Girly Sound

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Demo album (Bootleg) by Girly-Sound
Recorded 1991
Genre Indie rock
Label self-released
Producer Liz Phair
Girly-Sound chronology
Exile in Guyville
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Girly-Sound is the name under which singer-songwriter Liz Phair recorded several self-produced cassettes in 1991. The cassettes were later made available as bootlegs and some tracks have been officially released. Girly-Sound is also the name used to refer to the demos or bootlegs collectively. The recordings have been called "legendary" by Spin Magazine[2] and by AllMusic "one of the most popular and sought-after alternative rock bootlegs of all time".[1]

The demos[edit]

Recorded on a 4-track tape recorder in her childhood bedroom at her parents' house, Phair initially gave copies of the tapes to only two people: Chris Brokaw and Tae Won Yu. However, copies of the Girly-Sound tapes were passed from person to person and became somewhat of a sensation in the American tape trading/zine subculture.[3] Brokaw later told Rolling Stone how he had urged Phair to record something and a few months later received one 14-song tape, getting the second 14-song tape a month after that.[4] In 1992, Phair signed a deal with Matador Records on the strength of a tape she had sent in consisting of 6 Girly-Sound songs.[4][5][6]


Phair has frequently gone back and reworked many of the songs for her studio albums throughout her career: she told Rolling Stone "I go in there and rip stuff off – it's like a library".[4] Phair's debut album Exile in Guyville is largely a reworking of songs from these tapes.[3] However, some of these tracks were modified in ways that altered the meaning and made them more mainstream-acceptable: in "Flower" the line "I’ll fuck you and your girlfriend, too" was changed to "I’ll fuck you and your minions, too", removing the queer subtext.[7]

Five tracks were released in 1995 on the Juvenilia EP and a bonus disc of Girly-Sound tracks was included with the physical release of Phair's 2010 album Funstyle.[5] Additional tracks appeared on the reissue of Exile in Guyville.[8]


Although originally consisting of a total of three cassettes, the most common version of the Girly-Sound tapes that circulated among Phair's fans was an incomplete two disc compilation of songs from all three tapes, released on the Bliss and Fetish bootleg label, and processed with digital noise reduction. An earlier bootleg compilation of Girly-Sound material, Secretly Timid, was also released. Early in 2006, mp3s of first generation copies of the first two tapes were introduced via Phair's online community, bringing to light the original track listing, correct song names, and album titles and more importantly introducing a number of songs that did not appear on the previous Girly-Sound bootlegs. The third Girly-Sound tape and information of its complete contents remains elusive. As a result, Phair's Girly-Sound tapes are still one of the most sought-after alternative-rock bootlegs.

Critical reaction[edit]

AllMusic rated the demos 4.5/5, noting some weak tracks but finding others "as tuneful and provoking as anything on her official albums".[1]

Three tape track listing[edit]

Yo Yo Buddy Yup Yup Word to Ya Muthuh[edit]

All songs written and composed by Liz Phair. 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "White Babies" (also known as "Black Market White Baby Dealer") 3:15
2. "Shane"   4:49
3. "6 Dick Pimp" (also known as "Willie the Six-Dicked Pimp" and "Give Me My Boyfriend Back") 3:25
4. "Divorce Song"   3:54
5. "Go West"   3:42
6. "Don't Hold Your Breath" (also known as "If I Ever Pay You Back") 4:15
7. "Johnny Sunshine"   4:01
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Miss Lucy"   2:37
2. "Elvis Song" (also known as "Elvis, Be True") 5:02
3. "Dead Shark"   3:32
4. "One Less Thing"   4:46
5. "Money"   3:43
6. "In Love with Yourself"   4:04
7. "Fuck or Die"   3:20

Girls! Girls! Girls![edit]

All songs written and composed by Liz Phair. 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Hello Sailor"   6:08
2. "Wild Thing"   3:54
3. "Fuck and Run"   4:38
4. "Easy Target" (also known as "Do You Love Me?" and "It's in My Kiss") 5:07
5. "Soap Star Joe"   3:25
6. "Ant in Alaska" (also known as "I Know it's Not Easy") 7:13
7. "Girls! Girls! Girls!"   7:28
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Polyester Bride"   7:46
2. "Thrax"   4:47
3. "Miss Mary Mack"   4:33
4. "Clean"   4:00
5. "Love Song"   6:25
6. "Valentine"   4:19
7. "Shatter"   6:51

Untitled Tape 3[edit]

(Original order of tracks is unknown)

All songs written and composed by Liz Phair. 

