An “Outtake” refers to “a scene, sequence, or song filmed or recorded for a film, programme, or record album but not included in the final version”. If Adele has a lot of written songs that she keeps (about 30, which is equivalent to 3 albums!), other songs have been composed and recorded but not kept for her albums.
Devil On My Shoulder is a song written by Adele and Greg Wells. It is one of two songs written by the duo, the second being One And Only. Devil On My Shoulder is a song that was not kept for 21.
In 2014, this song was deposited at ASCAP. A lot of fans was excited about it because most of them thought it was Adele’s new single.
Did you know?
ASCAP, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers is an American organization that manages the copyrights of composers, authors and music publishers.
In October 2016, Greg Wells declared on Twitter that he is currently listening to the song which is “really crazy” and “so good”. He thus indicates that this song still exists today and that it could well see the light of day.
On July 10, 2018, he told a little more about the song on Billboard magazine:
Fans know the existence of the song. It’s a song called Devil On My Shoulder. When fans saw that this song was being deposited at ASCAP, they were in “Oh! What’s that?” The song is a kind of Bo Diddley, very uptempo that sounds very 50s.
After writing the song, she sent me an email “We’re going to finish it!”. Adele is amazing on this song but it didn’t fit well with 21 so we didn’t keep it for this album. It’s really a fun, psychotic, very uptempo song. I hope that one day the whole world will discover her because she is really great. We haven’t completeed it yet. But until then, we really had fun doing it!
Haunted Skies is a song written by Adele and Paul Epworth. It was not kept for 21. This song was deposited at the BMI.
Did you know?
Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI) is an American copyright collection organization for writers, composers and song producers. It redistributes the funds collected to the authors.
We might think that this song was a first version of the song Turning Tables because in this song Adele sings “Under Haunted Skies, I see you”. But according to the recording at the BMI, the second author of Turning Tables, Ryan Tedder, is not credited. So this is another song.
Saviour is a song written by Adele and Paul Epworth. It was not kept for 21. This song was deposited at the BMI.
Paul Epworth spoke about this song on Twitter in 2010 and 2011:
In the 2011 tweet, Paul Epworth explains that “Saviour could see the light of day on Adele’s tour” (this is the 2011 tour, called Adele Live). In the 2010 tweet, he explained that he is sure that this song will be revealed one day.
Saviour did not fit with the theme of 21 which could explain why the song was not kept. Paul Epworth also believes that some of Saviour’s lyrics would have been used for Turning Tables but he is not sure.
Never Tear Us Apart is a song by Australian rock band INXS. It is from their sixth studio album Kick. Adele recorded a version of this song for 21 but it was the cover of Lovesong that was chosen for the album. As she explains, it was her voice that didn’t convince her to keep the song:
It’s clearly my favorite song. This is the first song I learned to play with. I was going to play it for 21. We recorded it but my voice was not convincing so we didn’t keep it.
During a concert at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles in 2011, Adele talked about this song. She explains that this song is kept in the Studio Shangri La in Malidu, studio where a large part of 21 was recorded. Her guitarist, Tim Van Der Kuil, began playing the first notes of Never Tear Us Apart and despite the audience encouraging her to sing it, Adele refused.
Alive is a song written by Sia, Adele and Tobias Jesso Jr. It’s featured on Sia’s seventh album, This Is Acting.
On September 6, 2015, Sia revealed at the Venice International Film Festival that she had written a song with Adele for her third album. But Adele refused at the very last moment to keep it and instead advised Sia to keep it and make it as a lead (this is the very first single from an upcoming album). Sia’s seventh album, This Is Acting, is a compilation of songs she had written for others artists but were rejected.
Speaking about the song, Sia said, “It’s about Adele’s life, so now I’m singing a song from Adele’s point of view.” She also confirmed that Alive was one of three songs that Sia and Adele wrote together for the latter’s album. However, the three songs were only cut. Alive and another track, Bird Set Free, were both originally recorded by Adele.
When Adele rejected Alive, the song was proposed to Rihanna. But the latter also refused. So Sia picked it up and re-recorded it. So far as we know, it exits a demo of the song Alive by Adele.
Bird Set Free is a song written by Sia and Greg Kurstin. It’s featured on Sia’s seventh album, This Is Acting.
Initially, Sia intended this song for Rihanna. The latter rejects it. Sia then proposed it to Adele: she recorded a demo of the song but didn’t keep it. Adele thought the song was more into Sia’s universe.