Liz Phair shares demo “Bomb”, an early version of “Stratford-On-Guy”: Stream

From the Girly-Sound to Guyville: The 25th Anniversary Box Set version of Sooty

Liz Phair, photo by Elizabeth Weinberg
Liz Phair, photo by Elizabeth Weinbergc

Liz Phair will celebrate the 25th anniversary of her landmark debut album, Exile in Guyville, next month. On May 4th, she’ll deliver her massive Girly-Sound to Guyville: The 25th Anniversary Box Setwhich features a remastered version of the 1993 record as well as the first ever restored audio re-releases of the three demo cassettes Phair made under the name Girly-Sound. Today, she’s shared a peek at one of those updated tapes with the Sooty track “Bomb”.

Originally recorded in 1991, “Bomb” would later be revisited for Guyville as “Stratford-On-Guy”. Here, it’s a layered, lo-fi alternative track, hardly hinting at the dirtier sound Phair would adopt later on. Even the chorus is something more twee, with Phair singing, “I said look/ Look to your left, passengers/ Look, look to your right/ You can pretend that you’re here from outer space/ But this is your very first sight.” It still has its darker moments, though, as when the hook’s lyrics change for the final refrain: “Look to your right/ Cause I’m gonna take this plane out in less than five minutes/ And this is your very last sight.”

Take a listen below.

Phair has also shared the remastered version of “Stratford-On-Guy”, as well as a digitally updated version of the single’s music video. Describing the creation of the visuals in a press release, Phair said,

“We were in talks with labels about the second record – Matador was being courted by Atlantic – and Danny Goldberg came backstage to meet me. I told him about my idea for the next video – ‘Stratford-On-Guy’ – explaining that we were stalled due to budget constraints. He asked, ‘What do you need?’ I said, ‘A private plane to fly over downtown LA and get footage at night.’ I wanted to shoot the electric veins of the city. He just said, ‘Done!’ It was one of those real rock star moments.

So my husband, his friend Michael Mees, who was the DP, and I went up in this 8 seater Leer jet and got the greatest footage ever. We were literally flying sideways so Michael could shoot straight down over the rooftops of all the buildings. We were executing these tight turns above the skyscrapers and the G force was incredible. You could feel your internal organs dragging to the other side of your body cavity. Michael was using this really heavy camera and Jim, my husband, had to hold onto him as we shot. The lens of the camera was pressing down against the window pane and I remember Michael nervously joking – and not really in jest – that the glass beneath him better hold. It was so fun. We made two approaches into the airport so we could capture that fantastic runway lighting. Those images are etched in my memory forever. I seem to recall I somehow wedged my head up between the pilots like a dog peering over the backseat so I could see that awesome 180* cockpit view, too. Good times!”

Check out the clip below.

Phair is also embarking on a US tour during which she’ll play songs from her Girly-Sound tapes live for the first time. Find those dates here.