There’s no doubt that if it weren’t for Amy Winehouse‘s tragically early demise, she possibly would have gone down as one of the greatest soul singers to ever do it. Some even hold her in that regard with her abridged discography. Either way, hearing new music from Amy would be probably welcomed by most fans.
In fact, according to Billboard, there were tentative plans to release some new songs showing off where her sound was going with producer, friend, and collaborator Salaam Remi:
“Remi gave the filmmakers a recording of Winehouse reciting the lyrics to an unreleased song called ‘You Always Hurt the Ones You Love’; it’s evidence that her songwriting talent endured. She had talked about starting a jazz/hip-hop project with Questlove, Raphael Saadiq and Mos Def, perhaps as a way of sidestepping the pressure to match Back to Black. But she also had a third album mapped out, and studio time booked with Ronson and Remi for later in 2011.
‘She probably finished the writing process a few weeks before she passed,’ says Remi, who was en route to her house when he got a call saying she had died. ‘As far as I could see, we had 14 songs. Whatever needed to happen, it was right there.'”
But now, unfortunately, that possibility has been eliminated because of her former label boss at Universal Music U.K., David Joseph. The label erased those vocals and demos, in what they felt was protection of her legacy.
“But Universal will never release any of the demos, because Joseph destroyed them. ‘It was a moral thing,’ he says. ‘Taking a stem or a vocal is not something that would ever happen on my watch. It now can’t happen on anyone else’s.’ It’s likely that the 2011 outtakes collection Lioness will remain Winehouse’s final release: a fragmented coda to an abbreviated life.”
It should be noted that Lioness was a Universal release. It’s easy to blame someone for destroying potentially great music, but there are two sides here. While it seems that Remi has Amy’s best intentions as far as the music she was making, maybe she would have wanted a final say on what’s printed with her name on it. Still, wiping art from the face of the Earth is probably never a good thing to do. Now, we can only wonder what might have been.