So Long, And Thanks For All The Streams

Have you listened to a Spotify playlist recently and found that some of the songs are greyed out and don’t play? That’s because the track has been removed. Artists (or more usually their record labels) sometimes decide to pull their content from Spotify and other streaming services. This might be unintentional (for example, because a publishing deal expires), but more often than not it’s due to the band’s label deciding to pull the plug. Whether this leads to increased CD sales or increased illegal downloads and bad-will towards the band is up to you to decide. I’ve built up a lot of Spotify playlists over the past year or so: finding holes appear in them is disheartening as I’m always keen to ensure my playlists work as a whole. I try to treat each one as an album in its own right and order songs so that the playlist flows.

You can check the Pansentient League’s Spotify Removals page for an on-going list, but here are some of bands I’ve used in playlists over the past year whose tracks have now gone AWOL.

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Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire’s superb Funeral album used to be on Spotify, but it was pulled about a year ago now and never came back. This upset a lot of people: it was very popular and frequently makes it into lists of “my top albums of the decade.” I don’t think their follow-up album Neon Bible ever made it onto Spotify either, at least not in the UK. So it’s been some time since I’ve heard Arcade Fire. Are those guys still together?

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Hanzel Und Gretyl

This industrial-metal band may not be to everyone’s taste, but they filled a hole made by Rammstein‘s no-show on Spotify. For a while at least: their albums were on Spotify for about six months before they were all pulled by Metropolis Records (see below). I particularly miss their bonkers Über Alles album – described by the band as “a futuristic Wagnerian rock opera” this album would be a perfect fit for the Iron Sky soundtrack. It was a great example of how hardcore Germanic electro-metal could also have a healthy sense of fun. UPDATE: They’re back on Spotify!

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KMFDM

KMFDM have been releasing their special blend of electro-metal since 1984. I love these guys: I’ve bought pretty much every CD they’ve ever release, no mean feat considering they’ve released around 17 albums and countless CD singles. I was delighted when Metropolis Records brought a fair amount of these to Spotify. But back in April they all vanished, along with 90% of the rest of the Metropolis releases. I was devastated, I contacted Metropolis to find out what was going on and was told is was unintentional and due to a “server switchover.” UPDATE: KMFDM are back on Spotify!

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The All Seeing I

You might remember these guys: they had several Top 10 hits in the late 90s with singles featuring guest vocals from the likes of Tony Christie, Phil Oakey, and Jarvis Cocker. They only ever released one album (Pickled Eggs And Sherbet) but it was a blinder. I bought the CD of course, but it was more convenient to listen to it on Spotify and I’d used tracks in several playlists. It’s gone from Spotify now but there is some recompense: Dean Honer, the main man behind The All Seeing I is also half of I Monster – a band whose second album became my favourite release in 2009 and is thankfully on Spotify.

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La Roux

Finally La Roux, the great red hope of modern electropop who stormed the charts last year and announced to the world that synthpop was back big-time.  When Bulletproof topped the UK singles charts there was a big fat smile on my face for weeks. And they seemed to be especially Spotify-friendly too: an exclusive Spotify Session EP showed up containing three live tracks, including one song that couldn’t be heard anywhere else. The album came out in July and it wasn’t long before that too was on Spotify. I played it loads, and given that it reached number 2 in the UK album charts I’m sure many thousands of other Spotify listeners did too. But then Polydor removed it. At first it seemed that it had only gone from the free version but it was missing for Premium users too. Then it reappeared but on Premium only. Then it went again completely, never to return. Spotify blamed “a lot of miscommunication” for this yoyo-ing but the end result was that Spotify users were denied the chance to hear this album. Of course I was especially disheartened, I’d spent a lot of time promoting the “La Roux on Spotify” cause.

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It’s hard not to blame the artist when their content is removed from Spotify. I know that they’re probably not even aware of it in many cases. The old temptation to sneak off to a torrent site is often the first thought that comes to mind when I find an album has gone AWOL. Serves them right for pulling their album! But then I calm down and sadly shake my head and lament the fact that I won’t be hearing this band again. Shame, I quite liked ‘em. 

