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TR+ Exclusive: Welcome Back: Terry Reid – extended interview

Super Lungs might not have had the success he deserves, but he’s not one to whinge about lost super-opportunities.

Best known for turning down the chance to be the singer in Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, Terry Reid is about to release The Other Side Of The River, a collection of out-takes and alternative takes of material from River, his album first issued by Atlantic Records in 1973.

Now 66 years old and based in California, Reid (who also guests on Joe Perry’s forthcoming solo album) refuses to dwell on the negative ahead of a 12-date tour of Britain and Ireland.

Where had the unused tracks that became The Other Side Of The River lain for all these years?

They were found by a gentleman who works from Warner Brothers Records in Chicago. He was in England looking for the masters for River. And it was like a scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark – rows and rows of boxes of tapes. When he played the extra songs he didn’t recognise any of them.

How many of the album’s songs haven’t we heard before?

What we’ve got here are six never-before-heard compositions [along with five alternative takes of songs on River].

River was two years in the making, on different sides of the Atlantic and with two producers: Eddy Offord and Tom Dowd. That sounds nightmareish.

I was tearing my hair out until Ahmet Ertegun [Atlantic supremo] brought in Tom Dowd, who’d worked on every record I loved from my youth, from Wilson Pickett to Aretha Franklin. Tom turned things from a total tragedy to making me feel like a kid in a candy store.

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