Friday, 28 October 2016

L!ttle R!iver Band - 1983 - The N_et FLAC

You're Driving Me Out Of My Mind/We Two/No More Tears/Mr Socialite/Down On The Border/The Danger Sign/Falling/Sleepless Nights/Easy Money/The Net/One Day (Bonus Track)

The Net is the seventh studio album by Little River Band, which was released in May 1983. It marks what has become historically, the major crossroad in the band's musical direction. There stand several significant factors surrounding this record – it contained the band's last two singles to reach the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, with "We Two" reaching No. 22 and "You're Driving Me out of My Mind" peaking at No. 35. The album peaked at No. 11 on the Australian Kent Music Report albums chart and No. 61 on the Billboard 200.

The Net was their first full studio release to feature John Farnham as new lead vocalist replacing Glenn Shorrock and Stephen Housden taking up the mantle of lead guitarist – it is also the last album featuring original members Beeb Birtles (who permanently left the line-up after the US Tour in support of its release) and Derek Pellicci, who would rejoin the band in 1987.

 Guitarist Beeb Birtles didn't want John Farnham to replace Glenn Shorrock as lead singer of Little River Band initially. 'We were already under fire for being a middle of the road band, and the last thing we needed was someone who would bring an even more middle of the road type presentation as lead singer. I think the band was doomed from the time John joined because Capitol Records in the US didn't like
John's voice.'
The band's manager, Glenn Wheatley, fought very hard for Glenn Shorrock to stay, recalls LRB's father-figure Graham Goble. 'Wheatley believed that if Shorrock left LRB, it would be the end. But I knew if there wasn't a change, there wouldn't have been any more LRB anyway. It was a choice between changing lead singers or breaking up completely. Given that choice -why not change to the most gifted singer in the business?'
But why was Down Under's most successful band changing course after going further than any other Australian act in that toughest music market of all - America? What the fans hadn't realised was that by 1981, the facade of success was beginning to slip from LRB. Record sales were stalled, the tours were high-tech and ferociously expensive and still the band hadn't cracked that elusive US No. 1 single and the public seemed to be tiring of smooth Eagle-style harmonies and were looking for a sharper edge to their music. And there was tension on the road and in the studio between brilliant, driven musicians like Birtles and Goble and the laid-back, tomorrow's-another-day Shorrock. Beeb claims the band's irritation with Shorrock peaked while they were recording the 'Time Exposure' album in Monserrat. 'Shorrock had reached the stage in his career where he didn't want to try any more ... perhaps it was a form of midlife crisis. I'd had enough of people complaining to me about Glenn, but no one saying anything at band meetings.

  I think to this day Shorrock still holds me responsible for being the instigator, the first to say, "Look, mate I can't work with you any more". For the sake of the band, something had to be done. It was either that or other people might have left. Once I'd said it, other voices started piping up and supporting what I said.'
Graham Goble was also looking for a 'new shot of energy'. 'Creatively [with Shorrock] we felt in a bind ... we wanted to grow in all sorts of areas that the public wouldn't let us do under the guise of LRB.' Beeb, having led the charge to rid the band of its lead singer, saw no need to rush into a decision on a new singer and was surprised when the others began discussing John Farnham as the man most likely to succeed. But Graham and drummer Derek Pellicci, who had also worked on 'Uncovered', were keen on John Farnham. Graham admits to having always been a fan of John's, 'there is no singer in the world who could do more with their voice from a technical point of view... and he is also one of the best harmony singers on the planet. When we were looking at LRB, the question was, could he sing the harmonies? Not only could he sing them, but also he could sing them incredibly well. The vocals we sang on 'Playing to Win', 'The Net' and the 'No Reins' albums [the three LRB albums with John Farnham's name on the credits] are the most exciting I've ever been involved with because they were done so quickly, but with so much energy.'
In February 1981, John was holidaying at Sorrento, south of Melbourne, with Jillian and Robbie when Glenn Wheatley phoned and put the offer to him to join the band at 10.30 p.m. John went back to the kitchen, opened a bottle of wine, and sat down with Jillian; they talked about the move until 4 a.m. or so. He returned to Melbourne that morning, attended a band meeting at 11 a.m. and was in the studio at noon.
 Why did John Farnham choose LRB, just when his career was coming off hold, after a moderately successful album, 'Uncovered', a popular single in 'Help', and a rousing pub tour with his first band? To an extent, it was security; his first child had recently been born and what appeared to offer a regular and possibly handsome income was attractive to someone recently burdened by a couple of heavy financial blows; LRB seemed to offer a secure fast-track into the mainstream world of rock and roll; John's first exposure to the stadium crowds that LRB commonly played to would be great experience and, besides, he had seen them perform and he believed it to be one of the best live bands in the world. 'It was a hot band. Hot, hot, hot.' Then there was the credibility factor: John simply did not feel credible on the wilder side of popular music.
Fame had come so quickly, so easily and with a song that was a joke among his peers. How many other singers could say they'd left their job two days before a single came out and three weeks before it was a national hit? In short, John felt he'd never had to work for fame. 'I spent years buzzing around and seeing all these poor buggers living in one house with one pair of shoes between them and I always felt fairly guilty that I hadn't had to pay any dues.' LRB might just be the first step in settling the account.
Graham Goble told John that as Glenn Shorrock was going out the door after that last fateful band meeting, he turned to the room and said, "I think you should get Farnham". 'If that's true, it's nice,' said John. 'Glenn and I are good mates, though we don't see each other that much. There was no animosity there.' And he's keen to debunk the theory current at the time that Glenn Wheatley had taken him on to be groomed as a replacement for Shorrock. 'That wasn't the case in my mind. There had been a lot of in-fighting for a number of years and I understand that it got to the stage where they made the albums with one member at a time in the studio because no one would talk to anyone else. But that's the case with a lot of bands and some are very successful.'

 The songs for 'The Net' were already chosen. John's only input was to harmonise and take care of some of the lead vocals. 'I had no input because the songs were already in place. But I thought, "What the hell, let's see what happens".' It was one of the last times in his professional life that John Farnham was to adopt such an easy-going attitude to his career. His years with LRB, which were to prove the coalface of rock 'n' roll, would make him tough, wary and, for the first time, his own man. [Extract from 'Whispering Jack: The John Farnham Story' by Clark Forbes, Hutchinson Australia 1989. p89-90]  

Thanks to AussieRock for the extract.

Billy Thorpe - 1974 - Million Dollar Bill FLAC

Back On The Street Again/Drive My Car/ I Really Miss You/ It's Almost Summer/Do The Best You Can/Theme From Million Dollar Bill/Mama Told Her/Standin' Too Close To The Fire/Don't Need No Protection

William Richard "Billy" Thorpe, AM (29 March 1946 – 28 February 2007) was an English-born Australian pop / rock singer-songwriter, producer,and musician. As lead singer of his band Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, he had success in the 1960s with "Blue Day", "Poison Ivy", "Over the Rainbow", "Sick and Tired", and "Mashed Potato"; and in the 1970s with "Most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy". Featuring in concerts at Sunbury Pop Festivals and Myer Music Bowl in the early 1970s, the Aztecs also developed the pub rock scene and were one of the loudest groups in Australia.

Thorpe also performed as a solo artist; he relocated to the United States from 1976 to 1996 where he released the space opera Children of the Sun, which peaked in the top 40 of the Billboard Pop Album chart in 1979. He worked with ex-Aztec Tony Barber to form a soft toy company in 1987 and co-wrote stories for The Puggle Tales and Tales from the Lost Forests. Thorpe also worked as a producer and composed music scores for TV series including War of the Worlds, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Columbo, Eight Is Enough and Hard Time on Planet Earth.

Thorpe returned to Australia in 1996 and continued as a performer and producer, additionally he wrote two autobiographies, Sex and Thugs and Rock 'n' Roll (1996) and Most People I Know (Think That I'm Crazy) (1998). According to Australian rock music historian Ian McFarlane, "Thorpie evolved from child star, beat pop sensation and cuddly pop crooner to finally emerge as the country's wildest and heaviest blues rocker Thorpie was the unassailable monarch of Australian rock music". Thorpe was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 1991. He died of a heart attack in February 2007 and was posthumously appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June for his contribution to music as a musician, songwriter and producer.


