As if getting a long, hand-written letter in the mail from my best friend in high school who now is living la vie en rose in France wasn’t reason enough to make me smile, now I stumble across demo versions of all the songs from ferocious, melodic Belly‘s 1993 album Star. And suddenly I am 14 again, laying in the bedroom of that same aforementioned friend after school, talking about life, looking at her Led Zep posters, and generally pondering Evan Dando.
Belly: Demos From The Album Star
These are pretty basic (see note below), but are fun to listen to for fans of the female-fronted early ’90s Belly/Throwing Muses/Breeders alt-rock vibe.
Please visit http://www.tanyadonelly.com/mp3s.html
to download these demo mp3s:
Someone to Die For
Feed the Tree
A note from Tanya Donelly about these songs:
A mere 16 years later, here are the demos for Star (Belly’s first), recorded with Joe Harvard at Fort Apache. (Thank you, Ivo, for having the original mixes on cd so I didn’t have to mess with the tapes.) They were originally meant to be the second Breeders album, so Kim plays on a couple. She plays the high solo on White Belly and the counter-lead stuff on Feed the Tree. That’s what I recall.
White Belly was co-written with Fred Abong, but for some reason he didn’t play on it. I think possibly because it was intended for the Breeders, and we weren’t planning to start a post-Muses band together at that time. It wasn’t long after these demos were recorded that I decided to start my own thing and form Belly, and Fred came along. To be honest, I’m very fuzzy on my own chronology and some details.
Some of the vocals are oddly low — I think that was my taste at the time, which is too bad. And I was very self-conscious about my voice, sometimes justifiably. And it is all extremely spare, mostly just electric guitar and vocal. But I think in general, these are pretty good, and at least interesting if you liked Star.
Re: Slow Dog — Mariah Carey hadn’t surfaced yet when I wrote this song. This is a very old song that I sat on for a while. The first time I heard her name was when a couple of the Pavement guys (who got the demo from someone who worked at 4ad at the time) said they liked the song I wrote about Mariah Carey. So Mariah became Maria. I always missed Mariah.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these demos. I’m taking my sister’s lead (copying her, in fact) and leaving a virtual tip jar (top of the page here). I’m also planning on putting up an additional live Windham set of mostly old songs that we did on one of the Hungry Life nights. Hopefully in a few months, a song or two at a time. That will be fun.
Love to all,