Sunbeam has an amazing knack for reissues, finding worthy old albums along with the original band members (for bios and pics) and any bonus tracks that may be available. Though the lone record from Rain is a few stops short of a lost classic, Sunbeam’s reputation is intact thanks to the solid songwriting of Frank Schallis, who passed away in 2000, and Cobb Bussinger. Cobb gives a nice rundown of the aftermath left on the wake of Rock Island (also a one album phenomena), that band’s path to Rain, and the latter’s disillusion and disbanding during the writing of a double LP follow-up at the hands of the usual industry ineptitude and shortsightedness. Though the vocals were occasionally a little corny and the production of Jeff Hest, under direction from the legendary Enoch Light, sounded more late ‘70s than early, the eponymous solitary album boasted a great deal of variety from early prog, power pop, and folk to psychedelic rock and even a little jazz. “To a Dreamer” alone is a dazzling mix of organ driven hard rock and ELP prog, specifically the Moog from the “Lucky Man” solo. They deserved a shot at that double LP. There was so much more they could have done that they never had a chance to prove. Shame on you, nameless record executives.
// Notes from the Road
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