Friday, 20 October 2017

Brian Cadd - 1972 - Brian Cadd (Vinyl) FLAC

Fairweather Friend/Tell The World To Go Away/Where The Music Is Playing/Josie McGinty/Tell Me About Freedom Again/Ginger Man/Pappy's Got The Blues/Silver City Birthday Celebration Day/Suite For Life

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 Max Ross, Richard Wright,Ronnie Charles, Brian Cadd and Don Mudie

Upon their demise, he formed "AXIOM", Australia's first "Supergroup" with Glenn Shorrock who was later the 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 LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE, ARKANSAS GRASS and MY BABY’S GONE.
Returning to Australia he joined Fable Records as head of A&R and chief producer. Fable 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 IT’S MAGIC, ALVIN PURPLE, CLASS OF 74 and MAMMA DON’T DANCE.

 Axiom Don Mudie, Don Lebler, Glenn Shorrock, Brian Cadd and Chris Stockley

 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.
In 1989 Cadd relocated to Nashville where he built the SALAD BOWL STUDIO facility and owned and operated several successful music production companies. For 7 years he participated in the enormous explosion of country music onto the national and then international music scene.

During this period he also wrote for, produced and ultimately joined the legendary FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS alongside original members ‘Sneaky Pete Kleinow’ and Chris Etheridge. The band released an album ‘Eye of a Hurricane’ and toured the U.S. and Europe extensively over the next several years.
Brian Cadd moved back to Australia permanently in 1997 after 25 years working in the International music industry in both the U.S. and Europe. A part of the enormously successful tour LONG WAY TO THE TOP in 2004, 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.
Apart from his Australian touring, writing and production, Brian also spends several months a year travelling the world writing and recording, particularly in Nashville and throughout Europe.
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.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Dinah Lee - 1996 - Dinah Lee - 1964-67 FLAC

Don't You Know Yockomo/Reet Petite/Do The Blue Beat/Who Stole The Sugar/The Nitty Gritty/Hey Chickie Baby/I'll Forgive You, Then Forget You/What Did He Say/What Kind Of Love Is This/ Is It True/Hot Spot/Pushing A Good Thing Too Far/That's It, I Quit/I Can't Believe What You Say/Let Me In/Johnny/Don't You Just Know It/He Don't Want Your Love/The Right Time/Not In This Whole World/ Summertime/He's Sure The Boy I Love/New Orleans/98.6/Too Many People/ I Keep Forgettin'

 Diane Marie Jacobs (born 19 August 1943, Waimate), known as Dinah Lee, is a New Zealand-born singer who performed 1960s pop and then adult contemporary music. Her debut single from early 1964, "Don't You Know Yockomo?", achieved No. 1 chart success in New Zealand and in the Australian cities, Brisbane and Melbourne. It was followed in September by her cover version of Jackie Wilson's, "Reet Petite", which also reached No. 1 in New Zealand and peaked at No. 6 in Melbourne. The Australian release was a double A-sided single with "Do the Blue Beat". On her early singles she was backed by fellow New Zealanders, Max Merritt & His Meteors. Lee appeared regularly on both New Zealand and Australian TV variety programs, including Sing, Sing, Sing and Bandstand. She toured supporting Johnny O'Keefe, Ray Columbus & the Invaders and P.J. Proby. According to Australian rock music journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, in the 1960s, "Lee was the most successful female singer of in both her New Zealand homeland and Australia ... on stage and on record Dinah had all the adventure and exuberance for the time the boys had".

 Dinah Lee was born as Diane Marie Jacobs on 19 August 1943 in Waimate, South Island, New Zealand. After her parents separated, she was fostered by a family near Christchurch where she attended Cashmere High School. Her father was a saxophonist, who worked selling carpets in a Christchurch department store and, part-time, ran a teen dance club – The Country Club Cabaret. In 1958, Lee was asked to sing at the club on Saturdays and became popular with local patrons. As a 15-year-old, she had her first professional gig with Bobby Davis & the Dazzlers in a small hall and they later worked in a coffee lounge. In 1962, Lee was working with Christchurch group, Saints, and dating their guitarist and vocalist, Phil Garland. By year's end Saints had split and Lee and Garland formed The Playboys with Mark Graham on guitar, Brian Ringrose (ex-Ray Columbus & the Invaders) on guitar, Dave Martin on guitar and Graeme Miller on drums. They relocated to Auckland for a residency at Top 20 Club, Lee shared lead vocals with Garland, one of her covers was Huey "Piano" Smith's "Don't You Know Yockomo?" popularised by American R&B artist Dee Dee Sharp. Playboys returned to Christchurch, but by 1963, Lee returned to Auckland to pursue her solo career, she supported gigs by Max Merritt & His Meteors or Ray Columbus & the Invaders. Playboys recruited Graeme's brother Dave on vocals and later became The Dave Miller Set in Sydney.

