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Friday, October 8, 2021

Chilliwack - Riding High (1974 canada, excellent classic rock, 2009 remaster)

After a year on the road, "Riding High" hit the stores in the spring of '74. The record was released on Terry Jacks' Goldfish Records label. Jacks also brought his experience in the business, (co-founder of The Poppy Family and his solo hit "Seasons In The Sun" that same year among others) to the studio and served as co-producer with Mike Flicker. By the end of the year Chilliwack practically owned the airwaves, with the title-track, "Come On Over" the absolute classic "Crazy Talk" and the raucous and rowdy "There's Something I Like About That".

“Crazy Talk” is a song about a woman whose serial lying is crazy making for the man in her life. The singer warns that this woman can “make a man a ruin.” The origins of the word ruin have to do with the remains of a building or a city that has fallen into decay or been destroyed in war, fire, flood or earthquake. Over time the word, ruin, also referred to the downfall, decay, or destruction of anything. Sometimes one’s ruin is brought on by recklessness and carelessness. In the case of this song, there have been men who haven’t been alert to the nefarious qualities of this particular woman. The ruin of a human being suggests the complete loss of health, means, position, hope, or capacity to be restored.

Music critic, Richard Skelly, provides some background information about the album and the singles from Riding High. “Terry Jacks produced “Crazy Talk” at Can-Base Studios just before that operation changed hands and became Mushroom Studios. Both on “Crazy Talk” and “There’s Something I Like About That,” Terry used Mike Flicker and Rolf Hennemann for engineering the sessions. The pair had also helmed the boards for Terry’s megahit Seasons In The Sun. Flicker—who later produced Heart for Mushroom Records and then Portrait/CBS—produced the remaining Chilliwack tracks for the Riding High album. Sire Records picked up US distribution, but didn’t manage to hype “Crazy Talk” past the very lowest rungs (#98) of Billboard. 

Sire did commit to having Chilliwack fly to New York to record sessions with Richard Gottehrer, a Garage-rock guru famous for recording ‘60s rockers like The McCoys. Riding High was the first Chilliwack recording to feature new member Howard Froese. Brother of future Vancouver tv news anchor Russ Froese, Howard hailed from Terrace where he and fellow high schooler Jim Vallance formed a band in the summer of 1969. Vallance reportedly wove memories of those idyllic teen times when he later co-wrote Summer Of ‘69 with Bryan Adams! A gifted guitarist, Howard also played keyboards and sang harmonies.” Skelly adds that Froese co-write one of the tracks on Riding High titled “Far Side Of The Sun”. This was “a mini suite inspired by a sci-fi movie all four Chilliwack members watched on tv late one night after a gig.”
by Ray McGinnis, December 20, 2017

1. Come On Over (Ross Turney, Bill Henderson) - 4:32
2. Crazy Talk (Bill Henderson) - 5:25
3. There's Something I Like About That (Ross Turney, Bill Henderson) - 2:50
4. Makin' Time (Ross Turney, Bill Henderson) - 5:40
5. Riding High (Ross Turney, Bill Henderson) - 5:21
6. Time Don't Mean A Thing To Ya' (Bill Henderson) - 2:47
7. Far Side Of The Sun Suite: Drifting/Secrets (Ross Turney, Bill Henderson, Howard Froese, Glenn Miller) - 8:35

*Bill Henderson - Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals
*Glenn Miller - Bass
*Ross Turney - Drums, Percussion
*Howard Froese - Guitar, Keyboards, Harmony Vocals

1970  Chilliwack
1971  Chilliwack - Chilliwack II