Exiles (Foldback Mix)
Featuring John, Bill, and Robert, this pre-Red power trio can be heard mapping out the song’s overall structure with Robert putting in placeholder strumming that gives the piece a welcoming, almost folk-rock feel.
John’s funk-soaked bass pushing around below the song is quite high in the mix and it’s possible this reference copy was run off for home listening in order to define the part he would soon finalise. Interesting also, hearing Bill refining the clipped military march feel.
By utilising Robert’s introspective Mantra theme which had last seen live action in 1969 where it surfaced during looser, free-form sections of their concerts, combined with David Cross’s wistful main melody and Richard Palmer-James’ semi-autobiographical lyrics about youths leaving their native stomping ground (in this case Bournemouth), Exiles has a kind of end-of-an-era poignancy.