Otway and Barrett back in the groove

A special edition of John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett’s debut album is about to hit the shelves to mark  2019’s Record Store Day. And there is nothing digital about this analogue achievement. It’s a unique enterprise from start to finish.

This double LP collection contains a re-press from the original master tape of the 1977 edition and a new direct-to-disc recording of the same tracks. It comprises a green vinyl disc and a blue vinyl one along with large insert with full background information and photos.

The first LP from 1977 was cut directly from the quarter-inch original master tape of ‘John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett’. (Willy didn’t think this was possible because he thought he had lost the tape years ago and hadn’t realised that Otway had stolen it from him just before they split up in 1978.)

The other LP of this two album set was recorded direct to disc in 2018. No hard drive or tape was involved, just straight from the microphones to the needle of the cutting lathe. In fact it harks back to the earliest recordings of the twentieth century. Willy did not think this was possible because it meant the all the songs had to be played for each side without stopping.

Willy had worked with Otway for long enough to realise that, although he felt confident he could change instruments between almost every song in the few seconds gap between each track, he wasn’t at all sure about Otway. He wasn’t convinced that Otway, who only had the one instrument, would be able to a) play the correct chords b) sing the correct words c) hit the right notes or d) remember the order the songs came in. And they would get just one go at it.

Was Willy right? We will know soon enough as this piece of Aylesbury’s Otway and Barrett history will be released on Record Store Day, Saturday April 13.

For a copy of this limited edition vinyl go to the ‘stores’ link on www.recordstoreday.co.uk  to enable pre-ordering of this masterpiece. @RSDUK2019.  #RSD19.