The Passengers
Rule of the Swallow

Rule of the Swallow

Tracks:

  1. Honeytown (N. Solomon/S. Wood) (4:21)
  2. What (N. Solomon/S. Wood/C Ghelakis) (3:29)
  3. Love the Pleasure (N. Solomon/S. Wood/C. Bekker/G. Spencer) (5:34)
  4. Hold On (N. Solomon/S. Wood/C. Bekker) (3:18)
  5. Ashes and Sand (N. Solomon) (3:54)
  6. To Say Goodbye (N. Solomon/S. Wood) (3:48)
  7. Got to Get Away (N. Solomon/S. Wood/C. Bekker) (4:18)
  8. The Writing's on the Wall (N. Solomon) (5:26)
  9. Fools are Heroe's (N. Solomon/S. Wood/Van Der Spuy) (4:04)
  10. Junk Food and Disposable Ladies (N. Solomon) (4:12)

Produced by Chris Ghelakis
Arranged by Chris Ghelakis, Stuart Wood & Neill Solomon
Recorded & Mixed at TRS Music Studios, Johannesburg from July 1988 to August 1989

Musicians:

  • Neill Solomon: Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
  • Stuart Wood: Keyboards, Guitars, Programming, Backing Vocals
  • Charles Braby: Keyboards
  • Dan Chiorboli: Percussion
  • Chris Ghelakis: Additional Programming
  • Bruce Cassidy: Trumpet on tracks 1 & 7
  • Chris Bekker: Fretless Bass on track 8, Bass Guitar on tracks 4 & 7
  • George Spencer: Drums on track 4, Drum programming on track 7
  • Gabi le Roux: Keyboards on tracks 4 & 7
  • Peps Cotumaccio: Additional keyboards on track 10
  • Bridgette & Beverley Alexander: Backing vocals on tracks 2, 3, 7 & 10
  • Angie Peach: Backing vocals on track 7

Release information:

1989, D.P.M.C. records, DMK9005 (Cassette ZDMK 9006)

Review:

During the latter part of the 1980s there was a spate of groups in the UK producing brassy, funky soul-tinged music. The likes of Curiosity Killed The Cat, Johnny Hates Jazz and Swing out Sister were scoring big with this brand of music. Neill Solomon with the help of ex-Bay City Roller Stuart Wood embraced this style for the debut album of The Passengers.

I have to admit that I found this genré lifeless and uninspiring, music that came close to being really good, but just lacked a final ingredient to cross over from mediocre to good. Obviously the success of the above mentioned groups mean that there was some appeal of the music, although I tend to believe that the appeal lay more in the good looks of the group members than in the music itself. Unfortunately Neill Solomon, despite being of Greek origin {actually Lebanese - ed}, was no Adonis, so the music comes under closer inspection than would say a Curiosity Killed the Cat song.

While the tunes on this album are all well constructed, produced and executed, apart from a few stand out guitar solos and the backing vocal contribution of Angie Peach on 'Got to Get Away', the album never really lifts itself above the constraints of the genré, probing at the barriers, but never breaking through.

Even the hit single 'Hold On' which made it to number 5 on the Radio 5 charts suffers the same fate. However it's the re-appearance of 'Junk Foods and Disposable Ladies' from his Uptown Rhythm Dogs days that saves the album from middle-of-the-road oblivion. Given an injection of reggae beat and sunshine, it is the standout track on the album.

Not Solomon's finest hour, bowing too much to the flavour-of-the-month pressure. Rather check out his work with the Uptown Rhythm Dogs and especially his excellent soundtrack music for the movie 'The Angel, The Bicycle & the Chinaman's Finger' (was this ever commercially released?), unless of course you really like the music of Johnny Hates Jazz.
-- John Samson, London, March 2001

Webpage:

All info supplied by John Samson, March 2001.


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