Portastudio Demos 1982

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The Tascam Portastudio 244 - A very common multi-track cassette recorder of the 80ies

A series of recording sessions, among others for Reptile House EP tracks, that to all likeliness
took place at The Sisters Headquarters of the time at Eldritch's home in Leeds in September 1982.

Just as the name indicates, these songs were taped on a four-track recording machine, most likely a Tascam Portastudio.
The Tascam Portastudio was the world's first four-track recorder of the time and based on a standard audio cassette tape.
It cleared the way for easy-going low-fi recordings and the emergence of independent home-recording and production.

Even in the field of professional music (as it in the case of the Sisters of Mercy and their Portastudio Demos),
this technique was highly appreciated and finally led to the birth of a whole new genre of rock music characterized
by its minimal production cost: Lo-fi music.

The present demos were used later for several bootlegs such Hard Reign (LP), Before The Flood, Rare Obscurities,
Acoustics From The Beehive which is even subtitled "Portastudio Demos/Floodland Demos", and plenty others.
As a matter of fact all these verions are recordings with a moderate sound quality.

The tracks recorded during the several demo recording sessions in 1982/3 were as follows and mostly appear on the various bootlegs in this order:

Track Duration Available for a listen under
Valentine                            -         Version 1    4:18 Valentine (Portastudio Demo Version 1)
Body Politic aka Fix    2:47 Body Politic aka Fix (Portastudio Demo)
Lights    5:20 Lights (Portastudio Demo)
Anaconda    3:05 Anaconda Demo
Driver    3:17 Driver (Portastudio Demo)
Good Things    4:00 The Sisters of Mercy - Good Things (Demo)
Phantom    3:01 Phantom (Portastudio Demo)
Burn aka Burn It Down    2:53                                        Burn It Down (Portastudio Demo)
Burn                                    -         instrumental                               5:31 called Kiss The Carpet (Instrumental) on various bootlegs
Valentine                             -          Version 2    4:10 Valentine #2 - Before the Flood


  • The two versions of Valentine are relatively similar, but clearly at different pitches. Possibly just EQed differently.
  • Driver is an unreleased song. The first two lines are the same as in Heartland, the rest of the song is about how
    they'll drive away, at high speed down the highway, not caring about anything.
  • On Burn (It Down), the drumbeat is slightly different (the characteristic "Burn" drumbeat does play once or twice at the beginning),
    and the only part of this song officially released was a few lines, recycled as the backwards part of Burn)