  • sickofmotion

    I know it might sound crazy these days, but there’s a third option besides downloading and streaming ;-)

  • http://pansentient.com afront

    You mean, buy a CD like my dear old grandpa used to do? You’re so retro! :p

  • http://49suns.de/ juliaL49

    Oh yes, Arcade Fire was a big loss. But La Roux must be UK specific. In Germany the EP is not available (ironic, isn’t it) but the album and all (?) three singles are available. I am listening to it now and thank you for reminding me of it :)

    Still, the problem remains with the removals. I think in Germany we are lucky since – I think – the only option to affect us is “album x available in country y only” because “album x not available in all countries except y” works for us. I hope it comes across what I’m trying to say.

  • http://altjudderplaylists.blogspot.com/ syknyk

    Almost as annoying as removing albums completely (or adding only non-explicit versions) i’ve also noticed that Spotify has an awful lot of incomplete albums up, We Are Scientists, Plan B, Pendulum to name but a few (i think they are all on Warners who did threaten to pull out of streaming services so i’m guessing this is their compromise) also Dizzee Rascals latest is still only up with itunes like previews for each song!! Frustrating when i’m paying £120 a year for the service….. It’s why i have’nt completely stopped visiting a certain ‘bay.

  • Robert

    late to the party, but it appears that Pickled Eggs And Sherbet is now available in The Netherlands and so is KMFDM.

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Thanks Robert, no Pickled Eggs here in the UK, but most of the Metropolis catalog (KMFDM etc.) is back.

  • http://littleprod.co.uk/blog Roridge

     Just found The limousines are now missing, but Blink-182 are available.

  • Neverundersold

    Until recently, virtually everything ever released on the ECM label was available – worth the price of subscription on its own – now nothing (in the UK, at least).  I find this intensely frustrating – it’s not as if the label is protecting sales of long-forgotten John Abercrombie albums from the 80s.  Similarly, Zappa.  I can’t believe that Frank himself would be working hard to keep his back catalogue away from fans and a new audience…

  • Bjorn ‘Tubby’ Wilde

    Nina Peerson’s band ‘A Camp’ released 2001 self titled album ‘A Camp’ – Not on Spotify.

  • http://twitter.com/YellerCol colin marrs

    In 

  • http://twitter.com/YellerCol colin marrs

    In the past month, Spotify put the new Gillian Welch album and then took it down within days. Now I notice half the tracks from Paul Simon’s Graceland have gone missing. And this is the record industry’s solution to illegal downloading???

  • http://generationwhynot-stupidgirl.blogspot.com Stupidgirl45

    Arcade Fire are definitely still around – this post is a little out of date as they released The Suburbs last year (2010) which was awesome. Def worth actually BUYING :P

    Back to tracks/people missing, I can’t get some of Adele’s recent stuff on Spotify too, but maybe that’s in the UK. Also Red Hot Chili Peppers stuff – only very very (early 90’s) old stuff on Spotify.

    Great blog though – loving it!

  • http://generationwhynot-stupidgirl.blogspot.com Stupidgirl45

    Arcade Fire are definitely still around – this post is a little out of date as they released The Suburbs last year (2010) which was awesome. Def worth actually BUYING :P

    Back to tracks/people missing, I can’t get some of Adele’s recent stuff on Spotify too, but maybe that’s in the UK. Also Red Hot Chili Peppers stuff – only very very (early 90’s) old stuff on Spotify.

    Great blog though – loving it!

  • Engobiz

    Black Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” is not on there.

  • Engobiz

    Neither is the band Murphy’s Law, and Sacred Reich is severely limited.

  • 1400_alucard

    La Roux is still available in the United States

  • Roeland

    John Lennon is gone as well :(

  • Foo

    For the progheads:

    Neal Morse – There is one record left from him(? live) but all others are gone(5-6 records).
    Transatlantic – Everything gone.
    Spock’s Beard – Every record but one has been removed
    Dead Soul Tribe – gone…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506005714 April Bjorklund

    I can’t find Soupdragons – either Hotwired or LoveGod. Two of my most favorite dancey albums!

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    I know, shame that. I was listening to Hang Ten (ripped from my original vinyl) only the other day!

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    That is a huge disappointment, especially considering Spotify made a point of trumpeting “John Lennon on Spotify” (http://www.spotify.com/us/blog/archives/2010/10/11/lennon/ ) when all his albums arrived in October 2010.