In early 1975 Billy disbanded The Aztecs to lay plans for his move to the USA. By that stage, Thorpie no longer saw himself as the manic blues rocker. He had cut his hair and dispensed with the faded denims for more stylish attire, and was not content to sit on his laurels. His next two albums, Million Dollar Bill and Pick Me Up and Play Me Loud, featured a sophisticated mix of funk, Adult Oriented Rock (AOR), country and blues with a definite American slant. Million Dollar Bill produced the delightfully breezy single 'It's Almost Summer'/'Drive My Car' (November 1975) which was a minor hit in Melbourne and Sydney (#39). 'Do the Best You Can'/'Mama Told Her' (March 1976) was the second single. The basic line-up on the album was Thorpe, Matthews and New Zealander Billy Kristian (bass; ex-Max Merritt and the Meteors), aided by the likes of Warren Morgan (keyboards, by then a member of John Paul Young and the All Stars).

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Brian Cadd - 1998 - Live at Crown FLAC

Ya Mama Don't Dance/Every Mothers Son/Let Go/Steppin' Out/Don't You Know It's Magic/Tear Down The Barricades/Arkansas Grass/Little Ray of Sunshine/Ginger Man/Silver City Celebration Day/Keep On Rockin'

  Born in Perth, Western Australia, Brian moved to Melbourne just as the Beatles phenomenon hit Australia.
He joined “THE GROOP” in 1966 and wrote all of their many hit singles and albums including WOMAN YOU’RE BREAKING ME and SUCH A LOVELY WAY. 

                                                                                                    The Groop Brian is on the far right

 Upon their demise, he formed AXIOM, Australia’s first “supergroup” with Glenn Shorrock who was later lead singer of THE LITTLE RIVER BAND. He once again penned all of Axiom’s hits before the band broke up in England in 1969. These include ARKANSAS GRASS, LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE and MY BABY’S GONE.
Returning to Australia he LAUNCHED a rock label called BOOTLEG RECORDS in 1972 and Brian ran the label as well as being its first artist. The label became the most successful Independent Record Company in the history of Australian popular music up to that time. The next few years saw many gold and platinum records as a solo artist and an array of prestigious awards for film scores, title songs and TV themes.  In addition, he produced many acts and wrote and produced some of Australia's most successful advertising music. Hits from this era include: GINGER MAN, LET GO, DON’T YOU KNOW ITS MAGIC. MAMMA DON’T DANCE, ALVIN PURPLE, CLASS OF 74.

                 Axiom Brian is front right.

In 1976 he was signed to CAPITOL RECORDS as an artist and moved to Los Angeles. For the next 20 years he worked in all aspects of the International music scene from writing, production, publishing, management and the planning, development and administration of several successful music production companies. Additionally he created FAIRYDUST MUSIC, a worldwide publishing company now owning in excess of 300 song copyrights.

Brian Cadd moved back to Australia in 1997 after 25 years working in the International Music Industry in both the U.S. and Europe. He has continued to tour Australia due to the huge ‘Boomers’ audience out there, still rocking.

In July 2007, he was inducted into the ARIA, Hall of Fame. In the same year he was inducted into the Australian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was awarded a Masters of Music in 2009 and a Doctor of Music this year.
As a writer, Brian has provided songs for an amazing string of artists both in Australia and internationally including: Joe Cocker, Ringo Starr, The Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Tyler, Yvonne Elliman, Little River Band, Charlie Daniels, Glen Campbell, Flying Burrito Brothers, Dobie Gray, Gene Pitney, Johnnny Halliday, Sylvie Vartan, Cilla Black, Trini Lopez, Russell Morris, John Farnham, Gina Jeffries, The Groop, Axiom, The Masters Apprentices and many more.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Richard Clapton - 1984 - Solidarity (1991) FLAC

The Heart Of It/Chinatown/Amsterdam/Kathleen/Solidarity/Feelin' Alright Tonight/Katy's Leaving Babylon/Cry Mercy Sister/Atom Bomb/New World

Richard Clapton (born 18 May ca. 1949) is an Australian singer-songwriter, producer and guitarist from Sydney, New South Wales. His solo top 20 hits on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart are "Girls on the Avenue" (1975) and "I Am an Island" (1982). His top 20 albums on the related Albums Chart are Goodbye Tiger (1977), Hearts on the Nightline (1979), The Great Escape (1982), and The Very Best of Richard Clapton (1982). As a producer he worked on the second INXS album, Underneath the Colours (1981). In 1983, he briefly joined The Party Boys for a tour of eastern Australia and the live album, Greatest Hits (Of Other People) (1983) before resuming his solo career.
Australian rock music historian Ian McFarlane described Clapton as "one of the most important Australian songwriters of the 1970s". On 12 October 1999, Clapton was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. On 1 August 2014 Clapton published his autobiography, The Best Years of Our Lives.

 In September 1984, Clapton released Solidarity on Mushroom Records which was produced by Opitz, Ricky Fataar, Tim Kramer and Moffatt. For the album he used Graham Bidstrup on drums (ex-The Angels, The Party Boys), James Black on keyboards (ex-Mondo Rock), Kevin Borich on guitar (ex-La De Das, The Party Boys), Fataar on drums, Allan Mansfield on keyboards (Dragon), Graham Thompson on bass guitar (ex-Stars), and backing vocals from Mary Bradfield, Venetta Fields and Mark Williams.

Various - 1972 - 12x12 FLAC

Blackfeather - Find Somebody to Love Copperwine - Golden Angels
Phil Manning - Walk In The Light
Sherbet - Back Home
Billy Thorpe - Good Mornin' Little School Girl
Stafford Bridge - Song For A Blind Man
Country Radio - Last Time Around
Warren Morgan - Just For You
Jeff St. John & Copperwine - Keep On Growing
Glenn Cardier - I Am The Day
Wendy Saddington & Copperwine - Backlash Blues
Chain - 32/20

 Blackfeather are an Australian rock group which formed in April 1970. The band has had numerous line-ups, mostly fronted by founding lead singer, Neale Johns. An early heavy rock version recorded their debut album, At the Mountains of Madness (April 1971), which peaked at number seven on the Go-Set Top 20 Albums chart. It provided the single, "Seasons of Change" (May 1971), which was co-written by Johns with lead guitarist, John Robinson. In July 1972 a piano-based line-up led by Johns issued an Australian number-one single, "Boppin' the Blues"/"Find Somebody To Love", which is a cover version of the Carl Perkins' 1956 single.  

Blackfeather formed in April 1970 in Sydney by Leith Corbett on bass guitar, Mike McCormack on drums, and John Robinson on lead guitar (all from the Dave Miller Set), plus lead vocalist, Neale Johns. Robinson recalled meeting Johns, "a small guy with a huge voice, Neale was very taciturn. He was into the blues and had excellent range." Their name was derived from two found suggested in a book, "Whitefeather" and "Heavyfeather". Corbett and McCormack left soon after, replaced by Robert Fortesque on bass guitar and Alexander Kash on drums. Corbett subsequently reunited with singer Dave Miller to record a duo album, Reflections of a Pioneer. Johns and Robinson wrote or co-wrote the band's original material.

 Following the departures of first Wendy Saddington, then Jeff St John, the remaining members of Copperwine recruited former Chain/Rebels singer/guitarist Glyn Mason to join as new frontman All seemed to be business as usual when the band issued this fine debut single in 1972, a pioneering effort in the then emerging country rock field. I guess Glyn did have mighty big shoes to fill & judged on talent alone, he certainly had the songwriting ability & the voice but sales were not as might have been expected so the band disbanded soon after. Glyn went onto become one of our most respected journeyman musos, returning to Chain briefly for a 2nd live album before forming his own band Home who issued to fine country/blues LPs. From there he joined Mike Rudd in Ariel, the combiantion of their songs working a treat, with Glynb writing one of their most populr songs "It's Only Love". Later on Glyn lent his name to the popular Stockley See Mason Band alongside 2 other great Aussie journeymen Sam See & Chris Stockley, and to this day Glyn can still be seen around Melbourne with Sam, now calling themselves The Pardners. Meantime bassist Harry Brus, has gone on to forge a sterling career of his own, being the bassist of choice for both Kevin Borich & Renee Geyer, both of whom he has worked with for many years, as well as a who's who of Australian music. (Micko)

Philip John "Phil" Manning (born 1948) is an Australian blues singer-songwriter and guitarist. Manning has been a member of various groups including Chain and has had a solo career. As a member of Chain, Manning co-wrote their January 1971 single "Black and Blue" which became number one on the Melbourne charts and also Judgement, which reached number two in Sydney. The related album, Toward the Blues followed in September and peaked in the top 10 albums chart. Manning left Chain in July 1971 to work with Warren Morgan (ex-Chain, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs) on keyboards in a band called Pilgrimage. They issued a single, "Just For You/Walk In The Light" in November 1971.

