The Music

Below, you’ll find the five records (and a half, check the last one) that were, along with the B sides, the total output of Way Of The West from 1981 to 84. Beneath each sleeve there are 2 buttons, the top to hear the A side and the bottom for the B side.There was an album recorded too but it was never released. If I can transfer them from the studio tapes I’ll put some up here. I’m also going to get our songs released digitally, probably on itunes. That’s almost sorted and I’ll put the details on the blog for anybody who’s interested.

Of course, being a musician, I found that when I looked for the records I didn’t have them all, so I feel I may have to apologise for the poor state of some of the sleeve scans as a couple are actually 12″ sleeves which of course won’t fit in the standard A4 scanner. They’ve been’ stitched together’ in the computer and when I can get a few friends to help me out I’ll fix everything. For now, these should do, though if anybody reading this has 7″ singles in better condition than these (shouldn’t be hard) I’d be grateful. If you do, let me know and I’ll put them up here.

Stop Press…. More music (some never released) and a video have been added after the singles below. Check them out…….

Stop Press 2…….. and seriously this time because, as of the 11th May 08, WAY OF THE WEST ARE LIVE ON ITUNES!!

Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys

Don’t Say That’s Just for White Boys was Way Of The West’s first single on Mercury records and the catalogue number, Mercury66, is the address of this blog. It was recorded at Scorpio Studios, now no longer there, which occupied the ground floor of the Capital Radio Tower in Euston Rd, London. Actually Capital Radio has also gone but the tower still stands. I think the studio space is an upmarket furniture store these days.

Dennis Weinreich was the engineer and it was produced by Richard Strange. Tall and thin with the voice of an old school actor, we had Oscar Wilde on the mixing desk.

Now that I think of it I can’t exactly remember how he came to be producing the song but the record company left it up to us and it was our choice, and in this case it worked out.

There was one other benefit. His wife Rene Eyre was a graphic artist and designed a beautiful cover for the single.

The 12′ version of the song was voted the number 1 dance club track for 2 months running in the US. It was the song on heaviest rotation in the clubs nationwide. Not bad for a single you could only get on import.

Prove It is the B side here, it was one of the bands earliest songs, very fast with a punky feel, not like the A side at all.

Sleeve for See You Shake

See You Shake, Way Of The West’s 2nd single, was a tougher and more urgent sound, the first single that Reid played on. It wasn’t such an obvious song as the 1st but it was a band favourite and probably more in the direction they wanted to go. Danny Baker, who was a well known UK radio dj and talk show host said once that it was one of those songs that he just knew he had to have the moment he heard it.

Dennis Weinreich, who engineered the 1st single was the producer and the sleeve was designed by bassist Liz Weller. Dennis was also the fast american voice you can hear in the background at the breakdown.

My Own Front door, the B side, was a very early song which we wanted to put out and was a reference to one of Pete’s writing obsessions, information overload. Still a hot topic today. The odd groove was a good showcase for Dave’s drumming.

Drum, A side.

Drum was recorded at Scorpio Studios with Dennis Weinreich producing.

Reid and Pete had de-constructed the guitar parts and pared them down to little jagged chunks that were shared out, left and right, between the two of them to make the whole.

Keeping the guitars far apart in the mix accentuated the effect and the bass, drums and percussion held the thing together. The sleeve and the header photo at the top of the blog were all taken together as publicity for this song by the band’s friend Ken Flowers at his rehearsal studios in west London. This was their last record for Mercury.

The Friend, the B side song, was recorded in a little 8 track studio and was kind of experimental, very loose, with a great one off sax solo by Jason.

City For Lovers, 7″

City For Lovers was our first song on MCA, produced by Jeremy Green and recorded at Wessex Studios in Highbury, North London.

I was listening to the radio late one night, short wave, and recording snatches to a cassette. I liked the strange whirs and howls of the static as the faraway stations faded in and out. One night I caught an Italian station and one phrase that the girl said in English, “Keep Our Fingers Crossed” stayed in my mind and became the backdrop for the song.

Wessex Studios was built in a converted church with the live room down in the main body and the recording desk up where the altar would have been. The Clash recorded their classic London Calling album there and Chrissie Hynde’s band The Pretenders were often in residence. This is where Way Of The West finally recorded their album. It’s since been converted again, into an apartment block this time, but then, late at night it could be a spooky place. Though he had played the bass live with the band for a while, this was the first Way Of The West record that Neil played on and he swears he saw a ghost one night when he was recording a part by himself. Jeremy Green the producer, achieved the massive drum sound on the 12″ by placing mics at the back of the church with the drum kit at the front and blending these ambient mics in with a tape delay.

The B side, Countdown, was one of the tracks from the unreleased album, also recorded at Wessex Studios.

The Cool Set, The 3rd song, was an extra track included on the B-side of the 12″.

