Akarma Rec. Bobby Callender : Rainbow (1968)****°
First of all my compliments again for the way Akarma Records reissued this album on a double LP : 3 sides with music, one site with a very beautiful 3 dimensional pictures of the beautiful label logo, with a coloured version in the middle.
Secondly is this a very unique concept by Bobby Callender, with Colin Walcott and Donald Robertson on sitar, Paul Harris on organ, piano and harpsichord, and many more "progressive" artists.
"Rainbow" is a very personal spiritual approach with end 60's progressive foundation. The singing has deep emotions, is fragile in its mellowness. The association for listeners and for Bobby might be different. He was on his spiritual search. For us he's in a sort of musical mind-blowing experience.
"My rainbow of colours reflects the past and present. Each change has been indicated by the spectrum of my life and only it knows the hidden colours of my future"
says the cover quote about the concept, telling us about Bobby's quest.
"Sade Masoch" might be the most outstanding track in various ways ; it is a sad but nice touching story about a teacher who lost his mind after a too self-controlled life. The mellowness gives it also a very sad feeling of a very introvert spiritual introspective. As I said before several people might use this more readily to get stoned by. Some tracks are a bit sleepy mellow in singing, but all have interesting progressive approach of music. This contrast makes the complete concept highly original. Also the bonus tracks from the LP are worth to discover.
I compared the CD-version and the LP-version. The CD contains one more track from the second album, "The Story of Rasha and D'Ahra" which might be the best track of that album indeed. Both bonus tracks on the LP however are most essentially interwoven with "Rainbow".
Akarma Rec.Bobby Callender : The Way (1968)***°
On the second album Bobby developed his spiritual quest to the next degree, where this concept becomes almost his personal "ashram"-music. This mellow soul music is even more exaggerated, some Indian ideas are melted together with a Western individual approach. Where the balance between the fragile and structured part was perfect on "Rainbow", here it goes deeper into the spiritual part. Not easy to get a full grip upon without loosing it a bit one way or another. I'm not a religion freak at all which made it a bit more difficult for me at first. A female voice gives spiritual advice on the path, a small choir goes along like in religious big groups he ho hare hare and stuff like that (luckily only as very short accents) while Bobby is like a talented hippy who makes this madness into a beautiful heaven atmosphere, with some orchestrations added this time. Once getting over the predictions (-some repetitive devotional singing still make it difficult to appreciate the full content of the concept-) I have to realize also this concept is not only strange but still very unique and nicely arranged.
Label entry of "Rainbow" at
The lesser known third album is rereleased by Sunbeam Records in 2006. I haven't heard this one yet. I guess it is again entirely different..