8 Demo Versions Of Famous Songs You'll Barely Recognise

Songs don't grow on trees, you know.

It's so easy to forget where songs come from. They blast from radios, mobile phones and computer speakers, but it's rare that we actually stop for a moment and consider the sheer amount of effort that went into creating them.

Musicians are geniuses, we think €“ and some of them truly are. But that doesn't negate the fact that songs have to be written. For every €œit just came to me€ story, there are two dozen laboured processes. It can take days to write songs, weeks, sometimes even over the course of years. And that's not to mention the recording process, working out the instrumentation and how everything is going to sound. Which is why demo versions are so fascinating. They give us a direct insight into the process of songwriting, capturing a unique moment before the final product and making it so much easier to understand how songs are made.

8. Muse €“ Plug In Baby

Released in 2001 as the lead single from Muse's second album Origin Of Symmetry, Plug In Baby features one of rock's most iconic opening riffs, a riff that has appeared on multiple Greatest Riffs Of All Time lists and even topped Total Guitar's list for the 2000s.

What's amazing, then, is that the demo €“ written four years earlier and recorded in 1997 €“ completely lacked the very riff for which the song is famous. The demo sounds much more like something from the band's first album Showbiz, which makes sense given the fact it was written before that album even released.

Commonly found reading, sitting firmly in a seat at the cinema (bottle of water and a Freddo bar, please) or listening to the Mountain Goats.