Dave Matthews Band's
Lillywhite Sessions


The most prominent bootleg in recent years is a collection of Dave Matthews Band songs called The Lillywhite Sessions. It bears a similar story to Smile, however when the Lillywhite Sessions were scrapped, peer-to-peer file sharing over the Internet was at its peak.

In late 2000, Dave Matthews Band began recording their fourth studio album with producer Steve Lillywhite, who produced all of their prior albums. After what Lillywhite called a “somewhat laborious” recording process, the band abandoned the album and started over with producer Glen Ballard.

In its place, Dave Matthews Band released Everyday, which became a Billboard No. 1 album. The presence of Ballard, famous for his construction of short pop songs, though was felt instead of Lillywhite, whose production is noted by long, laid-back jams.
“I cannot condone the [unofficial] release of these unfinished recordings, although I feel these are some of the most moving pieces of music that I've ever recorded with Dave Matthews Band.”
--Producer Steve Lillywhite

The Lillywhite Sessions, however, were not forgotten. The 12-track set appeared on Napster by March 2001. For Dave Matthews Band fans, it was a welcome addition to their collections, despite the band’s reluctance to release it officially.

The tracks that made it on to the bootleg were studio versions of material Dave Matthews Band played during their tour prior to recording. While the Internet has been used to distribute the lost tracks, it is also a vehicle to push for an official release of Lillywhite material. An Official Release the Lillywhite Recordings Campaign has appeared on the Web with “the goal of ensuring the band realizes the enormous demand and desire for the studio versions of the songs produced with Lillywhite, and with the hopes that they will at the very least simply consider possibly releasing the works.”

The plan may have worked.

On their next album, expected in summer 2002, Dave Matthews Band plans to re-record some of the material from The Lillywhite Sessions.

Listen to Gray Street from the Lillywhite Sessions.

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