This band founded in Rochdale, Lancashire, England by guitarist/vocalist Jim Milne and drummer Steve Clayton in 1971. Both had been members of a beat group, The Way We Live since 1966. They are notable both for their appreciation by John Peel and Julian Cope, but also for their longevity because as of 2007, they are still performing. The third member of the recording band until 1972 was manager and sound engineer John Brierley, who was replaced in late 1972 by Alan Burgess as recording engineer and Chris Hewitt as manager and live sound engineer. In the early days, the main marketing tool of unsigned hopeful bands was to send demo tapes to sympathetic DJs. Accordingly a tape was sent to Peel who had a fondness for Rochdale, having worked in a cotton mill there before becoming a DJ. Peel sent his label manager, Clive Selwood, from London to Rochdale in order to sign up the band. The group was booked into London's Spot Studios and finished the sessions within two days, and in January 1971 the band's debut album, A Candle for Judith was released, credited to The Way We Live. The release, named after Clayton's then girlfriend, later wife, earned immediate critical acclaim "...impeccable in both technique and emotion"... Al Clark writing in Time Out in London in 1971. Meanwhile Peel, who had previous links with Rochdale, bought the band recording equipment and a stereo PA system. He also convinced the band to change their name. Looking out of his kitchen window at Peel Acres in Suffolk, he spied a tractor in the fields adjacent to his house and recommended it as a name to them. Tractor's first release after the name change from The Way We Live was a 7 inch maxi single -- "Stoney Glory"/"Marie"/"As You Say" -- for Dandelion. They also backed up another Dandelion act called Beau -- led by C.J.T. "Beau" Midgley -- on the album Creation. All of this recording was done in an attic and bedroom studio of a terraced house in Edenfield Road Rochdale, which John Peel named Dandelion Studios,Rochdale to tie in with his record label Dandelion Records...
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