The story behind The
Machines tracks on the compilation - 'You Better Hear' and 'Racing' -
is an interesting one in itself: After chatting with Dizzy of Detour /
Bin Liner Records about The Machines, Dizzy had asked Nick if there was
any unreleased material, as he'd like to include them on a future edition
of his 'Bored Teenagers' series.
Nick Paul: "About 2 weeks later in a large captains chest that I use for
all sorts of Rock 'n' Roll storage, I found a battered old box just a
little bit bigger than a CD case with an address in Leigh on it. I instantly
recognised it as Bob Hill's (friend of the band and helper/roadie). I
opened it up and inside was a small spool of tape with a sticker on it
saying 'The Machines' - it looked completely knackered!"
"I had completely forgotten that back around September 1977 we had spent
an afternoon at Bob's dad's studio in Corringham. His dad made educational
films and had never recorded a band before (or since!). It was more like
a spare room than a studio and we recorded the two tracks all playing
together and then stuck the vocals on afterwards."
"The actual playing and recording side took about an hour and then about
another hour 'mixing' the sound. I was amazed at what I had found and
as I didn't have a reel to reel tape player I took it to a friends to
see if it played and if so, what was on it! We put it on my friends tape
player and all we could hear was screeching, hissing and the sound of
a distant bass-like rumble which I could just about identify as us!"
"I told Dizzy what I had found. He was very excited and said I should
take it ASAP to a skilled sound engineer (James Perrett) down in Portsmouth
as if anyone could restore it, he was the man. I took the tape to James
and he confirmed the problem was 27 years of condensation and poor storage."
"Painstakingly, by cleaning 4ft of tape at a time, he was able to record
the songs in about 4 second soundbites. We then sat at his mixing desk
and bolted all the 4 second slices back into whole songs again. It was
very spooky hearing them for the first time since 1977, very strange.
We put master copies on CD so it is now fine and safe for the next 30
years! Dizzy was really pleased with the two tracks and said they HAD
to be Tracks 1 and 2 on Bored Teenagers Vol.4!"