Friday, October 22, 2021

The Way We Live: A Candle For Judith 1971 + Tractor: Tractor 1972

Tractor is an English rock band founded in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, by guitarist/vocalist Jim

Milne and drummer Steve Clayton in 1971. Both had been members of a beat group, The Way We Live, since 1966. They are notable both for their appreciation by John Peel and Julian Cope, but also for their longevity because as of 2007, they were still performing. The band was produced initially by schoolfriend sound engineer John Brierley.

Clive Selwood was the CBS UK operations manager and he listened to the tape and liked what he heard. He and his partner DJ John Peel signed the band to their Dandelion Records label. Peel had a

fondness for Rochdale, having worked in a cotton mill there before becoming a DJ. Clive Selwood came to Rochdale to sign up the band.
The group was booked into London's Spot Studios and finished the sessions within two days, and in January 1971 the band's debut album, A Candle for Judith was released, credited to The Way We Live. The release, named after Clayton's then girlfriend, later wife, earned immediate critical acclaim "...impeccable in both technique and emotion"... Al Clark writing in Time Out in London in 1971.
Meanwhile, Peel bought the band recording equipment and a stereo PA system. He also convinced the band to change their name. Looking out of his kitchen window at Peel Acres in Suffolk, he spied a tractor in the fields adjacent to his house and recommended it as a name to them. Tractor's first release after the name change from The Way We Live was a 7-inch maxi single – "Stoney Glory"/"Marie"/"As You Say"—for Dandelion. They also backed up another Dandelion act – Beau — on his Creation album (1971).

The duo's first full-length follow-up was released in 1972. By January 1973, the album was earning positive reviews. Melody Maker stated "albums don't come any better than this", Bob Harris, Anne

Nightingale on BBC Radio 1 and Kid Jensen on Radio Luxembourg, all gave airplay to the album and it climbed to 18 in the Radio Luxembourg album charts, and to 30 in the Virgin Bestseller charts.[citation needed] Sound engineer John Brierley was eventually replaced by former The Way We Live singer Alan Burgess and, along with Chris Hewitt who would eventually manage the band, Milne, and Clayton, the group began building a studio in Dawson Street, Market Street Heywood, Lancashire, named Tractor Sound Studios, again partially financed by John Peel.

Tractor were formed in Rochdale in 1971 from the remains of three-piece band The Way We Live (originally formed in 1966 at Balderstone School, Rochdale). The band comprised Jim Milne (guitarist,

vocalist and songwriter) and Steve Clayton (drummer, percussionist and songwriter) who had teamed up in 1971 with their manager and sound engineer John Brierley, who built his first studios (Dandelion Studios Rochdale) in his bedroom and attic. John later recorded Factory and many other bands at his Cargo Studios in Rochdale.
As The Way We Live, Tractor made a 1971 album for Dandelion Records boss, the late John Peel. After the release of this album, "A Candle For Judith", Peel described guitarist Jim Milne as "...the man responsible for some of the most urgent flowing and logical guitar playing I've ever heard".

Their second album, "Tractor” (as Tractor) got to number 18 in the Radio Luxembourg album charts and was frequently played on the BBC by DJs like Peel, Bob Harris and Anne Nightingale. It was also in

the Virgin Top 30 selling album charts in 1972.
Later that year, former Rochdale College Social Secretary Chris Hewitt became their tour manager and sound engineer and the band opened recording studios in Dawson Street in Heywood. They performed on the college and university circuit from winter 1972 onwards (one night appearing on the same bill as future AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott) and also worked on their third album which would later become the CD release, "Worst Enemies".

In 1976, Tractor helped launch the Deeply Vale Festivals and were the main Festival attraction in 1976 and 1977. As it grew in reputation, other Manchester-based and nationally known artists appeared at the

Festival alongside Tractor, including Durutti Column, The Fall, The Out, The Drones, Nik Turner (of Hawkwind), Here And Now, The Ruts, Fast Cars and Steve Hillage.
During their career, Tractor have issued LPs and CDs on Dandelion Records, UK Records, Cargo Records (Indie Rochdale label), Roach Records and they now control their entire back catalogue through their own Ozit-Morpheus Records. In 1998, they released a new CD of archive material, Tractor "Before, During and After the Dandelion Years".

They played at Glastonbury Festival in 2002 and the Canterbury Festival in 2003. There is a DVD available through Ozit-Morpheus Records entitled, ‘Beyond Deeply Vale’, and like all Tractor material, it received stunning reviews.
In 2004, ITV made a documentary about Deeply Vale and Tractor, "Truly Madly Deeply Vale", which is to be released on DVD with extra bonus footage. Further recognition came in December 2004 when Tractor played at a John Peel tribute concert along with Doves and Badly Drawn Boy, Marc Riley and Andy Rourke from the Smiths. In October 2006, Tractor released a new CD, “John Peel Bought Us Studio Gear And a P.A.”

IT'S PSYCHEDELIC BABY MAGAZINE (Interview 1 February 2013)
Interview made by Kevin Rathert/2013

The Way We Live / Tractor – A Candle For Judith / Tractor
Label: See For Miles Records Ltd. – SEECD 409
Series: 2 albums on one CD
Format: CD, Compilation
Country: UK
Released: 1994
Genre: Rock
Style: Prog Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Hard Rock, Blues Rock, Folk Rock



01. The Way We Live – King Dick II  3:16    
02. The Way We Live – Squares    4:40
03. The Way We Live – Siderial    3:47
04. The Way We Live – Angle    1:22
05. The Way We Live – Storm    5:26
06. The Way We Live – Willow    6:27
07. The Way We Live – Madrigal    2:01
08. The Way We Live – The Way Ahead    8:45



09. Tractor – All Ends Up    6:46
10. Tractor – Little Girl In Yellow    8:09
11. Tractor – The Watcher    1:59
12. Tractor – Ravenscroft's 13 Bar Boogie    3:25
13. Tractor – Shubunkin Part 1    3:05
14. Tractor – Hope In Favour Part 2    2:47
15. Tractor – Everytime It Happens Part 3    5:54
16. Tractor – Make The Journey    9:50


17. Tractor – Lady Of Astorath   2:49
18. Tractor – Stony Glory   3:10
19. Tractor – Overture   3:30



Arranged By, Producer, Engineer – John Brierley
Bass – Jim Milne (3) (tracks: 1 to 12, 14, 16), Steve Clayton (2) (tracks: 13, 15)
Drums, Tambourine, Maracas, Drums [Hand], Bongos, Piano, Flute, Performer [Snake Charmer], Arranged By – Steve Clayton (2)
Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar [Six String], Twelve-String Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Lyrics By, Music By, Arranged By – Jim Milne (3)
Liner Notes – Michael Heatley
Mixed By – Phil Dunne (tracks: 1 to 8)
Music By – Steve Clayton (2) (tracks: 1 to 3, 5 to 8)
Supervised By [Production] – Clive Selwood (tracks: 9 to 16), John Peel (tracks: 1 to 8)

Tracks 1 to 8 recorded in a bedroom in Rochdale, Lancashire, UK, and mixed at Marquee Studios, London. Taken from the album "A Candle for Judith" (1971).
Tracks 9 to 16 recorded at Dandelion Studios, Rochdale, Lancashire, UK. Taken from the album "Tractor" (1972).

MP3 @ 320 Size: 202 MB
Flac  Size: 536 MB


  1. I went to one of the Deeply Vale Festivals, quite an amazing place for a festival. Hippies, punks, Hells Angels and no trouble..