The Rehearsal Tapes Series (Pilot Episode: The Lost Album)

We’re planning a recurring feature on this site we’re calling The Rehearsal Tapes. For each episode, we’ll dig through old cassettes looking for songs that, for one reason or another, never got the full studio treatment.

For this pilot episode, we’re cheating a little bit, as all these tracks were actually recorded in fancy studios, though most of them never got final mixes or mastering. But we wanted to put together an alternative history, like one of those sci-fi novels that imagines the South won the civil war or something. The player below answers the question, “What would TMJ’s fifth record have sounded like if it hadn’t taken them four years to find another label?”

We recorded dozens of songs after finishing the touring for Mutiny at the beginning of 1993 and the day Sandy left the band in the fall of ‘94, and while many of those eventually came out, either on the re-release of Green Eggs and Crack or the Gods and Sods collection, they never got assembled as they might have sounded in their own coherent package. So here we’ve combined those cuts with the original, unreleased versions of 6 tracks that wound up on …finally. All of them feature Sandy playing his Status bass and singing.

The original plan for album 5 (in Tim’s head, at least) had been to open with “Secret Handshake” and end with “Even the Queen.” What would have wound up in between those two is anybody’s guess. At least two of these probably would have been cut, and the order would likely have been different after the band argued about it for a while, but this is a reasonable approximation of what the denizens of an alternative universe got to buy at Tower Records (perhaps, in that alternate universe, Tower Records still exists).

Taken together, you get an odd mixture of bliss and resignation that feels quite a bit different from the loud-fast-still-rules vibe of …finally. Whether this is a good or a bad thing we leave to you to decide — that’s what comments sections are for, after all.

Update, 6/26: By popular demand, we’re making these tracks available for download. We hadn’t originally, because you can assemble most of this from existing albums if you’re so inclined, but in the name of convenience, and giving you more than streaming access to the Sandy …finally demos, here you go:

Download the Lost Album $9.99

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13 Responses to “The Rehearsal Tapes Series (Pilot Episode: The Lost Album)”

  1. Sean Says:

    God, I have to figure out how to burn this onto a CD. LOVE the Sandy versions of these tunes. LOVE (love) the site, Joy Boys!

  2. Bill Wikstrom Says:

    I concur (!).

    Are we given the option to download these tracks here? Nothing I clicked on gave me the “save link as” option. It’d be a tad easier (on a disc/on the iPod) than sitting here right now, in real time, listening to these tracks.

    I have a few of these from Gods & Sods or Say Her Name’s Live Tracks & Outtakes. It’s nice to …finally hear Sandy’s vocals on the tracks. They were a sorely missed component from late ’94 onwards. This collection of tracks in fact do have a feel of bliss and resignation. It sounds like a natural, organic progression from Mutiny – something the decidedly speedy and comparatively generic approach on …finally never really felt like.

    Whatever happened to “Perfect Criminal” and Blondie’s “Pretty Baby”?

  3. tim Says:

    Well, there’s a bit of a debate within the band about whether or not we should make the rehearsal tapes downloadable. Some want to, some don’t. Maybe that can be our next poll…

    Either way, “Perfect Criminal” will make it to the series one day, and all past series will be archived and accessible permanently through the site.

    I don’t believe there’s any tape of “Pretty Baby.” I certainly don’t have one. If anyone out there does, please send to poobah@toomuchjoy.com.

  4. Sean Says:

    I know I have a tape of a “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” cover from a College Park, Maryland show. Yes, I bootlegged that concert like Rerun at the Doobies. It was worth it. Now I just need to dig up that casette …

  5. matt Says:

    love it. even better than mutiny. you shouldn’t have waited to release it, in 1994 or 2009!

  6. IamSandy Says:

    Yeah, not sure why we waited either.

  7. Too Much Jay Says:

    Wow. Just amazing. You guys were my first favorite band, ever. I bought “Mutiny” in Junior High solely based on the album art and never stopped listening. I still force my fiancee to listen to Son Of Sam I Am at least once a month and I think it may slowly be growing on her, I recently overheard her singing “1954” in the shower.

    I know this adds nothing to the discussion but I’ve been looking for the opportunity to enthuse to you guys about my undying fandom for years now and have finally found the place. Those demos rule too. Thanks for putting this stuff up!

  8. Bill Wikstrom Says:

    I’ve never heard “Pretty Baby” by you guys. I only remember reading about it via Joybuzzer circa ’94 or so. Thus, my assumption of it’s existence. So, much like “I’m Your Wallet” appearing in ‘Swimming With Sharks’ (also read in JB) – it never materialized.

    I do recall pogoing next to Penn Jillette at the Lion’s Den in Autumn of 1993 to TMJ’s speedy cover of Tom Waits’ “I Don’t Want To Grow Up”.

    Oddly enough, The Ramones covered the same song at the same tempo a year or so later. Hmmm…

  9. petro Says:

    Gotta make those available!!!!

  10. Grover Says:

    PLEASE…let us purchase this…you know I mean it by using all caps on please!

  11. Tim Says:

    Seriously, make these available for us to buy. it’s money. You like money, right?
    You like money, and we don’t like sitting at the laptop listening to streaming audio that keeps breaking up.

  12. TimC Says:

    I guess i should add the C to my name since there’s this other “tim” already on the board.
    But seriously: Make the tracks available for download. Listening to music at the computer just sucks.

  13. Sean Says:

    It didn’t stay with me on …finally, but for some reason, I can’t stop listening to Even The Queen now. “Here’s my sorry smile. There goes all my charm” is such a great lyric, and I love the cadence of TQ’s delivery. A gem I’m thrilled to rediscover.

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