Boards of Canada early recordings (partially found albums; 1980s-1990s)

Boards of Canada (early recordings)
Cassette liner for A Few Old Tunes.
Cassette liner for A Few Old Tunes.
Status Partially Found

Boards of Canada are an electronica band from Scotland formed in 1986 by brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin. They are well known for their unique style of music as well as their backlog of early albums that were made with limited presses and distributed mainly among friends and family.

While a few of these albums have been made public, much of the band's early work remains private.

Limited-Release Albums

Catalog 3 (1987) (Lost)

Catalog 3 is the earliest known release by the band according to their old website,[1] though the title could imply that there may have been two prior releases. It's listed as having eight tracks of "rather uneventful ambient electronica".[2] Though it was re-pressed in CD format, it still hasn't been heard outside of the band's friends and family.

Acid Memories (1989) (Partially Found)

Acid Memories is the band's second known release and is regarded as "less imposing"[3] than their previous album.  There is some controversy regarding cassette's artwork, which features the band's name. According to the band, they hadn't officially called themselves Boards of Canada until 1994. Other than a short 27 second snippet of the track "Duffy", the album hasn't been heard by the public.

Closes Vol. 1 (1992) (Lost)

Closes Vol. 1 is the third album by the band, but was released under the name "b.o.c.".[4]  It also hasn't been heard outside of family or friends and are no known samples.

Play by Numbers (1994) (Partially Found)

Play by Numbers is the fourth known release by the band and has been described as having a more strumming shoegaze sound similar to My Bloody Valentine.  A one minute excerpt of the track "Wouldn't You Like To Be Free?" is the only legitimate sample from the album.

Hooper Bay (1994) (Partially Found)

Hooper Bay is the fifth known release and is also the first to use their trademark samples of children's voices.[5] Like many of the previous albums, many purported fakes have been passed around the internet through peer to peer sites and often have mislabled tracks by the band múm or are tracks from one of the Old Tunes volumes. The only legitimate sample is a 39 second snippet from "Circle" (which was posted on the now-defunct EHX website[6] in the early 90s).

A Few Old Tunes/Old Tunes Vol. 1 & 2 (1995-1996) (Found)

Old Tunes Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and A Few Old Tunes are the collective names of three previously unreleased cassettes that featured various tracks from the band that were used in commercials and the like. Like the other albums, it was mostly given to family and friends. However, in the early 2000s, it was leaked on Soulseek by "Prince Murat". People speculated its legitimacy until a Hexagon Sun representative confirmed it was real after someone on eBay tried to sell it. They also revealed that the album may have been released as part of a colaboration between the band and Hexagon Sun had it not been leaked.

Boc Maxima (1996) (Found)

Boc Maxima was one of the latest known private albums. Only 50 copies were made for family and friends, like many of the others. However, in 2002, it was broadcast fully on Disengage and has since been put on the internet.


"Duffy" sample (Acid Memories).
"Circle" sample (Hooper Bay).
"Wouldn't You Like To Be Free?" sample (Play by Numbers).

Random 35 Tracks Tape

In 2004, an album named "random 35 tracks tape - rarities and best of (not old tunes v1 or v2)" leaked on P2P filesharing network Soulseek, causing much drama at the time on fan forums like WATMM and twoism. None of the songs on the tape have been confirmed real or fake, and Hexagon Sun member MDG has said that it isn't known who compiled the tracks, calling it "a mystery, just a mixture". Boards of Canada have not made any statements regarding the tape. It has often been referred to as "Closes Volume 2" and "A few Old Tunes Vol. 3".


  1. The Wayback Machine archive of the Catalog 3 page on Boards of Canada's old website. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  2. An online Boards of Canada biography. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  3. An online Boards of Canada biography. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  4. page on b.o.c.'s Closes Vol. 1. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  5. article on Hooper Bay. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.
  6. article on now-defunct EHX website. Retrieved 09 Jun '13.



Anonymous user #1

5 months ago
Score 0++
Man, I really wish these were found.

Anonymous user #2

3 months ago
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Old Tunes Volume 1 is just an alternative (i.e. mislabled) name for A Few Old Tunes.

Basically, of the surfaced cassette compilations there are A Few Old Tunes, Old Tunes Volume 2 and the Random 35 Track Tape. Most of track titles on R35TT are unknown and many fans believe it may contain tracks from the other unsurfaced releases.

Anonymous user #3

1 months ago
Score 0++

There's been a lot of speculation about some of the Random 35 Track Tape songs lining up with songs from the unreleased albums in terms of sound and length (the song lengths were posted on the old BOC site). Many claims have been made, but these are the prime suspects:

Audiotrack A06 - The last 20 or so seconds of this song's fade-out are actually at the beginning of track A07, if you put the whole thing back together this matches the length of "5D" from Closes Vol. 1. What's much more interesting, however, is that BOC themselves found an upload of this track (as 5D) on Youtube and added it to their official music playlist. Out of all the R35TT tracks, this one is the most likely candidate to actually be from the unreleased albums.

Audiotrack A14 - Many users on Twoism and WATMM claim to have seen this song floating around on Soulseek as "Godever" from Closes Vol. 1 long before the rest of the R35TT leaked. Although it's about 4 seconds shorter than the track length listed on the old site, it's still close enough that some people are convinced.

Audiotrack B04 - The use of guitars already places this one firmly in the pre-Maxima era, but there's another piece to this one. At the very end of the track rather than finishing its fade-out it simply cuts to the next song, and it sounded like a pretty long fade that got interrupted. There's a chance that the uninterrupted cut is "Numerator" from Play By Numbers (by far the most guitar-driven of the early albums), assuming that the missing section is exactly 9 seconds long.

Audiotrack B16 - This is the same length as "Powerline" from Catalog 3, but as no excerpts or anything from that album have surfaced and there's no other evidence to back this one up it's impossible to say for sure.

By the way, the oldest songs on Old Tunes Vol. 2 are actually 2 years older than Catalog 3 if the liner notes are to be believed. Make of that what you will.


1 months ago
Score 0++
Dang it, I didn't even realize I got logged out at some point before posting this!
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