Lee adopted the latest Mod fashions following advice from boutique owner, Jackie Holme – a page boy haircut, white make-up, op-art clothes and white boots. After being recommended by Merritt, she joined the Startime Spectacular Tour of North Island which was headlined by Bill & Boyd and Max Merritt & His Meteors – Merritt's band backed her during her set. Her performances were more animated and energetic than typically demure female pop artists. Lee was heckled at some regional venues and her mother was unable to recognise her when catching up at an airport. Tour organiser, James Haddleton, became her manager and she was signed with Viking Records, an independent label based in Wellington and she was promoted as 'Queen of the Mods'.

Dinah Lee's debut single, "Don't You Know Yockomo?", was released in August 1964 – under the name Diane Lee, chosen by Viking – and peaked at No. 1 in New Zealand. Viking used Merritt's band to back her in the studio and after the first pressings had sold out, Viking changed the attribution to Dinah Lee. Ray Columbus & the Invaders' single, "She's a Mod" became the first by a New Zealand act to reach No. 1 on an Australian chart. Only weeks later, Lee's single, "Don't You Know Yockomo?" was issued there by EMI on their HMV label and reached No. 1 in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Lee's second single, "Reet Petite" was a cover of Jackie Wilson's hit and had also been recorded with Merritt's band, when released in September it reached No. 1 in New Zealand. Her third single, Ray Rivera's "Do the Blue Beat", followed in October in New Zealand. "Reet Petitie" and "Do the Blue Beat" were issued as a double A-sided single in Australia and reached No. 3 in Adelaide and No. 6 in Melbourne. Lee toured New Zealand and Australia on Starlift '64, promoted by Harry M. Miller, with a bill headed by The Searchers, Peter and Gordon and Del Shannon. Backing Lee at some gigs were Ray Columbus & the Invaders and, in Sydney, a newly formed group – The Easybeats. With "Reet Petite" charting in Australia, rock'n'roller Johnny O'Keefe invited Lee to appear on his television series, Sing, Sing, Sing and join his Sydney club shows.

 Upon return to Auckland, Lee issued her fourth Viking single, "Who Stole the Sugar?" in November. She featured on two half-hour specials on New Zealand TV, while "I'm Walking" was issued as her next Australian single by HMV. By year's end, Viking had also released two extended plays, Don't You Know... and Yeah, Yeah We Love Them All and her debut album, Introducing Dinah Lee.

In early 1965, Lee appeared on Australian TV shows, Bandstand and Saturday Date. One of her Bandstand performances was at Myer Music Bowl with headlining Jamaican Blue beat singer Millie Small.  Lee travelled to the United States to appear on Shindig! – she sang with Glen Campbell – and on other TV shows. Lee then went to the United Kingdom where she released, "I'll Forgive You Then Forget You" on Island Records' label Aladdin. In August–September, Lee toured New Zealand and Australia with US pop sensation, P.J. Proby – noted for splitting his pants on stage in the UK in February – who had been banned by the BBC. In Australia, HMV released "Let Me In" to coincide with the tour. Lee won 'Entertainer of the Year' at New Zealand's inaugural NEBOA Awards in late September – soon after she decided to base herself in Australia. Late in the year, Viking released a string of singles, "He Can't Do the Blue Beat", "Nitty Gritty" and "That's it I Quit", in New Zealand. In November, they released her second studio album, The Sound of Dinah Lee.

