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Articles Home » 1975 Articles » Rabbitt - 1975 Boys Will Be Boys
Rabbitt - 1975 Boys Will Be Boys

ARTIST: Rabbitt
ALBUM: Boys Will Be Boys
LABEL: Joburg Records
YEAR: 1975
CD REISSUE: 2008, Retro Fresh (South Africa), FRESHCD153


LINEUP: Trevor Rabin - lead guitar, vocals, keyboards, synthesizers * Ronnie Robot - bass * Neil Cloud - drums, percussion * Duncan Faure - keyboards, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Something's Going Wrong With My Baby * 02 Savage * 03 Lifeline * 04 Locomotive Breath * 05 Hard Ride * 06 Babys Leaving * 07 Eventides * 08 Looking For The Man * 09 Death Of Tulio * 10 Charlie


Arguably the most popular band in 1970's South Africa, Rabbitt had all the ingredients for world domination that political realities would never allow. 'Apartheid' was in full swing when Rabbitt were topping the charts, touring to sell-out audiences with a Beatles-like ferocity and this didn't go unnoticed outside South Africa. Jet Records mogul and ELO manager Don Arden expressed interest in the band, UK and US tours were discussed, but the politics of supporting a band from a country whose human rights record was a major issue of the day, became a liability for the band. After two studio albums, guitarist Trevor Rabin saw the writing on the wall and left Rabbitt for a solo career and superstar status in Yes, while continuing as a trio 1977's 'Rock Rabbitt' LP would become the group's epitaph with keyboardist Duncan Faure finding a second chance in The Rollers and their brilliant 'Elevator' album.

The Songs
'Boys Will Be Boys!' Rabbitt's first long player really is a phenomenal record and a heady mixture of pop and progressive styles heavier than 10cc, yet not as candy coated as Pilot or Sherbet. Their obvious nod to glam rock 'Something's Going Wrong With My Baby' is a great start. An early Rick Springfield meets Bay City Rollers rave-up complete with hand claps but Rabbitt were multifaceted with a variety of musical tricks up their sleeves including a bit of heavy progressive rock starting with 'Savage' which sounds a lot like Blue Oyster Cult and early Styx to these well worn ears and moving into Pink Floyd territory with the mysterious and sparkling 'Lifeline'. Evidently, the band's first single was a cover of Jethro Tull's 'Locomotive Breath' and the song appears on this record as well, although I couldn't tell you if this is the same version or not and while it's an interesting take on the classic, it's debatable if the record really needed its inclusion as the originals are so strong. Kansas fans will dig 'Hard Ride' with Faure slipping into the lead vocal position and it's just another example of why this group was so ripe for American audiences. Major 10cc influences show up in the ballad 'Baby's Leaving' but one of the records best cuts has to be the sweet Mersey-styled pop of 'Eventide'. A real charmer, although ironically it's followed by two of the record's weakest cuts, the rocker 'Looking For The Man' and the thirty second goofball instrumental 'Death Of Tulio'. Neither does much for me although 'Charlie', the albums closer and a huge hit in South Africa more than makes up for these brief musical transgressions with a fine slice of pop and Sherbet vibe which is always good by me.

In Summary
In 1976 Rabbitt finally landed a contract in the States on the Capricorn label, but the record was never easy to find and without any support of a tour, disappeared very quickly. This version featured different art work with cartoon rabbits and looking more like Disney soundtrack if you ask me. The Voiceprint label reissued 'Boys Will Be Boys!' on CD a few years back as have the Japanese in a mini-LP sleeve with the original artwork although both issues might be out of print at the moment.

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#1 | rostoned on November 17 2008 23:19:37
Well until someone produces a free download link in the forum ( Smile ) you can listen to snippets of several Rabbitt songs here at this cool website: http://www.rock.c...index.html or complete versions of four songs here http://www.myspac.../rabbittsa

In addition to the reissues listed by Eric above this LP (and the follow up too) had a later, definitive reissue in their homecountry on the South African RETRO FRESH label in 2006, an edition which according to their website features 2 rare bonus tracks, extended artwork and comprehensive liner notes and it is officially sanctioned by the band. Check here http://www.freshm...ofresh.htm

What really amazes me is that on the US version of the LP not only they added those funny rabbits but if you look carefully one of the band members is holding a CARROT! Yes a damn orange carrot!!!! Grin Grin Grin
#2 | Eric on November 18 2008 00:15:35
Thanks for the info. I was unaware of the Retro Fresh reissue. Looks like I might need to pick that up!
#3 | rostoned on November 18 2008 00:39:56
Well thank u for unearthing this, I've always loved Rabin tone and ideas in his solo stuff and with Yes but somehow I thought that this was some kinda ultra saccarine teeny bop stuff, which is not!

You can easily (and cheaply - at least since euro is my value) purchase the Fresh CD reissues over here at this fantastic and wonderfully monikered SA mail order http://www.onewor...
I've just ordered the 2 CDs for the final and pricely sum of say $ 28 total, including shipping from SA to my smelly mail box!

The UK reissue on Voiceprint is still in print and very easy to purchase from the usual places and from the label's site too (and certainly it's much easier to get than the SA edition) BUT I feel the Fresh edition is the one to get and I suspect will sound better too since Voiceprint had a few little 'problems' regarding this in the past (see Jon Anderson)...
#4 | Eric on November 22 2008 17:06:39
Voiceprint- I know exactly what you talking about - been burned by a couple of their releases, but as far as the Rabbitt disc, the sound is pretty good although the booklet is bare bones.
#5 | rostoned on December 03 2008 01:59:05
You can listen to a very good and long interview with Trevor at the link below, where he talks about all his career, from Rabbitt to his solo LPs etc
#6 | super80boy on August 28 2016 17:11:41
You run across the Capricorn white rabbit laden cover from time to time here in the states, a good debut album that didn't see the attention it deserved. 'Hard Ride' and the uplifting power pop opener 'Something's Going Wrong' are album standouts.
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