Welcome back to the second volume of the ultimate Blitzkrieg collection »The Boys From Brazil Street: 1981 Revisited«. The material, another 18 tracks altogether, ranges from unreleased versions of ancient classics (e.g. “Blitzkrieg”, “Hell To Pay”, “Armageddon” and “Buried Alive”) to utterly obscure numbers such as “Sweeney – Rock 'n' Roll”. The first volume of »The Boys From Brazil Street: 1981 Revisited« was a huge success. Then Blitzkrieg lead guitarist Jim Sieroto did like the album a lot: “I'm most proud of »The Boys From Brazil Street: 1981 Revisited – The Archives Vol. One«. The music came from the original 2-track open reel tapes we recorded at Neat Studios and Humbucker in Leicester. I had the audio professionally transferred off the tapes here in Leicester and then sent the files to High Roller Records. Nearly all of the different pieces of memorabilia are from my own personal collection. A few posters and handbills came from guitarist Mick Moore, but the rest of it was what I had collected. I am an obsessive collector so was always taping gigs and saving other stuff. The whole package of the album is just superb, the way it's put together, the way it looks and sounds, it's a masterpiece - full credit to Thorsten and his team.”
For Thorsten of High Roller Records the need to compile a follow-up was only too evident: “When I gathered the material for »The Boys From Brazil Street: The Farm Tapes. The Archives Vol. Two.« my aim was to make sure that all the songs from the double CD issued by Sanctuary a couple of years back are now available on vinyl as well. The highlight of the second part of this collection is a number entitled “Now You've Gone”. This track has never been issued before in any shape or form! So for me it was only logical to have it on the album in as many versions as possible – in this specific case in three different versions. It was not my intention to just archive those two sessions, the album needs to be interesting to the fans after all. That's why I decided to compile it from the “Q” session (recorded at Q Studios, Queniborough, Leicester on August 15th of 1981) and the “Farm” session (recorded on August 4th and August 9th of 1981 at Farm Studios, Hinckley Road, Leicester)”.
Jim Sieroto let's his memory travel back in time: “The Farm was a rehearsal room on the outskirts of Leicester based in some old stables. It had been rewired and was brilliant to use as parking was great and you were miles away form any neighbours. We miked up the band as if for a gig and Nez, our manager, was parked in the van outside the room with the mixer and a stereo cassette deck. We played and recorded a lot of stuff this way in August 1981. Q Studios in Queniborough had just opened and was a professional outfit. It was a new 16-track facility, in fact the video suite was still being finished at the time. The last recording session of the original Blitzkrieg was done there. I wrote nearly all the music and lyrics for the songs on »The Boys From Brazil Street: The Farm Tapes. The Archives Vol. Two.«, except for 'Blitzkrieg', which was Ian Jones’ riff with my lyrics and dive bombing noises on the guitar. I had an Akai open reel tape deck which I used to record demos on. I could bounce from track to track adding an extra layer to the recording. I have lots of demos done this way. I would play them back to the band and we'd learn it on acoustic guitars, before taking it into the rehearsal room.”
With “Too Wild To Tame” »The Boys From Brazil Street: The Farm Tapes. The Archives Vol. Two.« contains a number which was later put out as a 7” single on Neat Records by Avenger. Here you can find a different version performed by Blitzkrieg. Jim Sieroto explains: “I was ill for a few weeks in September 1981. When I returned, 'Too Wild To Tame' had been written, my guess is John Antcliffe did the riff and Brian the words.” “Too Wild Too Tame” would have been Blitzkrieg's second release on Neat Records.
“Toccata” is Jim's own showcase song as a guitarist and he comments: “Yes, we did the song live. The Farm tapes are all live and no overruns, that's what we sounded like at gigs.”
In my book one of the most underrated Blitzkrieg songs ever is “Vikings”. The version on »The Boys From Brazil Street: The Farm Tapes. The Archives Vol. Two.« is drastically different from the one which later appeared on the official »A Time Of Changes« album. Jim knows some more details: “Inspired by a BBC documentary based around the theme of the Viking invasion of the North East coast of England, I intended 'Vikings' to be a concept piece, taking up one side of an LP. Part two was never recorded by the band, although we rehearsed it a few times. I recorded a home demo in 1990 with some new kit I bought at the time, along with parts three and four, and an overture. I am glad you like the song, I'm very pleased with how it turned out.” When the mentioned »A Time Of Changes« album was finally released in 1985, Blitzkrieg as a band was no more, it was kind of a retrospective album, if you will. In comparison to the single it did sound much too clinical. Jim Sieroto agrees: “I suppose you're right. »A Time Of Changes« sounds far too 1980s for my ears, particularly the drum sound. Still, full credit to Brian for getting it released and inviting me to play on it. The last time I saw Brian and his family was at Ian Jones' funeral in 2009. I keep in touch via social media. I'm very impressed by what Brian is doing with the band today. How he manages all these tours abroad is great - well done!”
»The Boys From Brazil Street: The Farm Tapes. The Archives Vol. Two.« features the only recording of the original band playing the song “A Time Of Changes” (recorded on August 9th 1981 at Farm Studios). This would become the name of the Blitzkrieg album when it was finally released in 1985. Like many of Jim’s song titles it was inspired by a science fiction story. The lyrics, probably one of Jim’s most cynical, were changed on the commercial release. A very powerful performance showing the ability of the band to stretch out a relatively complicated arrangement.
As mentioned earlier, the centrepiece of this collection is a number called “Now You’ve Gone”, featured in three different versions on »The Boys From Brazil Street: The Farm Tapes. The Archives Vol. Two.«. Like “Vikings”, it features a killer riff that reflects the increasing confidence of Jim’s songwriting and the band’s capability to successfully translate his ideas. Jim Sieroto explains in more detail: “'Now You’ve Gone' was originally the title of a demo recorded in 1979, but never used by the band at that time. The title had been resurrected by a completely different song, although the theme of jealousy/desperation remained the same.”
“Sweeney – Rock 'n' Roll” is another song which has not appeared on any official Blitzkrieg vinyl release before. In contrast to “Now You've Gone” though it was not intended to become a serious number. As the name suggests, it's at least partially a rock 'n' roll medley starting with “Rock & Roll” by Led Zeppelin before going into “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Hound Dog” and “At The Hop”, then coming back into “Rock & Roll” again for the ending. Just a bit of innocent fun, really. (There is a 1978 demo of “The Sweeney” in existence, with the Rock 'n' Roll tracks added later in rehearsal).