Scrapped Dave Matthews Band
Sessions Find Their Way to Napster
Dozen songs recorded with
producer Steve Lillywhite
The unfinished Dave Matthews Band
album that was shelved in lieu of the
group's current chart-topper,
Everyday, has been leaked on
Although the group gave the
controversial file-sharing service
permission to carry the single "I Did
It" back in
January, a band spokesperson said
the Dave Matthews Band is not
responsible for the unfinished
album's appearance online.
The 12 songs are from sessions with
longtime DMB producer Steve
Lillywhite in the group's home state
of Virginia. The band decided to
scrap the material and start afresh in
Los Angeles with pop producer Glen
Ballard after the process became
"somewhat laborious," Matthews told
MTV News recently.
In a statement, Lillywhite said, "I cannot condone the
release of these unfinished recordings, although I feel
these are some of the most moving pieces of music
that I've ever recorded with Dave Matthews Band."
Songs from the sessions available via Napster include:
"Busted Stuff," "Grey Street," "Diggin' a Ditch," "Sweet
Up and Down," "JTR," "Big Eyed Fish," "Grace Is Gone,"
"Captain," "Bartender," "Monkey Man," "Kit Kat Jam"
and "Raven." The songs generally feature darker
themes and looser arrangements than the more
upbeat, straight-ahead tunes on Everyday.
"Lyrically, I was in a pretty dark space," Matthews said
of the songs recorded with Lillywhite.
Fans of the band have spearheaded an online
campaign to Release the Lillywhite Recordings,
asking for the unfinished album to be
officially released, while some DMB devotees have
even posted album cover designs on newsgroups. A
spokesperson for the group said that there are no
plans to issue the album commercially.
"I'm happy the songs are out," 24-year-old Dave
Matthews Band fan Tony Solis of Santa Cruz,
California, wrote in an e-mail. "I wish they could have
either kept them a better secret or actually released
them. I also don't think that we have any right to get
the songs, but I downloaded them anyway because,
let's face it, they were available."
"I have mixed feelings," Ted Shultz, 18, of Mercer
Island, Washington, wrote. "I think it's cool that the
songs are finally available, and I really like the
material — a lot more than I like Everyday — but at the
same time, it's material the band didn't want us to hear, and I sort of
feel bad about how greedy we've all been in trying to get [the songs].
I'm sure the record label must be having a heart attack right about now."
There was no word at press time on whether the group's label, RCA, will
be adding the Lillywhite tracks to the ever-growing list of files Napster is
required by court order to block, or whether RCA will seek any other
action in the matter. A spokesperson for Napster had no comment.
The January release of "I Did It" to Napster made the Dave Matthews
Band the first major-label act to put a song on the file-sharing service
with its label's permission. The band said at the time that it wanted its
Napster-using fans to have a clean version of the song, since several
poor-quality recordings of the tune, taped off radio, had surfaced online.