Unreleased Sator songs part 1

JULY 2006

In late 2005, while waiting for “Basement Noise” to be released I went through all our 24-track tapes to check what’s still in the vaults. I found quite a few unreleased tracks. Some of them will most certainly be released eventually. It might be as b-sides, or maybe we should put them all together for a “From the vaults” CD. What do you think? You can listen to a few of them on our Sounds-section.

Photo by Ola Solving

Here’s the first report of what I’ve found.

24-track recordings

These are songs recorded in the studio as demos or for possible release. For various reasons they never made it and remains unreleased. All tracks were recorded at Music A Matic studio except where mentioned otherwise.

ANGEL ANGEL (Kiesbye/Norberg/Gäfvert/Olsson)
An outtake from the “Slammer!” album. This was actually one of the first songs we wrote after Björn Clarin left Sator Codex. As I remember it was inspired by the band Love And Rockets. By the time it got recorded we were done with the gothic stuff. It felt like it belonged to the “old days”.
The song was quite popular in the live set and all our friends said it was a hit.
So, we dropped the song instead fearing that we might have to perform it for 100 more shows.
This is the only unreleased track from the Slammer! sessions.
We didn’t do any demos for this album, just some 4-track porta studio demos. Most of them were instrumental and very rough.
Recorded in Gothenburg and Bruxelles July-August 1987 by Michael Ilbert and Gilles Martin.

Somehow we all forgot about this one. I don’t remember much about it. There was so much going on all the time in our lives.
Can’t even remember who recorded it. It was probably just a jam session and Freddie happened to have a song.
The tape was rediscovered by accident in 2003. I found it when I was looking for something else.
Freddie played bass and took the lead vocals.
I played some slide-guitar and Hasse made some weird noises. Michael kept a steady groove on the drums.
Kent was out of town so he added some backing vocals later.
It’s a one-chord heavy track that is too cool to be thrown away. I’m sure it will be released.
Recorded February 1988. Engineer unknown. Henryk Lipp finally mixed it in 2005.

LAST CALL (Kiesbye/Norberg/Gäfvert/Olsson)
Outtake from “Stock Rocker Nuts”. Around this time we were listening to a lot of country and also 60’s stuff like The Byrds. I don’t think you can hear much of those influences on the album but it’s quite obvious here.
I don’t think we ever seriously planned to include it on the album. We were only fooling around and trying to write something different. Michael Ilbert played drums because our Michael was busy with something else.
Recorded in November 1989 by Michael Ilbert.

WONDER (Kiesbye/Norberg)
Another outtake from “Stock Rocker Nuts”. We thought it was way too pop for us so we gave the song to Psychotic Youth instead. They did it much better.
Recorded in November 1989 by Michael Ilbert.

RAYMOND (Kiesbye/Norberg/Gäfvert/Olsson)
The third and last outtake from “Stock Rocker Nuts”. It was dropped after the basic tracks (drums, bass and guitars) were put down. The lyrics were never finished so there are no vocals recorded.
Recorded in November 1989 by Michael Ilbert.

JOE (Kiesbye/Norberg)
Demo for “Headquake” but I think was written for “Stock Rocker Nuts”.
We probably reworked it but it still didn’t make it. Since we were never satisfied with the song the lyrics never got completed and no real title was given to it. “Joe” was just the working title. Can’t remember why. Sometimes it’s a clue to what influenced us to write the song but sometimes it’s just the first word that pops up.
Recorded July 1991 by Jacob Stålhammar.

AROUND (Kiesbye/Norberg)
A demo for “Headquake”. The lyrics were never finished so the vocals are just guide vocals. But the song is not that bad actually. I don’t understand why we did abandon it. You can make up your own mind in Sounds.
The 24-track tape is lost but we have a mix of it made at the time.
Michael Ilbert recorded it in October 1991.

