Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1979 album. The RAH Band were the brainchild of arranger Richard Hewson. His career dates back to arranging the 'Long and Winding Road' for the Beatles followed by arrangements for almost every top UK artist of the early 1970's. The Crunch + Beyond features the influential analogue Synth classic track 'The Crunch', a Top 10 UK hit in 1977, which has heavily influenced such contemporary artists as Goldfrapp and producer Richard X. The album features such other retro futurist instrumentals as 'Concrete', 'Electric Flag', 'Turkey Roll' and 'Is Anybody There?' As a bonus we present the non LP single 'Jiggery Pokery' / 'Porridge'. Repressed. 2009.
Personnel: Richard Hewson (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer); Peter King (saxophone); Barry DeSouza (drums); Tony Carr (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Nick Robbins.
Liner Note Author: Philip King.
Photographer: Brian David Stevens.
Though he had the help of a few musicians, the Rah Band's first album was pretty much the project of multi-instrumentalist Richard Hewson, most famous as an arranger of noted recordings on the Apple label by the Beatles, James Taylor, and Mary Hopkin. In a limited sense, The Crunch & Beyond was ahead of its time, presenting instrumentals with dance rhythms centered around synthesizers. But while the title track got to number six in the U.K. (and was also a hit in several other countries, though not the U.S.), in other ways, the record sounds horribly dated at a few decades' remove. Much of the album presents basic early synth-pop riffs set to elementary dance rhythms, and these are often unmemorably cheesy, sometimes sounding like backing tracks that are missing the vocalist. Jazz fusion and disco influences criss-cross, as well as a slight layer of the kind of novelty associated with earlier electronic-based instrumentals done in hopes of cracking the pop market by the likes of Jean-Jacques Perrey. Some traces of reggae and dub (and, in "Woogie Boogie," rockabilly) are found in some of the more creative tracks, and this is a more serious and artistic endeavor than those by artists such as Perrey. Still, the material's not too substantial, and indeed enervating over in full-album dosage. [Cherry Red's 2006 edition included three bonus tracks.] ~ Richie Unterberger