Sherbet were Australia's most popular pop group of the 70s with 20 consecutive hit records and 17 album, accounting for 10 platinum and 14 gold disc awards. In 1969 the Sydney entertainment scene was almost totally geared towards satisfying the money-rich comfort-starved American Vietnam troops who came for official Rest And Recreation. Sydney's nightclubs gave them what they wanted - r&b, soul, funk, good-time rock - and these influences spilled over into the pop group Sherbet, formed without singer Daryl Braithwaite, but completed by his falsetto-capable vocals. They were the archetypical 70s girl fodder pop band - groomed hair, colorful satin stage outfits.  "You're All Woman" b/w "Back Home" Charting at #13 was a single taken from their debut 1972 album Time Change... A Natural Progression which also charted reaching #66.

Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs were an Australian pop and rock group dating from the mid-1960s. The group enjoyed success in the mid-1960s, but split in 1967. They re-emerged in the early 1970s to become one of the most popular Australian hard-rock bands of the period. Billy Thorpe openly acknowledged that his new 1970's 'heavy' version of the Aztecs owed much to 'guitar hero' Lobby Loyde. Lloyde had a cult following due to his stints in two of the most original Australian bands of the Sixties, The Purple Hearts and Wild Cherries. This track "Good Morning Little School Girl" is from 1970 and certainly features the beginnings of that heavier sound that was to 'boom' throughout the 70's.

 "Song For A Blind Man" was an obscure Australian progressive rock/pop from 1972 by Stafford Bridge. The band's only released material were two singles on the infinity label.  A Sydney band Stafford Bridge made the grand-finals representing NSW Country in Hoadley's National Battle Of The Sounds.Band memebers were Peter Gordon - Sax and Flute, David Kay - Guitar and Flute, Gary Riley - Drums, Terry Riley - Organ, Guitar, Ross Sanders - bass and Jim Willebrandt - Vocals. Jim Willebrandt fronted a number of bands including Daisy Roots, Clapham Juntion, Toby Jug and Hot Cottage.

To promote Fleetwood Plain Greg Quill formed the original line-up of Country Radio (also seen as Greg Quill's Country Radio or Greg Quill and Country Radio) in June 1970. Other members were Agostino, Blanchflower, Walsh and Dave Hannagan on percussion and backing vocals. The group started as an acoustic act but from 1970 to 1971 its musical style evolved into electric country rock, a style then gaining popularity through the influence of albums like The Band's Music from Big Pink (1968), The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968), and Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline (1969). 1971 saw the release of "Listen to the Children"   b/w "Last Time Around" on Infinity .
With the "classic" line-up of Quill, Tolhurst, Bird, Bois, Bolton and Blanchflower, Country Radio recorded their second and most successful single, "Gyspy Queen", with producer John French, in Melbourne in April 1972. It was co-written by Quill and Tolhurst, and featured a string arrangement by session musician, Peter Jones (who later worked on Quill's solo album, The Outlaw's Reply). Released in August, the single spent 13 weeks in the Go-Set National Top 40 and peaked at No. 12.

Warren Morgan was a bit of a journeyman spending a lot of his early years moving between 2 bands Chain and the Aztecs he started out in his first band the Beat 'n' Tracks along with future Chain member Phil Manning. Beat 'n' Tracks eventually morphed into Chain who recorded "Chain Live"(1970) from there Warren would be asked by Billy Thorpe to join the Aztecs he wold feature on the ground breaking "The Hoax Is Over" (1970) album.

 After a falling out with Billy, Warren moved on to form Pilgramage which he formed with Phil Manning they released "Just For You/Walk In The Light" after not making much money they decided to split Phil going on to Band of Talabene and Warren reforming Chain and recording "Chain Live Again" (1971). After the Aztecs played Sunbury Warren was again asked to join them and accepted. In 1973 he and Billy would record "Thump'n Pig and Puff'n Billy" a guest on the album would be Chain alumnus Phil Manning. He would later go on to be a member of Gerry and The Joy Band and also a member of the All Stars who backed Stevie Wright and then later John Paul Young.

St John unveiled his new band, Copperwine (aka Jeff St John's Copperwine), in early 1969 with low-key dates in Perth, before returning to Sydney. Copperwine soon commanded a rabid following in that city's fast-developing 'head' scene. Around the time of the new band's formation, guitarist Ross East was also invited to join the revised Masters Apprentices line-up by Jim Keays, but he turned it down, opting to stay with Jeff. Aided by East and Peter Figures, plus Alan Ingram on bass and keyboardist Barry Kelly (from Marty Rhone's Soul Agents), St John wowed punters at the Ourimbah "Pilgrimage For Pop", Australia's first major outdoor rock festival, hedl at Ourimbah, NSW at the end of January 1970. The band's dynamic repertoire mixed quality prog-flavoured group originals with powerful renditions of Sly & the Family Stone's funk classic "Sing A Simple Song" (a stage fave for many Australian acts of the time including Southern Comfort and The Affair), a storming version of The Temptations' psych-soul masterpiece "Cloud Nine" and Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home."

 Another single, issued on Spin in November 1970, fared extremely well. The smoothly confident, organ-led cover of Rotary Connection's "Teach Me How To Fly" (featuring a berserk guitar solo from East, and some very tasty bass-drums interplay) propelled the band to #12 in Melbourne and a very encouraging #3 Sydney chart placement. St John's dazzling vocal performance on this record is probably the main reason why. An 'insane” (as Jeff puts it) schedule of touring, concentrated in the eastern states, sustained Copperwine throughout 1970-71. Noted soul-blues singer Wendy Saddington (formerly of James Taylor Move and Chain) joined as co-lead vocalist in May 1970 and made her recording debut with the band (without St John though) on the intriguingly laid-back, bluesy album Wendy Saddington and Copperwine Live, recorded at the Wallacia Rock Festival in January 1971. By this time, too, former Amazons and Dave Miller Set member Harry Brus had replaced Alan Ingram on bass. The Copperwine/Saddington live album was scheduled for re-release on CD as part of Festival's reissue program, but the entire reissue project was scrapped after the acquistion of Mushroom Records. Festival's rapid financial decline after 2002 led to its closure in late 2005, and the entire Festival-Mushroom archive was sold to the American-owned Warner Music group soon after. Although Saddington had departed Copperwine by February 1971, the group continued to tour relentlessly, with Jeff at the helm. Another major event for the band in 1971 was its participation in the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds. The group, with St John in ultimate form, put on a commanding show, performing a stunning version of the Leon Russell-penned "Hummingbird", but they finished third behind Fraternity and Sherbet), Hummingbird" (backed by Derek & The Dominos' Keep On Growing) became the next Copperwine single, which was released in August on Festival's new progressive subsidiary, Infinity and it was a moderate chart success. Early in the year they recruited Glyn Mason (ex-Chain, Larry's Rebels) and this lineup performed at the Mulwala Festival near Albury in NSW in April 1972. Soon after, Jeff split from Copperwine, but the band continued on for some time, with Mason taking over as lead vocalist.

Sydney singer/songwriter Glenn Cardier was a popular solo performer on the early 1970s scene. In much the same vein as James Taylor, Doug Ashdown and Ross Ryan, Cardier played a brand of gentle and reflective acoustic folk and soft rock that gained him a strong cult following. Cardier actually started out playing lead guitar in Brisbane acid-rock band The Revolution before taking to the road as a folkie. He signed to Festival's progressive Infinity label, with which he issued two albums and four singles: `Every Wounded Bird'/`The Juggler' (July 1972), `Ulysses'/`Minstrel' (February 1973), `Oh Dear Saint Peter'/`I Am the Day' (July 1973) and `I See a Comedy'/`Lovers Alias Fools' (June 1974). Never content to be seen as just a sensitive folkie, Cardier toured with rock bands like La De Das, Country Radio, Sherbet and Daddy Cool. 

 He also made an appearance at the 1972 Sunbury Festival, and supported overseas visitors Frank Zappa and Manfred Mann's Earth Band. In 1974, Cardier became one of the first musicians in Australia (along with Rob MacKenzie from MacKenzie Theory and Greg Quill from Country Radio) to receive a travel grant from the Australia Council for the Arts (under the auspices of Gough Whitlam's Labor government). He travelled to England where he toured for several years, recording the Glenn Cardier album and a single `Till the Fire Dies'/`Christopher Columbus' (June 1976) for Interfusion along the way.

