Q – I must say i am big fan of some of your b -side material, and happen to think that Witching Hour, Blame Mary Jane and Wild Orphan Child are some of you very best solo work. I have always felt that these songs are stronger then some of the songs of your debut album and i wondered if you had considered outting any of them on the album?

My mate and i have always adored Wild Oprhan Child the lyrics the arrangement, the melody, way it plays out, kills us, have you considred playing this live?

A – Well, thanks. You are not alone re – Wild Orphan (there is no ‘child’ in the title), I do get a lot of requests for it but I’m afraid it’s one of those songs that I don’t really feel right singing at this stage in my life. There are a few of these ‘young person’s’ songs in my catalogue.. Frankly, I’m amazed some days at the number of songs I wrote in my twenties that I don’t have a problem singing.

As to the merits of these b-sides compared to album tracks – you may have a point, but you might try putting an ‘album’ together in iTunes… if you did so you’d find that there is more to it that just the quality of the material – the songs have to sit together, in a particular order to create a single entity, or, back in those days two sides, and a single CD. Sometimes you have to cut out tracks you like to do this. (Alf Ramsey left arguably his best player in Jimmy Greaves out of the England team because the team was more balanced without him, and they won the World Cup!) The Witching Hour, by the way, was on our provisional running order for the record until the very last minute. And I do stand by our decisions, except maybe I wish ‘What do you know about Love?’ wasn’t track two…