Rachels, Ray

Band members               Related acts

- Vince Ceravolo -- drums

- Ray Rachels -- vocals, guitar, bass

- Bobby Watts -- bass




- none known





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  If Love was Money I'd Be On Relief 

Company: Lanark

Catalog: AW #14047
Year: 1978

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap (opened)

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5732

Price: $80.00


Here's a rarity for an Album Glove/Album World release - a release that actually sported some biographical information on the artist ...


"Born in Savannah Georgia, Ray Rachels began his musical career with a high school rock band called the Starfires.  He later toured the country with the M-Threes for nine years playing club dates in Las Vegas (The Flamingo), in Lake Tahoe (Harrah's), in New York (Copacobana), and in Chicago (Mr. Kelly's).  Ray settled down in Birmingham, Alabama where he has played with Bob Cain and the Bachelors and now he's with Dreada Wallace.  A dynamic singer of ballads, a storyteller of love songs, Ray Rachels will make you remember how if feels ... an you'll never be the same."


and even production and performance credits:


- Produced and engineered by Glen Wood at Sound of Birmingham Studios


Showcasing a mixture of interesting mixture of eclectic covers and a couple of  Rachels originals, "If Love was Money I'd Be On Relief" was actually far better than I originally anticipated.  Rachels had an interesting voice that was capable of handling both bluesy material (the title track) and more pop oriented (a cover of Buffy St. Marie's 'Until It's Time for You To Go').  The anonymous backing band was also pretty good, turning in some nice support throughout the set.  Interestingly, the more commercial tracks like the sappy ballads 'Portrait of My Love' and 'I Wish You Love' didn't do that much for me.  In contrast Rachels was far better on bluesy and soul numbers include 'Straight Scotch, No Chaser, Sock-O-Woe, Gimmie That Wine', a cover of Dee Clark's 'Nobody But You' (okay the falsetto was irritating), 'Every Day I Have To Cry', and the funky 'Ballgame On a Rainy Day' (the latter easily the standout performance).   Elsewhere I automatically dock an album a star if it subjects the listener to a cover of 'Danny Boy'.  C'mon, why would you do that to people?  The big problems with the album were the absence of a standout performance.  Though the performances were never less than professional, none of the ten tracks really jumped out at you.  The album also had kind of flat, under-produced sound.  A bit more punch would have helped the set tremendously. The cheesy synthesizers on tracks like his cover of Hank Williams' 'Weary Blues' and 'Nobody But You' made it likely the album was actually recorded in the mid-1970s.


"If Love was Money I'd Be On Relief" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Weary Blues   (Hank Williams) - 3:43

2.) If Love was Money I'd Be On Relief   (Ray Rachels) - 2:48

3.) Until It's Time for You To Go   (Buffy St. Marie) - 4:18

4.) Straight Scotch, No Chaser, Sock-O-Woe, Gimmie That Wine   (Monk - Jon Hendricks - Wilson - Jordan) - 2:47

5.) Nobody But You   (Dee Clark) - 2:59


(side 2)
1.) Danny Boy (traditional) - 3:07

2.) Every Day I Have To Cry   (Ray Rachels) - 2:58

3.) Portrait of My Love   (Ornadl - Newell - Kassner) - 3:33

4.) Ballgame On a Rainy Day - 3:10

5.) I Wish You Love   (Stevenson - Blake - Belew) - 3:27



For what it's worth Rachels is apparently still playing around Birmingham.  I saw him listed as a performer at the 2009 City Stages Festival.