From teen rock idol in South Africa to Yes resurrectionist and onwards to latter-day film soundtrack composer, Trevor Rabin is a man for all seasons as he coolly proved in his part with the definitive live execution of the multi-spectrum Yes catalogue on the recent ARW world tour.
This lavish double-layered box set of ten CDs of solo releases, from the re-formatted first Chrysalis label solo album Beginnings to a collection of unreleased film soundtrack works, exposes Rabin as a consummate renaissance man with a go-to panoramic musical Midas touch.
Also included is an unreleased Live In Boston show from the Can’t Look Away album tour, adding to a trove of audio content gold within to attract and seduce both collector and avid fan alike.
However, what is thrillingly collected together is a golden thread of musicality exposing Rabin’s development into a majestic artist of immense importance and influence. Just like the proverbial stick of seaside rock, there’s a consistent rich seam of melodic and choral harmonising of vocals and instrumentation combining on songs with memorable chorus’, big rock riffs and intelligent interplay running right through the big heart of this deeply satisfying collection.
From the Utopia/ELO tenets underpinning Beginnings, and the guileful songwriting and production on Face To Face (on which tour this writer saw Rabin play) to the mature melodic rock symphonic overtones on Wolf, it’s retrospectively obvious now that Rabin would gift Yes their biggest selling album with 90125. Just listening to the early and intimate demo creations of songs on the 90124 CD here, which dramatically resurrected the fortunes of Yes, is a true acknowledgement of the substantial gifts Trevor Rabin possesses as an artist. In many ways, he picked up the plectrum that Todd Rundgren put down when Runt ventured to the outer limits on his wayward odyssey of disparate adventures in sound.
The Can’t Look Away album recorded between his stints in Yes further reveals an artist who has grown in stature and importance, comfortable and at ease traversing musical borders and genres to immense effect. Completed with faithfully reproduced flyers and in-depth booklet, this is a must-have box set of core collected works by a prodigiously talented artist.
Changes – Box Set.
Words: Paul Davies