It links Average White Band, Pentangle and Traffic
UK Indie, Alternative Rock, Avantgarde and Experimental
With stellar musicians and painstaking production The Colour Of Spring is a classic eighties album.
Original 1986 LP, 1997 CD remaster or 2012 EMI 180g vinyl repress – whatever pallet you choose - you’re going to be assaulted with beautifully played and recorded instruments. And then there’s the expressive warble of Mark Hollis’ voice.
Alan Gorrie and Robbie McIntosh of Average White Band (bass and guitar) along with Danny Thompson (double bass) and Steve Winwood (organ) anchor Happiness Is Easy – a melodic-but-complex opener that could surely have been a huge hit single. But it’s roundly trumped by the sheer power of I Don’t Believe In You – the track that convinces non-believers of the album’s greatness. Opening with a plucked harp McIntosh and Winwood make huge contributions while producer Tim Friese-Greene tinkles the piano and David Roach adds soprano saxophone to the ending.
Drummer Lee Harris and Mark Hollis are the heroes of Life’s What You Make It. The other big contributer is David Rhodes whose guitar arguably gives the piano rhythm its real edge. Things get noodly with the oblique April 5th – six minutes of lingering organ over warbling sax.
Structurally similar to Life’s What You Make It – the catchy Give It Up is followed by the simple yet enchanting Chameleon Day – essentially Hollis and Friese-Green on varying sets of keys. It ends with Time It’s Time – where the wall of guitars and keyboards derive a weird power from the voices of the Ambrosia Choir.