Frank Ocean Rarities Dubiously Collected on Bootleg Vinyl
'unreleased, MISC.' fills the void of official Ocean vinyl
In the absence of official Frank Ocean vinyl albums, bootleg releases continue to pop up online. An unlicensed double-LP edition of Ocean’s channel ORANGE has been floating around for at least nine months now. Now, as the Vinyl Collective forum and Modern Vinyl blog were first to point out, a 14-track, double-vinyl odds’n’sods compilation titled unreleased, MISC. has hit the secondhand market.
A link to a listing for the album on Rough Trade’s online store is no longer active, but the details are still available on HHV and Discogs. unreleased, MISC. is billed as a “clear vinyl pressing, limited to 750 copies.” The highlight of the track list is “Wiseman,” Ocean’s gorgeous and, indeed, wise outtake intended for the Django Unchained soundtrack.
If one were, hypothetically, to be in the market for legally dubious, digitally sourced Ocean vinyl, this one isn’t necessarily a must-buy — at least, not at import prices. Unlike the channel ORANGE bootleg, this one is padded out with oddly chosen material. John Mayer collaboration “White” already appears on channel ORANGE, as does “Voodoo,” in the latter song’s case during the skit “End”; Odd Future collaboration “Analog 2″ is from last year’s OF Tape Vol. 2. Nothing is really a “rarity” in the age of instant, on-demand streams, but certainly these tracks aren’t.
The set also delves into older material, some of which Ocean would seem to have disavowed long ago. Prior to the channel ORANGE songs, he wrote a Tumblr post saying, “the only songs that i, myself, frank ocean, have ever released are…’pyrite,’ ‘acura integurl’ & of course the songs included on nostalgia, ultra.” He continued: “all other songs are on the internet as a result of record industry email hacks/leaks that happened some years back.” As uncomfortable as it feels buying a beloved artist’s record without him actually benefiting from it, the skeeziness factor increases when the songs on that record are ones he said “were never intended to represent me.” (An unlicensed vinyl pressing of nostalgia, ULTRA has also emerged.)
At the same time, though, the hopes for legit album-length vinyl from Ocean continue to dim, at least in the near term. For a long while after channel ORANGE’s release, Amazon sent monthly emails alerting pre-order customers that a vinyl version of the album was not yet available. In April, Amazon stopped giving us a reason to hope, canceling orders and saying in a mass email, “We’re unable to fulfill your order for the items listed below because they aren’t available from the supplier any longer.” Official Frank Ocean vinyl albums, like the good men and bad men of his “Wiseman,” don’t exist.
unreleased, MISC. track list:
1. “Rocket Love”
2. “Time Machine”
3. “Heartbreak + Jet Lag”
1. “Bedtime Story”
3. “White” (feat. John Mayer)
4. “No Love”
5. “4 Tears”
1. “Acura Integurl”
2. “Analog 2″ (feat. Tyler, the Creator and Syd Da Kid)
3. “Whip Appeal”
1. “Pyrite (Fool’s Gold)”
2. “Scared of Beautiful”
3. “Wise Man” [sic]