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13 Songs That Were Better As Demo Recordings

Of course The-Dream's demo is better than Beyoncé's version. And other blasphemies.

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1. The Replacements, "Can't Hardly Wait (Tim Version)"

Sire Records / Via

A watered-down, horn-heavy version of this song appears on Pleased to Meet Me, but the demo is THE version. It's a perfectly messy, essential recording.

(Official version)

2. The-Dream, "1+1"

John Lamparski/WireImage / Getty Images

Bey's version is pretty great too, but The-Dream's original demo is a little less melodramatic. There's a rough-sounding percussiveness that makes this version hit harder. Oh, and the vocal harmonies on the chorus — so good!

(Official version)

3. The Beatles, "Sexy Sadie (Anthology 3 Version)"

Apple Records / Via

This version is less jaunty than the White Album version and more, well, sexy.

(Official version)

4. Prince, "Manic Monday"

We've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: This is so, so good.

(Official version)

5. Drake, "Fall for Your Type (Original Version)"

George Pimentel/WireImage / Getty Images

One-hundred percent less Jamie Foxx Auto-Tune warble.

(Official version)

6. Tom Waits, "There's Only Alice (Demo)"

Hulton Archive/Stringer / Getty Images

The official Alice version is nice too, but it's really refreshing to hear Tom Waits be a little less campy and more unadorned.

(Official version)

7. Kanye West, "Home"

Christopher Polk/Staff / Getty Images

This turned into Graduation's "Homecoming." The demo is more successful at being celebratory without seeming pompous or faux uplifting.

(Official version)

8. Feist, "Mushaboom (Red Demos Version)"

Recorded on an eight-track in a bedroom, this version is achingly intimate where the studio version is cloyingly cutesy.

(Official version)

9. Fleetwood Mac, "Sara (Cleaning Lady Version)"

Warner Bros. Records / Via

Charmingly off-the-cuff and breezy. Stevie sounds so wonderfully natural.

(Official version)

10. The Jesus & Mary Chain, "On the Wall (Demo)"

Warner Bros. Records / Via

Strips away some of the dark nihilism JAMC sometimes indulged in and replaces it with a beautiful, chiming pop song.

(Official version)

11. Ghostface Killah, "Flowers (Original Mix)"

Epic Records / Via

The original version of Bulletproof Wallets was notoriously ravaged by sampling payment issues. No remake was hit harder than "Flowers" — the final album version feels chintzy and dated in comparison.

(Official version)

12. Neil Young, "Too Far Gone"

"Too Far Gone" is a gem from Chrome Dreams, an unreleased batch of demos that Young recorded in the '70s. It didn't appear again until it was re-recorded — slicker, more canned-sounding — for 1989's Freedom.

(Official version)

13. Guided by Voices, "Teenage FBI (Demo)"

TVT Records / Via

The demo version of this song is one of GBV's best songs — raw, rollicking, impossibly catchy. The Do the Collapse version, produced by Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, is an almost embarrassing wobbly new-wave mess.

(Official version)