Delightful Rain
The Story

  Another participant in the MORNING OF THE EARTH soundtrack also invited to be part of DELIGHTFUL RAIN was surfer-musician-songwriter Peter Howe. Not only was he happy to lay down a new version of his tune I’m Alive, the very composition that provided the project with its title – taken from a lyric in the song, “I spend a lot of time inside the world of delightful rain,but together with Shud guitarist Tim Gaze, he also contributed the laidback and evocative instrumental, Offshore.  

  By the ‘70s, it was obvious that surf music had evolved beyond its instrumental beginnings. No longer did the sound itself produce the image. Instead, surf music was now being defined by its lyrical content. As a result, the concept of surf music took on an entirely new character and by doing so became more or less incorporated into the very fabric of contemporary music.

  One perfect example was the material written by Richard Clapton for the 1976 surfing film HIGHWAY ONE. Of all the film’s musical cornerstones, it was Clapton’s songs that were the most in-tune. Not only did they capture the essence of what the film was all about, they were also very emotive and it was obvious that Clapton was someone who understood the affinity surfers felt for the ocean.

  Richard Clapton had begun his musical journey in 1967, performing with a variety of bands in Australia and Europe. In 1972, a solo career beckoned and within a few short years he had established himself as an important figure on the Australian music scene.

   For DELIGHTFUL RAIN, Clapton re-recorded his 1982 song, Walk On Water, backed by Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil) on drums and Kerryn Tolhurst on lap steel.

   It was in this more lyrical sensitive form, couched in a more contemporary vein, that Australian surf music was to survive until the ‘80s when newer and younger bands began to innocuously incorporate into their act the odd ‘60s surfing tune, the vitality and euphoria of the music fitting nicely into the punk and new wave movements of the period. This musical bridge to the ‘60s, in particular to a sound and style that had developed its own image, also gradually found its way into the original material of various up-and-coming bands.

  Two such burgeoning groups of the period, The Riptides from Brisbane and The Celibate Rifles from Sydney, worlds and states apart musically, were prime examples of such a musical symbiosis. Each group’s first release featured material with some form of “surf” content.

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