Monday, 1 October 2012

Telltale - Rainbow (1973)

Telltale were the house band for 70's & 80's children's television show Rainbow.  The show, my favourite as a kid, was based around a camp bear called Bungle, a pink, gay hippo called George and Zippy, a loud mouthed, anarchistic baked bean/rugby ball/snake?  The three of them lived (and slept!) together in a multicoloured house and were looked after by Geoffrey, an all round nice bloke who took all sorts of shit from them but always kept his cool.  Each episode featured a song by Telltale and in 1973 an LP was released on the budget record label, Music For Pleasure, produced by Anton Kwiatkowski and included fourteen original songs in a light folk pop, nursery rhyme style.

The album has its fair share of cool tracks. "Up and Down" sounds a bit like Tranquility with its laid back piano and killer harmonies. "Autumn's Really Here" is prime seventies folk on par with anything Fairport Convention were putting out at the time.  The real killer though is "Rainbow", the shows theme tune.  We only got to hear the first verse of the song as the show's opening credits but the album and single version also released in 1973 lets us hear the song in full and what a treat it is.  I first played it to my mates in The Junipers on a mix cd I'd made for a journey to a gig.  They all loved it and kept hitting the back button for repeated listens.  I think we even made an attempt at playing it the studio once too!

Telltale performing "Shapes" on Rainbow in 1972
Here's a bit about Telltale from the album liner notes.

The idea for Telltale began while Tim Thomas and Hugh Portnow were working for the Freehold Theatre Company. Tim moved on in 1970 to concentrate on forming a group of first class musicians and actors and Hugh joined him a year later. With the arrival on the scene of Hugh Fraser, Chris Ashley and Fluff Joinson, Telltale was fast becoming a reality and it became complete with the addition of Ted Richards

(Fraser, Portnow, Thomas)

Up above the streets and houses
Rainbow climbing high
Everyone can see it smiling over the sky
Paint the whole world with a Rainbow

All along the the streams and rivers
shining in the lakes
See the colours of the Rainbow as the morning breaks
Paint the whole world with a Rainbow

Red, the colour of a sunrise
White clouds floating in a sky of blue
Green for the rivers
Gold for the cornfields
The day is shining new

Red, the colour of a sunset
Grey shadows creep across the hills
The sun is sinking, colours are fading
The fields are dark and still

Take some green from a forest
Blue from the sea
Find the misty pot of gold
And mix them for a week
Paint the whole world with a Rainbow

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