Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Through the garden of your smile I saw the back door or your life (The Rumour)

I recently picked up a compilation of The Rumour - a NZ band of the seventies (not to be confused with The Rumour, Graham Parker's band from the UK).

Some thoughts - they started as The Surfires (two of their songs are on the compilation) who were (near as dammit) very similar sounding as the hit making Rumour.

Shade Smith was the key ingredient - his songs carry the band forward. When he was hot - so were the band. Unfortunately he wasn't hot that often. Of the 24 tracks (value!!) only five can be described as 'hits': L'Amour est L'enfant de la Liberte; Garden of Your Smile; Holy Morning; No Money On Our Trees; and Queen of Paradise. Pity the CD doesn't include the other big hit Sunshine Through a Prism that was covered by Suzanne.

The dominant style is seventies soft rock a la Bread or Air Supply. Sometimes it's successful, but other times not. For instance What Have You Done (with that day God gave you) is pretty icky.

The harmony work is superb though and these five songs still resonate. The sound isn't always great though - sounds like it was mastered off old vinyl in places.

It's a nice overall package with some great photos and details of the band's rise and fall. One slight pedantic point - why is Graham Nash's song Teach Your Children credited to someone called John J Francis?

Finally - the CD thanks Roger Marbeck. Wahoo!! Good stuff Roger. Great to see your name in print on a CD.

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