A Global Army of Veteran Rockers
It doesn't really happen anymore but, once upon a time, artists occasionally went to war with their labels, often resulting in some amazing musical artifacts.
Here are two of my faves:
1. Rolling Stones "Cocksucker Blues" the Stones owed Allen Klein one more single, and they delivered one of the most unreleasable songs ever. A slow droning blues about a young schoolboy who comes to London and, well, you need to track it down to hear the rest.
2. Van Morrison "The Bang Sessions" - Van the man sat on a stool in a recording studio and knocked out an album of off the cuff ditties, usually about whatever he was looking at in the room. My fave track? "I'll Have a Danish"
Other great ones include Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music and Graham Parker's Mercury Poisoning.
What've you got?
Less known - "Stuck On An Island" by the Coal Porters - their nasty take on being a member of the Island Records stable and not liking it one bit.
Slightly off theme (but not too much) - "Don't Take No For An Answer" - Tom Robinson's poke at how he was treated by Ray Davies.
Tom Petty reportedly wrote "Century City" in reference to his well-publicized battle with EMI in the 70's.
Then, of course, there was Marvin Gaye, whose contractual obligation was not to his record company, but his ex-wife. Ordered by the divorce settlement to turn over the proceeds from his next album, he recorded "Here, My Dear", and told the world exactly what he thought about it, over two discs, no less. But I guess that's for another thread ...
My favorite is Cracker's- It Ain't Gonna Suck Itself off of Country Sides. It's about their release from Virgin Records. It's brilliant and funny. Check it out.
I think you mean Emancipation. It celebrates, in part, the end of his contract with Warner Bros. Songs like "Face Down," "White Mansion," "Slave," and the title track let him express his feelings about his newfound creative freedom. Arguably, the so-called "Love Symbol Album" was the first shot fired by Prince. His unpronounceable name change must have wreaked havoc for the label's promotional efforts.