 Late in 1965, Dinah Lee relocated to Sydney and in March 1966 she undertook a second tour with Small. Lee's next single was "He Don't Want Your Love Anymore" but her chart success had begun to decline. On 29 June 1966, Australian teen newspaper, Go-Set published "The Dinah Lee Story" and she appeared on their front cover. Her public popularity was still high – she was voted No. 2 'Female Vocal' in Go-Set's pop poll in October and was in the top 5 for 1967 and 1968. Lee continued to release singles in 1966, she toured with Proby in September–October and followed with a third studio album, The Mod World of Dinah Lee late that year. In April 1967, she became the 'face' for Yardley Cosmetics' commercials on Australian TV. Her July single for Viking and HMV was "Sorry Mama" but neither company renewed her contract.

Lee spent most of the late 1960s on the night club circuit with occasional variety TV appearances. Lee successfully sued her former manager, Haddleton, for money owed and re-took control of her financial interests. According to Australia rock music journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, in the 1960s, "Lee was the most successful female singer of in  both her New Zealand homeland and Australia ... on stage and on record Dinah had all the adventure and exuberance for the time the boys had." Lee entertained troops in Vietnam in the late 1960s on Australian Broadcasting Commission-sponsored tours (under her birth name, Diane Jacobs) and was awarded the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal.

In the 1970s, she continued to release singles including "Tell Him" in 1972 on Polydor. In 1974, she joined O'Keefe on his comeback show, The Good Old Days of Rock'n'Roll, at St. George's Leagues Club. Her next single, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" appeared in 1976 on Festival Records. "I Can See Clearly Now" was released in 1979 on Laser Records.

In 1982, a compilation, Best of Dinah Lee was issued on Music World. By 1984, she had become involved in body building winning the 'Australian Female Body Builder of the Year' in the over 35s category. In the 1990s and 2000s, Lee continued performing on the club circuit and became a motivational speaker.

ABC-TV series, Long Way to the Top, was broadcast in August 2001. Lee featured on "Episode 2: Ten Pound Rocker 1963–1968" where she discussed the mod look and her appeal to rebellious teens, "I had this image and it wasn't cute and pretty". The TV series inspired the Long Way to the Top national concert tour during August–September 2002, which featured a host of the best Australian acts of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Lee's performances of "Yokomo"  and "Reet Petite" at the final Sydney concert, as well as an interview with promoter, Michael Chugg, feature on the associated DVD, Long Way to the Top: Live in Concert released in 2002.

Pseud0 Ech0 - 1985 - L0ve @n @dventure FLAC

Love An Adventure/Don't Go/Try/I Will Be You/Girl/Living In A Dream/I Ask You Why/Lonely Without You/Lies Are Nothing/Lies Are Nothing

 Pseudo Echo are an Australian new wave band that formed in 1982 in Melbourne. The original line-up consisted of Brian Canham (vocals, guitars and keyboards), born 3 July 1962, Pierre Gigliotti (as Pierre Pierre) (bass guitar, keyboards), Tony Lugton (guitars and keyboards) and Anthony Argiro (drums). A later line-up included James Leigh (keyboards) and his brother, Vince Leigh (drums). In the 1980s, Pseudo Echo had Australian top 20 hits with "Listening", "A Beat for You", "Don't Go", "Love an Adventure", "Living in a Dream" and their cover of "Funky Town" (from Lipps Inc.), which peaked at No. 1 in 1986. In 1987, it reached No. 1 in Canada and New Zealand, No. 6 in United States and No. 8 in United Kingdom.

They released their debut album, Autumnal Park in 1984 which peaked at No. 11 on the Australian Kent Music Report. Love an Adventure followed in 1985 and reached No. 14. Their third album, Race (1988) peaked at No. 18 and in 1990 the group disbanded. They reformed in 1998 and issued Teleporter in 2000. Rock music historian Ian McFarlane, stated they "combined flash clothes, blow-wave hairstyles, youthful exuberance and accessible synth-pop to arrive at a winning combination ... and found a ready-made audience among teenagers who fawned on the band's every move".

Love An Adventure is the second studio album by Australian new wave band, Pseudo Echo. The album peaked at No. 14 in Australia and produced three Australian top twenty singles, including "Don’t Go", which peaked at No. 4.

In 1987, an alternate version of the album featuring re-recorded vocals and several different tracks, including their 1986 worldwide hit cover of "Funkytown," was released in North America by RCA Records. 