ANYWHERE YOU WANT (Kiesbye/Norberg)
Recorded for “Headquake” but dropped at an early stage just before we signed to Warner. We never mixed it because we didn’t want to be persuaded to include it on the album. We talked about re-writing it later but we never went back to it again.
As I remember we thought it became too much of a sing-along party tune. I can’t really hear anything wrong with it now. Artists are complicated creatures.
Sometimes we might be wrong but at least it’s our own decision.
It was recorded by Michael Ilbert late 1991.

IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW (Kiesbye/Norberg)
I think we planned to include it on “Stereo” but there was no room for more tracks. It was written in Denmark in 1992 when we mixed Headquake.
It was called “Gimme” and was originally quite heavy hardrock song.
We later rewrote it slightly and arranged it to be more psychedelic. It’s one of my favourite dropped Sator songs. There was nothing wrong it.
It just didn’t fit in anywhere. Later we asked Jörgen Cremonese to do a remix of it.
The only instructions we gave him was “fuck it up completely”. And that’s what he did. That version certainly didn’t fit in anywhere! Check it out in the Sounds-section.
Recorded September 1992 and October 1995. Engineer unknown.
Update! Released as a b-side on the “When You Lie Down With Dogs” single in 2014.

LOVE ALL, SERVE ALL (Kiesbye/Norberg/Gäfvert/Olsson)
This was a song we wrote for a Jeans commercial. They actually wanted to use an already recorded Sator song but we gave them the offer of writing a new one instead. It was based on the guy’s description of the Sator sound they wanted.
So it’s really us impersonating ourselves.
At the last moment they decided the song was too hard for TV (the commercial was supposed to be a horror movie for God’s sake!).
We quickly wrote another similar but nicer song called “Long hot summer” and gave them that one instead.
Recorded by Henryk Lipp in August 1993

I’M PLASTIC (The Weirdos)
Originally by The Weirdos. A demo for “Barbie-Q-Killers Vol 1”.
We never got the correct lyrics so we did their other song “Do the dance” instead.
For the demo we just took the few lines we heard on the bootleg and then made up the rest (all totally wrong I’m sure). I think it turned out great but it didn’t feel right with so many words missing and no correct credits.
We mixed it 4 years later. The Turpentines did some backing vocals.
Recorded in 1994 and 1998. Engineer unknown. Mixed by Ian Richardson.
Update! Released on the compilation “Bootleg Series vol. 1 – Up north/downunder” in 2009.

BIG BURDEN (The Young Lords)
This might actually be a Baby Demons session. I have no memory of this.
Originally by the Norwegian band The Young Lords from a 1980 EP.
A great powerpop track. The Baby demons played it a lot. I’m not sure if Sator ever did.
Recording date and engineer unknown. Mid 90’s probably.
Update! Released on “Return of the Barbie-Q-Killers” in 2022.

When we were asked to do a song for a tribute album to The Boys we took it so seriously that we did two songs to be sure to get one right. They both turned out good but this was the one that didn’t get picked.
Recorded April 1997 Engineer unknown.
Update! Released on “Return of the Barbie-Q-Killers” in 2022.

Another one of our all-time favourite songs. Originally released by The Waves in 1982 (pre-Katrina and The Waves) and one of the best powerpop singles ever! Both Sator and Baby Demons have played it many times (and later The Wild Kings as well).
It was recorded just for our own amusement because there was some space left on the tape. We never planned to release it. There are two versions for a stupid reason.
We did two takes and decided to finish the second one which we thought was superior. When we were done we discovered that we had completed the wrong version.
This was so annoying so the day after we went back in and finished the second take as well.
Now I can’t tell which one we thought were the best one. They both sound good to me.
Recorded April 1997. At the same session as The Boys and Kiss tributes. Engineer unknown.
Update! Released as a b-side on the “World Keeps Turning” single in 2013.

“Musical Differences” outtake. Some experimental song writing here. We wanted it to be a collision between Buck OwensBaccara and Nirvana. Just another of those disco/country/grunge fusions that were so common in those days (?). Since it got dropped we never re-did the vocals on the last chorus where we totally lost it.
Recorded January 1997 by Nille Perned.

