10 Fascinating Early Demos by Famous Musicians

We do still read the NME, god help us, and as such we were interested to see this feature about dodgy demos of classic songs on their website a couple of days back. Setting aside the question of whether anything ever recorded by Muse can ever be considered a “classic” (spoiler: no), the piece did get us thinking about early demos from our favorite musicians, especially in light of the recent reissue of Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights, which comes with a bunch of studio outtakes and other rarities. Anyway, we thought we’d run with the idea and share some early demos by some of our other favorite bands, which we think make for pretty fascinating listening. Let us know if you have any you’d like to share.


We’ve spent all morning giggling over the rather excellent review of the Turn on the Bright Lights reissue at Pitchfork — when the ‘Fork get it right, they really get it right, and the observation that “[Paul] Banks’ words can be downright laughable on paper, and are often sung as if WRITTEN OUT IN ALL CAPS WITH NO PUNCTUATION” is hilariously spot-on. This early demo of “Roland,” previously available only on the insanely rare Fukd ID #3 tape, shows that Banks’ all-caps aesthetic was in place from the beginning — just listen as he somehow manages to deliver the immortal, “Oh look, it’s stopped snowing!” line with a perfectly straight face.