Friday, 21 February 2020

On A Friday - Manic Hedgehog (1989)

The second known On A Friday demo tape reportedly comes from 1988. The band were pretty much inactive between 1987 and 1990, but there seems to have been some activity in 1988, as indicated by a gig at the London School of Economics, so it's possible that they reconvened after their University courses had already begun in order to make these recordings. The line-up of the band at this point included three saxophone players: Rasmus 'Raz' Peterson, Liz Cotton and Charlotte Cotton, but Jonny had still not yet joined the band. The recordings were made at Woodworm Studios in Oxfordshire and engineered and mixed by Dave Pegg.
In April 1991, during the Easter holidays, the band recorded a 3-track demo at Dungeon Studios in Shipton-On-Stour, which had 16-track equipment. They worked there for three days, and it cost the band more than £300, which was a lot of money for them at the time. The recordings were engineered by the studio's owner, Richard Haines, and contained three new recordings, two of which were reworkings of songs from a summer 1990 compilation tape. This demo helped the band get some regular live gigs, among them one at the Jericho Tavern, where Chris Hufford saw the band for the first time, and both the gig and the tape convinced him and Bryce Edge to produce On A Friday's next demo at their studio.
The final demo was recorded in October 1991 on 24-track equipment for £500 at Hufford and Edge's Courtyard Studios, and consisted of five new songs. Officially titled 'First Tapes', it became widely known as the 'Manic Hedgehog Demo', named after the shop in Oxford that sold the cassette copies for £3 each. Following the sessions for this demo, Hufford and Edge became the band's managers and more recordings at Courtyard would result in their first official release as Radiohead, 1992's 'The Drill' EP. This post complies all the songs from those three demo cassettes, plus 'Tell Me Bitch', a notorious ska track by the band, which was sped up in post-production to produce arguably their most hated song. This is a slowed down version which would be more how the band played it before they manipulated the tape, and although it's still not great, it is a marginal improvement on the released version.  

Track listing

01 Happy Song
02 To Be A Brilliant Light
03 Sinking Ship
04 What Is That You Say
05 Stop Whispering
06 Give It Up
07 I Can't
08 Nothing Touches Me
09 Thinking About You
10 Phillipa Chicken
11 You
12 Tell Me Bitch

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