The good folk of Internet land have once again delivered the goods, revealing what was once an unheard recording of The Smiths rehearsing together back in the day. Uploaded to YouTube from a tape, the recording dates back approximately to the era of May 1983, in a time before The Smiths had released their debut album The Smiths.
The premise behind the demo was to provide their initial producer Troy Tate with a bit of an idea of what he would be working with. Tate recorded a handful of tracks but was dropped by the band and continued with John Porter, who finished the album. Tate, however, hung on to the tape once the band were signed to Rough Trade, and found himself in a legal position to use the tracks as he saw fit.
As legend has it, the tape was released by a source known as Pablo Cuckoo, who got his/her hands on it after Tate approached them in 1997 with the idea of compiling a ‘semi-official release.’ But the dodgie sound quality and pressure from Warner Bros saw that fall through.
But now, here it is. While it’s not pleasant to listen to, it’s a cool little bit of music history. If only they knew what was ahead of them.
Check out the clip and track listing below.
You’ve Got Everything Now
Accept Yourself 04:26
What Difference Does It Make 08:46
Reel Around The Fountain 12:52
These Things Take Time 19:28
I Don’t Owe You Anything 22:37
Hand In Glove 28:06
Handsome Devil 31:04
Miserable Lie 34:11