Feel The Steel, 12″ sleeve

Feel The Steel with it’s 1930’s graphic style cover was the last record and last time back at Scorpio with Dennis Weinreich producing. For the 12″, Mark Kamins, an American dance producer and DJ was brought over from New York.

For the technically minded a sequencer from a Simmonds electronic drumkit was used to fire a sequence of tom toms and the bass drum was a low tuned tom. The springy bass sound came from a borrowed Steinberger bass guitar, a weird looking thing without a head, the tuning keys being behind the bridge and running through an Ampeg valve bass amp.

There was a full brass section in the studio for the first time and the band hadn’t realised that they couldn’t just hum the parts to them – they needed a proper score which held things up for a while. Also, they’d run out of tracks by the time they needed to sing the high vocal line at the end so it had to be recorded separately on a 1/4″ tape and synced in by hand while the master tape was being recorded. That’s not a problem you’d find nowadays, even in a bedroom studio.

Cars Collide was a song only played live till the B side here.

SmashHitsFlexi

And lastly this. What’s this? They were called flexidiscs and given away free on the front pages of music magazines, in this case Flexi-Pop.

As an idea they didn’t last very long. After a few listens the discs were unplayable due to the paper-thin plastic, but a nice idea at the time. I turned up late for the photo-shoot for the front cover which is why I’m not on there with Graham Bonnet, a Polecat and Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy.

If I manage to get one more play out of it (there’s a little circle on the lower right hand side where you’re supposed to place a coin if the needle actually stops the thing spinning!) I’ll put the mp3 on here. Or maybe not?….

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Well…..here we go. Eventually I had to tape the underside of the flexi-disc to the turntable to stop it slipping. The result is grainy, but ‘interesting’. Monkey Love was a very early song and has our first guitarist Andy on lead. Totally different style to Reid but good for the song. And no, it’s not an instrumental……….

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Many thanks to Harold Grey of San Jose CA for spotting this on youtube I thought I was the only person with a copy and I don’t have a video player these days.

We did the Drum promo while on tour in NY with a director named Ed Steinberg. I contacted them and they’re sending a DVD from the original tape so I’ll put that here if it’s better quality. Incidentally Max (Leinwand), also at that company rockamerica was a dj at WLIR in the NY area and regularly played Way Of The West on the station. Small world…………

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UNRELEASED ALBUM TRACKS…UNRELEASED ALBUM TRACKSUNRELEASED ALBUM, Yup, 2 never before heard songs from Way Of The West’s never released album, recorded at Wessex studios London in 1984.

The top song is White Flag, the bottom Egyptian Rooms

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AND THISAND THISAND THISAND THISAND THISAND THISAND THIS…2 songs only ever played live, never recorded, and a live version of ‘Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys’ here on this recording from the Spit Club in Boston, 84.

The 1st is Never Let Go and the 2nd Jump.

73 Responses to “The Music”

  1. Hi,

    My name is Justin,

    I am the one who uploaded the music video on youtube. =)

    I have the original Rockamereica tape this is from

    I am 18 years old. I love 80’s new wave!

    Thank you,
    Justin

  2. mercury66 Says:

    Hi Justin

    So it was you??

    Where did you get the tape? Can you just buy them?
    I didn’t think there were any out there…..

    Glad the mystery is solved and nice to see you here.

    Take care

    Pete

  3. Harold Grey Says:

    Hi Justin and Pete. You may want to check the link for the video. I keep getting a message that it is no longer available on YouTube.

    Rgds,
    Harold

  4. Seems to be working fine now…

    Harold

  5. You probably wouldn’t imagine someone my age uploading that to youtube huh? lol

    I seriously love WOTW

    “City For Lovers” is my favorite track, the 12″ version to “Drum” is great too.

    I collect music videos. I believe I traded for that reel. It was taken from a u-matic 3/4″ tape. Not many Rockamerica tapes exist out there and I am lucky to have what I do. I am trying to upload more obscure 80’s videos in the coming weeks.

    Thank you,
    Justin

  6. You’re right, I wouldn’t have thought an 18yr old would even know the songs, but I’m glad they’re still making ripples out there.

    We played a couple of afternoon shows at US schools on one tour and they loved it but, if I was at school and got a couple of hours out to see a band – I’d love it too…

    Good luck with the videos.

    Pete K

  7. Nice tracks!
    Thanks for sharing Pete and thanks Justin for your efforts too! You have discovered a gold mine with your appreciation of off-mainstream 80’s music!!!

