50 Best Posthumous Albums Ever Released
When musicians die, their music lives on. In some cases, albums released after the death of the artist brings a poignant quality to their work, inviting listeners to hear the music in a new light. Stacker gathered information from various news and entertainment sources like Variety, Paste, Vice, and Rolling Stone to compile a list of 50 of the best posthumous albums by some of music’s greats.
Whether a solo album by a former member of one of Canada’s great rock bands, a spoken-word album by a lizard king with a backing track by the band he left behind, or a live album by a band that defined an era of confused flannel-wearing kids, they have all become an important part of music history. Some albums were released within days or months of the artist’s passing, and others came years or decades later. Not all the stories are pretty, nor all the albums perfect, but they have each earned their spot on this list for one reason or another. These acclaimed albums span different genres, decades, and cultures.
Many of the artists on this list died young. Several were members of the infamous and unfortunate 27 Club. Many of their deaths seemed senseless and violent, including airplane crashes and drug overdoses. Perhaps their deaths colored the way fans viewed the albums released by families, estates, or record companies after they died.
One of the albums was a debut released just a month after the death of a teenage Mexican American singer who was killed in a plane crash. Several albums on this list flew up the charts, extending and solidifying the place of the artists in the annals of the music industry.