On his return to Australia in late 1978, Cardier recorded `Establishment Blues' under the psuedonym of Sydney Hill. The song appeared as the B-side to the Mojo Singers' #1 hit `C'mon Aussie C'mon'. Cardier's 1979 band, the Bel-Aires, comprised Brad Alick (lead guitar), Eddie Parise (bass, who later joined Baby Animals) and Vince Crae (drums). Cardier issued the single `Expectations'/`I Saved Annette from Drowning' in February 1980. He has also recorded the Christmas track `Reindeers on the Rooftops' under the alias Riff Raff.

Wendy Saddington was one of Australia's premier soul/blues singers of the late 1960s/early 1970s (in the Etta James/Aretha Franklin mould). Because she was under-recorded, however, Saddington can only claim one single and one album to her credit. Saddington first came to prominence in soul/psychedelic bands like The Revolution and the James Taylor Move, and the original version of blues band Chain. In May 1969, she joined pop paper Go-Set as a staff writer and later joined Copperwine as co-vocalist with Jeff St John. Her stay of ten months (March 1970–February 1971) motivated many changes in Copperwine's musical direction, with much of the soul-copying being replaced by a more purist blues-oriented sound. That change was heard on the album Wendy Saddington and the Copperwine Live which had been recorded at the Wallacia Festival during January 1971. Saddington scored her only hit single when the Warren Morgan-penned and Billy Thorpe/ Morgan-produced `Looking Through a Window'/ `We Need a Song' reached #22 in September 1971. In 1972, Festival reissued the live album, retitled it Looking Through a Window and simply added the track `Looking Through a Window'. The single was reissued in 1977 but was not successful.

In March 1973, Saddington appeared as the Nurse in the local stage production of The Who's rock opera Tommy. Other cast members included Billy Thorpe, Daryl Braithwaite, Colleen Hewett, Broderick Smith, Doug Parkinson, Jim Keays, Ross Wilson and Keith Moon. Saddington worked with a variety of bands during the mid-1970s, including Shango and Blues Assembly. She worked with the Jeffrey Crozier Band in New York during the late 1970s. In 1983, she formed the Wendy Saddington Band which initially comprised jazz pianist Bobby Gebert, Harvey James (guitar; ex-Ariel, Sherbet, Swanee), Billy Rylands (bass) and Chris Sweeney (drums). The 1987 line-up comprised Rose Bygrave (keyboards; ex-Goanna), Mick Liber (guitar; ex-Python Lee Jackson), Angelica Booth (bass) and Des McKenna (drums).

 Toward The Blues was recorded at Melbourne's TCS Studios with engineer/producer John Sayers, the album announced, upon its release in late '71, the matured essence of Chain in its acknowledged classic configuration of Phil, Matt and the two Goose-Barrys (aarrgh! – Ed.). The album made the number 6 position on the national album charts and remained a strong Top 40 seller for four months (it still sells in respectable quantities to this day!). It was supported by significant and valuable airplay, mainly on "alternative" radio programs like future Double-J presenter Chris Winter's seminal national ABC radio show, Room To Move. It was the sort of record that seemed to already be on the turntable whenever you stepped into a Saturday night party in those days. In short, it was one of those albums, along with Spectrum's Milesago or Tamam Shud's first, or maybe Co. Caine's debut opus, that any self-respecting aficionado of quality OzRock; (like your reporter, at the time, about 18 or 19, and avid!) would consider essential for a well-rounded record collection!

 Led by the single "Judgement", an aggressive, multi-faceted bluesy showcase for each band member, and notable for Phil's singular wah-wah guitar filigrees, Towards The Blues proved an early pinnacle that Chain struggled to surpass later in their career, if, indeed, they themselves ever wanted or needed to -- Chain's credo, like that of most of their contemporaries, generally eschewed such crass or quaint notions of career longevity or quick riches). Instead, Aussie punters were presented with one of the finest and most well-rounded LPs of the era. Other gems include an inspired version of Robert Johnson's "32/20", followed by the supreme swing and swagger of their version of Junior Wells' "Snatch It Back And Hold It", delightfully re-appropriated here in true Aussie ratbag fashion as "Grab A Snatch And Hold It!" Many other highlights abound, such as "Albert Goose's Gonna Turn The Blueses Looses", a vehicle for Harvey to unleash a fierce drum solo. Side Two ends with Taylor's wailing blues harmonica featuring on the signature tune, the full version of "Black & Blue".

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Ferrets - 1977 - Dreams Of A Love

Prelude/You Belong With Me/Bye Bye Baby/Lies/Killing Ourselves/Janie May/Dreams Of A Love/My Old Dog/El Quicko/Dont Fall In Love/The Children Play/Just Like The Stars/Magic In The Sand

 The Ferrets were an Australian pop / rock band from Melbourne and Sydney, which formed in 1975 and disbanded in 1979. Their second single, "Don't Fall in Love", was released in 1977 and peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. Philip Eizenberg (guitar), Kenneth Firth (bass guitar, backing vocals), William "Billy" Miller (vocals, guitar) and David Springfield (guitar, backing vocals) formed The Ferrets and were soon joined by drummer Rick Brewer.

Ken Firth, Phil Eizenberg and William "Billy" Miller had been involved with the Australian stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar (1972–1974) which also included singer-actors Jon English and John Paul Young.

 Firth (bass guitar, backing vocals), Miller (vocals, guitar) and Dave Springfield (guitar, backing vocals) were all members of hard rockers Buster Brown (which also featured vocalist Angry Anderson later of Rose Tattoo). In November 1975 the trio left Buster Brown to join guitarist Eizenberg and formed The Ferrets. Drummer Rick Brewer (ex-Zoot) joined in April 1976 followed by Miller's sisters Jane Miller (backing vocals, keyboard) and Pam Miller (backing vocals) in Julythey were now a seven-piece band.

After favourable reactions from audiences in Melbourne and Sydney, The Ferrets produced a demo tape that caught the attention of Ian "Molly" Meldrum talent coordinator for Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV series Countdown. Meldrum had them signed to Mushroom Records and started producing their debut album, Dreams of a Love, in July 1976. In April 1977 they released their debut single, "Robin Hood", which did not chart. After nearly a year, production of the album was still incomplete, so The Ferrets took over assisted by recording engineers Tony Cohen and Ian MacKenzie Meldrum was attributed as "Willie Everfinish". Album production was finalised in August and it was released in October.

 Meldrum had carefully crafted their first single's A side "Lies" taking weeks but the B side "Don't Fall in Love" (written by Ian Davis and Firth) was rushed in three hours. The Ferrets premiered on Countdown in an episode compered by Jon English however, they used their B side. "Don't Fall in Love" quickly sold out its initial pressing and many customers wanted a copy of The Ferrets' debut album – there was concern at Mushroom Records as Meldrum had not organised an album cover: a white hand stamped cardboard sleeve was issued with a promise of the album artwork to follow. The Ferrets released a promo as the single peaked at No. 1 on Melbourne's charts and No. 2 Nationally. They were awarded with 'Best Australian TV Performer' at the 1977 King of Pop Awards for their Countdown appearances.

Although generally remembered for their biggest hit, their follow-up single "Janie May" reached No. 25 nationally and was televised on Countdown on 13 November 1977, which also featured the infamous Prince Charles interview. Their debut album Dreams of a Love achieved Gold record status and the long awaited album cover depicted a model (Wendy Bannister) holding a snarling ferret on her shoulder (front), a photo of the seven member band (back), lyrics and recording details including a photo of "Willie Everfinish" (inside). 

By the end of 1977, guitarist Eizenberg and backing vocalist Pam Miller had left. After another single, "Are You Looking at Me?" was released in April 1978, Jane Miller also left. The Ferrets continued to tour and then recorded their second album Fame at Any Price (October 1978) produced by Cohen. There were disappointing sales for the related singles "This Night" (written by Frank Howson, Firth, Miller) and "Tripsville" and for the album itself. Firth also left to be replaced successively by George Cross (previously in Jim Keays Southern Cross with Brewer) and Ric Petropolis. The Ferrets had no further chart success and disbanded in March 1979.

Angels - 1988 - Finger On The Trigger

Finger On The Trigger/Straight Aces

The Angels are an Australian rock band that formed in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1974. The band later relocated to Sydney and enjoyed huge local success, clocking up hit singles across four decades, including "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again", "Take a Long Line", "Marseilles", "Shadow Boxer", "No Secrets", "We Gotta Get Out of This Place", "Let the Night Roll On", and "Dogs Are Talking".

