1984 Promotional Demo Tape

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1984 Promotional Demo Tape demo tape cover
1984 Promotional Demo Tape
Demo tape by They Might Be Giants
First released 1984
Release details / collectors: Show | Hide
Tracks 5 Last demo tape 1983 Demo Tape
Label TMBG Music Length 11:29 Next demo tape Wiggle Diskette

Track listing[edit]

# Title Length  Lyrics Guitar Tab
1 Everything Right Is Wrong (1984 Demo) 2:48


2 Number Three (1984 Demo) 1:38


3 Hell Hotel (1984 Demo) 1:56


4 Youth Culture Killed My Dog (1984 Demo) 2:22


5 They Might Be Giants (1984 Demo) 2:45  N/A


  • A small card containing the tape's tracklisting and the Dial-A-Song number, then titled "Dial-A-Machine" was found alongside a promotional tape from 1985 that was discovered by a Warhol Museum curator in 2001.
  • This tape may have been created as early as September 1984, as the Dial-A-Song number listed on the cassette contains the 718 area code.
  • Another copy of this tape is currently held in the Yale University archives in New Haven, with the hidden track omitted. The tape comes from the papers of Jim Fouratt, co-founder and manager of Danceteria, a venue that They Might Be Giants first performed at in September 1984.
  • This tape was reviewed in issue 18 of the popular New Jersey-based music zine Jersey Beat. Dating to November 1984, this is among the earliest known published writings on the band.
They Might Be Giants (4 song cassette)
Oddball humor has always been a staple of rock 'n' roll, even before Dr. Demento made his mark on the world. But few bands can pull it off like TMBG. Every one of these 4 songs is credible and fun. The cuts are short and comical, like the social commentary "Youth Culture Killed My Dog," and the c/w spoof (complete with tubas) entitled "#3." Before you can pluck down cash to see the band, you can check out their Dial-A-Song hotline - (212) 387-6962 - which promises a different tune every day.


Rumored 1984 demo tape[edit]

Also allegedly released in 1984, but essentially debunked in 2013, was a rumored demo tape initially perpetuated by an email from a fan to Jonathan Chaffer of tmbg.org on January 6, 1996, prompting him to add the tape to the TMBG.org Discography which subsequently carried it over to TMBW:[1]

Date: Sat, 06 Jan 96 17:58:44 0500
From: Andy Friedman <noise@nando.net>
To: jchaffer@tmbg.org

A friend of my called me the other day with some pretty cool news--she uncovered an old They Might Be Giants tape which I hadn't heard of and isn't on the archive. It's got a big pink and orange head on the cover and discretly says "They Might Be Giants" in the corner. There were five songs, if I remember correctly, and two of them were called Kitchen Door and Rules. I haven't heard it but several other sources have told me it is Theyesque. I was just wondering if anyone else had heard of this.

The tape was only rumored to exist and a copy from a fan never surfaced. As such, the tape was likely invented through the above story and passed along as a legend since. In 2013, John Flansburgh commented on the tape on the TMBG Are OK Tumblr: "Sounds fake. I don't recognize either as lyrics... but maybe they are fragments or made up after the fact. I guess I’d have to hear it or see a lyric. But yeah, seems fake."[2]