My Bloody Valentine's 'mbv' and 10 More Epic Album Waits
From Dr. Dre to Cat Stevens, check out these 10 album gaps that rival MBV's long hiatus.
My Bloody Valentine's third album is finally here, and it only took the band 21 years, two months, four weeks and one day to release! "mbv," the shoegaze group's long-awaited follow-up to their landmark 1991 album "Loveless" was posted online on Saturday night (Feb. 3), ending an album drought that included a breakup, a reunion, a lengthy tour and endless release date promises from Kevin Shields and co.
Now that "mbv" has arrived after two decades and change (some context: the last time My Bloody Valentine released an album, Bill Clinton was working hard to secure the nomination of the Democratic Party), how does the Dublin band's respective gap between LPs stack up to the longest album waits of all time? Check out five notable albums that endured similar pains before their eventual release, as well as five albums we're still waiting for. Will Dr. Dre be speedier in the studio than MBV? Only time will tell.
Guns N' Roses
The Albums: "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993), "Chinese Democracy" (2008)
The Wait: 15 years
Sure, the wait for "Chinese Democracy" doesn't span two decades like the wait between My Bloody Valentine's second and third albums. However, the 15 years leading up to its 2008 release were notable for the endless amount of "it's almost done!" promises, lineup changes, erratic tours, late arrivals, leaked tracks and cornrows. "Chinese Democracy" garnered mixed reviews when it was at long last released and features only Axl Rose from the original lineup, but the revitalized GN'R have at least continued dazzling fans on the road, completing their first Las Vegas residency last November.
The Albums: "The Long Run" (1979), "Long Road Out of Eden" (2007)
The Wait: 28 years
By the time of the release of "The Long Run," which included the hit single "Heartache Tonight," the members of the California rock band more or less hated each other, and the group disbanded. Fortunately, the group reconciled in the 1990s and released the cheekily titled live album "Hell Freezes Over" in 1994, before making their fans wait another 13 years for a proper studio album. "Long Road Out of Eden" was worth the wait, however, and became one of the veteran group's biggest-selling albums ever.
The Albums: "Back to Earth" (1978), "An Other Cup" (as Yusuf Islam) (2006)
The Wait: 28 years
The incredibly prolific singer-songwriter Cat Stevens was one of the clearest popular folk voices of the 1970s, but after working on 1978's "Back to Earth," he converted to the Islamic religion, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and abandoned his musical career. The singer finally returned to making Western music (albeit under a different name) with "An Other Cup," released in November 2006. A follow-up, "Roadsinger," was issued in 2009.
The Albums: "Raw Power" (1973), "The Weirdness" (2007)
The Wait: 34 years
The Stooges' first three albums -- "The Stooges," "Fun House" and "Raw Power" -- are some of the most influential rock records of all time, but squabbling and drug problems caused the punk titans to disband in 1973. The group eventually reunited in the early 2000s, and in 2007, a new album, "The Weirdness," was at long last released. The full-length would be the group's final studio work with Ron Asheton, who died in 2009 at the age of 60.
The Albums: "Just Another Diamond Day" (1970), "Lookaftering" (2005)
The Wait: 35 years
The undisputed champ of the epic album wait, U.K. singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan exited the music industry after her 1970 debut "Just Another Diamond Day" was released to little fanfare. However, the album eventually developed a cult following, and Bunyan returned in 2005 with "Lookaftering," an equally arresting collection of quiet folk tunes. At a time when artists like Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart were thriving (as was the term "freak-folk"), Bunyan returned to show the kids how it's done.
Last Album: "Voodoo" (2000)
The Wait: 13 years and counting
D'Angelo dropped two neo-soul classics -- first "Brown Sugar" in 1995, and then the even better "Voodoo" in 2000 -- before effectively disappearing: the singer declined interview requests, made only select guest appearances on other albums and made headlines only for legal run-ins. Things are looking up for D, though: after launching a comeback tour in 2012 that included a surprise appearance at Bonnaroo fest, the reclusive artist may finally release a new album this year. Last month, the Roots' Questlove told Billboard of the album, "99% of it is done."
Last Album: "Since I Left You" (2000)
The Wait: 12 years and counting
The Australian group made an immediate impact on stateside electronic music with their 2000 album "Since I Left You," a high-flying mish-mash of found sounds, vocal samples and sumptuous beats. There seems to be rumblings of new music every year or so -- last August, a demo titled "A Cowboy Overflow of the Heart" was released -- but a sophomore LP still has yet to materialized.
Last Album: "2001" (1999)
The Wait: 13 years and counting
The Great White Whale of rap releases, Dr. Dre's "Detox" has been on the brink of hitting stores -- only to evaporate into thin air -- for over a decade. Unlike elusive albums such as My Bloody Valentine's third LP, the follow-up to the best-selling "2001" has continuously been promised to fans, with new songs like "Kush" and "Under Pressure" hitting the Web and one single, "I Need a Doctor" featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey, even reaching the Top 10 of the Hot 100. And yet, we wait. One day it shall be Dre day and "Detox" will be unveiled, but that day is not today.
Last Album: "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" (1998)
The Wait: 14 years and counting
The former Fugee became a superstar solo artist with her debut album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," which earned the Grammy for Album of the Year and included hit singles like "Doo Wop (That Thing)" and "Ex-Factor." Although she recorded an "MTV Unplugged" album in 2002 and touring several times in recent years, Hill has yet to release a proper follow-up to "Miseducation," and has not indicated that a new album is coming soon.
Last Album: "Forbidden" (1995)
The Wait: 18 years and counting
The hard rock pioneers have not released a proper album since "Forbidden," but you have to go way back to 1978's "Never Say Die!" to find an album with original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne at the helm. Fortunately, that album gap appears to be nearing an end: "13," a new studio album produced by Rick Rubin, will feature Osborune, bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi, and is on track for a June release -- although, as MBV has demonstrated, no album release date is written in stone.