Not really an outtake or a lost song. It was recorded for “Barbie-Q-Killers Vol 2”. But since the project got delayed it’s still in the vaults.
It was originally performed by The Last (and later also The Urinals) and will definitively be included on vol 2.
Recorded January 1997 by Nille Perned.
Update! Released on “Return of the Barbie-Q-Killers” in 2022.

NEXT (Kiesbye/Norberg)
Another “Musical Differences” outtake. Never meant to be a song at all actually.
It was something I played just to try out my new Dictaphone. The producer happened to hear it when we were looking for something else on my tape.
He fell for it and talked us into turning it into a real song.
It’s a strange bossanova-punk track with some strange out-there noises. Too weird even for “Musical Differences”.
Recorded July 1997 by Nille Perned.

A SONG TO YOU (Kiesbye/Norberg)
This was another short novelty song recorded for a split single with the French band Garlic Frog Diet. Sadly the split was never released. The other song we recorded for the split was a really good punky one called “You ain’t nothing to me” (see below).
Recorded in March 1998 by Walle Kaaling.
Update! Released on the split single with The Chuck Norris Experiment in 2020.

I’M BORED (The Zero Boys)
Originally released by The Zero Boys in 1980. For possible inclusion on “Barbie-Q-Killers Vol 2”. We invited our friends from The NomadsJocke Ericsson on drums and Björne Fröberg on bass to get the right Sex Pistols vibe on the track. An earlier 24-track demo of the song exists, made as a guide for Jocke and Björne, but we haven’t been able to locate that tape yet.
Recorded April 1999 by Jörgen Cremonese.
Update! Released on “Return of the Barbie-Q-Killers” in 2022.

YOU TORE ME DOWN (The Flamin’ Groovies)
Recorded for a Spanish Flamin’ Groovies tribute but for some reason this song wasn’t included. The schedule was really tight and Michael was out of town so Jocke Levin played drums and Daniel Levin handled the bass. Both Jocke and Daniel were on loan from Speed of Sound Enterprise.
Daniel was also playing bass live with Sator at this point.
There are some great psychedelic keyboards by Hasse on it. I think our version turned out great.
Another of my favourite “lost songs”.
Recorded January 2000. Engineer, Chips Kiesbye
Update! Released on the split single with The Nomads in 2017.

Recorded for a Spanish cartoon but the whole project was cancelled. The lyrics were written by Pat Fear of White Flag and handed over by the phone a few minutes before the vocals were put down. It was all done very fast because of a tough deadline.
The song is very “bubblegum”. It was based on an old Sator song called “Always me” which never got past the demo stage. It sounds just like cartoon songs are supposed to sound. A bit like the “Monkees theme” I love it!
Jocke Levin played drums on this one. But I don’t think Daniel Levin played bass. As I remember he had to leave early so it’s Kent or me on bass.
Recorded January 2000. The same day as the Flamin’ Groovies track.

DA BLUES (Kiesbye/Norberg/Olsson/Gäfvert)
A little joke just to fill up a 24-track tape. There were around one minute left on the tape. So the last thing we did before going home one night was to improvise some sort of blues/punk until the tape ran out. The lyrics were just adlibbed but the line “You walk alone” actually turned up in another song years later.
I recorded it. I played guitar from the control room and did the vocals through the talkback microphone live.
Pretty funny stuff.
Recording date unknown but mid to late 90’s.

THE GOOD GUYS (Kiesbye/Norberg)
“Basement Noise” outtake. A fast rocker inspired by the mid 80’s Australian wave. All these bands like The Lime Spiders and Hoodoo Gurus were a great relief at a time when most other music sucked.
It the end it wasn’t strong enough for the album.
Recorded by Henryk Lipp May 2004.

CELEBRATION TOWN (Kiesbye/Norberg)
“Basement Noise” outtake. One of the first songs we wrote for the album but it did not make it to the finals.
The working title was “Kickin’ ass for the working class”. That’s where the joke about the album title came from.
Recorded by Henryk Lipp May 2004.

