"Recently Beach House’s album Bloom, was found on the P2P network, Soulseek, two months in advance of the album’s official release. While the label is trying to cover it up, deleting file sharing links left and right, once something leaks onto the internet, it is too late to stop the album from being available. Every link that […]"


Recently Beach House’s album Bloom, was found on the P2P network, Soulseek, two months in advance of the album’s official release. While the label is trying to cover it up, deleting file sharing links left and right, once something leaks onto the internet, it is too late to stop the album from being available. Every link that gets taken down is reposted by someone else within minutes. I can’t help to feel sorry for the band, since it’s tough to convince fans to buy an album which has been freely available for weeks. But Beach House isn’t alone, as there have been some big and surprisingly free album downloads. Here’s a few of the most memorable and odd ones.

A special thanks to Sean May, for helping me with the article.


Human after all leak

Daft Punk – Human After All (2005)

The hugely anticipated follow up to the French electro duo’s masterpiece Discovery leaked months ahead of its intended release. Daft Punk has been subject to fake album leaks throughout their releases, the most memorable being the numerous fake Tron soundtrack leaks. Interestingly enough, some of those leaks, although fake, were pretty impressive. The problem with the Human After All album leak was that a lot of fans thought it was fake due to the fact that it wasn’t up to the same quality as Daft Punk’s previous releases. As a reviewer from Sputnik put it:

[quote] “Most fans did not believe that it was actually Human After All, many fans warned others not to download the leak because it was a fake. They proclaimed it sounded too cheap and dirty to be the real thing, and that the sound just did not fit Daft Punk at all. Little did they know, they were listening to the real thing.” [/quote]


It turned out that the leaked version was indeed the final version. While the album will go down as one of Daft Punk’s more minor works, it did included the oh so sweet tracks “Make Love” and “Robot Rock“.


Heathen Chemistry leak

Oasis – Heathen Chemistry (2002)

At a Las Vegas gig in 2002, UK britpop act Oasis premiered tracks from their forthcoming album Heathen Chemistry, but because all of the eleven album tracks had turned up early on filesharing networks almost three months earlier, the crowd sang along with the songs. This made lead singer Liam Gallagher, in one of his signature tirades, declare the audience “thieving bastards”.

Noel Gallagher, the lead songwriter for Oasis, declared that the version which had been leaked wasn’t the final version, and that the finished effort would be vastly different. This turned out to less than true, since only two songs were different on the retail version. Making both the leaked and the official version as bland as their previous effort, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

Some say that the blame for the leak could be blamed on then-drummer Alan White’s, since he apparently gave an advance copy to an NME reporter. Soon after, the drummer was sacked from the band, with Noel commenting that “In the end he fucked off and we haven’t seen him since.”


Madonna and the finger

Madonna – American Life (2003)

Late last year, the first single from Madonna’s upcoming album MDNA, “Give Me All Your Luvin”  leaked. But this is far from the first time Madonna has been troubled by early versions of her songs hitting the net early. In 2003, during the heyday of filesharing programs like KaZaA, the artist tried to combat leaks by uploading her own fake versions of the tracks on P2P networks. Madonna wasn’t too happy about her previous album Music, had leaked out early and tried to do something about it. When users downloaded what they believed to be her upcoming album American Life, they were greeted by MP3s with Madonna stating:

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

The statement looped over and over, in an attempt to confuse file sharers. The problem was that Madonna ended up pissing off the wrong nerds. A few days later, Madonna’s official website was hacked, linking to downloads of the album’s tracks. For a total of fifteen hours the downloads were freely available accompanied by the following message

“This is what the fuck I think I’m doing.”


Which album leaks do you remember?

Hopefully we’ll do a second part to this article. So let us know in the comments – Which album leaks do you think are worth bringing up?

Leave a reply »

  • @audiobinge Level 6
    March 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Hadn’t heard of Madonna’s efforts before. Very funny to see fans and nerds alike responding to her question. The internet really is a marvelous place.


  • @gutterslut Level 6
    March 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    When “In Sorte Diaboli” by Dimmu Borgir leaked in 2007, the label tracked down the early leak to a copy by it’s watermark. They assumed Luca Pessina, a journalist for Italian MetalHammer, was respobsible for the leak, but he was found innocent.


  • @myst3245 Level 2
    March 20, 2012 at 6:03 am

    You guys remember the massive leaks that happened a few years back when someone hacked into Pitchfork’s database and found that they had a bunch of new albums on there? I think even Joanna Newsom was on there.

    Of course, one of the most infamous leaks would have to be Metallica’s I Disappear since it started their war on Napster.

    One of my favorites is any time there’s a new Mars Volta album on the way. Inevitably, someone uploads a fake version with songs by Atlas of Id since that band tries to copy The Mars Volta wholesale.


