Monday, 19 April 2010

Who Are The Rave Ons?

I'm utterly shocked with myself for not having posted this, one of my all-time favourite song-poem performances, before. So annoyed in fact that today I'm giving you not one but two tracks from this utterly dreadful album.

Over their many years in the song-poem field, Columbine Records issued dozens upon dozens of compilation albums under the title The Now Sounds of Today; if their catalogue is to be believed there could be as many as 300 or more. Each of them contained anything up to 20 different tracks, all from aspiring hit makers who really should have known better. Packaging these albums in dull, generic sleeves (often with different catalogue numbers printed on the sleeve and disc) saved both time and money, but budgets were non existent; musicians did not see the cue sheets for the songs they were singing before entering the studio. Even taking note of the ridiculous rate that Columbine churned this material out many of those musicians - consummate professionals and song-poem stalwarts like Kay Weaver, John Muir (aka Gene Marshall) and Ralph Lowe - managed to do a half-decent job, but when a band of no-hopers under the name The Rave Ons was brought in to do their thing - as they did for the first 14 albums in the series - their inadequacy and amateurism shone through.

It's beyond belief that anyone at Columbine could have sanctioned the release of this drivel; yet more proof if you needed it of the contempt that these outfits had for the people stupid enough to send them their hard-earned dollars. The singer 'performs' in a garbled, high pitched whine racing through the lyrics at speed, clearly wishing that he wasn't there while the rest of the Rave Ons (keyboards, bass and drums) play the same basic tune on all of the cuts on the album, never managing to rise above the mediocre. All in all, they sound to me like the school band of my nightmares.

So, two cuts from Columbine CRH-9 (or, if the label is to be believed USR 6171): Happy Inside of Me by Harry Booms and Foolish Heart by Lottie Ankey performed, as only they could, by The Rave Ons.

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