Scottish singer/songwriter Chris Rainbow (1946-2015) is one of those artists that appeals to different groups of music fans depending on which projects they are more familiar with. His vocal work with The Alan Parsons Project has earned respect from legions of APP fans, his UK hit singles attracted attention in the ‘70s and his production work is highly respected. However, Beach Boys and vocal harmony fans have long held him in high esteem for his often-overlooked album output. 1979’s WHITE TRAILS was his final studio vocal release and shows that he was poised to bridge the gap between the wonders of his previous albums (1975’s HOME OF THE BRAVE and ‘78’s LOOKING OVER MY SHOULDER) and the promise of the ‘80s (i.e.: Electronic Music). Unfortunately, he turned his attention away from solo material and WHITE TRAILS remains his final foray as a front man.
Less Beach Boys-influenced than his previous work, WHITE TRAILS finds Chris Rainbow embracing a softer Rock style that sounds closer to The Korgis than Brian Wilson and Co. “Ring Ring” is a glorious slice of Pop fluff that warms the heart (and, again, The Korgis comparison here is quite apt). While the term Yacht Rock was years away from being coined, some of WHITE TRAILS could be considered the UK equivalent. It is gentle, often pretty, and rooted in Rock, Pop and Jazz. And those harmonies are stunning throughout. Highlights include the aforementioned “Ring Ring” as well as “Song Of The Earth,” and the lush beauty of “In Love With Love.” The album doesn’t necessarily rock hard but sometimes, we need to be able to slip into ‘daydreamer’ mode and WHITE TRAILS provides the perfect soundtrack to our more introspective moments.
This CD reissue gathers the album’s eight original track together alongside the 7” and 12” edits of non-album single “Body Music” plus the 12” version of that single’s b-side, “Girl In Collision.”
Keep on truckin’,
Stephen THE CHANCELLOR Schnee