No. Title Length
1. "Flower"   2:38
2. "Suckerfish[9]" (also known as "Go, Speed Racer") 1:41
3. "Open Season" (also known as "Beg Me") 2:49
4. "Slave" (also known as "Sometimes a Dream (Is What Makes You a Slave)") 3:45
5. "Bomb[10]" (also known as "Stratford-on-Guy") 3:11
6. "Gigalo" (also known as "Can't Get Out of What I'm Into") 3:15
7. "Whip-Smart[11]"   3:20
8. "Easy" (also known as "It's Not That Easy") 3:13
9. "South Dakota"   4:15
10. "California" (also known as "Why I Left California") 2:38
11. "Chopsticks"   1:51
12. "Batmobile" (also known as "Fire Up the Batmobile") 3:06

Re-recorded songs[edit]

Year Album Song
1991 Chinny Chin Chin: 4 N.Y. Bands "White Babies"
1993 Exile in Guyville
"Divorce Song"
"Johnny Sunshine"
"Wild Thing"
"Fuck and Run"
"Soap Star Joe"
"Ant in Alaska"
"Girls! Girls! Girls!"
"Clean" (as "Never Said")
"Bomb" (as "Stratford-on-Guy")
1994 Whip-Smart "Shane"
"Go West"
"Thrax" (as "Jealousy")
1996 Brain Candy Soundtrack "6 Dick Pimp" (as "Six Dick Pimp")
1998 whitechocolatespaceegg "Money" (as "Shitloads of Money")
"Polyester Bride"
"Thrax" (as "Tell Me You Like Me")
2005 Somebody's Miracle "Gigalo" (as "Can't Get Out of What I'm Into")
  • "Ant in Alaska" and "Wild Thing" were both re-recorded for Exile in Guyville, but did not appear until the 2008 reissue. The latter only appeared on the advanced copy of the reissue.
  • "Thrax" was partially re-recorded as "Jealousy" and included on Whip-Smart, and as "Tell Me You Like Me" for whitechocolatespaceegg, the latter being left off its respective album.
  • "Gigalo" was re-recorded as "Can't Get Out of What I'm Into" for Somebody's Miracle, but was only included on the Japanese release.

Song Appearances[edit]

Year Album Song
1995 Juvenilia "California"
"South Dakota"
"Dead Shark"
1997 Chasing Amy Soundtrack "California"
2010 Funstyle (bonus disc) "Miss Mary Mack"
"White Babies"
"Elvis Song"
"Speed Racer"
"In Love With Yourself"
"Wild Thing"
"Love Song"
"Don't Hold Your Breath"
  • Fragments from "In Love With Yourself", "Johnny Sunshine" and "Money" appeared on the "Supernova" single, condensed into one track called "Combo Platter (Girlysound)". The "Johnny Sunshine" fragment is played backwards.


  1. ^ a b c "Liz Phair - Girlysound". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville", Spin, 15:9 (Sept 1999) p125
  3. ^ a b Reilly, Dan (Sep 8, 2010). "Liz Phair Releasing Rare Girly Sound Demos With 'Funstyle' LP". Spinner. 
  4. ^ a b c Dunn J. That girl. (cover story). Rolling Stone. October 6, 1994;(692):42
  5. ^ a b Breihan, Tom (September 7, 2010). "Liz Phair Finally Releases Girlysound Tapes". Pitchfork. 
  6. ^ Buckley, Peter, Rough Guide To Rock, p786
  7. ^ Keenan, E. (2010). "If Liz Phair's Exile in guyville made you a feminist, what kind of feminist are you?: Heterosexuality, race, and class in the third wave". Women & Music: A Journal Of Gender And Culture 14: 45–71. 
  8. ^ "Phair Signs To ATO, 'Guyville' Reissue Due". Billboard. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links[edit]