Top Cassette Tape Demos by Big Artists

Updated on April 29, 2020
Jesse Drzal profile image

I am a lifelong music fan and musician, and also enjoy raising analog awareness and promoting the culture.

Getting Word Out on the Street

All the best and most successful musicians, for the most part, had meager beginnings. The biggest and most respected acts had to promote tirelessly to get their product and message out to the public. Whether as a medium to interact with fans at shows or promotional tools to hand out to radio stations, and also producers and promoters alike, these hungry and up and coming artists needed a tool to meet these needs. Enter the cassette.

Cassettes were relatively cheap and easy to produce, were small and compact, and you could still include cover art options as well. Many times these tapes were dubbed from a four or eight track recording system and produced by the band members or artists themselves.

The rare and intimate variety of these recordings can be a special experience for a die-hard fan, making these some of the most cherished items in a collectors library. Here are some of the most desirable cassette demos.

Vintage boombox
Vintage boombox | Source

Metallica No Life Till Leather Demo

Metallica remains one of the most prolific recording artists ever. While some may argue that the quality of their material waned significantly in the early nineties, fans generally agree that early Metallica albums remain classics, forging a blueprint for extreme and heavy music. One of the more sought after demos by the group is the No Life Till Leather demo.

Recorded in July of 1982, it is thought to be the band's most widely circulated demo recording. These are essentially early recordings and takes of songs that would appear on the Kill 'Em All debut. The tape made a big impact on the underground metal scene, with original copies still being sought by collectors. The recording was re-issued in early 2015, as part of Record Store Day, offering a limited edition run made to look like the original copy.

''No Life 'Til Leather'' by Metallica

Eminem And The Soul Intent Demos

One of the most polarizing and controversial figures in the music industry is Eminem. Eminem burst onto the hip-hop scene in the late nineties, with a sharp, witty rhyming style and lyrics. He also went on to work with notable artists such as Dr. Dre, Redman, and DMX, amongst others.

Eminem spent time developing chops in his formative years, most notably as a part of the Detroit underground rap ensemble, Soul Intent. Although raw and lacking quality studio dressings, the content gives a glimpse of the style that would become his trademark and is valued highly to the hardcore fan.

''Biterphobia'' by Eminem

Tool 72826 Demo

Tool has been described as thinking man's metal, with cutting edge mind-bending lyrics, razor sharp precise rhythmic stylings, and also a high level of competent songwriting structures. The band has cultivated and accumulated an extensive fan base, which grows to this day.

Enter the 72826 demo. Released in 1991, this recording features a studio version of the song ''Cold And Ugly'' only previously available on the bands live E.P, Opiate. It features different takes of the songs ''Sober'' and "Crawl Away", which were on the debut album, Undertow. It is said around 1,500 copies of this cassette demo were produced, making this a very sought after and collectible demo on the secondary market.

Wu-Tang Clan Protect Ya Neck Demos

Hailing from Staten Island, New York comes Wu-Tang Clan and their hard-hitting, genre-defining brand of hip hop. This ensemble of artists, produced and led by mastermind Rza, employed martial arts imagery, furthering to add story and mystique to the groups music.

Before they dropped the debut album, Enter The Wu (36 Chambers), which by some is regarded as the best rap album of all time, came the Protect Ya Neck demo tape, recorded in 1990. Produced by Rza, this demo features songs that would be included on the landmark full-length album.

It's All About Me'' by Wu Tang Clan

Mr. Bungle OU818 Demo

Forming in 1985 but ultimately disbanding in 2004, Mr. Bungle were on the cutting edge of experimental music, fusing element of funk, thrash metal, jazz, and electronic sampling. The last of a series of four cassette demos, the OU818 demo serves as one of the groups more funky offerings, with the band locking in on tons of groove.

This was also the prequel to the ensemble's first proper album, Mr. Bungle, produced by jazz experimentist, John Zorn. The band collected a huge underground following through the years, with this and other demos garnering huge collector interest.

''Slowly Growing Deaf'' by Mr. Bungle

In Closing

There are many more examples of highly desirable demos from the top artists of yesterday and today. The early recordings offer a glimpse of talent that would come, like something written in the back pages of a journal. Demand for these and other desirable demos will only grow, adding to the mystique of these special recordings.


Which One Of These Recordings Has Made The Biggest Impact On Music?

See results
Tascam four track recording machine
Tascam four track recording machine | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 The Write Life


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)