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15 Legendary Unreleased Albums

Springsteen's full-band 'Nebraska,' Neil Young's 'Homegrown' and other shelved projects by major artists

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Paul McCartney, 'Cold Cuts' (1974-80)

Paul McCartney and Wings delivered Beatle-sized sales with 1973's Band on the Run, and the label was anxious for a follow-up. A new album wouldn't be ready for the lucrative Christmas season, so they planned to release a collection dubbed Hot Hitz and Kold Kutz (also spelled: Cold Cuts). The double album was to contain one disc of chart-topping singles and a second comprised of unreleased tracks from McCartney's post-Fab career. 

Wings began work on the project in July 1974, polishing old tracks and recording several new songs. But with Band on the Run holding strong on the charts, the stopgap release was deemed unnecessary and the album was shelved. 

McCartney revisited the project several times during the next decade. It nearly saw release as a slimmed-down single disc in 1978, but label suits preferred the Hot Hitz to the Cold Cuts, and it hit shelves as a greatest-hits collection. McCartney returned to the unreleased material yet again in October 1980, compiling a 12-track album that showcased his own musical versatility. The homespun hoedown "Hey Diddle" sits alongside "Best Friend," a searing live cut from Wings' 1972 European tour. "Waterspout" is playful summery synth pop, and a cover of the Fifties ballad "Tragedy" is a haunting highlight.

In many ways the tracks were stronger than his contemporary output. Yet label indifference, the dissolution of Wings and the emotional devastation wrought by John Lennon's assassination caused the album to get lost in the shuffle.

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