DemoHero – A Community Site Devoted To Demo Recordings


Name: DemoHero

There is nothing more thrilling for a fan than getting his hands on some demo recordings, although the actual substance of a demo changes from artist to artist. On the one hand, we have someone like Pete Townshend that used to assemble meticulous recordings where he insinuated the parts John Entwistle and Keith Moon would play. He was to release several collections when he went solo, and the public finally realized that what Keith Richards once said had more than an inkling of truth – “Peter Townshend made better Who music than The Who”.

On the other hand, demos are included unscrupulously as a bait to lure in collectors in compilation albums by certain artists. That kind of artist is the one described in the song “Box Set” by Barenaked Ladies, as the contents of the fictitious musician’s boxed set are enumerated disc by disc:

Disc Four
Never released before,
and you can tell why;
it’s just some demos
I recorded in my basement.

The fact remains that hardened fans don’t care where or when a demo was recorded. It could have been recorded by the singer while he was taking a shower. If it is a song that speaks to us, we are going to offer and arm and a leg in order to listen to it. Well, not any longer. Listening to these rough sketches has become very easy. This brand new site makes it a doodle. Continue reading

Extras (The Jam) – Compilation Album

"Extras" Assembles Rare Songs & Takes From All Over The Jam's Relatively Brief Career.

"Extras" Assembles Rare Songs & Takes From All Over The Jam's Relatively Brief Career.

Extras was a compilation of Jam b-sides, rare tracks and demos that was issued in 1992. The main value the compilation has always had is in portraying the development of Paul Weller as a composer, since cover versions that map out the way he shaped the sound of the trio as they went along are extensively provided. We have covers of The Beatles (“And You Bird Can Sing”), The Small Faces (the charged “Get Yourself Together”) and The Who (“Disguises” and “So Sad About Us”, the b-side to “Down In The Tube Station At Midnight” that paid tribute to the passing of Keith Moon) along with many R & B and soul covers like “Move On Up”, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Fever” (which is fused with Paul’s own “Pity Poor Alfie”).

Some of the best original b-sides include “The Butterfly Collector” (a timeless take on the groupies and hangers on that have always littered the music scene), and the electric version of Foxton’s Smithers-Jones (a string quartet performs it on “Setting Sons“; the original version was the flipside to “When You Are Young”). There is also Weller’s own “Shopping” (a shuffly number that manages to marry the vision which led to the Style Council with the sound of The Jam) and the salient “Tales From The Riverbank”. That one has always been deemed as one of those “should have been an a-side” track by fans, critics and Weller himself. Its placement on the album is also very good, being situated right at the beginning with “The Dreams Of Children”.

There are also two unreleased Weller originals. They are “No One In The World” and “Hey Mister”. Both are performed by him unaccompanied – the former is played on guitar, and “Hey Mister” is played on piano. The songs have a disaffected outlook on life and politics respectively, and I think they would have made for interesting group performance. Continue reading