Rare early demo from The Smiths emerges online – listen

Drummer Mike Joyce tweeted the link to the 1983 tape recordings

A new early rehearsal recording from The Smiths has emerged online – listen to it above.

The 39-minute recording – titled 'The Pablo Cuckoo Tape', was made in some time in 1983 while the band were getting ready to record their debut LP, 1984's 'The Smiths'. Tweeting to the demo, drummer Mike Joyce wrote: "A fan of The Smiths? An early recording you've probably never heard before." When asked by a fan about the quality of the recording, he replied: "It was recorded on a cassette player lying on the floor in the rehearsal room."

When asked by former Oasis guitarist Bonehead who unearthed the tape, Joyce replied: "Not a clue. I thought I was the only one who kept all the old stuff, obviously not."

The demo is said to have been recorded at a rehearsal in band manager Joe Moss' jeans warehouse Crazy Face in Manchester. The aim was to give the album's original producer Troy Tate something to work on before going into the studio with the band. Tate was later replaced on production duties by John Porter.

Explaining the origins of the tape, the YouTube user who posted it wrote: "I was lent the master cassette by a source close to the band who made the recording, let's call him Pablo Cuckoo in 1997 with a view of trying to put it out as a semi-official release.? As it was recorded before the band had signed to Rough Trade, technically he had the rights to the recording. But a combination of poor sound quality & threats from Warner Bros meant that the idea was shelved." NME has contacted Warner for comment and will update this story if they wish to comment on this claim.

The tracklisting to The Smiths' 'The Pablo Cuckoo Tape' is as follows:

'You've Got Everything Now'
'Accept Yourself'
'What Difference Does It Make?'
'Reel Around The Fountain'
'These Things Take Time'
'I Don't Owe You Anything'
'Hand In Glove'
'Handsome Devil'
'Miserable Lie'


Read Matthew Horton's First Listen blog review

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