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The 15 Wildest Album Unveilings: Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift & More

From sending your fans balloons to building a staircase on a livestream, here are the most creative things artists have done to roll out their LPs

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Damaged Bug dropping a tarot deck with a 7"

Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer has a side project, Damaged Bug, that's got a cool rollout coming on Sept. 19, 2016. Through his Castle Face label, Dwyer will drop The Tarot of Personal Experience, a tarot card deck with a 7" "soundtrack," three songs total. So far there's only 1,000 copies offered, but the cards—painted by Kyle Ranson—will hit L.A.'s Sade Gallery on Sept. 18, too.

2 / 15

Frank Ocean building a staircase on a live stream

Frank Ocean

When Frank Ocean launched a livestream on his website at the beginning of August, many fans believed that finally — finally — a new album was on the way. But all we saw was Frank building a birdhouse. 

On Aug. 18, however, Ocean appeared on his livestream again, tinkering away on a staircase, this time playing new tunes and an Aaliyah cover. The livestream was bundled together and peddled on Apple Music as a "visual album" called Endless.

3 / 15

Demi Lovato hiding her songs in trees

Demi Lovato led fans on a scavenger hunt to reveal some snippets of Confident in September 2015. One of those hiding spots was a pier in NYC — here's the guy who found the first box.

4 / 15

Krill stuffing their album in cheese

A deluxe edition of Krill's Lucky Leaves could be found on a USB stick inside a ball of mozzarella — and bought for only $100!

5 / 15

Hilary Duff mailing fans balloons

To announce the name of Breathe In. Breathe Out. in May, Hilary Duff mailed people balloons to her fans with the cover art and a written note.

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Radiohead releasing a fake newspaper

In 2011, Radiohead released a special version of The King of Limbs on newspaper print.

7 / 15

Xiu Xiu using blood to paint their T-shirts

Art-pop band Xiu Xiu released a package of their album Dear God, I Hate Myself with bars of chocolate and a T-shirt. On the shirt, "Xiu Xiu for Life" is written in human blood.

8 / 15

Animal Collective debuting their album at an airport

Animal Collective premiered their Painting With album at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport the day before Thanksgiving 2015, and the only tip-off is that Avey Tare's cousin posted cryptically about it on Instagram. Thankfully, a Brooklyn Vegan reporter was there to give us the details.

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Wu-Tang only pressing one copy of their album

In 2015, the Wu-Tang Clan sold the most expensive album in history, creating only one copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, and handing it over to pharmaceutical company exec Martin Shkreli for $1 million.

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Perfect Pussy putting “menstrual blood” in music

Perfect Pussy put the vinyl version of Say Yes to Love with singer Meredith Graves' period blood baked right in!

11 / 15

Flaming Lips encasing their music in fetuses

After putting music in a gummy fetus, The Flaming Lips tried putting their USB in a gummy fetus next, as grainily evidenced by this fan, above.

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Beck printing sheet music

Beck's Song Reader wasn't recorded for it initial release. Instead, he put the entire thing out on pretty sheet music for everyone to interpret differently.

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Julian Casablancas programming tracks in a lighter

The Strokes' Julian Casablancas sold his 11- minute "Human Sadness" as a USB drive masquerading as a cigarette lighter ahead of 2014's Tyranny.

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Kanye West renting out MSG for a giant group listening

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Kanye West performs during Kanye West Yeezy Season 3 on February 11, 2016 in New York City.  (Pho
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3

Instead of having everyone first listen to The Life of Pablo on their headphones, Kanye opted to have people together in one place. Madison Square Garden seemed like the perfect venue to squeeze in a bunch of Yeezy fans. The rest of us were watching from a wonky Tidal stream.

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Taylor Swift inviting fans to her mansions

Kanye's idea was similar to that of Taylor Swift, who got her fans together for a first listening of 1989. Except with Taylor, she handpicked the fans by lurking on their Instagrams and then inviting them to her houses.

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Apr 2: Basket-Bros

Currently on his 'The Man of the Woods' tourJustin Timberlake brought out a special guest for his Cleveland show. LeBron James surprised concertgoers by showing up alongside Timberlake and taking a shot on stage. On Friday, the singer was also seen cheering on LeBron during the Pelicans and Cavaliers game. James gave a shout out on Instagram, "My brother @justintimberlake showed up and showed out last night at the Q! One of the greatest to ever do it in my lifetime and still going strong."