The Angels were cited by Guns N' Roses and a number of Seattle grunge bands, including Pearl Jam and Nirvana, as having influenced their music. In the international market, to avoid legal problems with the Casablanca Records' act Angel, their records were released under the names Angel City and later The Angels from Angel City.

Lead singer Doc Neeson who fronted the band from 1974-1999 left pre-Millennium due to spinal injuries sustained in a car accident. After spending most of the 2000s apart, in April 2008, the original 1970s line-up of the Angels reformed for a series of tours.

 In January 2013 it was announced that lead singer Doc Neeson had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and would undergo immediate treatment. Neeson died aged 67.

It was also revealed that bassist Chris Bailey (1950–2013) had been battling an aggressive cancer. Bailey died on 4 April 2013 a benefit concert was held at Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide on 17 April.

The single "Finger On The Trigger" was released in 1988 and is a Non Album release and reached #34 on the Australian Top 40.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Sherbet - 1974 - Slipstream FLAC

Slipstream/Endless Place/Wild Love/Another Hustler/What Is It All About/Freedom/Silvery Moon/Handy Mandy/When The Sunshine Turns To Grey/Earthquake In My Head/So Glad You're Mine

Sherbet was formed in 1969 by Clive Shakespeare with members of three Sydney bands. He had been in a band called Downtown Roll Band. With fellow members Doug Rae on bass & Danny Taylor on drums, he recruited Sam See on keys from Clapham Junction and Dennis Laughlin from Sebastian Hardie Blues Band on lead vocals. Like a lot of bands their lineup was fluid in the early days but by 1972 the first classic lineup of Daryl Braithwaite on vocals, Clive Shakespeare on guitar, Garth Porter on keys, Alan Sandow on drums and Tony Mitchell on bass.

 They toured relentlessly and were known as one of the hardest working and most professional acts of the time. All the while Daryl Braithwaite was having solo success as well. He was named “King Of Pop” from three years running from 1975 – 1977 and Sherbet were voted Best Australian Group five years in a row from 1973 to 1978.


In 1976 Clive Shakespeare left due largely to the heavy pressure and relentless touring. He was replaced by Harvey James, who had been successful in both Mississippi and Ariel, just as the band were hitting peak popularity. Like too many bands of their era they tried to break into the U.S. market but never quite pulled it off. They changed their name to “Highway” to try and get away from their previous bubblegum pop image but despite having some great local success the band decided to fold in late 1979.

The break was brief, however, and they were back in 1980 as “Sherbs” with the same lineup. A couple more years of touring saw them again call it quits in 1984 although they have performed at various one off events like the Harvey James Tribute Concert.

Slipstream is an album by Sherbet released in 1974. According to the Kent Music Report, it spent 35 weeks in the Australian Charts reaching a highest position of No. 3.

After a heavy touring schedule during the summer of '73 / '74, Sherbet packed a couple of guitars, and the electric piano, bathers, fishing lines, assorted goodies and recording equipment and headed off down the south coast of New South Wales to unwind in Clive's sea side house. Most of the songs on this album were written or conceived during this period.

Daryl Braithwaite: lead vocals
Tony Mitchell: bass guitar & vocals
Clive Shakespeare: guitars & vocals
Garth Porter: keyboards & vocals
Alan Sandow: drums

Produced by Sherbet and Richard Batchens
Recorded at Festival's Studio 24, Sydney, Australia June - August 1974

All tracks remastered by William Bowden, Festival Studios

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Ray Columbus And The Invaders - 1985 - Anthology FLAC

I Wanna Be Your Man/She's Back Again/Willie And The Hand Jive/Till We Kissed/Ku-Pow/  Shake/Yo Yo/Money Lover/She's Gone/Long Tall Sally/She's A Mod/Orbie Lee/Swim Like A Fish/ Tonight Is The Time/James Bond Theme/Made You/The Rise And Fall Flingle Bunt (Live)/It's All Over Now (Live)/ If I Fell (Live)/She's A Mod (Live)

 Ray Columbus tried putting together his first band around 1959 when he was aged 17. On drums was his friend Peter Ward, along with Billy Karaitiana (also known as Billy Kristian) on bass. Someone else played guitar, until they found a more competent guitarist in Andy Joines. As a quartet they tried playing to anyone who would listen around the Christchurch area.

They didn't last long as a group and shortly afterwards, Billy and Peter left to join Saki and the Jive Five. They began playing around Christchurch and became stiff opposition for Max Merritt and the Meteors, who had the local scene well to their liking. Max checked them out and soon after Billy moved into a permanent position with Max Merritt and the Meteors. At that point Peter Ward left and secured a position with the Downbeats.

                                                                      Ray and The Drifters, the band that would be renamed 
                                                                       Ray Columbus and The Invaders in February 1962

The Downbeats were an old-style dance band headed by Doc Foster. Members Doc Foster, Tony Athfield and Ross Clancy, had all played with the Saints. One night in 1960, Ray attended an engagement by the band and found that the lead vocalist, Jack Lark, wasn't there. Ray was given an opportunity to sing and was so successful he remained in that lead vocalist spot. Ray took the opportunity to introduce more rock'n'roll numbers into the bands repertoire. When someone left the band, Ray always organised a replacement. He introduced a bass player named Mac Jamieson, also from the Saints, and previously Bobby Davis and the Dazzlers. When Doc called it a day and guitarist Tony Athfield left, a 15 year old schoolboy, Dave Russell was recruited as lead guitarist. When the last of the Downbeats, Ross Clancy, left, he was replaced by a second guitarist Brian Ringrose.

Ray Columbus & The Invaders in 1962. 
Top: Ray Columbus, Mac Jamieson; 
Centre: Wally Scott; Bottom: Pete Ward, Dave Russell 

 This new line-up of Ray Columbus (Vocals), Dave Russell and Brian Ringrose (Guitars), Mac Jamieson (Bass) and Peter Ward (Drums) renamed themselves Ray and the Drifters. They began to make a name for themselves around Christchurch by late 1961. They performed mainly instrumental tunes with Columbus providing the vocals when necessary. The clubs in Christchurch at that time played host to numerous American servicemen stationed at Operation Deep Freeze. Their style and music interests had a major influence on Ray and his group.

In February 1962, because they were very popular in their hometown, they received a boost in their career by appearances on TV in a local Christchurch production called "Club Columbus". The four programmes were screened nationally, bringing greater exposure to a wider audience. Thanks to these TV performances they were invited to do a months work in Auckland. Lead guitarist Brian Ringrose was still at school so could not go. He was replaced by Wally Scott. Mac Jamieson also left and his place was taken by bassist Puni Solomon. This is the line-up that left for Auckland, changing their name on the way to Ray Columbus and the Invaders.

 They took Auckland by storm. With their Fender gear, fancy routines, matching outfits, Auckland audiences just stared in disbelief. Expecting to come to the big smoke and pick up a few tricks from the pros, they found that they were way ahead of the field. The Auckland groups sounded dated and were ignorant of American R&B and all lacked a lead singer as energetic and extroverted as Ray Columbus. In January 1963 they returned to Christchurch with almost every Auckland promoter dangling contracts.

An offer from Phil Warren was accepted and as they were preparing to return to Auckland, Peter Ward decided to get married and leave the Invaders. A replacement was soon found in Jimmy Hill. He came from Mataura, Wally Scott's hometown, where together they had played with the Flares in Invercargill.

In Auckland, they took up residency at the newly opened Monaco where they proved to be hugely popular. A recording contract was accepted with Zodiac and they soon recorded their first single. It was a double-sided original Columbus/Russell composition "Money Lover"/"So In Love". Released in April 1963, it went absolutely nowhere. Ray wrote the lyrics to "Money Lover" when he was 16 and two years later he completed the music with Dave Russell.

 The group was discouraged from recording their own material until they were established. Their second single was an obscure Danish instrumental called "Kupow" backed with another instrumental "Autumn Leaves". It sold reasonably well, thanks to radio airplay, but surprisingly sold even better in Sydney Australia after receiving even greater airplay.

Another single "I Saw Her Standing There"/"Just A Dream" came and went in 1963, but that didn't matter as Ray had his sights set on Australia. They had recorded an album called "Every Nite" and a new single "I Wanna Be Your Man" backed with instrumental "Cat's Eyes". In preparation for the Australian trip, Puni Solomon had been dropped and was replaced temporarily by John 'Yuk' Harrison, bassist with the Embers.

 Ray pursued Billy Kristian, who was still playing with the Meteors, and he accepted the role with the Invaders. So armed with their new album and new single they set off for Sydney in November 1963. They debuted at Surf City, Sydney's top teenage venue. Ray constantly did the rounds of talking to promoters, press agents, DJ's, journalists and television personalities. As a result "I Wanna Be Your Man" started receiving extensive radio play. Also in January 1964 they appeared on TV with appearances on Bandstand and Sing Sing Sing.

