"The dog ate my homework!" – 18 dodgy excuses for late albums

"The dog ate my homework!" – 18 dodgy excuses for late albumsby Matthew Horton

15/04/2016Music

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The Avalanches "are clearing samples". That's the message the Australian sampladelic dance crew put up on their MySpace (MySpace!) back in 2009 to kind-of justify why it'd been eight years since we'd heard a squeak out of them.

Seven years later, still nothing since their amazing 2001 debut album Since I Left You – but there's hope! This week they put a lovely image of a butterfly on all their social media accounts and a day later announced they'd be playing a series of festivals this summer, their first live dates since, well Since.

They've got a better excuse than most for the long delay between albums. That debut was a gorgeous patchwork of thousands of samples from thrift-shop records, and that takes a lot of legal wrangling. Some elusive artists give reasons that are a little more sketchy – and we've collected a bunch of them below.

"We do not live by a release schedule"

Ralf Hütter of Kraftwerk spells out the obvious to The Times, following the 17-year gap between 1986's Electric Café and 2003's Tour De France Soundtracks.

"I didn't realise I could just say 'no'"

Kate Bush speaking to Mojo in 2011. And saying "No" is exactly what she did between 1993's The Red Shoes and 2005's Aerial.

Zayn: Mind Of Mine

"I've been baking bread and looking after the baby"

As told to Playboy, John Lennon's reasons for the five-year hiatus leading up to 1980's Double Fantasy were sound.

"In the midst of the seven-year gap I went through great gulps of doubt wondering whether there was actually any point to it"

Morrissey in conversation with the Guardian, upbeat as per about the difficult gestation of 2004's You Are The Quarry.

"If we could make these records in a year, we would"

From an Uncut interview with Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile, who have averaged one album every eight years. Pull the other one.

"I can be a terribly lazy man"

Blindingly obvious stuff in Mojo from Scritti Politti's Green Gartside, who took 11 years to make 1999's Anomie & Bonhomie, a further seven to release 2006's White Bread Black Beer – and is still keeping us waiting on a follow-up.

"It's a very complex record. I'm trying to do something different"

That's Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose in 2006. He'd been trying "something different" for 13 years by this point – Chinese Democracy would take another two.

"I've been more wrong than most people when it comes to time"

Typically gnomic comment from My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, somewhere in the 22-year gap between Loveless (1991) and m b v (2013).

"We were just completely thrashed"

Portishead's Geoff Barrow justifies the 11-year wait for third album, er, Third, to Scotland on Sunday.

"Maybe 50 of them days would just be us getting stoned listening to our favourite records through the studio system"

Speaking to Spin magazine, Ian Brown of The Stone Roses confirms all those suspicions about the 347 days spent making 1994's Second Coming.

"I had a little anxiety of how it would be received, but I knew it was coming"

Chatting to Rolling Stone, D'Angelo was more confident than the rest of us about the 2014 arrival of Black Messiah, 14 years after Voodoo.

"It's important that people be given the time that they need to go through, to grow"

Lauryn Hill in conversation with NPR in 2010, 12 years on from her wonderful debut The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, which may never be followed up.

"[Daddy] G became a father, and then obviously he stopped coming to the studio, more and more, until he stopped coming at all"

Five years after Mezzanine, Massive Attack's 3D ended up making 2003's 100th Window on his own once he realised no one else was coming. As reported in The Scotsman.

"It was as if the guitar was completely dead in my hands"

A decent excuse for Vashti Bunyan's 35 (THIRTY-FIVE)- year gap between Just Another Diamond Day (1970) and Lookaftering (2005), from an interview with the Guardian.

"I enjoy making music so much that if it doesn't come out, that's okay. If I get to listen to it in my car by myself, I'm just as happy because I get to hear something that I made. I'm not so caught up in the fact that you have to be in the centre of attention. For me, when I do have something that I'm ready to express, I'm gonna burrow through whatever to get it heard. But for me, the journey along the way is really the most fun part; it's not about the outcome. It's really about making something that feels authentic"

Yeah, all right, Justin Timberlake. You've made your point. That was the great man telling student alumni of Grammy Camp why he'd taken a nice lay-off between 2006's FutureSex/LoveSounds and 2013's The 20/20 Experience.

"We're just getting the basics together for the new record, searching for those great riffs that are still to be had"

AC/DC's Malcolm Young there, in Q magazine in 2003, three years after Stiff Upper Lip and five years before Black Ice. Riffs they hadn't yet done were clearly thin on the ground.

"We weren't really feeling it"

Stereo MC's talking to Pause&Play about the nine-year feet-up between 1992's Connected and 2001's Deep Down & Dirty. Fair enough really. You can't rush these things.

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