Following the success of Autumnal Park, Pseudo Echo returned to the studio in 1985, with an altered line up. Tony Lugton and Anthony Argiro both left and joined other bands. They were replaced by brothers James Leigh and Vince Leigh (aka Vincent Dingli).

Michael Sutton from allmusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying: Their cover of Lipps Inc.'s ‘’Funkytown’’ was sadly misrepresentative of the album's stylish, hook-loaded dance rock. Pseudo Echo want people to move their feet and this album is stocked with dance floor scorchers such as "Living in a Dream", "Listening" and the funky "Try". "Funkytown" may have given Pseudo Echo a glimpse of commercial success, but the rest of 'Love an Adventure' proved that they were capable of more.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

0l' 55 - 1976 - Take !t Gre@sy FLAC

A1 Summertime Summertime (Intro)    
A2 Irridescent Pink Sock Blues    
A3 I Wonder Why    
A4 Almost Grown    
A5 Think It Over    
A6 Get A Job    
A7 Doin Fine    
A8 Only Sixteen    
B1 This Little Girl    
B2 On The Prowl    
B3 New Girl In School    
B4 Skateboard Thrills    
B5 Looking For An Echo    
B6 Goodnight Sweetheart    
B7 School Days (Outro)

 Take It Greasy was the debut studio album to be released by Australian 1950's retro band Ol' 55. The album peaked at number 3 on the Australian Kent Music Report and was certified 3x platinum. At the time, 1950s music and culture had gained a newfound interest in Australia amongst a younger generation, largely due to the influence of the very popular TV show Happy Days and earlier investigations into doo-wop by the group Daddy Cool.

 Ol' 55 was an Australian band specialising in retro, 1950s-era Rock 'n' Roll. They formed as Fanis in 1972 in Sutherland, Sydney. Drummer Geoff Plummer was working with Glenn A. Baker at the NSW Department of Media and invited Baker to hear his part-time band, including Patrick "Meatballs" Drummond, Rockpile Jones and Jimmy Manzie. In 1975, Baker took on their management, renamed them as Ol' 55 for the Tom Waits song (as covered by The Eagles), and recruited front man Frankie J. Holden and, later in the year, saxophonist Wilbur Wilde.

The band enjoyed popularity with a style that bordered on parody but managed to combine novelty retro kitsch and clever theatrics with a keen sense of pop dynamics and an acute understanding of rock 'n' roll. The band scored five top 20 hits on the Australian Kent Music Report singles chart and their debut album, Take It Greasy peaked at No. 3 on the Australian albums chart in 1976. After line-up changes, Ol' 55 disbanded in 1983.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

@yers R0ck - 1976 - Bey0nd FLAC

Moondah/A Place To Go/Catchanemu/Song For Darwin/Angel In Disguise/Little Kings

Ayers Rock was the leading Australian 'jazz-rock' group of the 70s, fusing rock with influences from soul, R&B, jazz and Latin music. The band was built on world-class standards of playing and complex arrangements, and inspired by overseas groups such as Traffic, Santana and Weather Report. The original members were all seasoned players, widely regarded as among the best musos in the country, and their musical connections were woven through a series of major bands of the 60s and early 70s.

Mark Kennedy was and is still widely regarded as one of Australia's best drummers. He rose to prominence as the original drummer in Spectrum. He left that band in late 1970, just after recording their first LP, and he became an in-demand session player, as well as working in a series of loosely connected groups including King Harvest (where he first teamed up with McGuire and Doyle) and Friends with Leo De Castro.

Left: the original lineup of Ayers Rock (1973). Clockwise from left: Duncan Maguire, Mark Kennedy, Jim Doyle, Ray Burton (seated)

Duncan McGuire was a true rock veteran (and one of the unsung heroes of Aussie music). His first band was The Phantoms way back in 1959. He was a member of The Epics (1962-64), who backed Little Pattie live and on her early Singles and first album, as well as playing with Reg Lindsay, Johnny Ashcroft, Brian Davies, Jay Justin and Johnny O'Keefe. From 1966-68 he was a member of The Questions (Doug Parkinson's first major band) which also included Ray Burton and Doug Lavery (who later joined The Valentines and Axiom). McGuire stayed with Parkinson through In Focus and Fanny Adams before shifting to Melbourne and playing with King Harvest and Friends.

