Spotify may reign supreme, but did you know there are still some major players missing from the streaming giant’s catalog? While you’re jamming out to Spotify’s robust library, some big-name artists have been staunchly shunning the streaming service. Some have signed major deals with other services, while others have just given the cold shoulder across the board. From a beloved country star to Queen Bey, here are the most notable artists you won’t find on Spotify.
When you’ve got Friends in Low Places, don’t go searching on Spotify. The two-time Grammy winner Garth Brooks refused to put his music on any streaming services for years — that is, until Amazon was able to convince the country star to release his albums exclusively on Amazon Music Unlimited in 2016. Brooks was reluctant at first to make all of his albums available, but has since released his entire collection.
Aaliyah released music in her 22 years of life that is still played on the radio today. Sadly, these songs — Try Again and Are You That Somebody, among them — cannot currently be found on Spotify or any other streaming service. Apparently, her albums are locked away with her uncle and manager Barry Hankerson. There’s been no recent news on when or if her albums will be released, so for now, you can only listen to her first album, Age Ain’t Nothing but A Number, on Spotify.
With Maynard James Keenan at the forefront, Tool rocked the metal scene throughout the ’90s. Despite a string of successful albums and a rabid fanbase, however, Tool’s catalog has never been available on Spotify or any other streaming service. It’s hard to say if a band that hasn’t released music in 12 years will ever be on Spotify, though, they are rumored to be releasing new material within the next year or so. Still, our guess is that you’ll have to access it the old-fashion way: By buying it.
Beyoncé — Lemonade (and Jay-Z)
We know you are either Crazy in Love or Drunk in Love with this Irreplaceable artist — sorry, we’re done — but it seems like this artist is never taking what many consider her magnum opus to Spotify. Lemonade was one of the most lauded albums of 2016, but it’s exclusively streaming on Tidal, her husband Jay Z’s streaming service. And since Jay Z owns Tidal, none of his albums are on Spotify, either. I guess we can officially add that to our list of 99 Problems.
Joanna Newsom, a renowned singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, once called Spotify, “a villainous cabal” and “a garbage system.” The Drag City artist has stuck by those words, and the only thing you will find on Spotify under her name is The Muppet Show Theme, which is, arguably, not her best work. Other Drag City artists — Smog, Ty Segall, etc. — have made their way to Spotify, but Newsom’s catalog remains absent, despite her music having made its way to Apple Music in 2017.
King Crimson have been pioneers longer than most prog-rock bands have been around. Unfortunately, however, you won’t find In the Court of the Crimson King, Red, or any of their other material on Spotify. Legendary guitarist Robert Fripp briefly made a couple of their songs available, but removed them soon after, noting how little streaming services paid artists at the time. Luckily, there is a bright side: Three live albums from King Crimson are currently streaming on Spotify.
In the early ’90s, Bikini Kill helped pave the way for feminist musicians in a male-driven punk scene. Their lyrics screamed of feminist power and provoked women to create similar anthems. Though you can find Rebel Girl on Spotify, the rest of their hits — which are strewn across two albums and an EP — are nowhere to be found. Bikini Kill has acknowledged that Spotify is a way for people to discover new music, but they believe the streaming platform doesn’t financially support bands the way it should.
Dr. Dre’s resume is impressive, whether talking about his rapping exploits or his work as a hip-hop producer. Sadly, fans looking for his music on Spotify will find next to nothing. His ties with Apple run deep, especially given Apple acquired Beats by Dr. Dre in mid-2014. These days, iconic albums such as the Chronic and Compton can only be found on Apple Music. But if you really need to listen to The Next Episode, you’re in luck, as Dre’s second studio album 2001 is available on Spotify.