    (And thanks Pete for jogging my memory of the Spit Club in Boston. How we weren’t arrested that one night there in ’81, I’ll never know, but that’s another story and for another under-appreciated band’s website……8^)

  8. A greatest hits would be phenomenal, any chance of that in the works? I would love to see extended versions to “City For Lovers” and “Drum” on CD

    Here is a link to my youtube page:
    http://youtube.com/user/inmotion68

    Thank you,
    Justin

  9. I’m nearly there with the downloads.

    including the 12″ versions and some lost album songs there should be
    around 16 tracks on itunes soon, but I’d like to get some sort of physical
    CD out there too and maybe an extended versions release isn’t a bad idea?

    Hmmm……

    Pete

  10. Yes! A CD release would be phenomenal! I’m a big fan of the Scars (whom I’ve mentioned before) and the former band members all collaborated together on the CD release of their material after over twenty years had passed and they were finally able to gain ownership of their masters from Virgin, which a friend of mine who’s kinda an insider told me was a really good job as apparently Virgin are very difficult to deal with. Anyway, as soon as they were finally able to receive those masters, they processed those masters (which included baking them to make them playable again) and remastered and transfered them to CD in less than a year. And now Author! Author! is available on CD with bonus tracks and tons of people are enthusing over it. So imagine that kind of reaction to an official CD release of the WOTW combined material, including 12″ mixes and those unreleased tracks. That would be totally awesome. Also totally awesome is Justin! Yay for you, Justin! I’m almost nine years older than you and a fellow WOTW fan and I think it’s awesome to find fellow under-30s who love this band. Many thanks for the video upload! I favorited it.

  11. I look forward to the downloads!

    and you are quite welcome Deanna =)

    I can see it now…
    Don’t Say That Just for White Boys: The Best of Way Of The West

    and sorry for the above post…my computer accidentally submitted that as I was typing…

    Thank you,
    Justin

  12. As we’re amongst friends here, I can let everyone into a little secret. What I’m about to do (compiling and releasing our songs) isn’t strictly legal!

    Universal Music, who own everything originally on the Phonogram and MCA labels were very polite but still, after more than 20 yrs had passed and they had done nothing with the songs, they wouldn’t give them back, though they would license them. Around 5 yrs ago I tried to locate the studio tapes for ‘White Boys’ and MCA couldn’t find them in their tape vault. I have master copies of most of the songs.

    I did a little research and found that many bands with material over 20yrs old release them anyway as it’s a grey area legally. As far as I know it’s not been tested properly but the digital rights to the songs may actually be owned by the bands as nobody visualised digital downloads back then.

    Sssshhhh…….this comment will self destruct after 30 secs. (well, a couple of days)

    Pete K

  13. At least you weren’t on I.R.S. records =P

    Can you release thru cdbaby.com?

    Thank you,
    Justin

  14. Harold Grey Says:

    Go for it Pete! As you say, Universal Music have done nothing with the songs in 20+ years. I would think if they ever challenged you, that would be a good argument for trying to get out of your legal agreement with them since they have done nothing to promote the songs, and you are the recipient of royalties (I presume, though not sure if any advances were fully paid off). You are probably also right concerning the digital rights to the songs. You know, it is fascinating the stranglehold that record companies have had on artists (or at least their master recordings) over the last 50 years. Also, it is amazing to me that so many groups that are recognized worldwide have barely earned squat from their recordings. But that seems to be changing. I have been following a discussion that Dave Allen from Gof4 has been having on his blog on pampelmoose.com (sp?) about Radiohead’s recent release of In Rainbows. I assume that is why Gof4 released “Return the Gift” a few years back since they had no control over the original masters as those albums were actually out of print on CD until recently I believe. Also, I really like Wire and they have really gone back to a DIY ethic, releasing material through PostEverything.com on their own label, Pink Flag.

    Regards,
    Harold

  15. *hugs Justin*

    And — go Pete go! Rah rah rah! *shakes pom-pons* Maybe you can also hook up with a licensing company that would enable “See You Shake” to be used for commercial purposes; truthfully, I’d fantasized for ages about that song being used for some mega-hip, multinational advertising campaign, possibly related to fashion, because I just thought it would be so f***ing cool to see that song used in an advertising campaign. And it would totally bring WOTW all kinds of attention.

    Harold: So awesome to see that you are a fellow GO4/Wire fan! You know, it’s amazing how much Colin Newman has involved himself in when it comes to everything Wire, even down to their MySpace presence, and it’s paid off dividends. So Pete, you should totally go for it!

  16. Thanks for the support everyone. So, when I get out of jail the people waving from the other side of the road will be the guy in the Wire T-shirt and the girl in the The Scars cheerleader outfit?

    I think last year was the 1st year that The Stones and Madonna made more from live concerts than from record sales. We live in interesting times….

    Harold – I don’t really know the GO4 CD story, Did they reissue an old CD that the label had let go out of print, or was it a totally new project? Was there any legal fallout from that? Wire were always doing their own thing, but your right, most quite well known bands made little or no money from their music.

