Forget the big build-up, more and more artists are opting to surprise fans with unexpected albums...
Surprise! U2 have revealed a new album 'Songs Of Innocence' without any notice. But they're not the first to do it. Beyonce caught us off guard in December 2013 by releasing her self-titled fifth album with no notice whatsoever. Even the singer's record label Sony had been saying it wouldn't come out until 2014.
Radiohead treated fans in 2011 when they released eighth studio album 'The King of Limbs' a day early. Speaking on Valentine's Day they revealed the album would be arriving on Saturday 19 February. It actually arrived on the 18th.
David Bowie stunned the music world in January 2013 with an unexpected single launch and album announcement. 'The Next Day' was his first album in 10 years.
After 22 years of silence, My Bloody Valentine amazed fans by releasing 'm b v' in February 2013. The only warning they gave was a message on their Facebook page just a few hours earlier.
Justin Timberlake only gave us a month's notice to prepare for 'The 20/20 Experience', his first album since 2006. Oh yeah, and it had a Part 2. He surprised fans with announcement the second half with an open letter written just weeks before its release in September.
Kaiser Chiefs announced 'The Future Is Medieval' on 3 June 2011, just 13 days before it was available to buy. Listeners were allowed to choose 10 out of 20 tracks available on their website and build their own album tracklist.
On 13 November 2013, Death Grips both announced their third LP 'Government Plates' and released it. Lucky fans were able to download it for free.
In June 2013, Jay-Z told the world he was releasing unexpected album 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' via an advert during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Fan were able to download it using a Samsung app just two weeks later, on July 4.
In April 2013, it seemed Jai Paul's hotly anticipated debut album had been released on bandcamp without press or fuss. Turns out the record was a leak though.
Pixies surprised fans with a brand new EP and video on 3 September 2013. Frank Black teased the four-track record titled 'EP 1' by posting a Vine showing him singing a new song in August. It followed the band's comeback single 'Bagboy' which came out in June.
Burial got tongues wagging when he revealed he'll be dropping an unexpected new EP on December 16. It will be 28 minutes long and feature three tracks.
Frank Ocean fans were looking forward to the July 17 in-store release date of 'channel ORANGE' in 2012 when he let them download the album on iTunes a week early.