[The Big Royalty Check](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpNRjdRh5P8
For my royalty check to come,
And it still hasn't come yet.
It's about a year
I guess it's coming
From the Big Royalty Check in the sky.
I waited and the mailman
Never dropped it in my letterbox.
Oh, oh-oh, oh
I guess it's a Big Royalty Check in the sky.
But you can't
Beat the tax man
All at once.
I really like the idea of an artist who wants to make a crappy album but can't because he is so talented.
You want to know the funny thing, I bet a lot of people were like "Oh man, this album is so avant garde. It is just pure art!!"
Ben Folds was in a similar position where he still owed his label an amount of musical bars that would constitute 4.6 songs.
He wrote come crappy boy band style songs - and [this one](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2FUY7mTYW8
Some gems are:
*People tell me*
*Ben, just make up junk*
*And turn it in*
*But I never was alright with turning in*
*A bunch of shit*
*Don't like wasting time*
*On music that won't make you proud*
*But now I've found a reason*
*To sit right down and shit some out*
*I'm really not complaining*
*I realize it's just a job*
*And I hate hearing belly-aching rock stars*
*Whine and sob*
*Cause I could be busing tables*
*I could well be pumpin' gas*
*Yeah, but I get paid much finer*
*For playin' piano and kissin' ass*
Contractual obligations was my favorite album of his.
Ween did that with 12 Golden Country Greats and it turned out to be a killer album.
I heard The Clash's Sandinista (triple album) was made for the same reason. I'm too lazy to verify. :-/
So many artists have done this.
Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed comes to mind.
Nothing beats Lou Reed. He made an hour long album of various noises called "Metal Machine Music" in order to get out of his contract. Ironically enough, it spawned the Noise Rock Genre.
Supposedly a similar story explains Bob Dylan's much-maligned double-album *Self Portrait*.
He wanted it to be intentionally bad to get everyone off his back, stop calling him the voice of the generation, and to burn through his contractual commitments.
Greil Marcus's notorious RS review at the time begins, "What is this shit?"
Of course it's not so terrible an album. Even coasting at the time he and The Band and some of the players from *Nashville Skyline* can't help but pump out great tunes like the raucous version on there of "The Mighty Quinn" or the album's one uncontested stunner, "Wigwam".
In 1956 Miles Davis signed for Columbia while still owing four albums to previous label Prestige. He recorded all four over two (non-consecutive) days. Their average allmusic rating is 4.75 out of 5.
Sounds like Dana Carvey's inspiration for 'Chopping Broccoli'.
Ernest Hemingway did pretty much the same thing with his book *The Torrents of Spring*. He was trying to get out of a publishing contract with Boni & Liveright so he could go with Scribners (at the urging of F Scott Fitzgerald) but B&L had right of first refusal on his second book. That second book was a fairly scathing parody of Boni & Liveright's #1 author Sherwood Anderson, so they declined. Hemingway ended up at Scribners with the legendary editor Max Perkins and became a star as a result.
Something to think about for all those tool fans waiting for the next album