Rabbitt
The Collection (1992),
The Hits (1996)

album coveralbum cover

Tracks:

  1. Hard Ride (Rabin) [4:10]
    from the album Boys Will Be Boys!
  2. Charlie (Rabin/van Blerk) [2:47]
    from the album Boys Will Be Boys!
  3. Lonely Loner Too (Faure) [3:34]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  4. Searching (Rabin) [4:09]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  5. Dingley's Bookshop (Faure) [2:11]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  6. Locomotive Breath (Ian Anderson) [3:35]
    from the album Boys Will Be Boys!
  7. Baby's Leaving (Rabin) [2:23]
    from the album Boys Will Be Boys!
  8. Pollyman (Rabin) [2:22]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  9. T.C. Rabin in D-minor (Rabin) [0:24]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  10. I Sleep Alone (Rabin) [2:52]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  11. A Croak And A Grunt In The Night (Rabin/van Blerk) [2:37]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  12. Morning Light (Faure/Rabin) [3:12]
    from the EP single 'Morning Light' (1977)
  13. Schumann (Trad. arr. Rabin) [0:24]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  14. Hold On To love (Rabin/van Blerk) [4:04]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  15. Take It Easy (Rabin) [3:40]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  16. Lifeline (Rabin/van Blerk) [5:31]
    from the album Boys Will Be Boys!
  17. I Was Eleven (Faure) listed on cover as 'When I Was Eleven' [3:10]
    from the EP single '1972-1978' (1978)
  18. Everybody's Cheating (Rabin/van Blerk) [4:08]
    from the album A Croak And A Grunt In The Night
  19. Savage (Rabin) [4:43]
    from the album Boys Will Be Boys!
  20. Getting Through To You (Faure) [4:07]
    from the album Rock Rabbitt
  21. Auld Lang Syne Rock (Trad. arr. Rabin) [1:21]
    b-side of 'Morning Light' single (1977)
  22. A Love You Song (Faure) [1:43]
    from the EP single 'Morning Light' (1977)

Release information:

1992, (as The Collection) ON records, RABCD1
1996, Gallo, CDRED 602

Sleeve Notes (from 'The Collection'):

Who can forget the halcyon days of the mid 70's music scene? Duncan, Neil, Ronnie, Trevor. Any South African rock fan bom in the late 50's or 60's knows who they were... Rabbitt. Spawned from a band called "Conglomeration" formed by three teenagers - Trevor, Ronnie, and Neil in 1969, they recorded their first single in 1972, a cover of Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath" It was an instant hit and stayed on the charts for 14 weeks! The group however, disbanded for two and a half years, only reforming in 1974.

The Producer, Patric van Blerk, approached me in '74 and we put together a deal based on the success of "Locomotive Breath". I don't think either of us realised what we had on our hands. It was already evident from their limited live performances that the group was beginning to attract a large and faithful following - especially female!!!

What was further evident was that Rabbitt was not just a South African clone of an overseas rock group, but was a truly original voice, with Trevor providing an ever-increasing number of original songs to the band's repertoire.

1975 saw Rabbitt expand with the addition of the multi-talented Duncan Faure and this proved a vital factor, giving the band the extra dimension they had been looking for. Later that year after many hours of rehearsals, Rabbitt, finally went into the Studio to record their first album "Boys Will Be Boys".

With the exception of "Locomotive Breath", there was nary a cover in sight. The album combined the best elements of hard-driving rock with a lyrical awareness that was stunning in its simplicity and broad appeal, Trevor's astounding guitar work and lead uocals, backed by the rock-solid Ronnie Robot bass and powerhouse Neil Cloud drumming, supplemented by Duncan's vocals and keyboards created a sensation.

Rabbitt mania was just starting. The media quickly jumped on the bandwagon and before we knew it, Rabbitt had exploded. Rabbitt hysteria was rife wherever the band played and "Boys Will Be Boys" soon went gold - unprecedented for a South African rock band.

By 1976 there was huge oversea interest and the album was released in the United States, Japan, Germany, France and UK and many other territories. There was constant talk of an American and European tour and negotiations were well under way with Don Arden, then ELO's Manager, and one of the most successful around.

At this time, the Group went into the newly built SATBEL Studlo to record their second album "A Croak And A Grunt In The Night".

A major tour of Southern Africa followed, culminating in a series of sold out concerts at the late lamented Coloseum in Johannesburg.

The release of "Croak And A Grunt" was a major media event and the album went Gold on release - a first for the South African record industry. Sadly, outside forces were starting to exert enormous pressures on the group and cracks were beginning to appear. The often announced UK & US tours never materialised - political pressures were already starting and the various musicians unions and political groups nixed the whole tour scenario.

After the highs of the South African tour and the unprecedented success of both albums, Rabbitt were left wilh no foreseeable further goals - only the foreign disappointments. The impetus was gone and with more and more outsiders trying to grab a piece of the action, the pressure finally told and although the group staggered on until early 77, it finally disintegrated and the members went their own ways.

What made Rabbitt so special? First and foremost, they all had incredible talent. Following the band's demise, Neil went on a world tour with pop superstar Peter Frampton. Trevor went on to greater heights both with his burgeoning solo career and as a superstar member of supergroup "Yes". Duncan joined the internationally famous "Bay City Rollers" and has subsequently pursued a career as a songwriter; his latest success being a song on the "Madonna" album. Ronnie has made a successful career producing many hit selling South African artists.

Apart from the talent, another factor was of course the one thing all the media loves - sex appeal - and this the band had by the ton - proven by all the fan mail and concert hysteria. The third factor was the Rabbitt team - the band, the producer and the record company. The combination was unstoppable.

