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Kevin Ayers - Rainbow Takeaway CD (album) cover


Kevin Ayers


Canterbury Scene

2.69 | 11 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Prog to go

Two years after "Yes We Have No Maņanas", Kevin Ayers reconvened with the same musicians to record "Rainbow takeaway". By now, Ayers brief flirtation with stardom was fading fast, and this 1978 album is largely forgotten. Also disappearing are Ayers prog credentials, although on this album they are still to be found from time to time.

On the plus side Kevin puts the emphasis firmly on melody, and while this can result in him sound like a rich voiced crooner, it does mean that the album is pleasantly rewarding. The opening "Blaming it all on love" is a case in point, Ayers sounding somewhere between Peter Skellern and Sammy Davis Jnr(!). Likewise, the piano based "Waltz for you" is smoooooth, with a slightly Pink Floyd ("San Tropez", "Fat old sun") feel.

Elsewhere, we have the swinging brass rock style of the title track (some releases include a single version of the song too). "Beware of the dog II" is perhaps closer related to Floyd's "Seamus", and certainly has nothing in common with the original Ayers track of that name, which appeared on "Bananamour". The track here has a decidedly reggae sound, the funky rhythm and jam style instrumental leaving me cold.

"Strange song" is in fact pretty simple, the overriding influence being traditional folk music which tells a story. Graham Preskett adds some fine violin to the song.

It is tracks such as the laid back "Ballad Of A Salesman Who Sold Himself" which offer anything more substantial; the arrangement here is noticeably more adventurous. The track actually pairs up well with the following "A View From The Mountain" to form a decent 10+ minute interlude featuring some fine lead guitar. "Goodnight goodnight" tries to be different, and certainly boasts a more challenging vocal arrangement, but in the end it is essentially a light pop based song.

The album closes with the silly "Hat song", a song which would fit in well on a Stackridge album. It must have been fun to record, but the joke wears thin. The best that can be said for it is that it is kept brief.

Overall though, a pretty decent album with some highly enjoyable moments. "Rainbow takeaway" will never feature in lists of Ayers best, or indeed best known works, but it is worthy of investigation by those who enjoy his music.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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