The single was originally issued in 1985 by Chicago’s P.S. Records International just before the label shuttered. While Barrett continued to preach, the “In the Old Time Way” b/w “My Country Tis of Thee” single was the last piece of physical music he released.
Both tracks will also be included on Numero Gorup’s upcoming Barrett box set, I Shall Wear a Crown, out September 24th. The comprehensive retrospective will feature four of his 1970s albums — including his 1971 classic Like a Ship… (Without a Sail) — as well as a dozen singles and sermons he wrote, recorded and performed between the 1960s and 1980s.
Prior to releasing “In the Old Time Way” b/w “My Country Tis of Thee,” Numero Group offered up another Barrett rarity, his long-out-of-print 1979 single, “Lord’s Prayer” backed with “Said It Long Time Ago” (the pastor co-wrote the latter track as well).
“Unsung Meaningful Music is like buried TREASURE; Even after 40 years, if discovered, it gives the Soul much PLEASURE,” Barrett said of the collection in an email to Rolling Stone.
Barrett’s records have long been favorites for crate diggers and producers: Kanye West famously sampled 1976’s “Father Stretch My Hands” for his track of the same name, while songs by T.I., DJ Khaled and Vic Mensa have have also sampled Barrett’s work.