The Invaders returned to New Zealand in February 1964 with "I Wanna Be Your Man" outselling both the Beatles and Rolling Stones versions, sitting in the lower half of the Australian Top 40, the first time a New Zealand recording had charted overseas. Another single with two songs from the album, "On My Mind"/"Theme From Dr No" was also released.

"She's A Mod"/"Poison Ivy" was recorded in May 1964 and released in June. It didn't attract much interest in New Zealand at the time as the Beatles were still visiting. It could have faded completely if the Invaders hadn't returned to Sydney. Billy Kristian was ill, so John 'Yuk' Harrison filled in for him.
 Following an appearance at the 2UW Radio Theatre, Sydney went mod crazy. "She's A Mod" went to number one on the Sydney charts and began to climb up the national charts. With this, expatriate Kiwi promoter Harry M Miller stepped in an began to organise a national tour. Billy wanted to be a part of this, so he rejoined them on the eve of the tour. The tour was very successful with audiences everywhere going wild. By the end of the tour, "She's A Mod" was at number one on the Australian National Chart, staying there for eight weeks. By now New Zealand had caught on and the song started topping regional charts throughout the country.

At the end of the tour the group stopped in at Phillips Studio in Sydney to record a follow up single. The group was determined to show they could write and record their own songs, so another Columbus/Russell composition was chosen. The song was "Yo-Yo" backed with "She's Gone". Recorded after ten weeks on the road, the song reflects a husky vocal from Ray. The song went to number one in New Zealand and was as popular with fans as "She's A Mod", but the R&B departure was not as well received in Australia especially in commercial radio. It hung around the top 40 there, but that was all.

 Back in New Zealand in early 1965, they received a heroes' welcome. They immediately went on another tour around New Zealand with the Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison and Newbeats. They generated as much hysteria as the visiting artists. Another cover was released while they were on tour. It was "C'Mon And Swim"/"We Can't Go Wrong", which was then followed by "The Cruel Sea"/"Spanish Holiday". Record sales were not good, so an EP "Now You Shake" was released. This didn't sell very well either and in fact record sales in Australia had already peaked despite going on another tour with the Dave Clark Five. The "She's A Mod" EP was released in Australia.

Ray was continually trying to get the band into the US, but was constantly rejected by the US Consul. So rather than go back to Australia they began work on another album. It was called "Original Numbers" and contained their next single, which was "Till We Kissed"/"She's Back Again". The song "Till We Kissed" had been previously recorded by a number of artists, including Gerry and the Pacemakers, under the title "Where Have You Been". It turned out to be Ray Columbus and the Invaders biggest New Zealand hit, selling over 50,000 copies in 1965.

Feeling that they were not making enough money to continue, Jimmy Hill and Billy Kristian decided to leave the Invaders and headed back to Australia to join up again with Max Merritt and the Meteors. Ray decided that he would call it quits and Ray Columbus and the Invaders were no more.

Even after their demise, one more single was released from the album. It was "All Through Pride"/"Tonight Is The Time". But the biggest coup was still to come. On November 24, 1965 "Till We Kissed" won the very first Loxene Golden Disk Award.

In 1966 a greatest hits album was released, and then an anthology album in 1981. This anthology album was re-released in 1985 on Raven and included some extra tracks. In July 1989, a very different revival of "She's A Mod" by Double J and Twice the T featuring Ray Columbus made it to number 2 on the National Charts.

After the Invaders split up, Ray Columbus pursued a successful solo career, and eventually got his wish. With his American wife, he shifted to California in July 1966, spending two years in the USA. Wally moved to Australia and toured through Asia before also settling in the US. Wally died of cancer in 1980. Jimmy, Billy and Dave all played with Max Merritt at various times and appeared in other bands, including Dave with the Layabouts and Jimmy and Bill showing up in Headband. Jimmy Hill died on 7th November 2000 of cardiac problems, aged 56.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Various - 1981 - Australian Rock Heritage Vol. 1 FLAC

The Thunderbirds - Wild Weekend/Betty McQuade - Midnight Bus/Johnny Chester - Teeny/The Chessmen - Wild Little Willy/The Phantoms - I Want You/Merv Benton - Yield Not/Colin Cook - Heebie Jeebies/Terry Dean - It's You/Billy Adams - Slow Down Sandy/Peter Doyle - Plastic Dreams/The Cherokees - Minnie The Moocher/The Henchmen - Rockin' Robin/The Rondells - Talkin' 'Bout You/Johnny Broome - Dos And Donts/The Kravats - It Must Be Jelly/MPD Ltd. - Little Boy Sad/The Loved Ones - Everlovin' Man/18th Century Quartet - Rachel/Somebody's Image - Hush/The Town Criers - Everlasting Love

 The album is called Australian Rock Heritage Volume 1. It covers a range of artists and was released in 1981 on the Astor label with the code ALPS 1063. It has ten tracks per side and covers the period 1961 through to 1968. This is the period that I believe was when the Australian music scene, recorded and live, was really born and this album provides the listener with a taste of the known and the relative unknown artists. .

Australian Rock Heritage Volume 1 has some might fine artists from the various genres and periods between 1961 and 1968. We can identify seven artists on

Side 1 - as being artists who either cut their teeth either in the 1950's or were strongly influenced by the 1950's American rock scene. While on side 2 we find some of the most popular groups of the 60's such as the the Rondells (who were great in their own right as well as for backing Bobby & Laurie) Cherokees, MPD Ltd, The Loved One's, Somebody's Image & The Town Criers, along with a group that gave rise to fantastic bands in the future - the 18th Century Quartet. To top it off there's a sprinkling of groups that rose and fell, leaving a varying degree of impact on the scene despite their short lived existence. What is interesting is that almost all the artists, as previously mentioned, on side 1 represent artists who either came up through the 1950's or their music was based very much on the 1950's rock style. There are two obvious exceptions, the first being Billy Adams who emerged from the Go Show in 1965. Mind you the track by Adams was the same track somewhat popularised by Eddie Quinteros (Eddie who? - yes, a one "hit" wonder himself), anyway although Eddie recorded it in 1960 it was 1950's music all the way. The other exception which stands out far more clearly is Peter Doyle, who admittedly started singing in 1958 at the age of 9, and who became a regular at Melbourne's Festival Hall at the ripe old age of 14! But Doyle, despite claims he was a "Rocker", really had more in his arsenal than straight rock. His two biggest hits in Melbourne were a Solomon Burke song - Stupidity, and Small Faces song - Watcha Gonna Do About It.

So, we move to track 1 on side 1 - The Thunderbirds and Wild Weekend. Let's not muck around, not only were the Thunderbirds immensely popular they were the champion instrumental band, certainly in Melbourne and I'd argue, at that time, in Australia. Forming in 1957, Drummer Harold Frith formed the first line-up of The Thunderbirds in September of that year but it was short lived. Early 1958, Frith and Bell re-formed The Thunderbirds with Murray Robertson (piano) and Peter Robinson (bass). Colin Cook (ex-Sapphires) then joined on sax. Graham Lyall (sax, flute; ex-Sapphires) joined towards the end of 1958. By that stage, The Thunderbirds had also had Murray Robertson on piano & incorporated three featured vocalists into the line-up, Billy Owen, Billy O'Rourke and Judy Cannon. Then in 1960 they disbanded once again.They reformed in 1961 to undertake some work for dance promoter Kevin McLellan. Firth and Robertson recruited top sax player Henry Bource, Charlie Gould on guitar and Gordon Onley on Bass. The track Wild Weekend was suggested by legendary DJ Stan Rofe, and was recorded on the W&G label, soaring into the Top 20. It is a great rocking' track to remind us of the power of the Thunderbirds.

Track 2 is Midnight Bus by Betty McQuade (1941-2011) she originally emigrated to Brisbane from Scotland, but worked in Melbourne from 1960 as vocalist forThe Thunderbirds, and later appeared on the Go!! TV show in the mid-60s. Did not chart in Brisbane and Perth until 1965 on the Go!! label, four years afterthe initial release on Astor. Also recharted in Melbourne in 1965, peaking at #39. In the informed opinion of Kees van der Hoeven, John D. Loudermilkaficionado and discographer, Betty McQuade recorded the definitive killer version... a rock & roll classic.

                                              Johnny Chester with The Beatles in 1964 at Festival Hall, Brisbane.