IF TIME DON’T GET ME (Kiesbye/Norberg)
“Basement Noise” outtake. All our early punk influences put together in the same song.
Another good song that didn’t turn out right. We’ll do it right for the next album instead.
Recorded by Henryk Lipp May 2004.

“Basement Noise” outtake. A heavy groove in the vein of “Sideshow screwballs”, “Skyscraper” and “Gruesome Sunday morning”. A really good one but we didn’t need this kind of song for the album. Maybe next time?
Recorded by Henryk Lipp May 2004.

“Basement Noise” outtake. Joan Jett backed by The Faces was our idea with this one. As usual it turned into Sator anyway and became something else. Hans’ favourite track during the sessions but it just didn’t come out 100% right.
We preferred to can it and do it again. It’s much too good for ending up as a b-side.
Recorded by Henryk Lipp May 2004.
Update! Re-worked during the “Under The Radar” sessions in 2010 but dropped before the mixing. Turned out great though so we’ll get back to it!

BASEMENT NOISE (Kiesbye/Norberg)
“Basement Noise” outtake. The title track that did not make the final list. Another fast one in the “Stock Rocker Nuts” spirit.
We never did anything more than the basic tracks. We might start all over on this one someday.
But this take sounds like crap.
Recorded by Henryk Lipp May 2004.

Recorded for “Basement Noise” but dropped at the last minute. It even survived through the mixing. It started out as a very different song based on a guitar riff from Kent but it became something else in the end. Neil Young and The Ramones in a car crash with The Mamas and the Papas and this is what crawled out of the wreckage.
Recorded by Henryk Lipp May 2004.
Update! Released as a single in 2013.

the 24-track demos for headquake

They are usually quite similar to the released versions, just a little less “production”.

With harmonica intro later dropped.

Recorded February 1991. Engineer unknown. Tape is missing. A mix made at the time still exists.


DOWN – Called “Nothing” at the time. I actually prefer this version to the final Headquake version. It’s more punk and less metal.
Recorded July 1991 by Jacob Stålhammar

I’D RATHER DRINK THAN TALK – Might even be better than the released version. More punk.
These last two tracks were high profile demos made to shop around for a record deal. So they sound great.
Recorded October 1991 by Michael Ilbert. Tape is missing. A mix made at the time still exists.

alternative versions

SO MUCH TIME, SO LITTLE TO DO (long version)
I don’t know when or why this was recorded. But it’s from the early 90’s. It might be a demo for “Headquake”?
It was meant to be a cross between the Sex Pistols and The Ramones. It didn’t turn out that way at all. We later recorded a shorter version of it at Puk Studios for the b-side of “Ring Ring” in August -92.
I’ve always been very disappointed with this one.
Probably recorded by Michael Ilbert

Never completed. More a demo than a serious attempt of nailing it. It never got pass the basic tracks.
The later version was quite different and with a shorter title.
Recorded April 1997 by Torsten Larsson.

We tried it out first with drum loops and a quite different approach than the released version.
It sounded pretty good but eventually we scrapped everything and started all over again.
Recorded April 1997 by Torsten Larsson.

Identical to the later version just slightly more lo-fi. It was set to be included with “A song to you” on a split single that never happened. Eventuallly we re-recorded it in 2004 and included it on “Basement Noise”.
Recorded in March 1998. By Walle Kaaling

That’s all for now folks!
There might still be some tracks in the vaults that we haven’t found yet but this should be pretty much everything. I’m quite sure.

There are many more unreleased demos on 4-track, ADAT, and Pro-tools but that’s a different story that we have to come back to. We have always made quick demos with nonsense lyrics to try out what songs we want to keep and what to throw out straight away. Most of them are not suitable for public ears. I’ve looked at some of the tapes and I’ve seen many forgotten titles. There are many more lost songs in those boxes (most of them probably deserve to be “lost”).

Some titles I saw: “Saving up for rainy eternity”, “Children of Horus”, “Swinging London”, “Soldier of Love”, “Never before”, “A moment of truth”, “Just another rock ‘n’ roll band”, “Good night”.

So look out for part 2!
Chips (covered in dust, crawling out of the archives)