1988 SOJ Demo. The first studio recording the
band ever made was a 5-song demo which included "Electrocute",
"Freight Train", "Fortress Of Solitude", "She
Said Dark", and "Other Shore".
band was a serious enough concern by spring of '89 for the boys to
start work on a full-length album to sell at shows. This album was
made at C&J studios, a 16-track analog facility in midtown Manhattan,
over about a month's time, and featured the guest harmonica work of
Blues Traveler's John Popper (as did the "God
Street Wine" album 8 years later). It was released on cassette;
the band had 1,000 made, all of which were sold or given away as demos
The Purple Tape. In
need of a new demo to reflect their work with a horn section and a
funkier sound, the band went back to C&J Studios armed with a
4-piece horn section and four new tunes: "Dirty Little Secret",
"Brand New Pussycat", "Change Your Mind", and
"Edgar's Back In Town".
Live At The 712 Club. The
712 Club, an illegal bar in Harlem, became the band's "home venue"
in the period 1990-91.
The Bedroom Tapes. When
the band signed with Geffen Records at the end of 1993, their first
task was to prepare demos of all the tunes they wanted to give consideration
to in recording their first major label album (which would become
"$1.99 Romances"). To this end
they lugged the disassembled remnants of Crossroads Studios, including
a huge MCI console, up to Ossining in the dead of winter and set the
band up in Lo's bedroom, where they recorded over 40 songs in about
Various 3- and 4-song demos were made from 1989 through 1992; the
most common one features "Electrocute", "Crazy Head"
and "Freight Train" and was made at Crossroads in 1991.