Stream Fugazi's Raw 'First Demo' Cassette, Recorded in 1988 - Rolling Stone
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Stream Fugazi’s Raw ‘First Demo’ Cassette From 1988

The release contains songs the band would re-record throughout its career


Fugazi performing in New York City in 1993. The group is now streaming its 1988 'First Demo' cassette.

Steve Eichner/Getty

Fugazi recorded their first demo recording in 1988, which they distributed on cassette for free at concerts at the time, and now they are officially putting it out. In advance of its release date next week, the newly remastered First Demo is now streaming in its entirety below. It will be available on CD and vinyl; the LP includes an MP3 download card.

The post-hardcore ensemble had recorded the demo at Arlington, Virginia’s Inner Ear Studios in January 1988 after having played only 10 shows, because they wanted to hear what they sounded like. The demo contains raw and reverberating versions of material that would later appear on the band’s first two EPs, which came out in 1988 and 1989, as well as its debut LP, Repeater, and 3 Songs EP in 1990.

The group would later record the demo’s “Furniture” for its Furniture EP in 2001, released a week before its most recent album, The Argument. “The Word” appeared on the compilation 20 Years of Dischord. The band is currently on hiatus.

The only track from the recordings to get an official release was “In Defense of Humans,” which appeared on the 1989 compilation State of The Union, a currently out-of-print album whose sales benefited two causes at the time: the American Civil Liberties Union and the Community for Creative Non-Violence. Although the group circulated the tape at the time, the new release marks the first time all 11 tracks have been available in one place, since they left off “Turn Off Your Guns” at the time.

The release of First Demo coincides with the completion of the Fugazi Live Series, which has documented every concert the group played between September 3rd, 1987 and November 4th, 2002, when it played its final show (so far). In addition to information on more than 1,000 concerts, the series also offers audio from nearly 900 concerts that the band and fans recorded.

In This Article: Fugazi, Ian MacKaye


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