I first became aware of Wolfmother via LSJUMB - “Woman” and “Joker And The Thief” are two of the songs in the Band’s repertoire. But I was only properly introduced to Wolfmother years later, when their then-latest album Cosmic Egg was a regular staple of morning commutes to work with a friend and former coworker.
Ever since, I’ve been a fan. Much of their music is reminiscent of classic rock groups I listened to as a kid - notably, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin1 - but they have songs with sounds ranging from folksy to pop to borderline-metal. I’ve listened to their full discography - or thought I did, until I stumbled upon this gem while browsing YouTube:
This track comes from the Wolfmother 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition album, which, in addition to the songs in the original Wolfmother album, include some demo tracks.
A few things about this particular demo video:
- The visuals are awesome. (Seriously. If you haven’t done it already, click the play button above!)
- The words in the song are vastly different from the version that was eventually released.
- Poor rhythm management, mumbled lyrics, and psychadelic drop aside, this track quite closely resembles the studio version.
As is to be expected, most of the tracks in this album do not stray too far stylistically from their refined versions. One demo, however, stands out as being rather different from the finished product:
Oh. My. God. was my first thought upon hearing this track.
While the “Woman” that we’ve come to know and love is angry with a touch of psychadelic, this one is… soulful.2 The most mind-blowing part is that changing the tone of this song adds a brand new perspective to the lyrics, which remain (more or less) unchanged between the two versions.
This song would have been a beautiful addition to the kaleidoscope of rock sub-genres in the Wolfmother portfolio. One can only imagine why it wasn’t. Did the record labels dislike this version? Did the band members?
I’m so sad this didn’t end up making the cut. I, for one, hope that Stockdale decides to further develop this version in the future.