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1. Broken Man 3:40 (mono) 2. I Don't Need Nobody 2:57 (stereo) 3. I'll Be There 4:15 4. We're Not Their Boys 4:20 5. Hallelujah 2:44 (mono) 6. Hello 503 3:17 7. I Doubt If I Ever Will 3:07 8. Willowing Trees 3:35 9. Canyons 4:35 10. Spring 3:31 11. Words 5:20 (stereo) 12. Look Around 3:05 (1966, the first ever recording of the band, mono) 13. Advertising Man 2:45 14. Go Around And See It 2:55 15. It's So Good Here 3:26 16. Big Black Bird 3:41 (stereo) 17. Everyone the Fool 4:08 (mono) 18. You Just Call 1:45 19. It's My Life 3:17 All tracks by: Keith Riley & Shape Of The Rain. Line-up: Keith Riley - vocals, guitar, electric piano Len Riley - guitar Brian Wood - vocals, bass, guitars Ian "Tag" Waggett - drums & percussion With: Pete Dolan - bass (on a few tracks)
Prologue. Shape Of The Rain had existed from 1966 to the middle of the 1970s. Although the band had recorded Many songs during those years, until now they had the only official album "Riley, Riley, Wood, and Waggett", which was released by RCA in 1971. This CD was released by "Hi-Note Music" two months ago and consists of the songs that have been recorded in various years from 1966 to 1973, yet never before released.
The Album. So, the Shape Of The Rain's self-titled album turned out to be their second and last. On the whole, it appears to be created within the frame of a unified stylistics where solos of electric guitar play a prominent role. Though, of course, since the songs that are featured on the CD were recorded in different years, they are different by some parameters among themselves as well. In that way, the album can be divided into six parts. The first two divisions will include the most progressive songs that, musically, represent either an early Art-Rock or kind of a progressive Hard Rock. These are the representatives of the first of them: I Doubt If I Ever Will, Willowing Trees, Canyons, Spring, and Words (tracks 7, 8, 9, 10, & 11). Two of the best of the 'heavy examples' are the next: Big Black Bird and Everyone the Fool (tracks 16 & 17). All of these songs contain at least a few different vocal themes, changes of tone and mood, and rather diverse instrumental arrangements. The proto-Prog Art- and Hard Rock songs will form the third and fourth parts. Respectively, these are I'll Be There, We're Not Their Boys, Hallelujah, and Hello 503 (tracks 3 to 6), and It's So Good Here, You Just Call, and It's My Life (tracks 15, 18, & 19). The most accessible songs of both of the Art-Rock and Hard-Rock genres will feature the fifth and sixth parts. Broken Man and Look Around (tracks 1 & 12) are very simplistic songs, while the heavier, I Don't Need Anybody, Advertising Man, Go Around And See It (tracks 2, 13, & 14) are featured at least by some interesting guitar riffs.
Summary. This being an excellent document of the band's history, "The Shape of the Rain" album can, however, be highly recommended only to those who are really fond of the early manifestations of the Art-Rock and Hard Rock genres. If you're into such bands as Arc, Pussy, The Five Days Rain, etc, you should like most of the contents of this album as well. Taking into account that all five of the best songs on "The Shape of the Rain" (tracks 7 to 11) were composed, performed, and recorded in 1966, this album can't be rated lower than four 'good' stars. In that far year, only Pink Floyd were also thinking and working progressive.
VM. February 15, 2002
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