It was almost 30 years ago that BBC Radio 1 recorded and then broadcast a session from Paul Quinn & Edwyn Collins on the Richard Skinner Show. The session was recorded on 5th August 1984 and broadcast on 20th August 1984.

Up until the other day, the only copies of the session kicking around were descended from homemade cassettes where those smart enough had listened with their fingers poised over the pause button. As you can imagine the quality of the recordings weren’t great not helped by the deterioration of the actual tape over the years.

As I said….up until the other day…..for hasn’t the wonderful and amazing and worth every penny of the license fee BBC not just gone and re-broadcast the session in magical digital quality on 6 Music.

Not only that, but the search of the archives and tapes uncovered a song that hadn’t gone out as part of the 20th August broadcast. Talk about finding lost treasure……….

I’ve learned all this thanks to an e-mail from the Proprietor of The Punk Rock Hotel, a man who more than any keeps the flame burning on behalf of who I consider to be the greatest Scottish vocal talent of my generation.

The musicians involved in the session were:-

Paul Quinn – vocals/keyboards
Edwyn Collins – guitar/backing vocals
Chris Bell – drums
Craig Gannon – guitar
Paul Heard – bass

The four songs that were originally broadcast consisted of two Quinn/Collins compositions (including a song that was subsequently released under Paul’s name only as Edwyn had contractual issues preventing him being formally recognised) and two cover versions (one of this Mike Nesmith song while the other had previously been recorded by Orange Juice).

The fifth and previously never heard song was another cover – of this Bee Gees song dating back to 1968.

So without any further delay:-

mp3 : Paul Quinn/Edwyn Collins – Different Drum
mp3 : Paul Quinn/Edwyn Collins – Ain’t That Always The Way
mp3 : Paul Quinn/Edwyn Collins – It Had To Happen
mp3 : Paul Quinn/Edwyn Collins – Louise, Louise
mp3 : Paul Quinn/Edwyn Collins – I Started A Joke

Ah…….but here’s a really peculiar and mysterious thing that is bemusing both myself and The Proprietor……

The versions of Different Drum and Ain’t That Always The Way that went out on 6 Music the other night do not appear to be those originally broadcast back in 1984.

The cassette copy from back in the day quite clearly has someone playing harmonica on these two tracks and this is an instrument absent from the cleaned up and digitized versions.  It is also worth noting that on the hissy cassette version of Different Drum you hear Richard Skinner introducing the song and the band….so that was clearly the version broadcast in 1984….and as I say it is completely different from that broadcast in 2015.  Have a listen to realise I’m not just gibbering:-

mp3 : Paul Quinn/Edwyn Collins – Different Drum (cassette recording)
mp3 : Paul Quinn/Edwyn Collins – Ain’t That Always The Way (cassette recording)

Peculiar??? Most certainly……………

But notwithstanding this mystery, what an absolute pleasure it is to hear the clarity of these updated recordings and of course the fact that 31 years on, there is a new Paul Quinn/Edwyn Collins song to enjoy.

I’m not sure if anything else released in the rest of 2015 will excite me this much.


  1. “I’m not sure if anything else released in the rest of 2015 will excite me this much.”: that’s until the BBC find and broadcast the tapes of the aborted Clash Peel Session … an unlikely thing to happen, I admit!

  2. Oh wow. Tears in my eyes, goosebumps, shivers down my spine. Thank you BBC, thank you Vinyl Villain, thank you The Proprietor!

  3. Sources have unearthed a few more nuggets of info. The Harmonica on the unknown versions was played by Judd Lander – he who played harmonica on Karma Chameleon. And the reason that “I Started A Joke” was shelved was because a certain svengali-esque manager figure didn’t like it ..

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