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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

5 of the Best - Posthumous Releases

Thursday, 28 July 2011

2Pac, Biggie, Jimi Hendrix and even Joe Strummer, to name just a few, have all released posthumous music to varying degrees of success and quality. Now it seems that Amy Winehouse will be the next in line.

Amy Winehouse, in case you've been under a rock for the last 6 years

According to The Independent, Universal Records believe there are about a dozen songs with a "framework". This probably means that 12 or so have a vocal take laid down, which in today's world is easily tweaked if not perfect.

Anyway, with that in mind, here's 5otB released under an artist's name after their death...

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Coma Girl: Strummer's ode to his daughter and her festival-loving nature is one hell of a rebel rock track. All rockabilly guitars and snarled, biting vocal, this is one of the best tunes the band ever released.

Coma Girl

Otis Redding - Sittin' on the Dock of a Bay: Released just after a plane crash tragically took one of soul's greatest artists, Sittin' on the Dock of a Bay could calm down a pack of blood-thirsty rotweilers at a hare convention. A beautiful, calm and easy track with the catchiest damn whistled melody ever put to a recorded song.

Jimi Hendrix - Angel: Hendrix manages to evoke such emotion in this song that whenever it's played I simply shut the hell up and listen. It is a song of superb sonic sadness and beauty and is one of those you can file in the spine-tinglers folder.


Billie Holiday - Baby Won't You Please Come Home: Set against lovely brass parts, Holiday's perfect vocal leaves one questioning 'what if she'd stayed alive?' Sadly she didn't and what we are left with is Last Recordings, the album this song sits at the end of. If ever there were a cushion for the blows dealt by pop star deaths, this song and its parent album have to be considered among the softest.

Johnny Cash - Ain't No Grave: The lyric says it all really in this song and I must say, and maybe it's due to the masterful production by Rick Rubin, but Cash's vocals in his later years might actually be better than those on his earlier works. An extremely sad and haunting song.

Ain't No Grave