Monday, May 4, 2015

Rainbow Band - 1970 - Rainbow Band

Rainbow Band 
Rainbow Band

01. Where Do You Live
02. King of the Sun
03. Nobody
04. B.M.
05. Where Are You Going to Be?
06. Living on the Hill
07. Rainbow Song

- Peer Frost / guitars
- Carsten Smedegaard / drums
- Bent Hasselmann / winds
- Lars Bisgaard / vocals
- Bo Stief / bass
- Niels Bronstad / piano

Released in a fold-out cover on a red/maroon Sonet label.
First variation on the label, second inside the fold-out cover.

Version 1:
(This version): Rainbow Band's debut album was first recorded July and August 1970 and released that year with vocals by Lars Bisgaard in a first version.

Version 2: After Bisgaard left the band in 1971 they re-recorded and re-released the album in this 2nd version with same band name and artwork - but with vocalist Allan Mortensen replacing Lars Bisgaard.
On this version the lyrics for "Where Do You Live" were altered and the track renamed "Talkin".
This version also has one track more, "Sippin' Wine".

Version 3:
After the band was forced to change name over legal issues the version 2 album was re-released in a 3rd version using the new band name Midnight Sun.
In that version the danish release does not have "Where You Going To Be", the US version does have "Where Are You Going To Be" plus a new track, "Nickels & Dimes".

Danish progrock band formed by leading rock and jazz artists as a danish supergroup. Founded early 1970 by Bent Hesselmann and Lars Bisgaard with Peer Frost, Niels Brønsted, Bo Stief and Carsten Smedegaard. Live debut June 23rd.
Recorded debut album in July '70. In December Lars Bisgaard was replaced by Allan Mortensen, and their debut album was re-recorded with two new tracks, and re-released in February 1971.
As the album was to be released in the US and UK the band was forced to change name in july 1971 as a Canadian Band had the rights to their original name, and the bands second version of the debut-album was again re-released under the new band name, Midnight Sun

First album of the group that will change its name just as this album was released (a Canadian band was named that way too), but it came out in the UK and Scandinavia anyway. A sextet (the standard prog quartet, plus a singer and a wind-player) that developed a bluesy jazz-inflicted rock, RB was an amalgam of local Copenhagen musicians from different local groups (although I'd hesitate to call it a "supergroup", even if Burnin Red Invanhoe and later, the superb Secret Oyster would also arise that way),

The opening tracks Where Do You Live and King Of The Sun are average tracks that are rooted in blues-rock and can remind Colosseum, Savoy Brown other late-60's and Early-70's blues-rock. The double track Nobody/BM is easily the first side's highlight with an intriguing piano intro, a haunting flute and fascinating construction. Bronstead's finest hour, if you ask me, in Nobody, while BM is a bit of free space for Stief's bass to extend and ends up in a jam.

Obviously most of the attention on the flipside will be paid to the 14-min+ Living On The Hill, and it does indeed prove to be the album's apex. Built on a mid-tempo blues (this could easily be on Savoy Brown's superb raw Sienna album), the track develops into a large instrumental boulevard where plenty of interplay between Hesselman's winds, Frost's fuzzy guitar lines and Stief's bass. Bronsted is strangely absent/low-key in this track. Ending with Rainbow Song, the album is a pleaser, but by all means never approached anything even remotely groundbreaking.

The proghead could do a good deal by choosing the Long Hair release which holds both version of the album, but gives the preference the Rainbow Band artwork rather than the Dean artwork of Midnight Sun, which is just as well as it is much more charming. After having released this album, the group fired their vocalist and had to change their names, so for odd reasons, they chose to redo their debut album, which this reviewer thinks was unnecessary, as I prefer this version because of its immediacy.



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  4. Great album. Thanks for (re)sharing it.