Label: AZTEC MUSIC
Rainbow Theatre's groundbreaking debut album, The Armada, was originally released in 1975. Influences as diverse as classical composers Stravinsky and Wagner to King Crimson and the Mahavishnu Orchestra came into play. With composer, arranger, guitarist and mellotron player Julian Browning at the helm, the band was never going to be easily pigeon-holed. Browning set about creating the unique music he had formulated in his mind. His classical influences began to emerge and in the meantime, he'd also fallen in thrall of adventurous guitarists like King Crimson's Robert Fripp and John McLaughlin. The King Crimson influence was certainly a key factor in the band's development because, as well as the complex arrangements that Browning was forging, the other aspect that stood Rainbow Theatre apart from the pack was the extensive use of the mellotron. Very few other Australian bands of the day even possessed, let alone knew how to incorporate the mellotron into their sound. As displayed on The Armada the music oscillates between nimble jazz rock, classical and operatic themes, and several points beyond. It's one of the most idiosyncratic albums of the period, closer in spirit to King Crimson circa In the Court of the Crimson King/In the Wake of Poseidon/Lizard than anything else, and very accessible besides. Digitally remastered, including a bonus symphonic excerpt by Julian Browning.
Cat. number: AVS 019CD