Since 1977 there have been repeated calls to re-release Rabbitt. Time has not dulled the quality of either the songs or the playing and the group's originality stands out like a beacon. The advent and acceptance of the compact disc format coupled with its outstanding quality seemed to suit the material and style and now seems the right time.

Ronnie Robot sat down and compiled what I believe is the "Best of Rabbitt" and if your favourite is not here - blame him. Ronnie and Peter Thwaites (who engineered "Croak And A Grunt") then remastered the original tapes and enhanced them for CD.

Listen, wallow in nostalgia and marvel at the phenomenon that was Rabbitt.

ROBIN TAYLOR - 1991

Sleeve Notes (from 'The Hits'):

Rabbitt, South Africa's favourite rock band of the 70's comprised Duncan Faure (keyboards, backing vocals), Ronnie Robot (bass), Neil Cloud (drums) and Trevor Rabin (guitar, lead vocals).

The original band (formed in 1969), included Trevor, Ronnie and Neil - they performed under the name "Conglomeration" and in 1972 these highly talented teenagers recorded a cover of Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath" which turned out to be an immediate success with a period of 14 weeks on the charts to prove it.

"Conglomeration" then disbanded for a while and was re-formed in 1974 when producer Patric van Blerk approached them to negotiate a deal riding on the success of "Locomotive Breath". From the moment this deal was signed, Rabbitt became South Africa's most popular rock group of the 70's With a significant and loyal following consisting mainly, of course, of doting females!!

In 1975, the multi-talented Duncan Faure joined the group and provided that added dimension to complete this truly excellent line-up of musical artists.

What distinguished Rabbitt from other South African groups was their originality. Under no circumstances did they attempt to emulate overseas Rock groups - their voice, image and music was their own with Trevor Rabin continuously contributing to their growing repertiore of original songs.

1975 saw the release of their first album - "Boys Will Be Boys". With the exception of "Locomotive Breath", all the songs were written by the group. It proved to be a sensational album with a lyrical awareness that was stunning in its simplicity and broad appeal. It no doubt marked the beginning of Rabbitt mania or more so hysteria - wherever they played they were eagerly met by their screaming fans! The album "Boys Will Be Boys" attained Gold status - a feat unparalleled by a South African rock band at the time.

The hype surrounding Rabbitt was so great that the confinement of the South African borders proved to be no barrier - it spread overseas. International interest was so keen that it led to the album being released in the U.S.A., Japan, Germany, France, the U.K. as well as other territories. An overseas tour, at this stage of the band's career promised to be rewarding goal to strive for and negotiations with Don Arden, E.L.O.'s manager were entered into.

By 1976, Rabbitt had recorded and released their second album "A Croak & A Grunt In The Night" which upon release went Gold - a first for the South African Record Industry. A major tour of South Africa followed with sell-out concerts wherever they performed including the Colosseum in Johannesburg.

Riding on a high after their successful South African tour the next obvious step would be an overseas one. Unfortunately, however external political pressures shattered Rabbitt's dream of internatiol fame and recognition. This disappointment took its toll on the group and with no further challenging goals to pursue, it led to the demise of this exceptionally promising and talented band in 1977.

Rabbitt had it all - talent, sex appeal and a fantastic team - band, producer, and record company together were insurmountable. Despite the sad circumstances which brought the group's bright future to a sudden halt - the phenomenon Rabbitt will live on.

This collection of songs was compiled to pay tribute to Rabbitt - their contribution to South African music will always be remembered appreciated and admired.

PADDY NAIDOO

Review:
Kurt Shoemaker, Texas, May 2000

Pretty music by four pretty guys. I see now why they were adored by teenaged girls, and I hear go-ahead rock songs that the teenaged guys must have found irresistable rockers. I find it all smooth, bouncy, and likeable, too.

Regarding the pretty songs for the girls, the reason I can see the connection now (having bought the CD for a mere R49.99 from One World) and heard it many times through, is that their music is definitely non-threatening, there are no elements of down-and-dirty visceral -- though their version of "Locomotive Breath" rocks nice and hard. Rabbitt is not nasty or aggressive listening, but pleasant rock. I imagine at a show the girls heard pretty songs while watching four pretty guys, and everybody got to dance.

I had expected their music to rock more and somewhat harder, perhaps to sound more consistently like their cover of "Locomotive Breath", instead of halfway between that song and "Charlie", but I'm extremely pleased, not disappointed, in this set of The Hits. In fact, their apparent languid, melodic, ballad manner is misleading, because the majority of the songs are not slow, and some of the slow songs do have uptempo parts, as in "Lifeline", which speeds up periodically, and includes a hot and wailing guitar solo.

Again, their smooth harmonies and apparent ballad manner are misleading, because rocking tunes rip through periodically, usually about everytime I think, "Gee, there sure are lots of pleasant, mellow, harmony vocals songs..." along bounces a mid-tempo or uptempo song, such as "Lonely Loner Too", "Locomotive Breath", "A Croak and a Grunt in the Night", "Morning Light", "When I was Eleven", "Savage" or "Auld Lang Syne" -- in fact, the CD opens with a moving-along rocker, "Hard Ride".

The overall song order on the CD is well paced, and if this is representative of Rabbitt's music, then I'm ready to go beyond the greatest hits package and into the albums themselves -- maybe some label could generate interest with two-fers, two albums on one CD?

The above paragraphs are not to say that their slow songs have no interest, because they do. All of Rabbitt's songs, slow or fast, are full of interesting touches and variety. Pretty rich music overall, replete with a distinctive individual style, smooth vocals, and all the other signs of quality listening -- this was a band of talented members.

This CD was an eagerly-awaited addition to my collection of SA rock, and has become a well-played part of it. Need I suggest that you Play Loud? And what was it y'all used to say? Rabbitt Rules, OK?

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