Saturday, May 17, 2008

Home of The Brave

Obscure, that’s one word that describes Christopher Rainbow’s Home of The Brave, brilliant is another. I bought it back in 1975 as a result of loving his singles that Kenny Everett played to death on Capitol Radio. Give Me What I Cry For and Solid State Brain were both wonderful pop records that both deserved to be hits but for some bizarre reason weren’t. This album was produced by Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff who had worked with Stevie Wonder on the brilliant Music of My Mind and Talking Book albums.

Neither of those singles were on this album but his third, Mr. Man is included, it wasn’t a hit either. The album opens with the wonderful Tarzana Reseda – when I went to live in Los Angeles for a brief while in the early 1980s naturally I had to make a pilgrimage. Other highlights from the album are On My Way, In Memory and the title song.

For me the best song on the album is the beautiful Glasgow Boy – a song that would be a standout on many albums. It has shades of the Blue Nile about it, only Glasgow Boy has a melody to match the atmosphere. The song tells the story of Glasgow gangland warfare and its poignancy is just as relevant today as then. From an era when singer-songwriters rules Chris is one of those that inexplicably missed the attention of most record buyers. Listening to it today it still sounds fresh and is worth a listen – if you can get a hold of it. It’s long been out of print and a recent limited edition Japanese repressing seems to have sold out.

Chris’ real name is Christopher Harley who changed it to Rainbow to avoid confusion with Steve Harley. He comes from Scotland and now has his own studio on Skye. After Home of the Brave he released Looking Over My Shoulder and White Trails – both excellent albums. The standout tracks on second album is Dear Brian, a tribute to Brian Wilson – it is my favourite Beach Boys tribute record of all time. He recorded with the Alan Parsons Project and Camel as well as working with Runrig.

1 comment:

Richard Evans said...

Richard, a long-forgotten album - and a great one too. I'd forgotten I'd got this too!