    And Deanna – Do you need to start your own advertising music company specialising in obscure 80’s tracks? Pump Audio, who license lots of independent music for ads and film don’t even have a genre for 80’s music………

  17. I’m not Harold, but basically Return The Gift is a CD of original re-recordings of what comes down to GO4’s greatest hits. Like, they’ve re-recorded “To Hell With Poverty”, “What We All Want”, etc. They’ve even stuck a real dollar bill in along with each CD so if you buy a new copy of the CD you get a dollar back. It’s really neat.

    And Pete, pls to not be silly; when you break out of prison, you will see me in a WOTW cheerleader outfit! Complete with a giant blow-up picture of you and your cheekbones. 😉 Also, I wish I knew all that it would take to get a song onto an advertising campaign, but unfortunately I don’t. I could try asking around, maybe even to that semi-insider person I told you about, about how it could be done, if you want to sign off on my suggestion (seeing as though it’s *your* song). But it would be teh total awesomest to see “obscure 80’s tracks” being used for advertising campaigns and thus bringing in revenue/much needed attention for the associated musical artists, instead of being heartbroken over seeing Talk Talk’s “Talk Talk” used for a cellphone provider commercial. For instance.

  18. Thanks for the GO4 info .We played gigs on the same bill as GO4 in the UK and I used to see Hugo, and Andy Gill now and then though I haven’t seen them for years. The last time I saw Andy we were all at a Louise Goffin (Carole King’s daughter) gig in London. Andy’s a well known producer and music critic these days (wasn’t he producing the late INXS singers album – ?) and Hugo was doing some sort of management and living in the US?

    I don’t know if the same thing is happening in the US but the ‘cool’ ad companies here no longer commision much new music just for the commercials but trawl band sites and other places to pick up original material which they believe lends the ad ‘authenticity’.

    If that trend continues then eventually they’ll hit on 80’s tracks, which is good and bad. Good for the bands exposure but maybe not so good because the bands then show up on the labels radar, where they haven’t appeared for 20+ yrs and alerting them to a new ‘revenue stream’.They need to get money from anywhere these days and sooner or later it will occur to them. Most of the big labels don’t know what they’ve got, especially the giants like Universal who’ve been taking over hundreds of smaller labels. If they think there’s a market out there, then pretty soon they’ll be doing their own cheesy compilations without even consulting the bands.

    …..Hmmm, maybe this comment should self-destruct after 30 secs too?

    I’ll look out for the pom poms!

  19. That is amazing that you would have that direct GO4 connection — man, the music world *is* incestuous! I know about Andy Gill because I’ve heard about his production projects, including that Killing Joke CD from 2003 (which I know only because I used to know of this really big KJ fan who posted about Gill being the producer of said CD), so it’s good to know he’s very much in demand. Hugo Burnham in the US? Really? I didn’t know *that*.

    I guess, from what you told me about music usage in commercials, that it’s not really something worth celebrating… ? Aw, shame. I’d figured that (a.) the original artists would have more of a direct involvement when it comes to commercial music licensing and (b.) it would be a much cooler process than it actually apparently is. I’d figured that maybe commercial representation might mean more recognition for your band, but… eh, sounds like relative obscurity would be preferable to what you described.

    *does a little cheerleadery cartwheel as a final flourish*

  20. Interestingly, before Gof4 reformed a few years ago, Hugo was working as an instructor at the New England Insitute of Art. (http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2004/03/03/his_gang_days_are_behind_him/). On a sad note, Gill, King and Allen are working on new Gof4 song demos with a different drummer. I think they had some kind of falling out with Hugo. Read an interesting book over the weekend. Frontman, by Richard Barone of the Bongos. They were staples on college radio in the early 80s, much like WOTW…

    Harold

  21. I last met Hugo around 2000 in NY, I was there with someone who knew him as a family friend and we all had a drink somewhere in the Village.
    I didn’t know about the Institute of Art thing, I think he was still involved in music at the time, on the management side and I think he was living in Chicago.

    He did tell us some funny stories about his brother Jolyon though, who was looking after artists for a label (a musical family!) and having sleepless nights trying to persuade the guy from The New Radicals (You Get What You Give, a kind of eighties influenced song I thought?) to come and tour the album in the UK. He never did, and shortly after decided to quit and just write songs anyway……….

    Talking about commercials music and band involvement. I seem to remember a court case here because the first that Sting knew of their song ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ being used for a deodorant commercial was when he saw it on TV.

    I don’t know the Bongos?

  22. Thanks for the article, and it looks like I got the song wrong. It was ‘At Home He’s a Tourist’ which got them banned from the BBC show.

    The article was right, controlled fury was their speciality and no-one came close. They played hard too. We supported them at Brighton University and when we came on after their soundcheck Reid took a swig from the orange juice carton Andy had left on stage. Only it wasn’t just orange juice…….Took a whole song before he could sing again.

