7 Posthumous Hits

7 Posthumous Hits


Who's to know when it's going to be the last song an artist ever writes or records? Songs seem to take on a new meaning or listening experience when the artists passes away, and some songs become a much deeper part of their legacy. Here are some great songs that were released and became hits posthumously... 

Nirvana (You Know You’re Right)

The is the first song on the compilation album, Nirvana (2002), and the last song recorded by the band before Kurt Cobain's death. A studio version of the song was recorded at Nirvana's final session, on January 30, 1994, in Seattle, Washington, but remained locked away from fans for years following Cobain's death. This recording became the object of much legal wrangling between Courtney Love and surviving Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic. Grohl and Novoselic had wanted the song for a planned Nirvana box set, but Love blocked its release, and a battle over Nirvana's legacy ensued. "You Know You're Right" was eventually released as a promo single, and a Chris Hafner-directed music video was made. The video used various footage of band performances pieced together to give the effect of the song actually being performed, including brief clips of Cobain singing. The song was the band's first to top Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and its fifth Modern Rock Tracks number-one. The song was re-released on the band's second greatest hits compilation, Icon, in 2010.

Jeff Buckley (Everybody Here Wants You)

The second track on the posthumous Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk album. It was written as a love song for Joan Wasser, his girlfriend at the time. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 88 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years". The single was nominated for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at 41st Annual Grammy Awards in 1999.

John Lennon (Woman)

Chosen by Lennon to be the second single released from the Double Fantasy album, and it was the first Lennon single issued after his death on 8 December 1980. The B-side of the single is Yoko Ono's song "Beautiful Boys". Lennon wrote "Woman" as an ode to his wife Yoko Ono, and to all women. The single debuted at number 3 in the UK, then moving to number 2 and finally reaching number 1, where it spent two weeks, knocking off the top spot his own re-released "Imagine". In the US the single peaked at number 2 on Billboard Hot 100 (kept out of the top spot by REO Speedwagon's hit "Keep On Loving You" and Blondie's hit "Rapture")

Eva Cassidy (Fields Of Gold)

Written and recorded by Sting it first appeared on his 1993 album Ten Summoner's Tales. The song was released as a single but only made it to number 16 on the UK Singles Chart but it became one of Sting's most famous songs, with many renowned artists covering it. Eva Cassidy recorded a version which first appeared on her 1996 live album Live at Blues Alley and later on the 1998 album Songbird and the 2012 compilation album The Best of Eva Cassidy

Joy Division (Love Will Tear Us Apart)

Following the suicide of Ian Curtis in May 1980, this was the first single released in June 1980 and became the band's first chart hit, reaching number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. That October, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" peaked at number 42 on the Billboard disco chart. It also reached #1 in New Zealand in June 1981. The band postponed their US tour after Curtis' death, performed a few short sets as The No-Names, then finally renamed the group as New Order. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was re-released in 1983 and reached number 19 on the UK charts and re-appeared at number 3 in New Zealand during March 1984.

Janis Joplin (Me And Bobby McGee)

Written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, originally performed by Roger Miller but most famously by Janis Joplin, whose posthumously released version topped the U.S. singles chart in 1971, making the song the second posthumously released No. 1 single in U.S. chart history after "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding.

Otis Redding (Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay)

Co-written by Otis Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper. It was recorded by Redding twice in 1967, including once just days before his death in a plane crash. The song was released on Stax Records' Volt label in 1968, becoming the first posthumous single to top the charts in the US. It reached number 3 on the UK Singles Chart.

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