The Strait Tapes – Volume 3

The Strait Tapes – Volume 3
1985? (no label)
London, England, United Kingdom

Side 1:

  1. The 77s – The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes, and The Pride of Life
    (demo version, eventually released on The 77s, 1987 Exit Records)
  2. Talking Drums – You Do Cry a Lot
    (from Reassembly, 1985 Sticky Music)
  3. Maldwyn Pope – Reunion of the Heart
    (unreleased)
  4. Bryan McGlynn – Soul Doctor
    (from The Vital Spark, 1985 Sticky Music)
  5. The Good Guys – Still a Mistake
    (from A System of Grooves, 1984 Atypical Records)
  6. Charlie Peacock – Down in the Lowlands
    (from Charlie Peacock, 1986 Exit Records)
  7. Trade Secret – With or Without You
    (from upcoming release Trade Secret, 1987 Edge Records)
  8. One A.M. – Over and Over
    (previously unreleased)
  9. Mike Starkey – I Became a Johnson’s Baby
    (from The Rhythm Method compilation, year unknown)

Side 2:

  1. Vector – America
    (from Please Stand By, 1985 Exit Records)
  2. Denice Williams – Straight Ahead
    (from So Glad I Know, 1986 Sparrow Records)
  3. The Refuseniks – Quiet Time
    (unreleased, unrecorded, and just a few seconds of silence apparently)
  4. Terry Scott Taylor – Old Time Gospel Camp Meeting Hour
    (from Knowledge and Innocence, 1986 Shadow Records)
  5. Bruce Cockburn – Wondering Where the Lions Are
    (from Dancing in the Dragons Jaw, 1979 True North)
  6. Steve Scott – Not a Pretty Picture
    (from the unreleased Emotional Tourist album, 1986 Exit Records)
  7. Jump the Nile – Proud to be a Warrior
    (unreleased demo)
  8. First Strike – Power
    (unreleased label demo version)
  9. Bryan McGlynn – Stranger at the Party
    (from The Vital Spark, 1985 Sticky Music)

From what I can tell, this is the third and final Volume of the Strait Tapes. It follows in the foot steps of Volume 1 and Volume 2, – a collection of well-known and underground Christian music artists. The date is also harder to pin down exactly here. Some songs, like the Talking Drums track, are listed as being from and “upcoming” album that ended up being released in 1985. Other tracks, like the Terry Scott Taylor track, are listed as if they are already released… but the tracks came out in 1986. I did some digging, and it seems that Taylor’s track was mixed in mid 1985, but not released until early 1986. Since there are obviously some other tracks that were included as early previews from the label (like the First Strike song), I am guessing that the 1986 tracks on here are early previews as well. Because they refer to 1985 albums as still “upcoming” in the liner notes, I will go with 1985 as the release date. Some notes on some of the tracks listed above:

  • The 77s track is listed as an unreleased demo, but it was later released on their classic self-titled album
  • The Maldwyn Pope track is listed as unreleased, but part of an untitled upcoming release. It seems that versions of this song were released much later by Pope, but it also had been recorded by other artists before this as well.
  • The Good Guys track is kind of an oldies rock sounding song with a bit of ska horns.
  • The Trade Secret track is a hard rock track that almost borders on punk here and there. It was later released on a hard to find self-titled album by the band.
  • The One A.M. track is only on this compilation as far as I can tell. It is a commercial rock track that fits pretty well with the 80s, but I have no idea who this band is.
  • The Mike Starkey song was released on a hard to find compilation – it is an experimental spoken word-ish over drums track. Or performance art? Strangely interesting.
  • The Refuseniks song isn’t actually a song – it is just a few seconds of silence. I think it was a joke about a band that didn’t get a song finished by the deadline for inclusion?
  • The Jump the Nile song is another unreleased track from this band from a former member of After the Fire. They had another track on Volume 2 of this series and a 7-inch single, but that appears to be it.
  • The First Strike song was unreleased at the time this comp was out, but was later released on their 1987 demo Crank It Up!, as well as the Heaven’s Metal Cool Tunes comp. However, this is clearly an earlier demo version with different lyrics and lower vocal range.

Missing Information: confirmation of the exact release date.

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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.