  23. Harold Grey Says:

    That’s right, I thought I read that Hugo was doing some A&R work for a record label too before the Art Institute thing. There is a great video of that controlled fury from the 1980s concert movie Urgh, A Music War. Not sure if it is on YouTube. Gof4 are playing “He’d Send in the Army” which was filmed at a concert in London, and it is one of the best performances in the flick. The Bongos were awesome. Kind of Rickenbacker, jangly guitar pop. They did a great cover of T Rex’s Mambo Sun.

    Harold

  24. What a wondrous device is youtube!

    It took a little while to figure out why somebody sent me this but if you’re into WOTW you’ll probably get it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Pv19SlBTnU

  25. Isn’t that Senor Savage playing gits?? LOL I hope you contacted him and ribbed him about this video!!

    Harold

  26. Well done…it is indeed Senor Savage on gtr and Senor Mason, our sax/percussionist on bass gtr. You can see them both here, playing in their first band on a BBC TV show, 79 maybe? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0FrGQEIgg0

  27. This afternoon, I was digitizing my 12″ of “Don’t Say That’s Just for White Boys” and decided to see if there was more info on WOTW out there … this site ended up making my night. I’ve seriously enjoyed rehearing these tracks once again and I am well prepared to buy via iTunes or CD. Thank you!

  28. Craig Smolen Says:

    Pete,
    I have waited almost 25 years to hear a new WOTW song and I am truly blown away!!!! My favorite band of all time and I have dreamed of just one more song. When will you put more unreleased tracks up and is there any way to get high quality MP3 copies???

  29. Hi Craig
    To be anybody’s favorite band of all time is a real honor, but to know somebody has waited 25yrs for a new song? That could keep me up at night.

    We’ll have mp3s of everything released, 7″ and extended, and more out soon on itunes (details here when confirmed) and I’m rooting through some tapes this week for others to put up here. Should have them done in a week…….Let’s hope they’re worth the wait..!

  30. Craig Smolen Says:

    Pete,
    Can I get a track listing of what songs were going to be on the album? How many unreleased tracks do you think you have (besides the 2 tracks above & the two live unreleased)?
    Are there anymore unreleased live tracks or full shows? I had tickets for the washington D.C. show in 1984 but missed it due to a family emergency. I regret missing it to this day. What did you do after WOTW? If you need a great quality copy of Monkey Love MP3, let me know. I have excellent digital copies of all the released songs.

  31. If it’s ok I’ll email you with the prospective list of songs for itunes. If I put it up here too soon it’ll seem set in concrete and then if I change my mind?…..

    Yes there are still a few unreleased tracks I’m going through. The problems are technical in that I don’t have all the original master tapes, Universal (supposedly) still has those and I’m using master copies and acetates where I have them.

    Remember that this isn’t a physical CD but downloads of the songs via itunes, though it will be possible to buy them all as an album (prospective title, One Time One Life) for the average itunes album price.

    I am thinking of making a physical CD too, maybe remasters of all the singles and extras with a bio plus photos, or the unreleased album tracks but that’ll have to wait a while.

    Yes I’d like to hear your version of Monkey Love. Send it to me when I email you. That’s a weird one as it’s a very early song and apart from the very fragile flexi-discs it was only ever heard on a BBC session (since lost) and yet…..it’s out there.

    Pete

  32. Really great to see this site up. I’ve always really liked WOTW… I have all five 12″ singles, and City For Lovers is still one of my all-time favorite tracks. I had the pleasure of seeing you at the Ritz in NYC, probably in 1984 (it’s all a bit hazy at this point). Hearing Jump again for the first time in 24 years is pretty amazing (and hey, I could almost sing along to it!). I seem to remember reading somewhere that the album was to be called The International; is that correct? I also have a clipping from either Melody Maker or NME that appeared when City For Lovers was released, which in the light of subsequent events is rather amusing to read. I’m happy to send a scan if you like.

    Anyway, thanks for this. I’ll be first in line to buy anything that shows up on iTunes.

  33. Hi Bill

    Yes you’re right, the provisional title for the album was The International. I must have said that somewhere when a release was still happening.

    You saw us at the Ritz? That could have been our very last US gig. I think I have some photos of us playing that night taken by our tour manager so if I can locate them I’ll put them up here. Definitely, send me that clipping if you can, I don’t believe I have it. You can use our wotw@innocent.com and thanks for the comment and the appreciation.

    Pete

  34. Hi Pete,

    I have some of your old singles. Been searching for years for something on CD. I was shocked and sooooo happy to see your music FINALLY turn up on itunes!!!!!

