Toward the end of their initial time together, Wire released a 45 which (according to Wire biographer Kevin Eden) was intended “to secure a one-off deal with [a record] company” – other than EMI, one presumes, with whom the band was on the outs. The a-side of this 45 (which appeared on Rough Trade in 1980) was called “Our Swimmer.” For a while, this track and its accompanying b-side “Midnight Bahnhof Cafe” were available as bonus tracks on the Mute CD of Document & Eyewitness. It appears that subsequent issues of that CD omitted these tracks – making them somewhat rare. (Except, of course, for my tens and tens of fans.)
Personal tensions within the group were mounting (nothing new, and nothing old, either, to judge from this recent interview with Colin Newman, wherein long-standing rumors of Bruce Gilbert’s exit from Wire are finally confirmed), and Wire returned to “Our Swimmer” for what proved to be its final recordings in this incarnation, a sped-up version of the track called “Second Length” and one of the band’s more experimental tracks, titled “Catapult 30.” (The bit about three minutes in curiously reminds me of the “me-me prayers” part in Graham Lewis’s brilliant “Torch It!”…) These tracks remained unreleased until the WMO (Wire Mail Order) label released the Turns & Strokes compilation in 1996.