Johnny Chester has track 3 "Teeny" was born 26 December 1941, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Chester learnt the drums and the guitar before deciding to be asinger, organizing his own dances, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs in 1959. He soon formed a band, the Chessmen, to back him at these dances. He was noticedby a popular disc jockey who introduced him to the A&R manager of Melbourne’s W&G records. The label recorded him with the backing of the rock ‘n’ roll combo the Thunderbirds and a series of 10 hit singles followed, establishing him as a teen idol, in Melbourne. By 1964 he had achieved the aim of all the otherlocal acts by supporting the Beatles’ tour of that year. In 1965 he moved into radio and television work, and during the late 60s began recording countrysongs, in the style of Conway Twitty and Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock. His recording career extended into the 80s and he was voted top country male vocalist from1981-83.

Track 4 "Little Willie" it is often said that behind every great man is a great woman - well behind every great singer there is a great band, and theChessmen sure were great. Johnny Chester in fact put the Chessmen together in 1961 as his backing group and they fast became regulars at Preston Town Hall.
They emerged as one of the most proficient Australian rock outfits of all time. Like all good bands, the lineup had its changes but when this track, WildLittle Willie was recorded in 1964, the lineup included Les Stacpool, Albert Stacpool, Frank McMahon and Mike Lynch. The track was originally recorded by Ronnie Hawking in 1959. With Les Stacpool on guitar, the group influenced many other local groups and Stacpool went on to become a genuine Australian guitarhero, and went on to be in such groups as Levi Smith Clefs, Rockwell T James and the Rhythm Aces, Doug Parkinson In Focus, Genesis and the list goes on.


The Phantoms have track 5 on the album  "I Want You" the began their career in early 1960. The band consisted of Dave Lincoln (Lead Guitar) Gene Taylor(Rhythm Guitar) Pete Wason (Bass Guitar) and Alan "Ollie" Fenton (Drums). Under the management off Bruce Stewart (who saw the playing at The Malvern TownHall approached them after the show and asked if he could manage them) the band began to increase their popularity around the Melbourne scene. They backedall the major solo artists on the various weekly shows at The Malvern Town Hall, Preston Town Hall, Springvale Town Hall, The Mechanics Town Hall Frankston,Cogurg Town Hall and other one off events like the Royal Melbourne Show, Moomba and the 3DB Lunchtime Concert at the Melbourne Town Hall. These Concerts Gave The Phantoms the chance to really excell and improve their skills and back the superstars of the day like Johnny O'Keefe, Johnny Chester and many others.

Track 6 "Yield Not To Temptation" by Merv Benton, whose "Church" style rock track was a fantastic cover of Bobby Bland's original version. I guess its not unfair to say Merv was more popular with the mums and dads than the teen audiences though. The Merv Benton story is a fascinating chapter of the Beat Boom in Australia. From his base on the Melbourne dance circuit, Merv gained national attention and quickly became one of the most popular male singers in the country. In early 1964 he signed with Melbourne's W&G Records and became one of their most prolific artists, releasing seventeen singles, six EPs, and three LPs between 1964 and 1967, and scoring an impressive run of fifteen Top 40 singles in his hometown (several of which also charted in other cities). But in 1967, at the height of his popularity, Merv was struck down by throat problems that ended his singing career.

 Track 7 "Heebie Jeebies" brings us to Colin Cook! Born in Bangladesh he arrived in Melbourne in 1952 and studied guitar, clarinet and sax. In 1959 he cut his rock and roll teeth as one of the singers in the Thunderbirds. He did backing vocals for many artists, of which Judy Cannon and Frankie Davidson were two. After supporting Fabian on an Australian tour he was signed to W&G and went on to record 5 singles, 1 EP and an album - Colin Cook Meets the Strangers. He had 4 hits with W&G before moving across to the Clarion label in 1966 and cut Heebie Jeebies, a Little Richard 1959 hit. It is undoubtedly his most rocking record. He did go on to be in the London performances of Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar where his popularity was maintained. This album is not great because Colin Cook is included but, it would not have been so great if he had been omitted!


Track 8 was Terry Dean's debut single from July 1965 - reached #24 - and the start of a long career both on his own and in groups The Premiers The Mixtures and Blunstone being Three. Terry enjoyed an extremely successful solo career recording a number of hit records, performing regularly in Melbourne and interstate and appearing nationally on TV shows including The Go Show, and Happening 70.

Billy Adams "Slow Down Sandy" brings us to track 9 Billy whose real name was William Tregonning started his pop career as lead singer of Melbourne rock'n'roll band The Checkmates from 1961-63. He became popular on the local dance and disco scene in the mid-60s, and this led to regular appearances on The Go!! Show and a recording contract with the Go!! label. Billy was perhaps not the greatest singer, but he was a competent and personable performer. His trademark was his outlandish bouffant hairdo which, according to Noel McGrath, he was eventually obliged to trim back after hundreds of letters of complaint from Go!! Show viewers. Billy's only hit was a cover of Eddy Quinteros' 1960 hit "Slow Down Sandy". His four subsequent Singles failed to chart and he eventually left the music scene and took a job in promotions with a major Melbourne department store.

Track 10 Peter Doyle "Plastic Dreams And Toy Balloons" Peter John Doyle (28 July 1949 – 13 October 2001) was an Australian pop singer who had success with a number of Top 40 hits in Australia in the 1960s, then success internationally as a member of the New Seekers in the early 1970s, before resuming a solo career in 1973. He started his career at the age of 9 appearing on a children's television talent show called Swallow's Juniors and appeared as a regular on that show for the next five years. He was performing in Sunday afternoon pop shows at Melbourne's Festival Hall at the age of 14 and at 16 he was signed to a record contract with Ivan Dayman's Sunshine label (whose roster included top singers such as Normie Rowe and Tony Worsley). This led to regular appearances on Melbourne's teen TV show, "The GO Show".

Turning the Lp over brings us to the Cherokees track 11 it needs to be acknowledged that while The Cherokees had a number of lineup changes there is no doubt this group was of the 1960's. Oh Monah was a massive hit for them, but ironically it was a track written in 1931 that they are most often remembered for, it was an old Cab Calloway track - Minnie the Moocher. Released in Australia in 1967 and reached #41 Sydney #3 Melbourne #3 Brisbane #3 Adelaide #1 Perth. Named after a popular ice cream of the time, the Cherokees were formed in 1961 from the remnants of Johnny Chester's backing band the Chessmen and began playing Shadows-styled music around Melbourne, Australia. Signing with W&G Records, the Cherokees released two singles and the rare Here Come the Cherokees album in 1965. They began playing pop reminiscent of the Beatles and moved to the short-lived Go! label. Several of their singles made the Top 40 in Melbourne. By 1967, the Cherokees were playing swing-styled music and several more singles again made the Melbourne Top 40. An album followed, Oh Monah!, but with the collapse of Go!, the band was left without a deal. Despite releasing one more single on Festival records and supporting the Monkees during their tour of Australia in October 1968, the Cherokees broke up at the end of the year.

Track 12 The Henchmen "Rockin' Robin" Australia 1965 Single on Go!! Formed out of the ruins of two groups, the Ampmen and the Pacifics, the Henchmen were a sextet from Melbourne, Australia consisting of Rick Diamond (vocals), Duncan MacKellar (lead guitar), Doug Osborne (rhythm guitar), Del Smeeton (bass), David Mann (keyboards), and Mal "Frog" Payne (drums). They entered a battle of the bands contest and won first prize, a recording contract with the Go!! label. It was the group's second single, a cover of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin" issued in April 1965, that put them on the map in Australia, reaching #27 Sydney #5 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #3 Adelaide #2 Perth. Their follow-up, "Can't You Hear Me Callin'," didn't do nearly as well. The group's lineup began changing with the departure of Osborne in late 1965, but the group remained cohesive enough to land a contract with the HMV label, which yielded the powerful rocker "Keep On Going Back." Their swan song came in 1968, soon after the release of what proved to be their final single, for Columbia. They also took out 3UZ's Sounds Spectacular first prize (the forerunner to the popular National Battle of the Sounds) a Single on Go!! label.

