EDWARDS HAND Rainshine (WHCD035)

1. Pacific Coast Highway

2. Going Down

3. Let It Shine On Me

4. If You Were Here

5. Race Against The Sun

6. New York City Rain

7. Lullaby

8. Real Slow

9. Beam Me Aboard

10. Smile LA, You're The Centre Of The World

11. Just Friends (Episodes, being the 2nd part)

12. It's My Time

bonus tracks

13. Slippin' 'n' Slidin'

14. They're Only Gonna Take My Life

15. I Love You

16. Early Days

17. Turn Round Love

18. Goodbye Gypsy Flyer

19. Hard Road

20. Sail Away

21. All Long Gone

22. Introduction

 

The first-ever issue of Rainshine, the semi-mythical third and final LP from post-Picadilly Line outfit Edwards Hand, recorded in early 1971 with legendary producer George Martin at the helm. Despite persistent collector-world rumours of a withdrawn or promo-only pressing on the Regal Zonophone label the album failed to gain any kind of release - until now, that is. As can finally be heard, Rainshine turns out to be a lost early 70s soft rock/baroque pop classic, with a clutch of wonderful songs ably supported by sumptuous vocal harmonies, sympathetic musicianship and some exquisite baroque pop arrangements from George Martin. Taken from the original master tapes, this long-overdue release features a beautiful 12-page booklet with lots of previously unpublished photos as well as the full story behind the LP.

"Whichever person it was - one of those individuals compelled to work the rumour mill with the inexhaustible fervour of a steroidal hamster in a cocaine wheel - he or she did a real number on Rainshine, the George Martin-produced, 1971 third album by Edwards Hand. Aspirant baroque-pop collectors still search for withdrawn or promo pressings on Regal  Zonophone, but the stark reality is that no such artefact ever existed. It's the crate-digger equivalet of believing in Santa. In actuality, Wooden Hill's customarily scrupulous release, augmented with 10 bonus tracks, marks Rainshine's first ever issue: so the inevitable next question is whether the work of ertswhile Picadilly [sic] Line popsikers Rod Edwards and Roger Hand is worth the 44-year wait. Fortunately, it's very much the keeper you'd anticipate, given its provenance. Soft-rock sceptics may initially struggle with the earnest balladry of 'Lullaby', 'Just Friends' and 'If You Were Here' - while 'Let It Shine On Me' is laidback to the point of flatlining - but their slow-release allure is cumulatively inescapable. Late-psych guitar uncoils through the chromosomes of 'Real Slow' like a paisley serpent, and an Edwards Handful of inspired narrative songs establish a covenant between Badfinger ('Going Down'), Clifford T Ward ('Race Against The Sun') and even cosmos-gazing prog ('Beam Me Aboard')."  (Record Collector)

"Not requiring an apostrophe - the name is the result of two names and not a paean to the hand of some bloke called Edward - this  duo are known to UK '60s pop psike addicts under their previous misspelt moniker, The Picadilly Line. As Edwards Hand they made two excellent albums: the self-titled 1970 baroque pop gem and the prog pop 1970 opus Stranded. This third album from 1971 has in fact never been released until now. It reveals the duo with George Martin at the help whose suitable impressive production adds credence to the band's American-influenced material. Elements of Laurel Canyon and country rock tinge the pronounced English vocals, and Rod Edwards' piano work lends an authority to the proceedings - as it did on the Jade album - most evident on the orchestrated highlight 'It's My Time' and bonus track 'They're Only Gonna Take My Life'." (Shindig!)

 

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