Jimmy Doyle had been a member of the backing bands for The Delltones and Dig Richards, and during the early Sixties he also worked as the musical director for renowned honky-tonk pianist Winifred Atwell.

Ray Burton had been the rhythm guitarist in the Dave Bridge Quartet in the early Sixties, and then a member of the Delltones' backing band, after which he joined the first lineup of successful Sydney harmony-pop group The Executives. He worked variously with Doyle, McGuire and Kennedy in King Harvest, Doug Parkinson In Focus and Friends. He relocated to the USA in the early 70s, where he worked with Helen Reddy and co-wrote her 1972 international mega-hit "I Am Woman".

In 1973 the above-named four took the logical step and formed their own band, McGuire Kennedy Burton. Later in the year, they added another player, multi-intrumentalist Col Loughnan. Col had actually started his career as lead singer with Sydney vocal group The Crescents. In 1962 Col was recruited to replace Noel Widerberg, lead singer with The Delltones, who had been tragically killed in a car accident earlier in the year. Col performed with The Delltones for five years (1962-67). In the late Sixties Col returned to his first love, jazz, and his prowess on a wide range of instruments (alto, tenor and baritione saxophones, flute, keyboards and percussion) gave the Ayers Rock sound a distinctive edge.

With Loughnan on board, the new band changed their name to the more marketable (and patriotic) Ayers Rock. They were one of the first groups signed to Michael Gudinski's newly established Mushroom label, and their debut single, "Rock'n'Roll Fight", was issued at the end of 1973.

They performed at Sunbury '74 and one track from their set, Ray Burton's "Morning Magic", was included on the Highlights of Sunbury 1974 LP, which has recently been re-released in the 2-CD set Highlights of Sunbury 1973 and 1974 on Michael Gudinski's Liberation Blue label. These tracks are the only extant Ayers Rock recordings to feature Burton, who left the band during 1974. Col Loughnan's official website features a superb colour clip of the group performing live at Sunbury, with excellent sound.

                 Jimmy Doyle,Duncan McGuire,Col Loughnan,Chris Brown and Mark Kennedy

He was replaced by singer-guitarist Chris Brown, whose previous credits included a stint in Little Sammy & The In People, the noted '60s Sydney club outfit led by singer Sam "Little Sammy" Gaha (father of TV's Eden and Danielle Gaha); although not commercially successful, this notable band variously included Brown, Harry Brus, Michael Carlos, Barrie McAskill, Col Nolan and Janice Slater.

Ayers Rock's debut album Big Red Rock was taped live before an invited audience at Armstrong's Studios in Melbourne over two nights in September 1974. The live-in-the-studio approach worked extremely well for Ayers Rock, and the album clearly demonstrated why their awesome live 'chops' had made them such a popular concert attraction. But it also was something of a necessity for the cash-strapped label -- they took the same approach with andnother early signing, Mackenzie Theory. The Ayers Rock LP reportedly cost Mushroom a mere $5000 to record.

 Big Red Rock was an early critical and commerical success for Mushroom, showcasing the band's considerable prowess and the material was a good balance between the more commercial song-based material of McGuire and Brown and the more adventurous instrumentals. The LP features three songs by McGuire, including their memorable second single, the Latin-flavoured "Lady Montego", a song that dated back to McGuire's stint in Friends; an earlier, slower version appears (in a live recording) on the Garrison: The Final Blow LP.

Big Red Rock also features two excellent pieces by Loughnan, two songs by Chris Brown, and a dazzling cover of Joe Zawinul's "Boogie Woogie Waltz", originally recorded by Weather Report (who were at that time virtually unknown in Australia). Loughnan's power-jam "Crazy Boys" is also worth hearing for its hilarious intro; dedicated to an unnamed Sydney hamburger joint, it includes a sly reference to a "Gudinski burger" and very funny joke about "Dr Hopontopovus, the Greek gynaecologist".

As Vernon Joyson has noted, Ayers Rock's recordings suggest that there was some dilemma about whether they should pursue a more expansive instrumental-based approach or opt for a more song-based commercial sound. From the evidence of Big Red Rock, its arguable that its the instrumental tracks -- "Crazy Boys", "Big Red Rock" and the brilliant cover of "Boogie Woogie Waltz -- that stand up best today, but the demands of radio airplay and gigging meant that this dilemma was never satifactorily resolved, and the group's relatively short lifespan and small catalogue meant that they never really got the chance to reach their full potential.