Track 13 "Talkin' 'Bout You" by The Rondells they were one of the tightest and best rock outfits around. In fact to call them a "rock" band can really only be appropriate when we use the term "rock" in its broadest sense. Sure they backed one of Australia's most successful duo's - Bobby and Laurie, but this
group rightly deserves it's own place on this album. The lineup variously consisted of Wayne Duncan on bass, Gary Young on drums (a combination that would appear together again in the future), Dennis Collins (certainly the original drummer) and Denis Tucker (original bass), Roger Treble on lead guitar and Barry Sullivan on rhythm guitar, Barry Rogers and Bernie O'Brien (lead guitar), but the personnel changes happened in a such ad hoc fashion and it is hard to get an accurate list of who came and went in what order. Certainly having O'Brien with them gave the group a genuine guitar hero, as O'Brien played with both a passion and flare that left other groups (my own included at the time) in awe. Having recorded two singles and an EP they scored a hit, their only solo hit, with a good rendition of Chuck Berry's Talkin' Bout You which moved up to a respectable number 31 in Melbourne.

Track 14 Johnny Broome and the Handels "Do's And Dont's". OK! What can you say about a group with such a "dorky" name? Well to start they were formed by Kevin Peek, one of Australia's most impressive guitarists, that's what! They impressed Ken Pitt who was the Manager for both Manfred Mann and the Animals in 1965, and they were summoned to London to play a season at the famous Marquee Club.  The groups name may be disputed as sometime it was John E Broome and the Handels. Formed in Adelaide, South Australia, 1964.Disbanded 1966.Probably one of the first so called super groups to come out of Adelaide. The Adelaide based group mainly from the northern suburbs of Adelaide played at "The Octagon" and the "Slaibury Youth Centre" weekly in Elizebeth during the mid sixties. Members included David Reeks-Parsons Vocalist (Under John E Broome), Kevin Peek Guitar, Laurie Pryor Drums, Alan Tarney Bass.

Track 15 The Kravats are even less well known than Johnny and his Handels. A Hobart based group who contribute the track, "It Must Be Jelly", formed in Hobart, Australia, the band was known locally as 'Tasmania's answer to The Beatles'. Originally an instrumental band which formed in 1958, they took up vocals post-Beatles like so many others. Their claim to fame in Tasmania was keeping the Beatles "Help" from the #1 spot for three weeks. The Kravats drew fans in their hundreds to their Saturday night residency at The Spook Club in Moonah and on Fridays at The Beachcomber, North Hobart’s San Carlo hall. The Kravats were recorded by Melbourne’s W&G Records and regularly toured the clubs there and in Sydney.

Track 16 MPD Ltd. - "Little Boy Sad"  a massive hit and a couple of more minor follow-up tracks. Mike Brady Pete Watson and Danny Finlay released 1965 #5 Sydney #1 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #8 Adelaide #1 Perth a Single on Go!! label.Double-sided hit in Melbourne with the B-side, Wendy Don't Go. Melbourne beat trio driven by a heavy rhythm section, formed in 1965. The 'M', the 'P' and the 'D' were for Mike Brady, Pete Watson and Danny Finley. Mike and Pete had met in Shadows-style band The Phantoms, and Danny had been drummer with another instrumental band The SaxonsA short but sensational time in the spotlight ... a dynamic, gymnastic stage routine ... a spearhead act for the legendary Go!! label ... some incendiary singles ... such are the hallmarks by which we fondly remember the great beat trio that was MPD Ltd.

Track 17 The Loved Ones - "Everlovin' Man". The Loved Ones were an Australian rock band formed in Melbourne, Victoria, in October 1965 by Gerry Humphrys (originally from London) on vocals and harmonica, Kim Lynch on bass guitar and Ian Clyne on organ and piano. They were all former members of a trad jazz group, The Red Onion Jazz Band, in which Humphrys played clarinet, and sang, and Lynch played tubafollowing the British Invasion. The line-up of Gavin Anderson on drums, Ian Clyne on organ and piano, Gerry Humphrys on vocals and harmonica, Rob Lovett on guitar, and Kim Lynch on bass guitar recorded their early hits. Their signature song, "The Loved One" reached number two on Australian singles charts. Their debut album, The Loved Ones' Magic Box was released late in 1967, which included other hit singles, "Ever Lovin' Man" and "Sad Dark Eyes". They disbanded in October and, although the band's main career lasted only two years, they are regarded as one of the most significant Australian bands of the 1960s.

Track 18 18th Century Quartet - "Rachel" another short-lived but brilliant outfit. The track is Rachel, an original Hans Poulson song, and ironically it would be that originality that proved the groups downfall. There are two distinct versions of the 18th Century Quartet [often referred to as the 18CQ]. The first was very much a folky outfit put together by Poulson in 1964, which dissolved in 1965. The resulting second version had a more "hard" edge to it and consisting of: Hans Poulsen (vocals, guitars, bouzouki, mandolin, balalaika, banjo, bongos) early 1966 Keith Glass (guitar, vocals) John Pugh (violin, utoharp, guitar) Frank Lyons (bass) Dennis "Fred" Forster (drums) Bob Lloyd (drums) Randall Wilson (drums) Julius Colman (violin) early 1967. Somehow the hippy "unhip" Poulson just wasn't right, and he was convinced to become the groups songwriter and so played on the recordings but not in live gigs.  They
did come second in the Victorian heat of the National Battle of The Sounds with the Poulson composition Rachel. The 18th CQ had 45 original songs and a belief that they should not play covers but despite the brilliance of the musicianship and the quality of some of the material, they simply were not pulling the gigs and far too many weekends were spent at home and not playing. Mind you, they did have one other "big" moment, they were the first electric group to play before an audience (of 100,000) at the Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne. After they folded Glass, Pugh & Lloyd went on to form the genesis of another short lived but brilliant Melbourne based group - Campact!

 Track 19  Somebody's Image - "Hush" In 1966 there was a 17 year old boy Russell Morris who would one day become a star in his own right, but here he was following his favourite group called, The Groop, around Melbourne. Then he made his move! Somebody's Image, consisted of Kevin Thomas (rhythm guitar), Phillip Raphael (lead guitar), Eric Cairns (drums) and Les Allan (aka "Les Gough") (bass guitar) and young vocalist, Russell Morris. After convincing Brian Cadd and Ronnie Charles that they were good enough, they got their very first gig at Anglesea. It was a real success and soon they came to the attention of Go-Set guru, Molly Meldrum. Having endorsed the Groop, they immediately got a contract with W&G in 1967 and in December they had their biggest hit - Hush which went to number 15 nationally. When Eric Cairns was hospitalised with a brain tumor the group fell into disarray finally dissolving on New Years day 1969. Of course, So this track is included because it was a damn good cover of Joe South's track, and better than the Deep Purple version. It also features that young voice of Russell Morris.

Track 20 The Town Criers - "Everlasting Love"  Australia 1968 charted #16 Sydney #2 Melbourne #33 Adelaide The Town Criers were a Melbourne pop band, formed 1964, who had five charting hits in Melbourne from 1968 to 1970, notably Love Me Again (#12 1969). Popular Melbourne band The Town Criers formed around 1965. Their first single, a cover of The Kinks' "The World Keeps Going Round", was released on the Melbourne independent label Trend but didn't make any impression on the local charts. The B-side, a great 'garage-punk' number called "Big Deal".

The Criers gigged consistently around Melbourne over the next two years, and in late 1967 they were signed to the Astor label by A&R manager Ron Tudor. Their second single, released in February 1968 and nominally produced by Geoffrey Edelsten, was a strong version of "Everlasting Love", the much-covered hit originally recorded by American singer Robert Knight in 1967 and also released in 1968 in the UK by The Love Affair. The song was penned by pop songwriters Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden, who also wrote "Hayride" and "La La" (both hits for The Flying Circus) and "Groupie" (covered by The New Dream). It was an immediate success and became a big hit in Melbourne, reaching #2 and also charted in Sydney (#16) and Adelaide (#33) in April-May 1968, and this success proplelled it into the Go-Set Top 20 it peaked at #18.   Their second Astor single, "Unexpectedly" / "It's Hurting Badly" was released in September, but failed to chart. Astor also compiled the two Town Criers singles for an EP, Everlasting Love, released during 1968.

Now a four-piece, The Town Criers signed with Festival and released three more singles over the next year, "Any Old Time" / "Rene" (March 1969), "Love Me Again" / "Hey Girl" (Oct. 1969) and  "Living In A World Of Love" / "Roundabout" (May 1970), which just missed out on the Top 40. The next single "Love Me Again" (Oct. 1969) managed to get into the lower end of the Melbourne Top 40 (#35). In October 1970 the group moved to EMI's HMV label, for whom they recorded their last two singles.  "Laughing Man" / "Living In A Dream World" was issued in May 1971 and  "Love, Love, Love" / "Chorus Girl" came out in November, but neither release made any impression on the charts and the group had split up by the end of 1971.