  • @hayden Level 4
    March 28, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Recently two leaks have been ‘covered up’ by the record labels. One is, as said, Bloom from Beach House. The second one is the leak of both Marilyn Manson’s single’s from his upcoming album. Both hit the net a couple of days prior to their official radio-date and the record company started downplaying it like it was supposed to happen like that. In fact, some big American DJ-hotshot missed his exclusive first time on air-deal because of this.


  • April 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Probably the most memorable to me is of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer which I want to say leaked 3 months or more before it’s release.


  • ClaudeEustace
    April 21, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Crystal Castles II leaked in advance, though many suspect Ethan Kath was behind it.


  • ThumpersOnTuck
    May 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Kanye West basically made his buzz off of leaking a very promising early version of his debut album ‘College Dropout’ half a year before he actually put it out. Nobody really expected too much from him before that.
    He’d definitely produced hits for Jay-Z & Kweli & Alicia Keys, but as a “rapper” he was kinda being joked about, & was looked at as an unproven semi-conscious rapper with a weak delivery at that point.

    The advance HOWEVER showed him as an actually decent rapper with something to say, & big HITS of his own to back it up. Plus it gave him a chance to receive lots of feedback & improve all kinds of things for the retail debut released many months later.


  • Carmen
    May 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Ben Folds distributed a fake version of “Way To Normal” that he and his band recorded in Dublin when they had “a night to kill”. It had a mix of real songs and all sorts of weird stuff on it, and everybody on his fan sites spent the following weeks debating what was real and what was fake.


    • August 22, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      I remember this! “Bitch Went Nutz” is still 1000% better than “Bitch Went Nuts”. Ben Folds is my favorite musician and when the actual album came out, I almost wanted the leak tracks to be the legit ones. The leak was hilarious and very Ben, even more than the studio versions.


  • @moyetes Level 5
    May 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    for me it was memorable when Bradford Cox (Atlas Sound, Deerhunter) uploaded material from both bands publicly in Mediafire… I believe this ended up in better way for us fans because there was a 2nd Deerhunter album released altogether with Microcastle which was pretty cool and an incredible “revised ” version of that Logos demo
    There’s a nice article at http://pitchfork.com/news/30021-bradford-cox-responds-to-leak-drama/


  • Bobby
    March 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Going way back here, but I remember Deftones’ “White Pony” album leaking nearly three months prior to the release date back in the Napster days.


  • Fiep
    March 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Demon Days leaked ~2 months bevor its release.

    Converges Axe to Fall had a nice leak story behind it:


  • @ Level 0
    March 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Madonna should just quit.


  • May 3, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Lil Wayne’s Carter 3 leaking in 07, so he just released it as a mixtape (Titled “The Leak”), and started over.


    • August 22, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Oh, shit. For real? I remember when Tha Carter III leaked, for real I guess, and I got all of the tracks like three months early. We bumped the hell out of them in summer school screenprinting class, to the point that when they came out for real, we were over them. xD Interesting that they leaked early AF twice.


  • @neferaton Level 2
    May 17, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Haha awesome article. Love the Madonna story.


  • @timbo Level 5
    August 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    A couple of memorable ones…

    2006 saw the return of Tool. 10,000 Days was set to drop on May 2nd, but it ended up leaking around tax day. I found it on Soulseek that very day, and the Unofficial Tool website message board was blowing up naturally. The leak was preceded by some guy in the UK getting to hear the whole album in a listening session with Tool present. He then wrote a review of it, track by track, and leaked it to the internet. Some of the things he said didn’t match up with the actual songs, which perpetuated a belief that the 10K leak was a fake.

    Someone even went so far as to say that come May 2nd, when he picks up his copy, he full expects there to be a 2nd disc of all new material completely different from the leak. In the end, the leak was real, and come the Download Festival, a week before release date, Maynard joked when everyone was singing along to the new songs calling everyone pirates.

    The Bradford Cox debacle was fun too. Mainly because of his attitude towards it, despite it being entirely his fault. I don’t remember how the Logos demo sounded, but the finalized version was excellent. He was such a little girl about it, and later apologized. He’s not as outspoken about that anymore. Keeping with Cox, the follow up, Halcyon Digest leaked like 3 weeks before release, but Monomania was announced for a May 6th release sometime in March, and it was leaked by early April. I remember seeing it pop up in a shared folder I have with other music lovers, and when I asked the person who had it where he got it from, he stated that Cox leaked it on purpose. Maybe true, maybe false, but it would be kind of funny if it were true.


  • August 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I remember getting “Skyscrapers” by OK Go (off their “Of The Blue Colour of The Sky”) like 6 months early or something crazy. It was the exact same song when the album came out. Back before StrikeGently.Com fell into their porn bullshit.


Leave a Response

Warning: If your comment includes an album download link or to an illegal download site, you will be banned!

Skip to toolbar