Hadn't really thought about The Raincoats in a while, for some reason they popped into my nearly-senile
brain a few days ago.....I drug out the great self titled first album, MAN that thing was great, still sounds good today also.
The Raincoats, in their classic incarnation, were vocalist/guitarist Ana da Silva, vocalist/bassist Gina Birch, drummer (formerly of the Slits whom have been profiled here previously) Palmolive (replaced by Ingrid Weiss), and violinist Vicky Aspinall....I remember the debut coming out to rave reviews in 1979, and especially recall Johnny Rotten calling them the best band in the world......I don't know about all that, but that first LP IS a motherfucker, intelligent and unique, if you've never heard it, like it or not, it WILL NOT sound like anything you've heard before......one of the first albums I recall the term "post punk" being used upon, this is a classic that seemingly is somewhat forgottten/underappreciated in 2016 (I could be wrong, referring only to my circles)....Aspinall's violin playing is deliberately abrasive, and really works well. The CD re-issue (the one I have here) includes the fine single "Fairytale in the Supermarket", which is tremendous, but, even without it, this would be a five star classic........the cover of the Kink's "Lola" brings into play FAR more gender-complication issues than did the original!)......don't miss, this is one of the best albums of the late 70's.
The follow up "Odyshape" (1981) is quite different, and, in my estimation not as good (although the debut would be hard to match).....utilizing odd instrumentation (from Wikipedia: shruti box, balophone, shehnai, and kalimba), which, at the very least, continue the band's "tradition" of being nothing if not unique.....however, for my money, the songs are not as good as on the debut, although, actually, I WOULD consider this an essential album for fans of the genre and era......what I'm saying is the debut is so good that they could never hope to match or surpass it.
THE RAINCOATS-01 Fairytale in the Supermarket/02 No Side to Fall In/03 Adventures Close to Home/04 Off Duty Trip/05 Black and White/06 Lola/07 Void/08 Life on the Line/09 You're a Million/10 In Love/11 No Looking
ODYSHAPE-01 Shouting Out Loud/02 Family Treet/03 Only Loved at Night/04 Dancing In My Head/05 Odyshape/06 And Then It's OK/07 Baby Song/08 Red Shoes/09 Go Away