“As you get older, you realise music is about nostalgia, and the culture of the songs. How people understand those songs is entirely up to them,” says bassist Gerard Love, one of the group’s three singer-songwriters, alongside guitarists Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley. “Sometimes on stage you don’t stop to realise what’s happening: that something you did 25 years ago had a deep effect on people. When you stop to think about it, it’s incredible.”
So why release these albums, remastered and on vinyl, now? The short answer is because they could. Sony was keen to do so, and the group wanted them to be available again, having been out of print. There had been limited-run, semi-official releases, that were costing small fortunes on resale sites, and the group simply saw the opportunity to make this landmark run of records available again.
Listening back to the albums for the remastering provoked different reactions from the three men. “Initially, it feels like a painful process to listen to your old records,” McGinley says. “But then you think, ‘Those guys did OK.’ One of the things Norman pointed out is how much younger we sound. I can remember the recordings, but it’s like listening to someone else.”
“I can hear the improvement in our writing, and in the vocal performances and the playing,” Blake says. “It was interesting to hear the way the band developed, and how we were influencing each other in the way we were writing.”
“That first decade was the ascent,” Love says, summing up this glorious run of records. “There’s something amazing about setting out on a journey when you don’t know what’s around the corner.”