    Cesca

  35. Thanks Cesca. Almost as shocked and happy as me when I saw them there myself……

    Pete

  36. tomfin2000 Says:

    Hi Pete,

    After listening to the iTunes tracks a least twenty times during the past week, I can safely say that “The International” would have been one of my favorite albums of all time. I especially enjoyed “Egyptian Rooms”, “White Flag”, and and “Running Away”. Do you know what the complete track listing and runnng order would have been, or is that something that the record company would have decided prior to release?

    Also, the iTunes version of “Countdown” is slightly different than the one I have. I couldn’t tell you where the version I have originated from, but it almost sounds like the iTunes version is the full length version while the one I have is a “single edit” or mix. The intros are definitely different, but once the first verse begins, they’re pretty similar. Maybe one was released on the 7″ single and the other on the 12″?

    One final and personal observation I had after listening to all of the tracks is that I truly enjoy listening to you guys play. It’s rare that I enjoy a band’s instrumentals, extended versions, and live tracks as much as I enjoy their singles and album tracks. You managed to create a unique sound without sacrificing musicality (for lack of a better word) which is something that most bands from the New Wave era weren’t able to do. I think that’s one of the reasons that your music has held up so well over the years.

    Now if only you had a SECOND unreleased album hiding somewhere…. 🙂

    Tom

  37. Hi Tom

    Sorry for the delay but I’ve been ‘unconnected’ for a while.

    I’m very pleased (for all at WOTW central…) that you weren’t disappointed.
    We all believed in it but when it joined the ranks of the great unreleased albums in the sky i suppose we mentally put it aside and moved on. Up to doing this project (getting the songs on itunes) I think I hadn’t listened to those unreleased tracks for over 20 yrs and wasn’t sure how they’d sound. The songs you mention were obviously not meant to be singles which meant we could experiment a bit. The storm at the start of Running Away is real and we hung the mics out the window to record it. The engineer wasn’t too pleased. “Not my U87’s”!

    As for the track listing? If I remember rightly we had the songs in an order we were trying out on the master tape, but as I only have the first tape (there were two) I could only give you the first few. I’ll check on the tape and email. I don’t imagine the record company would have agreed with our choice, they usually didn’t, so it could have ended up a compromise after the usual row.

    Different version of Countdown? Except for City For Lovers, which was made the opposite way, WOTW actually recorded the 12″ (extended) versions as the originals and they were cut down and edited for release as singles. Maybe an edited version sneaked through? I’ll check that too.

    Yes I know, though they tried their best to hide it by drinking too much and appearing completely incompetent most of the time, the WOTW personel (me excluded) were actually seriously good musicians, even at that tender age.Check out Never Let Go, the first song on the 3 track live set to see how good a drummer Dave was.

    No, no second unreleased album, but maybe some early 8trk studio songs that I’ll put up here if they’re still playable. They’re on 1/4″ tape which might be damaged, in which case……

    Pete

  38. Brilliant music that brings back so many memories …. Classic, beautiful sounds with an edge. What a gift to be able to make such great music. I have only just discovered the site after looking for Way of the West records for years…. please let me know if you are still playing and involved in recording music! Thank you for the inspiring music!!

  39. There are a couple of things I’m still involved with but I haven’t played live for a long while. I’ll email you with info as it’s probably better to keep this site just for Way Of The West.

    So pleased our music had such an effect.

    Pete

  40. Dennis Weinreich Says:

    Pete. A friend sent me a link to this page. I have been hoping to find you for ages. You sound pretty good. Fancy a catch up? I have some 1/4″ you might be interested in. Dennis

  41. robin knapp Says:

    Hey, doesn’t this seem like a long time ago ! My twenty year old daughter who is into music sent me the link to your (excellent) site – she found it whilst showing freinds what her Dad used to do in a previous life (drum for Sore Throat). All seems a million miles from living in a small village in the south of France; Good on you Pete,
    Robin and Sue

  42. Dennis, it’s great to hear from you, and glad you managed to find us at last. I’ve just noticed that after one correct spelling of your name for the ‘White Boys’ credits `i proceeded to misspell it every other time. Sorry, I’ll fix that.

    Very interesting news on the 1/4″ tape. I’ll contact you on your email and we can catch up. Hope you’re still well and best wishes.

    Pete

  43. joris van boven Says:

    Hi
    I saw WOTW several times in 1983 in the Netherlands.
    Rotterdam (Parkzicht), Delft, Wateringen (Waterpop?, not sure), Scheveningen/Den Haag. With some friends and my sister we visited these concerts and they were great. Good atmosphere, good performance, good songs, good music, good liasons with the public. DSTJFWB was well known in the Netherlands, because a radio programme used the intro as background music.
    I enjoyed the band, to see/hear them play live. Very sad the music didn’t kick-in with the rest of the world.

    All concerts went smoothly, except for this last concert in Scheveningen, only a few people showed up on a rainy sunday evening. One visitor was well-known that evening, it was Ceasar Zuiderwijk of dutch “the Golden Earring” band.

