Demo album Ed Sheeran wrote at 13 is up for sale – but he’d rather you didn’t hear it | Ents & Arts News
Ed Sheeran’s very first demo album – which he wrote at the tender age of 13 – is up for sale.
There are only believed to be 20 copies of the CD collection of 14 love songs, which is titled Spinning Man, in existence.
In the 16 years since he put the album together, Sheeran has gone on to be one of the world’s best-selling music artists and has an estimated fortune of more than £200m.
The West Yorkshire-born star has previously said he didn’t want anyone to “get hold of a copy” and has the remaining 19 CDs in his possession.
However, one of the demos has been discovered, after lying forgotten in a drawer for years.
Sheeran was staying with relatives and sleeping on their sofa, while making money by busking, when he gave a signed copy to a friend of the relatives.
The man’s brother, Kevin, 48, who does not want to give his surname, is now selling the CD.
Kevin told the PA news agency: “My brother put it in a drawer and forgot about it.
“At the time Ed Sheeran was this just this wee, ginger-haired busker and he thought nothing of it. He didn’t realise he would go on to be one of the world’s biggest pop stars.”
In his illustrated autobiography Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey, Sheeran says he wrote the songs – with titles like Addicted and Misery – after splitting up with his first love.
Sheeran writes: “In 2004, I made my very first album, Spinning Man, named after a picture that my dad had.
“I burnt the CDs myself and made the covers. There were 14 songs, and they were all songs that rhymed.
“One lyric went: ‘I’m a typical average teen if you know what I mean’.
“There are probably 20 copies of Spinning Man in existence, and I have 19 of them. I don’t want anyone else to get hold of a copy.”
The 29-year-old added: “Most of the songs were about a girl called Claire. She was my first love when I was 13.
“It was a very innocent love, and we only ever held hands, but it lasted a fair amount of time. Then came my first devastating break-up.
“Looking back, it really wasn’t that bad, but at the time it was soul-shattering. When she left me, I wrote a lot of songs off the back of it – my first love songs.”
Kevin told PA he was impressed when he heard the CD, comparing him to one of best electric guitarists of all time.
“The quality of the songs are really good and I was shocked by how good he was on the electric guitar. It does sound like Eric Clapton at moments.
“I play guitar. The fact that he was playing like that when he was 13, he must have been talented from the start.”
He said Sheeran’s early songs “express teenage love and loss, frustration and longing”.
He also said the copy has one distinct feature: “Most of the other CDs – or all the other CDs, as far as I know – have a sticker on the disk, saying ‘Ed Sheeran Spinning Man’.
“But for this one he’d run out of stickers, so he wrote his name on the disc and handed it to my brother. So, it might be the only signed copy.”
The album features cover photography by Sheeran’s artist dad, John Sheeran, and is expected to fetch £10,000.
Auctioneer Paul Fairweather described the CD as “an important artefact in contemporary music history and a milestone in the development of one of the world’s biggest pop stars.”
The auction is expected to attract the attention of fans all over the world.
Meanwhile, Sheeran is rumoured to be expecting his first child with wife Cherry Seaborn later this summer.
They tied the knot in a secret ceremony in Suffolk last summer.
Omega Auctions will sell the CD in its Music Memorabilia sale on 8 September 2020.