Andy Kim How'd We Ever Get This Way / Rainbow Ride (2on1)

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How'd We Ever Get This Way / Rainbow Ride (2on1)
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Rating 4.5
4 ratings
Out of Print: Future availability is unknown
Item:  COLC 664
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CD Details

  • Released: May 1, 2006
  • Originally Released: 2006
  • Label: Collector's Choice

Tracks:

  • 1.How'd We Ever Get This Way
  • 2.Shoot 'Em Up Baby
  • 3.Sunday Thunder
  • 4.Ordinary Kind Of Girl
  • 5.Just Like Your Shadow
  • 6.Pretty Thing
  • 7.Love That Little Woman
  • 8.Do You Feel It Too
  • 9.You Got Style
  • 10.You Girl
  • 11.Circus
  • 12.Resurrection
  • 13.Rainbow Ride
  • 14.Please Be True
  • 15.Nobody's Ever Going Anywhere
  • 16.Baby While We're Young
  • 17.I Found Her
  • 18.I Want You
  • 19.Mr. Music Man
  • 20.Foundation Of My Soul
  • 21.I Wonder If I Care As Much
  • 22.Wonderful You
  • 23.Gee Girl
  • 24.To Be Continued

Product Description:

2 LPs on 1 CD: HOW'D WE EVER GET THIS WAY (1968) / RAINBOW RIDE (1969).
Personnel: Andy Kim (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Richie Unterberger.
Andy Kim's first four albums managed to escape CD reissue until 2006, when Collectors Choice released a pair of two-fers containing his three albums for Steed and his sole effort for Uni. The first of these contained his 1968 debut "How'd We Ever Get This Way" and its 1969 follow-up, Rainbow Ride, two records that showcased Kim's knack for commercial pop music, pitched partway between bubblegum and Brill Building tradition, often recalling both the effervescence and moodiness that marked Neil Diamond's '60s work for Bang. Brill Building mainstays Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich produced those recordings, and after their partnership soured, Barry started writing with Kim on a regular basis, eventually signing Kim to his fledgling label, Steed. "How'd We Ever Get This Way" was Kim's debut, consisting entirely of material he co-wrote with Barry, and it's an excellent example of hooky mainstream pop from the late '60s: bright, melodic, and well-constructed, from its composition to its productions. At times, it may sound strikingly like Diamond -- "Just Like Your Shadow" recalls "Solitary Man," right down to the mournful horns that come in on the second verse; "Love That Little Woman" bounces along on handclaps and maracas just like "You Got to Me" -- it does so without ever sounding imitative; it sounds like the work of a singer/songwriter with similar gifts, sharpened and honed by Diamond's producer. That producer also happened to be a producer for the Monkees, and there are echoes of that group as well; it's easy to imagine "Circus" as sung by Micky Dolenz and the skipping "Shoot 'Em Up Baby" is just gimmicky enough to work well on TV. At times, the music edges toward the middle-of-the-road (the swelling strings on "Pretty Thing"), and sometimes it bears traces of psych-pop, but it never goes too far in either direction. With the exception of the dreamy, dramatic closer "Resurrection," which is notable and excellent in its own way, this is late-'60s pop at its lightest and brightest, and cut for cut it's one of the strongest records of its kind, thanks to songs as irrepressibly catchy as "How'd We Ever Get This Way" and sweetly understated as the McCartney-esque "Ordinary Kind of Girl."
If How'd We Ever Get This Way established the Andy Kim sound -- as catchy as bubblegum, but with a distinct foundation in Brill Building-styled mainstream pop not far afield from Neil Diamond -- on his second album Rainbow Ride he expanded that sound without essentially altering it. Again, most of the album was devoted to Andy Kim and Jeff Barry compositions -- there was one cover here, the Everly Brothers' "I Wonder if I Care as Much" -- but that doesn't necessarily mean they were co-compositions. Five of the cuts are credited to Kim alone, two are Barry solo works, with the other four being joint efforts by these collaborators, but this level of detail is only apparent when the credits are studied: their work fits together so comfortably: there are no seams between the songs, they derive from the same sensibility. This sensibility remains commercial pop at its core, but Rainbow Ride, as Richie Unterberger astutely points out in his liner notes for the Collectors Choice reissue, does find Kim and Barry incorporating many fashionable rock sounds of the late '60s into Kim's signature sound. There are swirling, phased guitars, wah-wahs pumping in the background, electric sitars, harpsichords, and other psychedelic flourishes all throughout the album, peaking in the woozy narcotic breakdowns on "I Want You" that sound nothing less than a miniature approximation of Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" freakout, but it was recorded before that monumental metal anthem. There are also hints of serious material, best heard in Barry's "Eve of Destruction"-styled protest folk-rock "Nobody's Ever Going Anywhere," but Rainbow Ride remains as purely pop as its predecessor: it just has a broader sonic palette filled with vivid colors. That psychedelic coloring might date the album in a pleasant way, but overall it has aged well because the songs are strong beneath the production. "Wonderful You" has a soulful punch worthy of the Box Tops, the fuzz-toned "Please Be True" -- itself a slight rewrite of the themes of the Beatles' "Run for Your Life" -- has a real sense of urgency, while the title track comes across like a psychedelicized version of the early Monkees. Some of this may drift or meander -- nowhere more so than on the Latin-tinged closer "To Be Continued," an ill-fated twist on Herb Alpert -- but most of Rainbow Ride is as catchy and memorable as the music on How'd We Ever Get This Way, making this a more than worthy follow-up to one of the best overlooked mainstream pop albums of the late '60s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Product Info:

  • UPC: 617742066425
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item