By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
RANDY HOLDEN, POPULATION II(recorded 1970, apparently never officially released, though bootlegs exist)
Randy Holden was the guy who left Blue Cheer because they weren't heavy enough, and his 1970 stoner-rock ur-text Population II was a sonic black hole: recorded with a Stonehenge stack of amplifiers, it was too dark, deep and dense to ever see release. Holden's definitive proto-metal statement of identity didn't even get a chance to fizzle, suffocating in company vaults until a years-later reissue—and even that was so sketchy that Holden almost didn't discover his own record was finally out.
K.M.D., BLACK BASTARDS(recorded 1993, released 2001)
Now-legendary metal-faced MF Doom was just Zev Love X when his first group K.M.D. recorded Black Bastards, an album that their label Elektra was too scared to release. The cover art—Sambo getting lynched—and fierce songs like "What a Niggy Know?" spooked the company execs, though Zev Love's agile flow and production landing somewhere between the best of Black Sheep and Buckwild would have made Bastards a textbook classic. Before a compromise—if one was possible—could be reached, Zev Love's brother and group member DJ Subroc was killed in a car accident. Zev Love retreated for years and resurfaced later with a mask and a new name, and Black Bastards—still unfinished after Subroc's death, though it doesn't suffer for it—wasn't released until eight years after it was recorded.