The Internet can be a depressing place for pop fans. One second, you’re finding out what type of cheese is your soulmate; the next, you stumble across an unreleased Britney Spears demo lightyears better than any track on her last album Britney Jean (2013). How did a gem like “Unbroken” slip through the cracks? And this is a rough cut! Imagine what a polished final version would sound like. (Better yet, don’t. It’s too disappointing.)
But BritBrit isn’t the only queen with a catalog of amazing songs without a record to call home. A pop star can record hundreds of tunes for only 12 or 13 precious slots on an album. Here are just seven tracks we wish weren’t left on the cutting room floor. (Warning: Good vibes and frustration ahead.) Years noted are guesses for when the songs would’ve been released.
“Unbroken” by Britney Spears (2011)
The pink, punchy aesthetic of “Unbroken” fits seamlessly with the plastic electro-pop of BritBrit’s Femme Fatale (2011) era. Its high-energy, almost video game-like chorus will leave you with a dizzying, delicious toothache.
“Out of Control” by Lady Gaga (2008)
“Out of Control” is a R&B-dipped slow-burner, which doesn’t exactly mesh with the decadent future-pop of The Fame (2008). Regardless, this baby deserves a proper release. It’s damn good.
“Lost Yo Mind” by Beyoncé (2006)
This is essential B’Day (2006)-era Beyoncé, drenched in her specialty brand of power-girl hip-hop. It’s like “Irreplaceable” with the volume turned way up.
“Latte” by Madonna (2008)
There’s a palpable warmth to “Latte” that would’ve been a tremendous asset to Madonna’s cold and otherwise forgettable Hard Candy (2008) LP. Elements of the track’s chorus were mixed into Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour during “La Isla Bonita,” but that’s the only time this magical tune saw the light of day.
“Bubble Pop” by Rihanna (2009)
Perhaps “Bubble Pop” was too PG for Rihanna’s Rated R (2009) period, but the song has an ’80s Eurodance bombast that warrants repeated listening.
“Pink Champagne” by Ariana Grande (2013)
The anti-doughnut activist released “Pink Champagne” on YouTube but nowhere else. What gives, Ari? This cheeky tune gleams with addicting Katy Perry-esque sugar. It was the hit that could’ve been.
“Guilty Pleasure” by Kesha (2010)
Kesha practically slurs the lyrics in “Guilty Pleasure,” and this type of party-girl kitsch is what her debut record Animal (2010) was all about. Surely this is better than “Blah, Blah, Blah,” right?