Talk:1985 Demo Tape

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i heard somewhere that flans says hes never going to release this again. --Ehsteve14 23:44, 7 Jun 2006 (MDT)

I've never heard that myself, so I hope it's not true. I do remember one of the Johns (probably Flans) saying something about not wanting to re-release it at the time (this was several years ago) because he didn't want to flood the market. Interpret that as you will, but I still want my officially released 1985 Demo Tape, dang it! :) ~Drew


Does anyone know if you can download this anywhere? ~ 11:01, 9 August, 2006 (MDT)

Ummm... i second that question... --Ehsteve14 04:35, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
I do know that the tape's versions of "32 Footsteps", "Alienation's for the Rich", "Rabid Child" and "Toddler Hiway" were on the Pink Album, and "Become A Robot", "I'm Def", "Don't Let's Start" "I Hope That I Get Old..." and "Which Describes How You're Feeling" were on Then: The Early Years. Someone needs to find the other 14 songs. WholeLottaMilka 19:52, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
It would be great if they started distributing this and the CD of Long Tall Weekend at the concerts again. It would make money!
just an opinion - i think this tape would lose a lot of its coolness if it were re-released again... i think a lot of its awesome factor is not just the demo versions but the rarity too, and i think that would be severely damaged if everybody could have one... idk... i suppose this is odd elitism coming from someone who doesn't actually have the real thing... --antgeth 00:38, 20 December 2007 (UTC) (by the way: i'm def and don't let's start are very slightly different from what is on Then)
My response to this is that having something rare is really only cool when you have the actual item- having hard-to-find mp3's is definitely cool too, but given the choice, wouldn't you rather have an official CD in better sound quality? --Oddjob 15:21, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
yeah that's sort of what i meant, though i think a tape would be funkier and cooler... of course, do They actually have those demos in a format good enough for a CD? i suppose they do, but it certainly has been a while... --antgeth 19:42, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


I can't believe this sold for $420 as per the news article. I'm glad I got it in 1998 for $80 (which at the time I thought was a lot), and it came with an entire years worth of Hello Club recordings! Krueger 15:03, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

i think it's best when rare; in the original tape form and (almost)no other copies. then it's a sort of legend, the type you can't just download a copy of online. it would lose some of its magic if it were re-released. also, i think i've heard all of those songs on Then: The Earlier Years in some form or another except for Hell Hotel. probably the demo tape has a bunch-o-more special added sounds/things said. Tutticadenza 01:16, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Wellllllll. Sorta. I am aware that rips of the tape have been made (<_< >_>), and there are several songs that appear in a form unique to the 85 demo tape as opposed to Then. Even the Don't Let's Start demo is slightly different on the tape. Longer intro and such. Read into it on the individual song pages and you'll get the picture. TTMBW is SUPER accurate as to differences between separate versions of a song. Rock on! --Luke 16:21, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
They've made those little gadgets where you can take music off a tape and put it into MP3 format. 'Cept I don't have one. --MetalDetector


 	1985 Demo Tape Sampler
       May be a pirate.
       Management : Mr. Styles
   CS: 1985        US TMB Music [none] (photocopied p/s, handwritten
               (Put Your Hand Inside the) Puppet Head
               Rabid Child
               Number Three
               Youth Culture Killed My Dog

from is this more likely real or fake? --veggieman 05:25, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

People review[edit]

Same basic question that I had over at Talk:They Might Be Giants... If the People review didn't appear until June 1986, how important could it have been in "giving the band the attention they would need to score a record deal with Bar/None"? --Octoflange 18:52, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

30 years!

To celebrate I'm listening to the whole thing. Had a look on Youtube and found it! Fascinating to see how unorthodox they were in the early days. You'll Miss Me and When it Rains it Snows sound really different! Hell Hotel is the most 80s thing I've ever heard them do! One of the things you notice, how much space the songs have to breathe. Back then they were unafraid of sparse arrangements. Cowtown and The Day are also great versions. Probably wise to ditch the joke vocal on Hotel Detective (shades of Dogwalker!) although the woah bits are fun! The They Might Be Giants song, is probably stronger than the Flood version - Flans sings better, although the guitar "solo" is probably why it needed a remake.

One of thing that's noticeable is that there is an energy that isn't that on more recent releases. Age, is part of it, but I'd argue that there are other reasons too.

1) These songs were written, rehearsed, played live and THEN recorded. I think a lot of stuff gets tracked up in the studio these days and gets over produced. I also think that the substandard material gets dropped when you play it in front of a crowd first. I realise that youtube makes it hard to debut new songs, but still

2) Recording pressure. This is a point Ian MacDonald made about late period Beatles where songs where they just used to rock up to the studio and write and record at Abbey Road. In the early days they had a tight schedule and were far tighter on having arrangements pre-prepared. He argued that it robbed some late Beatles songs of the tension of the earlier material. I kind of think this is true for the Giants. Eno talks about something similar when he worked with Coldplay. Giants stuff, since Flood, have been over produced.

3) The full band erode the Giants of their uniqueness. This is really the Bill Krauss point from the Gigantic DVD. I tend to agree to some extent. To be fair post Lincoln, with professional producers the bands sound does conform, but with the full band (especially on Flans stuff, he tends to write more for the whole band than Linnell) this is noticeable on the Live Show too. Black Francis found this post Pixies, when the musicians he worked with (technically better than the Pixies) robbed him of the originality that the unorthodox Pixies had. Plus he started writing songs with the new band in mind and became generic than the original. This is less true of the Giants, who've stayed left field, but they've never been as left field as they were on their first two albums, and let's face it, we all agree Lincoln is the best (I know we don't agree but still!)

4) Linnell's over reliance on synthesiser and abandonment of the accordion This is the biggest problem with late period Giants. The accordion gave the Giants an organic feel that the mechanical synth can't hope to replicate. Playing it almost like a rhythm guitar in the early days, it also enhanced Flans tracks.

5) It's too comfortable now. I think back then Linnell and Flans were more competitive with each other. Likewise Krauss was a much underrated third Giant not afraid to make production points or criticise. With the band very much side men and the Producer very much a band choice, I do feel they need to mix it up a bit next time. I'm very much pro them trying to record an album as a duo and I'd consider either getting Krauss back or getting a new producer. In some ways they are in a similar position to Paul McCartney post Beatles (not as daft as you might think - the band are self-sufficient and commercially viable due to their kids albums and adverts, they have several income streams - very business savvy) in that within their circle no one criticises them. I remember a George Martin interview of working with Macca on Tug of War and him basically telling the Fabster that a new song wasn't very good. Macca literally hadn't had to listen to that for years and struggled with it. Some of the recent stuff is self indulgent/substandard and I think with someone saying "this isn't good, write something that is!" whether recent releases might not have been better.

(Mr Tuck)

1985 Demo Tape Album Cover[edit]

I'm trying to figure out who took the photograph for the 1985 demo tape album cover. I've scoured the internet and couldn't find anything and figured I should consult the biggest source of knowledge on the internet for this band

the 20 year compilation booklet includes a photo from what looks like the same photoshoot, credited to Mark Stern. --ant 16:35, 28 July 2022 (EDT)