Given the dubious quality of some music that gets released I occasionally find myself wondering quite how awful the stuff record companies reject can be. Now I have my answer! New York magazine’s Vulture blog has discovered a tumblr which features demos rejected by an anonymous label. These choice cuts—and I use that term in the most sarcastic way imaginable—range from a none-more-cheesy Christmas song (“So take me to the Santa Claus Parade/I’ve always loved the magic that it made…”) to a diabolically lame cover of “Let’s Get It On”. The whole, hilarious, thing reminds me of a passage from real-life British ex-A&R man John Niven’s fantastic recent novel Kill Your Friends in which he describes the average record company demo-listening session in the following words: “Occasionally, if it’s a rainy afternoon and we’re really bored and want something to do, a few of the A&R staff will gather in someone’s office, roll ourselves a couple of thick spliffs, uncork a bottle or red, and go through one of the sacks marked ‘UNSOLICITED DEMOS’. These sessions usually end with two or three of us on our hands and knees on the floor howling, gasping for breath, ribs and facial muscles aching.”
Of course it’s easy—and fun!— to make mock of such hapless stabs at success. But should we—and the whoever made the tracks available—be feeling guilty inbetween our guffaws?