    Jason went back to Paris after the shows and he sent a tape with WOTW songs to my friend Pieter. Unfortunately I never heard that tape…..

    DSTJFWB is still one of my favourites, it has steady airplay on my Ipod.
    Thanks for this great song.

    Bye Joris

  44. Thanks for those kind words Joris. Yes I remember those Dutch open air concerts very well. They were great to play, not too big or small and very friendly. I always carried a camera and on our ‘Band Photos & More’ page you’ll find some photos of the audiences at those very gigs.

    One of the things that always made us smile too was that the audiences looked so healthy compared to us pale Brits. All that milk and cycling maybe?

    Glad we still exist on your ipod……..

    Pete

  45. Wow! Those 2 songs (White Flag & Egyptian Rooms) are great! You guys should seriously consider getting together for a tour (or at least some of you). Well at least NY! I’ve seen a number of bands from that era in the last few years – Bad Manners, Gang of 4, Television – and was amazed how good they were, not to mention the big & enthusiastic crowds they drew. I realize you guys weren’t quite as well known (though lots of people do seem to remember WHite Boys fondly), but you may be pleasantly surprised!

    Jason

    PS – If you ever DO tour again, please make sure it’s not an 18+ venue or something . . . so my 14 year old daughter & her friends can go!

  46. Jason, glad you liked those songs. As for touring, if we could just find our drummer that would be a start….

    Pete

  47. Haha – OK, Pete, I’ll try & find you a drummer! I see your album is up & running! It’s great! Is it ITUNES only? Anyway, I just gave it a RAVE review on ITUNES, which will hopefully be posted soon . . . and bring in millions of new fans! OK, thousands maybe. BTW, I did not exaggerate at all in the review; I stand by everything I said.

    It’s funny, all those singles I’ve collected are no longer rare (well I guess the actual records are but not the music). But I’m hopeful that you will gain a new generation of fans.

    Regards,
    Jason

  48. Jason,thanks for your Itunes review in advance, though I shouldn’t worry, we’ll never sell so many songs that they’ll no longer be rare. We should be so lucky…

    Anyway, there’ll be no more of the original records than exist today so they’ll gradually get harder to find. I should know…I don’t have them all myself.

    Thanks for those words

    Pete

  49. Constance Says:

    Hey there Pete – I had wondered what became of you and WOTW until a pal sent this link recently – your music endures and is still thrilling – Classic, you might say…I’m heading over to iTunes right now (never did get my albums digitized)

    My best to you and Reid,
    Constance

  50. Hi Pete,
    Great hearing Way Of The West again. I had searched the web a few years back for you guys and found nothing. I had heard you back in the early 80’s on a public radio station in Miami on one of those once a week 3 hour shows… the only place you could listen to new wave / punk at the time. I bought 3 of the above records and had lost them in various moves over the years. But the music was awesome and still is today! WOTW was always my personal little musical pleasure since, unfortunately, you guys were a little under the radar. Anyways, thanks to all for putting the website together and all the best Pete.
    Wayne C., Detroit

  51. Craig Smolen Says:

    Pete,

    Was there ever any artwork done for the unreleased album? Did you ever find the early 8trk songs on 1/4″ tape? I am excited at the thought of additional unreleased material!!!!!!

  52. No, didn’t get as far as artwork.

    8trk songs? I did find a few early songs before
    the Revox gave up the ghost but I really mean early.

    As you’re interested I’ll give them another listen and
    If I think they make enough ‘sense’ I’ll put them up here.
    Hows that?

  53. dave bonnefoy Says:

    hi pete. its your old drumming mate here checking into wotw central.wow what a spin out, so much interest in the band after so many years. many thanks to all who have written in with such flattering remarks.

    i downloaded all the tracks from itunes, sounds great , well done pete, nice to see those later tracks that we laboured over eventually got out there.

    i too have some goodies i would like to send you… wotw cheque book [ried being the highest paid member of the band,315 quid] and a melody maker review titled, march of the white boys. i know, sounds somewhat dodgey does’nt it ?

    i’m doing ok, still live in sydney.
    i noticed there was some chat about getting back together and maybe doing some shows. i don’t know how likely that is given the fact that i happen to live on the other side of the planet but i could be temted if you chaps were up for it…. maybe graham cooper[grayboots] would come back on board and tour manage us… what do ya think pete ?

  54. hello dave..great to here from you..i would certainly dust down tthe old bass for some reunion gigs..(though i realise i may be second choice bassist!!!)speak soon rhythm pal..neil

  55. I saw The Way play live twice – once at The Brooklyn Zoo, at the risk of my life and once on familiar territory at The Left Bank in Mt. Vernon NY. TWOTW is one of those great, great bands like Pylon, Buzz & The Flyers, Romeo Void and Polyrock that just never got a proper shot at popularity. A shame, really. Even worse, the typical record company crap keeps the group from getting props now, while they still keep them from making money. As they say, you can’t fix stupid.