                                                  Playing at the Concert For Bangladesh

In the late 1975 Ayers Rock performed at the final gigs at Melbourne's fabled Reefer Cabaret. Live versions of the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and "Boogie Woogie Waltz" were included on the double-album A-Reefer-Derci, culled from performances from the last two nights on 30 and 31 December 1975, and released by Mushroom in 1976. Like Mushroom's earlier Garrison: The Final Blow set, it commemorated the closure of the venue and was a means of thanking the Reefer Cabaret for supporting Mushroom's artists during 1974-75.

During '75-76, Kennedy began working with Marcia Hines and they later became engaged, which led to him leaving Ayers Rock in 1976. He was replaced for a time by Russell Dunlop, who, like Kennedy, was a seasoned veteran, and a respected session player and producer, but his permanent replacement was hotshot young drummer Hamish Stuart, who has since become a mainstay of the Sydney music scene and one of the most respected drummers in the country. At this point the group also added a permanent keyboard player, Andy Cowan (ex Madder Lake).

Ayers Rock's second LP Beyond was not quite as successful sales-wise, but no less impressiv musically. By this time the emphasis had shifted to longer works that allowed the band to showcase its considerable improvisational skills, and the LP consists of just six tracks, three each by Col Loughnan and Chris Brown. One of Brown's songs, "Little Kings", was lifted to become their third single.

 Duncan McGuire (left) and Chris Brown at the Record Plant, L.A. in September 1975.

Recorded in Los Angeles, the album was vastly more expensive to record than its predecessor, reportedly costing Mushroom a whacking $60,000, but by this time Mushroom's coffers had been swelled by the massive success of Skyhooks. The LP was also released in the USA, with different cover art. Their fourth and final single for Mushroom, "Song For Darwin" (May 1976) was inspired by the Cyclone Tracy disaster that had devastated the city on Christmas Day 1975.

After parting with Mushroom, the band broke up for about three years, but it was reformed by Brown, Doyle, Stuart and Cowan in 1979 and they established their own label, Red Rock. A new single, "On The Avenue" was released at the end of 1979, followed by "Lies" in early 1980, both issued through Polydor. The singles were both included on their third and final LP Hotspell, distributed by RCA. Unfortunately, the album was not successful and the band broke up in 1981.

Founding members Jimmy Doyle and Duncan McGuire have, sadly, both since passed away; Duncan died in 1986 from a brain tumour and Jimmy died in May 2006 from liver cancer.

On a happier note, we are pleased to report that Mark Kennedy, Col Loughnan and Ray Burton are all still going strong. Ray has his own website, faeturing great information and images of his career, past and present. Col has recently released a new CD, Ellen St, and his earlier collaboration with guitarist Steve Murphy, entitled Feel The Breeze, is also highly recommended. Both are available from Col's website, which is listed below.

M0nd0 R0ck - 1984 - The M0dern B0p FLAC

Lovers Of The World/Come Said The Boy/Happy Families/The Modern Bop/Take Me Away/Baby Wants To Rock/Flight 28/Marina/Cost Of Living/In My House

The Modern Bop is the fourth studio album by Australian rock band Mondo Rock, released in March 1984 and peaked at number 5 on the Kent Music Report.

 Mondo Rock was an Australian rock band formed in November 1976 by mainstay singer-songwriter, Ross Wilson (ex-Daddy Cool). They're best known for their second album, Chemistry which was released in July 1981 and peaked at number 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report. Their song "Come Said the Boy" peaked at number 2 in Australia in 1984. The group disbanded in 1991, although they have periodically undertaken reunion concerts. According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "by way of ceaseless touring and the release of a series of sophisticated pop rock albums, the band was one of the most popular acts in Australia during the early 1980s".

Mondo Rock were formed in November 1976 in Melbourne by Bob Bickerton on drums (ex-Rock Granite and the Profiles); Mike Clarke on bass guitar (ex-Mick Rogers and Eclipse); Greg Cook on keyboards and guitar (ex-Cam-Pact, Skylight, Phil Manning Band); Peter Laffy on guitar (ex-Fox, Freeway); and Ross Wilson (ex-Daddy Cool) on lead vocals and harmonica.

