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Raindancer - 1984 A Little Bit Confused

ARTIST: Raindancer
ALBUM: A Little Bit Confused
LABEL: Bellaphon/Bacillus
SERIAL: 260-09-061
YEAR: 1984


LINEUP: Dieter Roth - vocals, guitars * Jurgen Kuhnlein - guitars * Ludwig Fellinger - bass * Friedel Amon - keyboards * Wilfred Schneider - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Little Bit Confused * 02 School Fool * 03 Gamesless Times * 04 Nasty Habits * 05 Loving Hating * 06 Don't You Steal My Heart Away * 07 Summer Breeze * 08 Baby, Can We Get It Together * 09 Keep On Looking

An appropriate album title this one. After listening to this album by German band Raindancer, I came away totally confused. Talk about chop and change of styles! I'm sure even these guys didn't know which way the wind was blowing. One minute we're blazing away in good old Scorpions approved riffarama. The next we're dabbling in West Coast a la Lake. What the hell gives? Surely 1984 wasn't that bad a year! I can confirm it - it wasn't, but obviously this lot could change lanes at high speed given their variable take on musical matters. Previously known as the band Revolver, that outfit had issued an album in 1982 called 'First Shot' produced by Dieter Dierks and featuring Don Dokken of all people. The band also featured black singer Mary Thompson, but by the time Revolver had morphed into Raindancer, some two years later, she had left the band. Really, I guess 'A Little Bit Confused' is a purists AOR album with I-Ten, Lake and Toto rearing their heads mostly, but the metallic overtones through the middle of the album will have some people scratching their heads..

The Songs
Things get off to fantastic start with the title track 'Little Bit Confused' - this is wholly approved AOR with a slight hint of quirk in the keyboards department, complimented by a cool sax solo. 'School Fool' follows similarly, it's mainly strong AOR with some quieter passages on the verses, but by now you're wondering - what's next? First change-up comes with 'Gameless Times', featuring bigger (than usual) guitar lines, the next track 'Nasty Habits' goes 'huge' on the guitars, a real hard rockin' affair, but that's only the scene-setter for the near-metal of 'Loving Hating'. What on earth is going here? Could it be that the producer told them to get back on the same page - and play some songs that won't totally isolate their audience? If so, then 'Don't You Steal My Heart Away' is a return to normal transmission - a great AOR/West Coast crossover, with funky bass lines, Tubes like keyboard lines, and an overall Toto vibe. To further complete the transformation, the ballad 'Summer Breeze' is straight out of the late nite latte sippers convention - beautifully smooth not unlike the beverage your drinking. More Toto goodies can be found on 'Baby Can We Get It Together' while the closing ballad 'Keep On Looking' is more West Coast/AOR crossover, like Finland's Private Eye, with a touch of complimentary female vocal.

In Summary
The fact that half the album is West Coast/AOR and the other metal, is a complete contrast, but the band are classy enough to pull it off. Put it this way, it will appeal to WC fans and AORsters more so than metallers - which suggests to me that the band are an WC/AOR outfit who like to dabble in metal, not the other way around. Be warned, this album sells for megabucks on Ebay, mainly because it had an exclusive Japanese only CD release, like all those John Warren albums. The album cover is a bit dopey, but hey, it was 1984 after all.. lol! Also, it's not entirely clear who plays on the album. It looks as if the majority of Revolver minus Thompson are here, but I am speculating somewhat. I know Jurgen Kuhnlein is definitely here, not so sure about the others. Raindancer only released this one-off effort, before they too disbanded, Kuhnlein and a few of the others then moving onto late 80's German hair-metal outfit Number Nine.

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#1 | kim_hp on April 05 2013 07:48:26
These guys were great, a shame they only released one record. Top stuff on par with the best german 80's AOR bands like Craaft, Karo, Lake, Rescue and so on.
#2 | super80boy on May 04 2014 20:44:48
Yeah, I'd agree, the album starts off in a catchy AOR fashion with the title track and then slowly builds bigger and bigger over each song until we get to the hard rock romp of 'Nasty Habits' and then the full on metal of 'Loving Hating'. It's an interesting transformation over each of Side A's five songs. Side B stays on theme and really doesn't stray from the AOR approach.

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