  56. Always loved White Boys, 12″ was ace
    Did you support Depeche Mode at the Cedar Club in Brum?

  57. Dear Pete,
    So great to hear this after so long I always believed it was brilliant shame we had such a gutless A&R Wanker.
    Love Jeremy

  58. this brings back lots of good memories when being a sound engineer and they were playing with us on a open air gig 🙂

  59. Richard Escarcega Says:

    Hello. My name is Richard. Way back in 1981-1982, I was including “White Boys” in my regular DJ sets at a gay bar in the Silverlake area of LA called “The Oneway”! LA had something special and truly unique, musically speaking, in this place from 1978 to 1984 (when it changed ownership and music format). So many great memories….! Thanks!!!!

  60. Great to hear this stuff again! “Drum” was one of the very first 12″ singles I bought (with my own cash, etc). I heard it again recently on Youtube – for the first time in years! – & was astounded at how good it still sounds! My original copy’s long vanished, so it’s great to see you’ve just put this stuff up on iTunes. All of the singles still sound terrific, as it ‘appens… nice work!

  61. I can’t tell you how happy I was to find this site. I love Way of the West and I feel like your music helped get me through some very difficult high school years City for Lovers was the first 12″ single I ever bought ans it is still a very prized possession. I never got to see you perform live as I was too young to get into the Peppermint Lounge or The Ritz, but listened to WLIR and was am still am I huge fan who just wanted to say THANK YOU!

    John

  62. In the eighties I was one of few – often the lone black guys who frequented New Jersey clubs like Hitsville, Maxwell’s, Meadowbrook and a few others. Only really knowing the words to the chorus I considered the song kind of a theme for me!

    Reading the lyrics above I still don’t have a clear sense of what it’s about. Would you mind sharing it’s story?

    • geo316, I had the same role, joyously, at The Left Bank, Danceteria, Peppermint Lounge and The Brooklyn Zoo where I was really taking my life (and my girlfriends’) in my hands. But hey, someone needed to show that we were a part of the new wave/punk world in public so why not us? And I saw WOTW at The Zoo and the Left Bank and I still remember both…

  63. Playing the Social Mix of “Drum” on our program (Just Off The Radar) this weekend! From the original vinyl no less…

  64. Ruud Bakker Says:

    Hi Pete, I also been looking for years. You have never been from my wanted list. So I was surprised to find it on iTunes, I immediately bought it there. But, do you have the artwork for this album (One Time One Life)? Of course the front cover I already got from iTunes, but the rest I cannot find on internet.

    • Hello Ruud

      Sorry it’s bit late but I’ve explained that lower down on the page.

      We never managed to release an album in our career. One Time One Life is a compilation I put together of all the singles and most of the other pieces we’d recorded while we were together and it was for download only. There isn’t a CD on sale so no artwork apart from what’s on iTunes. Not ideal but it’s for copyright reasons.

      Pete

  65. stuart reed Says:

    Hi just found the WotW stuff on line. Great to hear after 30 years!! It still sounds great & had a big influence on my bass playing at the time along with Dave Allen from GO4. I had a 30 minute BBC In Concert tape many years ago which I played to death & resulted in me getting all the singles 7 & 12 inch. Have you got it? can you post it?

    • Thanks Stuart

      I don’t even have that tape myself. I’ll see if I can retrieve it from them (the BBC) and if I can I’ll put it up here. Hope that helps.

      Pete

  66. To all the people who’ve been commenting on here for the last couple of years and wondering where their messages had gone or why no-one was replying. I’m afraid the answer is that I managed to lock myself out of my own site, partly a broken password and partly a change to the way the site worked. Whatever, it meant that I couldn’t approve any of your kind and interesting views or get into any dialogue at all.

    Here’s hoping I’ve managed to fix the problem permanently and everything now works as it should. Anyway, I’m blaming the Ghost In The Machine till I hear otherwise. Meanwhile I’ll work through and try to answer any questions that need answering.

    I’ll put this reply on all the pages so we know where we are.

    Many apologies to our loyal WOTW fans out there

    Pete

  67. For the incurably curious I’ve put three of my own songs, strange love songs I guess (not WOTW songs) as a playlist on SoundCloud. I’ve kept Mercury66 as an id and the playlist is called Pop Not Pop. They should be down-loadable but I haven’t figured that out yet.

    All comments are welcome but we should probably keep them on the SoundCloud page. Not being an expert I’m hoping it’s possible to comment there.

    Also not being an expert in these things I’m hoping this link here actually works! Let me know if it doesn’t.

    Pete

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