With two brilliant singles, Save My Life and Circus Kids, already recognised as bright spots on the New Zealand musical map, the impending arrival of Bike's debut album Take In The Sun was an eagerly awaited event on the local calendar.
Adding to that expectation is the fact that Bike's classic misty-eyed pop is all the product of songwriter Andrew Brough. His superb voice and songs came together in sublime moments for his former band, Straitjacket Fits - we still chill to songs like Down In Splendour and Sparkle That Shines - but these were all too rare. When Bike's 1996 debut single, Save My Life, was a finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award it was a sign that this new band delivered more of the Brough goods.
Take In The Sun is the first time we see that talent in full flight over the length of an album. Eleven tunes are collected into the album's forty minutes and the production, by Malcolm Welsford and Andrew Brough, lets the heavenly swirl of chiming guitars and the perfectly-pitched vocals do most of the talking on the impressive Take In The Sun.
While the ballads show the obvious melodic strength of Andrew's writing in Tears Were Blue and Sunrise, there's room for a rockier edge in Keeping You In Mine and the surprising Anybody Know. At the heart of what makes Take In The Sun so good is the album's spine-tingling pop quotient, provided by the title track and singles Circus Kids, Save My Life, and the latest, Welcome To My World.
Behind the striking angelic voice and the huge 'wall of jangle' guitars created by the album production, many of Bike's songs are hung on the rhythmic sway that has always helped convey the bittersweet edge of so many of Andrew's words.
Released February 20, 1997
The album was recorded over a number of months through the summer of 1997 with a Bike line-up featuring Andrew Brough on guitar and keyboards, Tristan Mason on bass guitar and drummer Wayne Bell. The rigorous standards demanded by Andrew and Malcolm Welsford brought polished performances out of everyone involved in what became one of the largest recording projects undertaken at York Street.