The Worst Demo Tape Compilation in the World – Ever

by Robert Popper on June 28, 2014 · 28 comments

In the late 1980’s, my cousin gave me a cassette that instantly became an obsession of mine. It was a tape, compiled by a UK record company – and made purely for internal use – featuring the worst songs they’d ever been sent from the thousands of demo tapes they received each year.

There were no details of any of the ‘artists’, and it’s all quite mysterious, but as someone who has heard loads of terrible demo tape complilations, this one is definitely the best/worst. Get ready for the dullest rendition of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, a spooky lady singing about ‘Alfreston’ while playing the organ, and the genuinely terrifying end track, ‘All the People With the Money’. By the way, I lost the tape years ago and thought all hope was lost, until my buddy Peter Serafinowicz found it last week in a box in his office. We celebrated with a listen and a good ole sing-a-long. Hope you guys sing along too…

Here it is on Mixcloud.

  • estelleh

    “Jamie” is great!

  • Andrew Ryan

    Yet another reason to say God bless Peter S.

  • thesailorman

    Thank you. Thank you so much.

  • Tony Binks

    I can’t remember the last time I was entertained and horrified in equal measure.
    Well, apart from the date with the woman with the wooden leg and severe nervous twitch anyway.

  • http://www.lenperalta.com/ Len

    Thank you for this.

  • http://www.lenperalta.com/ Len

    BTW, that last artist was Elmer Fudd. “ah-hahahaha”

  • LepusRex

    Oh, Jesus. This is amazing.

    “All the flowers that you planted, mother, in the back yard…”

  • John Shepherd

    It’s like “Dark Side of the Moon” … only different. Very different.

  • http://trenthead.com/ Trent Nelson

    three songs in, and my heart is filled with joy. it’s like an “earthquake in my soul”

  • Nick Marshall

    This now proves my theory that the greatest song ever made never got published thank’s for bringing these hidden gems into my life

  • Thelma Hunt

    That is the worst think I’ve ever heard, so glad I wasted half an hour of my life on it. But you can’t say I wasn’t warned!!

  • Veryon

    hepl mee hlep meee…dain barmage…bairn dmaged..hlp…anu rism…

  • Chris Harrison

    With no formal musical training and a wooden ear I can only dream of knocking out a gem like “You are the best thing in the world” – in the meantime I’ll just stick to knocking something else out to “Jamie” instead.

  • Tom Parratt

    I love the part where the lady from Alfriston explains (with music still running) that she could write a third verse – sort of about the ups and downs of life – if anyone wanted her to. And how she says “Well… yes” after the song about Jamie. And the name of her final song cut short (originally for children): “It’s called ‘Brown… Brown'”!!! (Or did I mishear this song title?)

    And as for the second guy. I think I’m going to attempt to actually produce real songs from his guidelines. I think I can imagine what he’s actually trying to do. I’ll post the results on soundcloud!

  • Ben Jarvis

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make a lossless version available for download. I nee this.

  • John Wilding

    Do we know what year this did the rounds? If it was the late 80s, this version predates the Sinead o’Connor cover of the song, but uses a very similar arrangement! Conspiracy!
    I tend to think this is possible, as my dad sent a sketch to Russ About in 1990 which was rejected, but turned up on a Freddie Starr show a year or two later, lightly edited.

  • Matthew McKinnon

    I’m sure that first one is Nico.

  • http://robertpopper.com Robert Popper

    Hi. I may hav egot the date wrong. It may have been 1990 or something like that. Thanks

  • http://robertpopper.com Robert Popper

    Please do have a go and make a song from that guy. And yes it is ‘Brown Brown’!

  • selfish

    Looked for an email address but I guess the comments section is going to have to do. I was given this tape by the crazy kid at my school, years ago – recorded on his dad’s 70s hifi equipment over terrible opera tapes. Listen in for hits such as “Eye of A Tiger” (not the tiger, *a* tiger), a cover of the Mr Bean theme, and the immortal words “Are you ready for this? I hope so.” http://strangeholiday.com/music/smoothpete/premium_deluxes.zip

    Saw him on the bus a couple of years ago and he handed me a folded up ink-jetted photo of him and some sort of famous rapper. I had no choice but to hunt down the other tapes he had given people and put them all in one place. I can only speak to the entertainment quality of Premium Deluxes. Oh and there’s also his brilliant final year quote. “My ambition is to be a successful person for one day.” http://strangeholiday.com/music/smoothpete/

  • http://robertpopper.com Robert Popper

    Thanks so much – look forward to listening to that!!

  • http://www.earwicker.com Daniel Earwicker

    Verse 2: When she writes to me, it makes a difference – I need a sign!

  • Ant

    Surely the “Ms Alfreston” numbers are actually a sketch by Ronnie Barker or Peter Sellers?

  • http://www.aphrodizzy.com/ elDragonata

    I think I’ll rip ‘You’re The Best Thing in the World’ and have it as a ringtone.

  • Phil Russell

    I’d love to hear a full version of ‘Brown, Brown’. If I ever see Jamie on the southern run I’ll be sure to pass on that message although I get the sense Jamie may have felt trapped in a relationship with the woman and her husband.

  • Phil Russell

    I’d love to hear the whole of ‘Brown, brown’. I’ll be sure to tell Jamie on the southern run if I see him. Why did he leave?

  • Adam Westerman

    I’ll forever wonder if her tape ran out before ‘Brown brown’ kicked in, or it was too explicit to play…

  • kipcummerbund

    This video is shit

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