In September 1978, Mondo Rock released their debut single, "The Fugitive Kind", on Oz Records which peaked at number 49 on the Australian Kent Music Report. In October 1979 the line-up of Wilson, Gyllies, Bulpin, Laffy and McLennan recorded their debut album, Primal Park, which was issued on the Avenue label via EMI Records and peaked at number 40 in Australia. The album yielded two singles, "Searching for My Baby" (September) and "Primal Park" (November). McLennan contracted hepatitis as the band was due to tour to promote the album, so he was replaced, first by Eddie Van Roosendael (ex-Stiletto), and then by Gil Matthews (ex-Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs) on drums, for the tour.

 In February 1980, a new version of Mondo Rock of Wilson, Matthews and James Black (ex-Rum Jungle, Russell Morris Band) on keyboards and guitar; Paul Christie (ex-Kevin Borich Express) on bass guitar; and Eric McCusker (ex-The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band) on guitar was established.

This line-up released their first major hit single, "State of the Heart" in October 1980, which peaked at number 6 on the Kent Music Report. The track was written by McCusker, who contributed many songs to the band's repertoire, taking some of the pressure off Wilson, who was experiencing temporary writer's block. Matthews left after the single appeared and was replaced by Andy Buchanan (ex-Darryl Cotton Band) and then by John James "J. J." Hackett (ex-Stars, the Fabulaires) in March 1981. Their next single, "Cool World", appeared in April 1981 and was also successful on the chart, reaching No. 8.

The band's second album, Chemistry was released in July 1981 and peaked at number 2 on the Kent Music Report. Two more singles were released from the album with "Chemistry" peaking at number 20 and "Summer of '81" at 31. The royalties from "Summer of '81" single were donated to Amnesty International.

In June 1982, Mondo Rock released "No Time", the lead single from the bands third studio album. According to Mccosker, "No Time" was inspired by The Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down", as a tribute to John Lennon. The song peaked at number 11 in Australia. In July 1982 the band released its third studio album Nuovo Mondo, on RCA / WEA, which peaked at number 7 in Australia. Christie left the group in September and subsequently formed an all-star band, The Party Boys; he was replaced on bass guitar by James Gillard. Two additional singled were released, The Queen and Me" and "In Another Love". The album also includes "A Touch of Paradise" which was released in February 1987 by Australian pop singer John Farnham, as his third single from his album, Whispering Jack and reached the Australian top 30.

By 1983, the Mondo Rock line-up of Wilson, Black, Gillard, Hackett, and McCusker started recording their fourth studio album. In December, the album's lead single "Come Said the Boy" was released, which peaked at number 2 in Australia. The song is a provocative tale about the loss of virginity and was banned by many radio stations including Sydney's then top-rated 2SM – which was affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. The Modern Bop was released in March 1984 and peaked number 5 in Australia. The album yielded two more singles, "Baby Wants to Rock" and "The Modern Bop".
 In June 1985 Polydor Records released the band's first compilation album Up to the Moment, which peaked at number 5.  The album produced two singles, "Good Advice" and "The Moment". On 13 July 1985 Mondo Rock performed four tracks for the Oz for Africa concert (part of the global Live Aid program). The concert was broadcast in Australia (on both Seven Network and Nine Network) and on MTV in the US.

Mondo Rock: (l-r) James Black, Ross Wilson, Gil Matthews, Eric McCusker, Paul Christie 2015

The group's sixth studio album, Boom Baby Boom was released in September 1986 with the line-up of Wilson, Gillard, Hackett, and McCusker, joined by Andrew Ross on saxophone and Duncan Veall on keyboards. The album peaked at number 27 in Australia. The album's second single "Primitive Love Rites" was released in October 1986 and peaked in the top 40 in Australia and in 1987, became a minor hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top 40 on its Mainstream Rock chart. In November 1987, the band released an extended play titled, Aliens. Wilson disbanded the group early the following year and recorded a solo album, The Dark Side of the Man, which included a top 40 single, "Bed of Nails", in June 1989.

