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Rainbow Takeaway

Kevin Ayers Rainbow Takeaway 1978 LP

Kevin Ayers ‘Rainbow Takeaway’ Harvest 1978, LP version



1 comment… add one
  • Tim HOLT May 17, 2020, 6:17 pm

    This album was released in the spring of 1978 and was the follow-up to the excellent and very commercial “Yes We Have No Mananas” in 1976.

    Rainbow Takeaway’s release came with quite high hopes, particularly as Kevin had undertaken a spring 1977 UK tour which was probably his most successful yet.

    There was unfortunately a dip in his songwriting on this album, with the result being that in typical Kevin Ayers fashion he took something of a step back after the promise of the predecessor album.

    That’s not to say the album is poor. The opening track “Blaming It All On love” is a fine song, and in many ways captures his career in one song; it has a pleasant melodic almost Bossa Nova type groove, his smooth baritone voice skips across the top in typical fashion, and the song is so catchy it could have been a hit single.

    The rest of side one is a mixed bag.The title track is rautious and noisy which is fine, but out stays it’s welcome after about 2 minutes, while “The Ballard Of a Salesman” and “View From The Mountain” have what might be described as experimental qualities, and represent the other side of Kevin Ayers career. They reinforce the fact that for every “Caribbean Moon” there is a “Pisser Dans Un Violon.” Such musical inconsistency plagued his career and prevented him from being the star his talent deserved.

    Anyhow, back to the album and the arguably more commercial second side, which includes the stand out swaggering rock meets reggae of “Beware Of The Dog”, the cool pop of “Goodnight Goodnight” and the whimsical “Hat Song”, a tiny vignette which says a lot about Mr. Ayers music in just over a minute. Side two is rounded off with “Strange Song” and “Waltz For You”. Both worthy of a listen for sure.

    Whether the record company or Kevin himself was disappointed in this album isn’t clear, but there was little or no promotion of it, no touring, interviews or press. It came, it went, and is one of the lesser albums of his golden period. In retrospect it marked the beginning of the end, though he still had “That’s What You Get Babe” to come in 1980 before leaving the major record companies and the chance of mainstream success behind.

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