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On A Friday
The Name
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On A Friday
London School of Economics 1988 photos 1 2 3 4

Reviews: 1 2 3

Cufew: 1 2

1998 Demo, Summer 1990 Demos, On A Friday Demo, Manic Hedgehog Demo, Demos We Don't Have

1988 Demo
When:  1988
Where:  Woodworm Studios, Oxfordshire
1. Happy Song
2. To Be A Brilliant Light
3. Sinking Ship
Thom Yorke - Vocals, Guitar
Ed O'Brien - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jonny Greenwood - Keyboards
Colin Greenwood - Bass
Phil Selway - Drums, Backing Vocals
Rasmus Peterson - Saxophone
Liz Cotton - Saxophone
Charlotte Cotton - Saxophone
Engineered and mixed by Dave Pegg

Summer 1990 Demos

When:  Summer 1990
Where:  Clifton Hampden Village Hall, Nuneham Courtenay Village Hall, Various Bedrooms
1. Climbing Up a Bloody Great Hill
2. Somebody
3. Mr. B
4. What is that you See?
5. Dance Sucker
6. Upside Down
7. Shindig
8. Give It Up
9. How Can You Be Sure?
10. Life with the Big F
11. Keep Strong
12. Rattlesnake
13. Burning Bush
14. Tell Me Bitch
15. New Generation
  • This tape is a collection of demos made over the summer of 1990. All the members were by this point at different Universities around the country, but reconvened over the summer, with the exception of Phil who was in Ireland, although at this time the band did not have a settled name, having dropped On A Friday, but not come up with anything better. The band's working title was 'Shindig', which survived long enough for Thom to spray paint it on his acoustic guitar case, but by the time of their next 'proper' demo, they had reverted to On A Friday. In order to keep recording and rehearsing a school friend who had recorded some previous demos for the band was drafted in to keep the drum stool warm. The Clifton Hampden tracks were recorded over a number of weeks with this line up, while Jonny took the four track home with him in between where him, Thom and Colin worked on tracks. When Phil returned the band recorded another demo track in rehearsal, 'What's That You See?', significant because it was the first time Jonny moved from keyboards to guitar. The song was the only one from this period that remained in the set up until just prior to the deal with Parlophone.
  • "Also during the summer of 90, Phil from On A Friday had gone to Ireland on a romantic quest, so I was asked to fill in for them so they could keep rehearsing, and we also recorded a number of songs on my now aged four track. When for a while it seemed that Phil might not return I was asked if I would be interested in the job, but, showing my excellent A@R skills, I refused, since I was already about as busy as I could be in the Rhinos and Freak!. As it was, it didn't come up, since Phil returned that September." -Nigel Powell
  • Tracks 5, 8, & 12 are significant tracks as the first time under the band banner they had worked with technology, in this case drum loops from Public Enemy and Soul To Soul. Since the band did not own a sampler, the loops were generated by Thom repeatedly recording from his walkman onto a track of the Portastudio, hence the loop stuttering ocassionally in Dance Sucka. In Rattlesnake he adjusted the eq on his walkman as the loops were recorded, which gives the drum track it's texture.
  • Thom, said in a recording on Signal Radio before performing How Can you be Sure? live on Feb. 11, 1993, “that this is actually a song we've had for a while we just demoed it.” You can listen to it here.
  • On January 27, 2003 a whole slew of songs were registered under RADIOHEAD band members at The Warner Chappell Website, some titles found there matched the lyrics of these demos. These titles were registered the same day as the Hail to the Thief titles. All of this of course came after the songs leaked online.
  • Tracks 1, 3, 9, 10, 11: Recorded at Clifton Hampden Village Hall, drums - Nigel Powell
    Track 4: Recorded at Nuneham Courtenay Village Hall, drums - Phil Selway
    Other tracks: Recorded in one or more bedrooms.

    Where the Demo Came From
    News Source
    googlyamnesiac, a member of the Atease messageboard, picked up a CD in a record store (Bleeker Street Records) in New York which contained all these unreleased tracks + bonus tracks. The cds were relased on the internet August 19, 2002 (1).

    Info coming as soon as I find it about how the 15th track etc. was leaked

    Original Bootleg that leaked the tracks

    On A Friday
    When:  April 1991
    Where: Dungeon Studios
    CoverOn A Friday
    Tracklist According to Cassette Cover:
    1. What is that you See?
    2. Stop Whispering
    3. Give it Up
    Nov. 1991 Review
    Manic Hedgehog Demo
    When:  Sept. 1991
    Where: Courtyard Studios
    Tracklist According to Cassette Cover:
    1. I Can't
    2. Thinking About You
    3. Nothing Touches Me
    4. Phillipa Chicken
    5. You
    The Other Demos
    The Illiterate Hands Demo, On A Friday Demo, Illiterate Hands Demo, Illiterate Hands Demo, Nightshade Demo,
    Thom Yorke Solo Tracks, Illiterate Hands Songs, Thom & Jonny Songs

    There were many other recordings involving the band & members of the band that would be RADIOHEAD before they took the name. Most of this information is from the official Unbelievable Truth biography. These are heavily obscure demos which will probably never be heard by the public. All demos etc. date before the Union Street Demo, if just barely.

