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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Human Condition (Steve Scott) / Scratch Band (The 77s) Split Live Bootleg

Human Condition/Scratch Band
Split Live Bootleg
1981 (no label)
California, USA

Side 1 – Human Condition

  1. Tower of Babel
  2. Flesh and Blood
  3. Walking on Water Wasn’t Built in a Day
  4. Safety in Numbers
  5. Walls of Tears
  6. Farthest Star
  7. No Time Like Now
  8. This Sad Music
  9. The Love U Need

Side 2 – Scratch Band

  1. Someone New
  2. Unsatisfied
  3. Ping Pong Over the Abyss
  4. Denomination Blues

This is not a true release, but as soon as I saw it in a stack of tapes to convert I had to transfer it. Who is “Human Condition” you ask, and why are they covering Steve Scott songs? This is not the Human Condition that released two CDs in the early 1990s on Image and Broken Records. Human Condition on this release is Steve Scott – not sure if he had a band that went by that name for a time, or just the person writing the notes on this didn’t know better and made something up. For those not in the know, the Scratch Band changed names to The 77s, so that is why their song titles sound familiar. This is a good quality recording, no new songs, but the Steve Scott songs definitely have slightly different arrangements than the later recorded versions did. The Scratch Band songs are separated out from each other, so they are obviously pulled from a larger set. There are some skips in the Human Condition recording, but they could have just been cutting out some chatter between songs.

Missing In formation: Who played on this?