  • Pjwillett

    Steve Hackett removed recent albums

  • Mark

    All albums of Pink Floyd were available on Spotify Yesterday ( September 23), and have been remover today.

  • August

    NoFX reference I’m assuming? If so, I approve. 

  • Tom

    Bob hund – Folkmusik folk som inte kan bete sig som folk is missing, but the rest of the albums are there.
    Chase & Status are also missing.

  • Anonymous

    Out of principle I wouldn’t buy a CD or MP3 form an artist who specifically didn’t want to be on Spotify. They’ve literally only got themselves to blame.

    You can add Coldplay and Adele’s latest albums to the list, their prior work is on there.

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    That’s certainly one way to show your disapproval!

  • http://twitter.com/paulsturgess Paul Sturgess

    John Maus is definitely on Spotify and thus should not be on your Spotify removals page.

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Of course, I even listened to his latest album! Thx, fixed.

  • Thomas

    I was looking for Simon & Garfunkel, obviously they are missing totally (but Paul Simon isn’t…). Of course i would have like also the Beatles and the Eagles and Pink Floyd

  • http://www.facebook.com/philiptr2 Phil Rupprecht

    Garth Brooks…not of Spotify

  • MWG58

    I agree. Its like the radio (if only from the consumers’ viewpoint) and if they don’t want to be broadcast on the radio of the internet then maybe I won’t be buying any re-releases the label puts out next time.  A few of my favorite artists have made comments about wanting to be on here but its a label thing.  Then others have made comments about being glad their labels stand up for them.  Either way, we’re the ones who end up loosing out.  I can’t get FM radio here at work, so Spotify is it.  Whether in my car or at the office, I’m still going to spend money aside from listening to the “radio.”

  • rachael

    bloc party’s a weekend in the city has been removed but none of the other albums as far as i’m aware :S

  • Jake

    Silent Alarm has gone too. Only the remixed version is left. Sad face.

  • Fred

    The ’90s rave band Messiah was pulled yesterday. Their entire catalog including their hit song Temple of Dreams. No warning. Nothing even shows up anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/olicryan1987 Oli C Ryan

    Gillian Welch – Albums Revival, Hell Among the Yearlings and Time (the
    Revelator).

  • adrian

    Aimee Mann (most of her albums) disappeared some while ago…

  • A

    Are you still continuing this project?

    You should consider turning it into a full fledged database.

  • Jeff

    Electric Wizard – Witchcult Today
    Was on there not even a week ago. Come to work today and I’m like awww yeah some Electric Wizard only to find that Witchcult Today has been pulled.

  • http://twitter.com/joey89924 joey

    three live tracks, including one song that couldn’t be heard anywhere else.
    L7812CV

  • Xylance

    Blood Ceremony was on Spotify, but not anymore. :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/katya.prochova Katya Petrova

    It seems the Russian singer, Maksim, is gone now….bad timing. I listen to her to be reminded of home when I’m homesick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jabbabeats Matt Smyth

    Hi. I couldn’t find several Captain Beefheart albums, including Trout Mask Replica!

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    I noticed: co-incidentally, I was looking for TMR myself the other day!

  • Sammy

    wow what entitlement – they make music (you didn’t make anything) and they happily sell it to you, but if t hey don’t offer it to you in a specific way (that basically earns them nothing, and is their right to chose whether to use) you deem it to be your right to take their music from them for free. just hand over the 79p on itunes you entitled tight fuck wit.

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  • Ulrik Hermansen

    At http://www.airplaymusic.co.uk you can check if artist, album title…is available on Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and Napster

  • http://jimblackler.net/ Jim Blackler

    Oasis, Eagles, Metallica and Pink Floyd are all now on Spotify UK.

  • discolettuce

    Spotify is a rip off for artist and record companies alike. Even the biggest acts get paid meager amounts, relatively. And anything below world mainstream music which are Calvin Harris, Rihanna, Bastile (yuck), get paid crap. So if your not putting out god awful music, it ain’t worth it. And there are plenty of other ways to listen to music. Youtube being the glory land. Soundcloud also isn’t bad for streaming but has more dj, electronic, jam music. I’m sure you’ll be able to hear songs by them again. Be grateful you were allowed to hear music for free for so long. I predict Spotify half-life is rather small.

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