Not every superstar is going to pull a Beyoncé and surprise-release their new album at midnight on a Thursday in mid-December. No, some of them are going to make us wait until next year. With that in mind, we bring you the most anticipated albums of 2014. And as usual, with superstar release schedules, they’re subject to change.
1. Bruce Springsteen, High Hopes, Jan. 14
Sure it’s just an odds ‘n’ sods collection of covers and outtakes from the last decade, but the Boss’s leftovers are better than most artists’ main courses. And, it includes a guest spot from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, who was filling in for Little Steven Van Zandt, as well as dearly departed E Streeters Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons. We’re betting your high hopes are justified, if you didn’t already grab it when it accidentally leaked on Amazon.
2. Adele, album title and release date unknown
Her second album, 2011′s 21, has been diamond-certified for sales of 10 million in the U.S. alone. In 2013, she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her James Bond theme song, “Skyfall,” so to say that Adele’s third album is highly anticipated is putting it lightly. Yet exactly when it’s coming remains something of a mystery.
In March 2013, Adele said she would only record a new album when she has “something to sing about.” To make matters worse, back in October 2012 after she gave birth to her first child, an exec from her U.K. label, XL, said her next album “may not come for some years.” But there has been some movement. Back in April, she reportedly spent some time in the studio for the first time since becoming a mom, teaming with James Ford and Kid Harpoon, known for their work with the Arctic Monkeys and Florence and the Machine. She’s also reportedly working with William Orbit and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.
3. U2, album title and release date unknown
Yes, it’s true. Bono and the boys will likely grace us with a whole album of new material some time in 2014, with the rumor mill pointing to an April release. It’ll be their first album since 2009′s No Line on the Horizon. Possible titles include “Songs of Ascent” and “10 Reasons to Exist,” while producers Danger Mouse, Will.i.am, David Guetta, and RedOne have all reportedly recorded tracks with the band. The band has already teased us with the Oscar-bait track “Ordinary Love” from the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom soundtrack.
In a recent interview with an Irish radio station, bassist Adam Clayton confirmed the band has been in the studio. “We’re trying to get these 12 songs absolutely right and get them finished by the end of November, and then we can kind of enjoy Christmas.”
In another Irish radio interview, Bono also said, “I think we’re nearly there, and once we’re there we’ll know it. I’d like to think that next year, there’ll be a U2 release.”
4. Dr. Dre, Detox, release date unknown
This one is a bit iffy. Dr. Dre’s Detox has been in the works since 2001; and way back in 2007, the good doctor claimed that Detox would be his final album, telling the Los Angeles Times “it’s time to move on” and rapping is a “young man’s game.” Apparently, Dre isn’t ready to move on yet, because here we are approaching 2014 and Detox still hasn’t materialized. The album is so legendary, it’s even spawned its own blog, Detox-DrDre.com, billed as “the blog for the most-anticipated rap album ever.” Yet even that blog is short on details on exactly what’s happening with Detox and when it might appear. The last entry focusing on the album is from Sept. 30, 2011. “Watch the new Doggisode with Snoop Dogg, DJ Battlecat, D.O.C., DJ Quik, 1500 or Nothin, and DJ Pooh in the studio recording for Detox below. Enjoy.” The video clip that was posted with that entry has since been removed, but there is a quote from Snoop. “We need to leave here with 4 Hit Records for Dr. Dre, 2 solo and 2 with me on it.”
No word on what they accomplished in that session and when Detox will ever see the light of day.
5. Jay Z & Kanye West, Watch the Throne 2, release date unknown
If Dre can’t get it together, have no fear, maybe we’ll get a Watch the Throne sequel. Jay Z and Kanye West, two of the hardest-working men in show business, are reportedly planning to release a second part to their 2011 collaboration.
Back in June, producer Mike Dean said the second set was on its way, but Hova and ‘Ye were both extremely busy in 2013, with new albums, tours and fatherhood. And Kanye seemed to put a damper on any immediate plans for a second Throne set in a November interview with Philadelphia’s Power 99. “We’re constantly working,” West said of himself and Jay Z. “We haven’t made any songs for it yet.”
6. Metallica, album title and release date unknown
Metallica hasn’t exactly been M.I.A. in 2013. They turned up in movie theaters with the 3-D movie Metallica Through the Never in September and have been on the road, but it has been five years since the boys released a studio album. The band’s last album was Death Magnetic, unless you count Lulu, the ill-fated 2011 collaboration with Lou Reed.
Frontman James Hetfield hinted that the band could deliver a new album in 2014 in a recent interview with the Oakland Press. “We have tons of material to sift through. That takes a lot of time, because there’s a lot of great stuff,” he said, adding, “We go full-throttle into something and multitasking is not what we’re after. So the next record will hopefully start some time in the spring.”
And if they do go full-throttle, there’s a possibility we can have some new Metallica in time for Christmas 2014.
7. Chris Brown, X, release date unknown
This one was supposed to come out in July, then August, then November. Much like its creator, it seems to have a troubled life. With Brown’s seemingly endless stream of legal troubles and court dates, perhaps his handlers are waiting until Brown is clear of such problems before dropping this album. It’s already spawned the Top 10 R&B/hip-hop hit “Fine China” as well as “Don’t Think They Know,” featuring Aaliyah, and “Love More” with Nick Minaj, so it’s got to come out sooner or later. Or maybe Brown will just stick with singles.
8. Foo Fighters, title and release date unknown.
For much of 2013, Foo Fighters were on hiatus, while frontman Dave Grohl worked on his Sound City documentary and other assorted projects. However, in August, in an interview with XFM, Grohl said the Foos were back in business. “Well, I’ll tell you, we have been in our studio writing and in the past few weeks we’ve written an album and we are going to make this album in a way that no-one’s ever done before and we’re pretty excited about it,” he said. “It’s a little ways off – it’s not ready to happen right now, but I think next year is going to be a really big year for the Foo Fighters without question.”
Around the same time, guitarist Chris Shiflett, told Rolling Stone that the next Foos album was a work in progress. “We actually just started making a new Foo Fighters record within the last few weeks,” he said. “We’ve started rehearsing.” Later he added, “We’re going to start recording the new Foo Fighter record at the beginning of next year.”
If all goes as planned, it should be out before the end of the year, if not sooner. Shiflett may have said it best, “It was a very short hiatus.”
Judging by footage of the Foos playing a recent surprise gig at a Southern California pizza parlor, they’re firing on all cylinders
9. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek, late 2014
With Lady Gaga unleashing ARTPOP in November, Gaga’s long-awaited duets album with the legendary Tony Bennett was put on hold. At one point, it was scheduled as a New Year’s Day treat, but it’s been pushed back until later in 2014, so it won’t compete with Gaga’s other product in the marketplace. Still, the delay can’t dampen Bennett’s enthusiasm for the album.
“It is a very sensational jazz album, with great jazz artists on it; it came out wonderful,” he said during arecent interview in Japan. “We recorded all great standards, quality songs; George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, songs like that. With a big swingin’ band and great, great, jazz artists playing.”
The two previously collaborated on a version of “The Lady Is a Tramp” that was featured on Bennett’s Duets II album in 2011.