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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Robin Runge, USA

Robin Runge - Don't Give Up the Ship. 1974 QCA.
Robin - Don't Give Up the Ship. 1977 Century.

Apparently Mr. Runge decided to skip his Creative Writing class or he really, really doesn't want you to give up on the ship (though perhaps a recent Italian captain would have benefited from such sound advice). Regardless of the motivation, these two distinct albums caused quite a bit of confusion for this author anyway.

The second album listed was in the November pile of CD-R's sent in from Midwest Mike. If I'd read his email more clearly, I would've have noticed he mentioned the first album as well. And he sent that along recently too. Thus the delay in posting about it here.

(As an aside, the last album from that November pile is going to be a real revelation. Because there is a lot of activity surrounding it behind the scenes, I haven't written about it yet.)

We'll start with the second, and better album. Though his name is Robin Runge, the male/female duo on this album is known as Robin. The album was recorded and released in 1977 on the Christian oriented Century label (same label behind The Search Party's "Montgomery Chapel"!). The album overall is primarily an acoustic, but sophisticated folk rock work, with plenty of synthesizer to add color. The guitar playing is clearly inspired by Steve Howe and the vocals have a pleasant lilt like Jon Anderson. Could have been a song based Yes album from the same time period (1977-78), with overt Christian, rather than Eastern religious / mystic based lyrics. A good progressive folk album from an unlikely source.

The 1974 album is considerably more raw and amateurish as can be expected from a one man band - though there still is plenty of keyboards, including a cool mellotron blast to open the album. Of interest to local DFW readers - one track is recorded live at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington.

There's lots of misinformation out there (understandably) regarding these two albums. For example, the current RYM entry shows the cover of the 1977 album with the 1974 date.

Priority: 3 (for the 1977 album)


Anonymous said...

This guy is actually Robin Crow who released a number of CCM/ AOR albums in the early 80s with some success.

Tom said...

Didn't know that! Cool. Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

The two may not be by the same guy. The later album is Crow's according to Wikipedia and he's now a Nashville bigshot. For example, http://www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=57686
That first album isn't listed as his. e