Tracking Down Demos
If you're a fan of a particular artist, you want as much as you can get from that artist,
you know, the albums, the singles, the t-shirts, all the downloads and all the swag and that's great when your favourite group releases an album.
But with some bands going 234 or even more years between records, things get kind of dry. Now in the olden days, that was too bad distribution systems being what they were access to everything a band did was pretty much impossible.
The access was tightly, tightly controlled, but the best you could hope for was for one of those rare elusive and highly legal bootleg records, unauthorized recordings issued by some shadowy label without the permission of the artist.
Mostly these bootleg recordings featured live performances. After all, they were the easiest to make, but some contained stuff in the vaults that was never ever designed to be heard by anyone outside of the band's inner circle.
Heck, some of this material wasn't even heard by the executives of the group's record label for years. We had this cat and mouse game between the labels and the artists and the bootleggers and hard core fans were right in the middle, waiting, hoping and praying that they could somehow get their hands on this stuff.
Bootleggers moved offshore to places like Italy, Singapore and Indonesia where copyright laws were, uh shall we say a little looser?
One of the great bootleg labels was called KTS. They were renowned for two things,
super high quality live recordings that they got from somewhere and a wide selection of studio recordings that were never ever supposed to be released. I have a bunch of KTS releases and they are very, very good.
Then along came the internet and the bootleg CD industry suddenly dried up pretty much overnight. Why bother putting out something that you had to manufacture in a Backstreet factory in China when you could just put it all online.
Meanwhile, a strange thing happened with performers and managers instead of being all freaked out about this unfinished or unapproved stuff getting released into the wild by someone else, they started doing it themselves.
I mean, why not use this material to forge a deeper relationship with their best customers, their biggest fans. The result has been an explosion of interesting material from some very big bands.
And here's how you can track down some of it for yourself.
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