Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rare Wondermint Demos

We are starved for more brilliance by one of the best Power Pop bands there ever was, the Wondermints. Though recently best known as Brian Wilson's backing band (leader Darian Sahanaja is credited with convincing Brian Wilson to finally re-record and release his concept album "Smile"), each or the Wondermints CDs feature amazing melodies informed by a fascination with California 60's pop. In their history, they have released only four CDs:

1995 Self Titled
1996 Wonderful World of the Wondermints
1998 Bali
2002 Mind if We Make Love to You

Each of these are absolutely essential, however all but "Mind if We Make Love to You" are out of print at this point. Somebody needs to re-release these gems, and soon!

Several years ago, there was a set of MP3s in shareland of songs from their "Colored Tape Demos" that didn't make the Self Titled Debut release. More info on that from the All Music Guide review below:

"Throughout the early '90s, the Wondermints recorded a bevy of exceptional homemade demos and small indie singles primarily in co-founder Darian Sahanaja's bedroom studio. Slowly but surely that music circulated through the Los Angeles underground music scene on a series of semi-legendary tapes identified solely by their colors. The band's music, however, still flew under the radar of the music business until the Japanese label Toy's Factory picked up the slack, releasing an eponymous debut in 1995 that cherry-picked the very best songs from those original tapes."

The longstanding Wondermints Fan Site provides more details about which demo tracks were chosen to comprise their debut CD and which were left off.

I've collected many of the left-off demos and b-sides in the link below. Most of these tracks don't sound terrific and I am missing a few tunes (I purposely left off a set of 6 hissy live in-studio cover tunes that never sounded like they belonged with the rest of the more finished tracks). I think that these tracks are absolutely outstanding, a must hear. I know that I'm missing a few tunes - so if anyone has better versions or a more complete set, please let me know.... Hopefully there will be an official re-release of their debut someday enhanced with these "extra" tracks. I'll be standing in line...

Listen to the Colored Tape Demos and let me know if you find these tunes as amazing as I do!

As a bonus, go check out the excellent Power Pop Criminals blog for a link to a great unreleased Wondermints concert CD from Japan.


Rolf said...

Thanks much.

jay strange said...

heres eight tracks ive got that are not on your set....

Haper said...

Jay. Thanks these are really great. From the original tapes I think I'm still looking for

She Knows

and the Beach Boys/Brian Wilson covers:

I Just Wasn't Made For These Times


Darlin'/God Only Knows

Let me know if you have any these ones.