The Strait Tapes – Volume 1

The Strait Tapes – Volume 1
1985? (no label)
London, England, United Kingdom

Side 1:

  1. Larry Norman – If You Don’t Love the Lord
    (early version, later released on Rehearsal 4 Reality, 1986 Royal Music)
  2. Robin Lane – Hard Cover
    (from Heart Connection EP, 1984 Recon Records)
  3. Steve Turner – I Look Down
    (previously unreleased)
  4. Philip Bailey – The Wonders of His Love
    (from The Wonders of His Love, 1984 Myrrh Records)
  5. Jump the Nile – Innocence Abroad
    (previously unreleased)
  6. Ring of Fire – Brave Men Cry
    (previously unreleased)

Side 2:

  1. Bruce Cockburn – In the Falling Dark
    (from In the Falling Dark, 1976 True North Records)
  2. Maria Muldaur – There’s Gonna be the Devil to Pay
    (from Sweet and Slow, 1983 Spindrift)
  3. Randy Stonehill – Everything But Love
    (from Stonehill, 1985 Street Tunes)
  4. Press Any Key – Whistle on the Wind
    (early version, later released on Whisper in the Wind, 1987 Marshall Pickering Records)
  5. Garth Hewitt – Red Hot and Cooking
    (b-side to The Hungry Wind single, 1982 Blue Moon Records)
  6. Interface – Memories
    (from Memories, 1984 Embryo Arts)

The Strait Tapes was a compilation series of (at least) three volumes that seems to be pretty obscure. They are connected with the Strait Newspaper/Magazine out of London (which was the bi-monthly magazine connected to the Greenbelt Festival in England).  There is no date given on any of three volumes. Most of the music seems to be from 1984-1985, but some are from as early as 1976. Several are marked as pre-release. Volume II talks about one song from an upcoming release that was released in 1985, and another song that was already released in 1985. So that is why I choose 1985 as a probably release date for most or all of these. The problem is, there are a few tracks on these compilations that came out in 1986. But more on that in Volume II. Most of the music here seems to fall in the “alternative” realm – although a lot of it leans towards the pop or adult alternative realms. Artists like Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill you are probably familiar with (if you know this music scene), but there are several that only seem to appear here (as far as I can tell), like Steve Turner, Jump the Nile, and Ring of Fire. Other than that, most of these songs are on easy to find albums. Some notes on some of the tracks listed above:

  • Jump the Nile was an ex-ATF band, but I can only find one single they released other than this track.
  • Not sure if the Steve Turner on here is the author Steve Turner doing a random music track, or someone else.
  • I can’t find much on Ring of Fire.
  • Press Any Key is pretty rare as well – it is band made up of a former member of After the Fire and his brother. The track here is the title track from their only full-length (Whisper on the Wind). Note though that the singer on this version of the song says “Whisper” not “Whistle” like the j-card says (probably a misunderstanding). Also, the version of the song on this demo is more guitar rock than the later new-wavish version on their album.
  • The Interface song is also on a rare 7-inch on Embryo Arts that came out a few years later.

Missing Information: confirmation of the exact release date.

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