Rock’s 50 Most Important Posthumous Albums
Music lives on long after the artists who create it are gone. Sometimes, lucky fans even get to enjoy new songs afterward.
Take, for example, Jimi Hendrix. He left an indelible mark on rock thanks to his otherworldly musicianship, yet Hendrix only had a short career. He released just four albums between 1966 and 1970, prior to his death at the age of 27.
This original material remains impactful, of course, but a long string of albums that followed helped keep his popularity thriving with new generations of fans. Hendrix eventually became one of the rare examples of an artist with more LPs released after his death, but he’s certainly not alone when it comes to meaningful posthumous albums.
In some cases, artists think through their goodbye albums prior to dying. George Harrison, Harry Nilsson and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury were among those who spent their final days purposefully creating material that would later be featured as part of posthumous releases.
For others, death was unexpected, leaving bandmates and loved ones to assemble songs from material left behind. Such was the case for Yoko Ono, who returned to the Double Fantasy recording sessions to create Milk and Honey following the tragic murder of John Lennon.
Then, there are the retrospective releases, designed the celebrate and contextualize a career. In many cases, these are composed of classic hits, demos and the occasional outtakes, with previously unheard songs sprinkled throughout, much to the delight of fans.
We’ve highlighted Rock's 50 Most Important Posthumous Releases below.
Rock's 50 Most Important Posthumous Releases
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