the people deserve to know.
For any fans missing the Old Taylor, this song from Taylor Swift’s 2004-2005 Demo CD is about as OG Taylor as you can get. “Dark Blue Tennessee” is arguably a little too catchy for a song about a girl who doesn’t get the opportunity to tell her ex-boyfriend she still loves him before he commits suicide, but the melancholy hook is still one of Taylor’s strongest melodies. Hardcore Swifties count "Dark Blue Tennessee" as one of their favorite Taylor songs, released or unreleased.
Listen to "Dark Blue Tennessee" on Soundcloud.
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WME was quick to pull Mac Miller’s leaked 2015 track “Benji the Dog” from SoundCloud and YouTube, but we’ve got the hookup. The leaked version begins with a sample of David Schwimmer from 2016’s The People V. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, which shows that Mac was still tweaking the track after he chose not to include it on GO:OD AM. "Benji The Dog" is classic Mac: aware of his mortality, blasé about the heavy realities of addiction, and playfully melodic. Excuse us while we have a good cry.
Listen to "Benji The Dog" on PicoSong.
Another artist was taken from us in her prime by addiction was Amy Winehouse, the undisputed jazz queen of the ‘00s. Tons of previously unheard songs were released in a posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, but hidden favorite “Procrastinate” was left off the compilation in deference to Amy’s own wishes. Island Records chief Ted Cockle has gone on record saying that everyone who's heard the song loves it, but that Amy didn’t want the song to be heard, so he's refused to release it. Even so, bootlegs of the track have been circulating for years, even making their way into mainstream publications like Rolling Stone.
Listen to "Procrastinate" on Rolling Stone.
Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com
A collab between Posty, the Biebs, and Yandhi? We see “No Reason” for this track to have been left off of Post Malone’s first album, Stoney. Post and Justin Bieber’s bromance is strong, and “No Reason” was likely excluded from Stoney for their *other* collab “Deja Vu,” but fans can’t get enough of the two superstars making music together. Adding Kanye West to the mix is equal parts completely random and completely hilarious, especially on such a weirdly morbid track.
Listen to "No Reason" on YouTube.
Even Taylor’s leaked ballads are better other songwriters’ best work, so naturally, we had to shoutout more than one of her unreleased songs. “Long Time Coming” is classic country blues, and the leaked track seems almost entirely complete, with background vocals and a fully fleshed out instrumental backing. It doesn’t quite fit in on Taylor Swift or Fearless, but we wish Tay would have sold this song to another country star so the world could hear it.
Listen to "Long Time Coming" on DailyMotion.
This techno-fused track doesn’t really fit in anywhere on Beyoncé’s discography, making us think this leaked track was likely a demo. A *huge* leak of unreleased music by Queen Bey popped up on Spotify and Apple Music in December 2018 with already released songs from movie soundtracks mixed in alongside unheard demos and unreleased tracks before being removed hours later by her label. While "Control" isn't one of Beyoncé's best, we're thrilled at any opportunity to listen to previously unknown vocals from the powerhouse singer.
Listen to "Control" on YouTube.
The same week that Beyoncé’s demos were leaked on streaming services, SZA was also the victim of a massive leak under the name “Sister Solana” of nine random songs from 2015. Some of the tracks featured Kendrick Lamar as “King Kenny,” and TDE president Punch confirmed that the tracks had been stolen from the label. “Comethru” from the leak features SZA’s signature sultry vocals in an explicit, vulnerable track that samples "Come and See Me" by PARTYNEXTDOOR, and makes us wonder how many other unreleased bangerz our favorite perfectionist has hidden from us.
Listen to "Comethru" on YouTube.
Lana Del Rey recorded a Lady Gaga diss track, and we are cackling. The 2009/2010 song is straight-up savage, mentioning Stefani by name in a line that’s literally just, “Stefani, you suck” and saying that she looks like a man but talks like a baby. Lana really wasn’t sugarcoating her disdain for Gaga, who she heavily implies sold out her punk rock roots to go commercial. The artists shared a manager at the time, but we have no idea what went down between the two stars to merit this much of a reaction.
Listen to "So Legit" on SoundCloud.
