The Musical Art of Obligation: 30 Surprising Albums Recorded To Fulfill A Contract

By Sarah Norman | May 6, 2024

David Bowie - Scary Monsters And Super Creeps

Prepare to delve into a world where creativity knows no bounds, where musicians, in the face of contractual obligations and unexpected circumstances, transformed their duty into artistry. These albums, born from the necessity to fulfill contracts or settle disputes, emerged as astonishing feats of musical innovation. As you journey through this gallery, you'll uncover the mesmerizing stories behind these remarkable records, each a testament to the indomitable spirit of musicians. From rock legends to iconic pop stars, these artists defied expectations, proving that even under pressure, brilliance can flourish. Don't miss out on the chance to unravel the captivating narratives behind these extraordinary albums. Keep reading and be prepared to be captivated by the unexpected gems that emerged from the world of contractual obligations.

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RCA

David Bowie's album "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" carries a fascinating backstory. Bowie, believing his contract with RCA had ended after the release of the live album "Stage," was eager to move on to new creative horizons.

However, RCA had a different perspective, counting "Stage" as just one record. This contractual disagreement led to the creation of "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps," often hailed as "David Bowie's Last Great Album." Despite the label's demands, Bowie channeled his artistic genius into this work, producing iconic tracks like "Ashes to Ashes." The album marked a turning point in Bowie's career, showcasing his ability to reinvent himself and redefine the boundaries of popular music.

"Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" is not only a testament to Bowie's musical prowess but also a testament to his determination to maintain creative control in an industry dominated by record executives.

Aerosmith - A Little South of Sanity

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geffen

After reuniting in 1984, Aerosmith found themselves locked into a contract with Geffen to produce six albums. While they successfully delivered three studio albums, they eventually struck a deal with Columbia Records in 1991. 'A Little South of Sanity' was born as a bridge between these eras, showcasing the band's enduring spirit as they navigated the intricacies of label obligations and creative evolution.

'A Little South of Sanity' stands as a captivating musical journey that reveals the band's resilience and evolution amidst the ever-shifting landscape of the music industry. Released in 1998 by Geffen Records, this two-disc live album captures the raw energy and undeniable talent of Aerosmith during their Nine Lives Tour, which had begun in 1997 and continued as the album hit the shelves.