The first-time vinyl reissue of the 1979 solo debut from the Homosexuals bassist Jim Welton (a.k.a. L. Voag) includes a bonus 7-inch of the rare Move EP. The Way Out is recommended for fans of Desperate Bicycles, This Heat and Mark Perry.
"The start of recording The Way Out crossed over with the last days of my involvement with the Homosexuals. Lovely as they were, the guys were demanding unswerving, vanilla rock 'n' roll fealty from me – something I just couldn't provide given my need to taste eight thousand musical ideas at once.
"The gravity around which The Way Out took shape issued from a decidedly asinine idea: what if we lived in a world where the music of the avant-gardists (Stockhausen, Pauline Oliveros, Henry) provided the best-selling, chart-topping pabulum of the day, while pop music (as we know it) was an obscure, nigh impenetrable, elitist niche product? L. Voag is a fiction used to describe a character from the pop milieu who, desperate for a hit, attempts to knock out a crossover album combining both worlds. Not surprisingly, he fails miserably.
"The Way Out was recorded at Surrey Sound Studios, founded in 1976 by brothers Nigel and Chris Grey. While Nigel (sensibly?) concentrated on music biz staples The Police and others, Chris – a visionary with at least one if not both feet planted in the future – opened up the studio to all manner of experiment, actively inviting mavericks and crazies to participate. Maniacs like the Homosexuals, Milk From Cheltenham, and L. Voag were granted access to gold standard, 24-track recording equipment, so long as it was during so-called dead time between 1:00 and 7:00 A.M. The brothers were unfailingly generous, even on the occasion when Lepke retuned Sting's hand-turned lute to the obscure Mixolydian mode – by accident.
"The middle of The Way Out sessions, which took just over six weeks to complete, were disrupted when L. Voag found himself arrested on trumped-up charges by the Special Patrol Group (SPG), London's own out-of-control paramilitary police force. Held for two days, L. Voag was dragged by the SPG to his Bloomsbury squat, special guest of a proposed drugs raid. As they smashed the doors in, he burst into a famous rendition of his now forgotten masterwork, 'The Police Are Raiding the Fucking House!' Halfway through the first verse, he discovered the boot of an SPG thug dancing up and down on his face and promptly stopped singing. Some days later in the slow dead hours before dawn, L. Voag sang again. If you listen carefully to The Way Out, you will hear the lisping special effect of twelve stitches applied to the lip. Beat that if you can, songbirds." – L. Voag
"Totally sums up the very best experimentation to emerge from the New Wave - a classic of bric-a-brac nonconformity" - Steven Stalpeton
"Weirdly beautiful" Douglas Wolk
"One big ball of fun" Edwin Pouncey
"A monument to being radically out of step with fashion" Chris Cutler
"Makes even Syd Barrett seem a little tame" The Sound Projector
"A masterpiece - bursting with idea and twisted conventions" - Audion