    The Illiterate Hands Demo
    Who:  The Illiterate Hands which consisting of Matt Hawkesworth (guitars), Jonny Greenwood (keyboards, harmonica), Andy Yorke (vocals),  Simon Newton (bass), & Mark Schofield (manager).
    When:  Early 1987
    Where:  Sphincter Studios (Nigel Powell's Parent's House)
    The Story Behind It:
    "The most outgoing guy in school, Alan Welby, had, for some reason, brought his drum machine into an art lesson. My curiosity overcame my shyness, so I sidled over to ask about it. I think around this time I'd got my first Portastudio (a four track cassette recorder with a very basic mixer connected), so we chatted about that for a while, and through him I met a lot of other music connected guys. Eventually, hearing through Welby (as we referred to him - it was a public school after all) that I had some recording equipment, Mark Schofield, who was managing a band called The Illiterate Hands, approached me to find out if I would record them. Through him I met Jonny, and we formed an instant connection, discovering we used the same drum machine (the SpecDrum, a small box attached to the back of a ZX  Spectrum computer - what dynamic and exciting lives we led). I also met Andy, but my earliest memories of him are how completely silent he was. Early in 1987 we convened at my parent's house to record 8 songs onto my portastudio, although two of them were alternate versions of the same songs. For a reason that now escapes me, I insisted that the recording be credited to 'Sphincter Studios'. The recording came out to my satisfaction, and cemented very close friendships between me and Andy, and me and Jonny."  -Nigel Powell

    On A Friday Demo
    Who:  On A Friday including Jonny Greenwood
    When:  June 1987
    Where:  Sphincter Studios (Nigel Powell's Parent's House)
    The Story Behind It:
    "..Andy mentioned that his brother was jealous of the quality of the Illiterate Hands' demo (??),and was asking who'd done it. So after my exams that June (1987), I spent a good few weeks of the summer recording a demo for On A Friday, who by this time had included Jonny in their ranks, as a keyboard player."  -Nigel Powell
    Illiterate Hands Demo
    Who:  Illiterate Hands as mentioned above plus Nigel Powell (Drums)
    When:  1988?
    Where:  a big studio near Oxford
    The Story Behind It:
    "..Illiterate Hands recorded some more songs at a big studio near Oxford through a school friend whose dad worked for mixing desk makers SSL.."  -Nigel Powell

    Illiterate Hands Demo
    Who:  Illiterate Hands
    When:  1988?
    Where:  Sphincter Studios (Nigel Powell's Parent's House)
    The Story Behind It:

    "..some more recording happened at my parent's house for IH.."  -Nigel Powell

    Nightshade Demo
    Who:  Nightshade which consisted of Nigel Powell (Drums), Adrian Powell (?), Jonny Greenwood (Keyboard), Rik (Bass)
    When:  1988?
    Where:  Sphincter Studios (Nigel Powell's Parent's House)
    The Story Behind It:
    "..some more recording happened at my parent's house for ..Nightshade.."  -Nigel Powell
    It is not sure who in the Nightshade lineup was on this demo.

    Thom Yorke Solo Tracks
    Who:  Thom Yorke
    When:  1988?

    Where:  Sphincter Studios (Nigel Powell's Parent's House)
    The Story Behind It:
    "..some more recording happened at my parent's house for IH, Nightshade, and some solo tracks for Thom.."  -Nigel Powell

    Illiterate Hands Songs
    Who:  Illiterate Hands
    When:  1988? 1989?
    Where:  Probably Sphincter Studios
    Shave The Beaten Trail & ???
    The Story Behind It:
    "By this time Andy had become a mean saxophonist, adding a great solo, heavily influenced by 'Fireplace' from REM's 'Document' to 'Shave The Beaten Trail', which is also the first time me and Andy wrote a song together. It certainly bore all the hallmarks of one of mine, since there were so many chords in it that Jonny had to read them off a piece of paper to keep up, and had some impenetrable but ecological sounding lyrics from Andy. It wasn't much good though. Although we collected all these songs together, I don't think we ever tried to sell any copies, so it's probably buried somewhere in time, thankfully." -Nigel Powell

    Thom & Jonny Songs
    Who:  Thom Yorke & Jonny Greenwood
    When:  1988?

    Where:  Jonny’s bedroom
    The Story Behind It:
    Being the only ones of On A Friday still in town Thom and Jonny wrote songs, taping them on a four-track in Jonny’s bedroom. Thom: “Composing songs with Jonny made me feel more comfortable with writing lyrics--an activity I hadn’t felt like bothering with for a long time.”
    Various Demo Information:
    • Excerpt from From A Great Height:
      One afternoon, a young man named John Butcher, a close friend of Chris's assistant, came into Courtyard with a demo tape. It was the complete works of a band which featured two of Butcher's classmates, Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood. "You couldn't hear any one band on it," Hufford says now of his first taste of On A Friday. "There were some good tunes but it was all obviously ripped off mercilessly." He might have ignored it were it not for the 15th track. "It was a weird looped-up dance thing which was completely mental but had something about it that was very different. I asked if they had anything else. After about six months John brought in another tape with Stop Whispering and What's That You Say on it. These were great songs. Now they had an identity."
    • The first demo was brought in about six months before the 2nd which means it was probably brought there about Oct. 1990. The 2nd demo mentioned was the Self Titled On A Friday Demo recorded at Dungeon Studios in April 1991. It was the Manic Hedgehog demo & Drill that were recorded at Courtyard Studios. Manic Hedgehog was recorded & distributed in September 1991 & work began on Drill in February 1992.
    Non-Demoed or Unfound Demo Songs:
    This is an extract taken from the From Curfew Magazine:
    'All five members of the band are Oxford born and bred and all have returned to their home town after time away at college. How much influence has Oxford had on their songs?

    Tom: "Loads. ‘Jerusalem’ is all about Oxford. So is ‘Everybody Lies Through Their Teeth’. It’s such a weird place and it’s very important to my writing."

    I'm Tired. Sleep Tonight.
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