They can’t all be winners. Hearing unreleased demos and scrapped songs can provide an interesting look into an artist’s evolution and the nuances of producing a solid hit song, but some tracks were buried for good reason. Enter “Red Hot Lipstick,” a pre-Blackout track meant for Britney Spears’s original In The Zone follow-up, Original Doll. In Britney’s defense, Blackout ended up being good and she had the good sense to pretend this song didn’t exist once she came out of the fog that was her marriage imploding, but it’s nice to know that even pop stars can make majorly sucky songs.
Listen to "Red Hot Lipstick" on YouTube... if you dare.
If Luke Combs doesn’t release this song soon, he’ll be doing a disservice to the world. That’s how good “Goin’ Nowhere” is. Luke performed the song at an intimate live performance in late-2018, and the bootleg video of his performance went viral with over 500,000 views on YouTube. It helps that Luke’s unedited vocals are a symphony of near-perfect gritty emotion, but we need a full version ASAP because the leaked version is missing the first verse of “Goin’ Nowhere,” and we need more of this poignant ode to the people we love always being with us, even after they're gone.
Listen to "Goin' Nowhere" on YouTube.
In true rap fashion, Drake really likes leaking his own unreleased loosies on SoundCloud. These days, Drizzy posts his tossed-off tracks on OVO Sound Radio through Apple Music, but back in the day, he was low-key the OG SoundCloud rapper, releasing dozens of songs with little to no fanfare on his personal SoundCloud page. DJ Booth crowned “0 to 100/The Catch Up” as Drake’s best throw-away track, and we’re inclined to agree. Not only is it better than most of Views, it’s a track where Drake’s flow matches his braggadocio, acting as definitive proof that he’s at the top of his game.
Listen to "0 to 100/The Catch Up" on DJbooth.net.
Def Jam Records
How do you think Hailey Baldwin feels about this 2015 ode to Selena Gomez? “Perfect Together” was first leaked in July 2015, then again in June 2017, while Jelena were still stuck in on-again, off-again hell. Funnily enough, the track was originally posted online around the same time Hailey and Justin were first connected in the press, and Jelena got back together not long before “Perfect Together” was unleashed on an unsuspecting public. The song about two imperfect people being perfect for each other is classic Biebs and the perfect hit to hold fans over while we wait for his first post-retirement album. It also samples The Delfonics's "I Gave To You," which Teyana Taylor would go on to use in her first single off of K.T.S.E., "Gonna Love Me." Clout.
Listen to "Perfect Together" on the Justin Bieber fandom wiki.
Lorde let the world know she’s a huge fan of WHY?, aka Yoni Wolf, on Twitter after fans noticed a shared line between Pure Heroine’s “Still Sane” and WHY?’s “By Torpedo Or Crohn’s.” A simple DM later, and Lorde found herself recording “Sway” in the studio with Yoni before starting work on her sophomore album Melodrama. Lorde has implied her label found “Sway” a little too weird for release, but we think it’s was a natural stepping stone in Lorde’s musical evolution and a haunting technological standalone.
Listen to "Sway" on YouTube.
Billie Eilish knows her fans are hungry for unreleased songs like “7 DAYS,” “Another Stupid Song,” “Daddy,” and “True Blue,” so she gives her stans what they want with live performances of her scrapped songs like the true benevolent Gen-Z queen she is. “True Blue” doesn’t fit with the super emo sleep paralysis demon theme of When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go, but it’s one of Billie’s hookiest songs and an uncharacteristically good time.
Listen to "True Blue" on SoundCloud.
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This R&B banger was originally slated to appear on Ariana Grande’s debut album, Yours Truly, but it had never been heard outside of live performances until a massive leak of Ari’s music appeared on Spotify under the name “Zandhr” in November 2018. The leaked album featured dozens of unheard tracks including the previously performed “Pink Champagne” and a Quavo collab. Since nothing is ever really removed from the internet, nearly all of the songs can still be found online, but our favorite is definitely "Nobody Does It Better."
Listen to "Nobody Does It Better" on YouTube.
True legends like The Beatles, David Bowie, Queen, and their contemporaries have unreleased songs in the hundreds collecting dust in dark corners of their former labels, either held hostage by estate laws or buried by request of the band despite public hunger for more. One of The Beatles’ unheard tracks are from their classic Brit Rock era, pre-Sargent Pepper and their experiments with Eastern cultures. “Bad to Me” was written for a different band, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, in 1963, but the Fab Four’s version would fit right in next to “I Wanna Hold Your Hand."
Listen to "Bad To Me" and other unreleased Beatles hits on Vulture.