Yes, I'll admit that I, Chris Barry, the singer and principle songwriter of 39 Steps, am the person responsible for the poor sounding dub of this record that's been circulating on the net over the past several years. You see, when I originally digitized the album [with no EQ and from an old cassette tape to boot!] I figured there were no more than a handful of people who'd ever care enough to download it. Nevertheless, it was important to me that whoever DID want to hear these songs be able to do so without having to track down the original vinyl, something easier said than done most of the time [this particular album never came out on CD, btw.].
But I was wrong about how many people like this record, the first one we did together as 39 Steps [most of us had played in the 222s a few years prior] back in 1984/85. So while Slip into the Crowd is hardly a Top Ten hit on iTunes, I felt that if somebody was willing to shell out a whoppin' 99 cents for one of these songs, they should at least get a respectable sounding track in return.
Easier said than done though. For starters, I wasn't sure if I had the master tapes of Slip into the Crowd in the first place, and even if I did, where the fuck would they even be now? Undeterred, I started hunting around and eventually found them hiding in my disgustingly filthy storage space, where they'd been gathering dust since the 1980s. Not surprisingly they were in pretty bad shape, when I finally tracked down a local recording studio that still owned a functioning 1/2 inch tape machine, the tapes were far too sticky to even play. Eventually, and at great expense to the management, I was able to have them restored and properly remastered. They sound great now. Honest.
Ultimately I think getting Slip into the Crowd remastered was probably worth the expense. Sonically, it's like night and day compared to the dub that's been on iTunes and all the other major download sites for all this time.
And sure, feel free to pay more than the asking price for these songs if you can afford it. You won't see me fighting you on that one, funnily enough. I don't really expect to see enough downloads of Slip Into the Crowd to recoup the cost of restoring the tapes, but whatever, so be it. At least a decent sounding version of the record is finally available to those who want it.
And to all of you who are downloading it as we speak, really, thanks so much. I/we put a lot of sweat and blood into this band and certainly didn't get much back in return - assuming tears don't count, of course. But it's pretty cool to see that 25 years after the fact there are people interested enough in our band to be here in the first place. That's pretty rewarding stuff in itself, as I'm sure you can imagine. So really... thanks a million. And oh yeah, enjoy the record.
released November 23, 2013
all rights reserved