Random Hold

Over View

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In late 2001, the label Voiceprint reissued the complete version of Random Hold's sole LP, The View From Here. Over View can be seen as a companion CD. It culls demo recordings dating from 1977 to June 1980. One can toss aside the instrumental "Water," David Ferguson and David Rhodes' uninspired first documented collaboration. The tracks from 1978 and early 1979 chronicle the group's growth and feature the first lineup of Rhodes, Ferguson, Bill MacCormick, guitarist Simon Ainley, and drummer David Leach. It is interesting to hear working versions of "With People out of Love" and "The Ballad," but the sound quality of these badly stored tapes will test the patience of anyone but the dedicated fan. The period surrounding the production of the LP is only represented by an alternate take of "Cause and Effect." The best part of this CD is what comes after: demos of songs for a second album that never materialized. These have very good sound and, since they had been shaped during the group's tour of England opening for Peter Gabriel, achieved a nice level of maturity. Fans will want to hear the studio versions of "Today Is as Good as Any Other" and "Passive Camera" (both performed live on the aforementioned set), and "The Flag," "Camouflage," and "All in Your Head," unavailable elsewhere. The CD was produced by MacCormick, who also wrote the short biography. Newcomers must start with The View From Here, but serious fans and completists will appreciate this Over View.

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