In 1990 Mondo Rock reconvened and recorded the group's sixth studio album, Why Fight It?, which was issued in November 1990. Three singles were released from the album, "Why Fight It?", "I Had You in Mind" and "Soul Reason". In 1991 Wilson dissolved the group again.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Chr!st!ne @nu - 2005 - @coustically FLAC

01 'Coz I'm Free    
02 Monkey And The Turtle    
03 Dive    
04 Wanem Time    
05 Last To Go    
06 Reprise 1    
07 Fire And Water (Take Me Down)    
08 Island Home    
09 Party    
10 Reprise 2    
11 Ocean Of Regret    
12 Redemption Song    
13 Sunshine On A Rainy Day    
14 No Woman, No Cry

 Christine Anu (born 15 March 1970) is an Australian pop singer and actress. She gained popularity with the release of her song "My Island Home". Anu has been nominated for 17 ARIA Awards.
Anu began performing as a dancer and later went on to sing back-up vocals for The Rainmakers, which included Neil Murray of the Warumpi Band. Her first recording was in 1993 with "Last Train", a dance remake of a Paul Kelly song. The follow-up, "Monkey and the Turtle", was based on a traditional story. After "My Island Home", she released her first album, Stylin' Up which went Platinum. 

 In 1995, Neil Murray won an Australasian Performing Right Association songwriting award for writing "My Island Home". Christine Anu won an ARIA Award for best female recording artist as well as a Deadly Sounds National Aboriginal & Islander Music Awards Award in 1996 for best female artist.

Baz Luhrmann asked her to sing on the song "Now Until the Break of Day" on his Something for Everybody album. It was released as a single and the video then won another ARIA award and led to her being cast in Moulin Rouge!.

In January 1998, Anu teamed up with Archie Roach, Paul Kelly, Judith Durham, Renee Geyer, Kutcha Edwards and Tiddas and formed 'Singers for the Red Black and Gold'. Together, they released a cover of "Yil Lull"

In, 2000, Anu released Come My Way which peaked at number 18 on the ARIA albums chart and went gold. In 2000 she sang the song "My Island Home" at the Sydney 2000 Olympics Closing Ceremony.

 In November 2003, Anu released her third studio album, 45 Degrees. In 2007, Anu toured a children's show and released an associate album titled Chrissy's Island Family. The album gained an ARIA Award nomination. On 26 September 2010, she released a new digital only single, "Come Home". On 7 November 2014, Anu released a Christmas album, titled Island Christmas.

Anu has also had an acting plus TV career. She appeared in Dating the Enemy, a 1996 Australian film starring Guy Pearce and Claudia Karvan. She then appeared in an Australian production of the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors in the same year.

Anu's stage career developed with a starring role in the original Australian production of Rent in 1998 and 1999. Anu was offered a role in a Broadway production of this musical but had to decline due to commitments in recording her second album. Her links with Baz Luhrmann led to him offering her a part in Moulin Rouge!. In 2003, she appeared as Kali in The Matrix Reloaded and played the character on the video game Enter the Matrix.

In 2004, she became a judge on Popstars Live, a television quest broadcast on the Seven Network at 6.30 pm on Sunday night in Australia along the lines of Australian Idol. The program failed to achieve a similar level of success, leading network executives to pressure the judges to offer harsher criticism of the contestants. Christine Anu refused to offer harsher criticism, leading to her resignation as a judge in April 2004. In a statement issued on her departure, she said: "I chose to play a positive role model and wanted to encourage these young people in their endeavours, rather than criticise them. Although leaving Popstars Live was a difficult decision for me to make, I do feel somewhat relieved that I can now focus on my music."

In 2009 Anu participated in Who Do You Think You Are. She appeared again on television in 2012, in the Australian sci-fi television series Outland, about a gay sci-fi fan club. Anu plays wheelchair using Rae, the sole female member of the group.

 In 2016, Anu was appointed as host of Evenings 702 ABC Sydney, 1233 ABC Newcastle, 666 ABC Canberra, and ABC Local Radio stations across New South Wales. She took over from Dominic Knight who had hosted the program since 2012. In the first half of 2016 the program suffered a dip in the ratings after she began hosting.

In December 2016, it was announced that Christine will no longer host Evenings on 702 ABC Sydney, but will instead present a national Evenings program on Fridays and Saturdays in 2017. In January 2017, Chris Bath replaced Anu hosting Evenings from Monday to Thursday. Christine has a number of regular guests she speaks to about a range of topics.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Roxus - 1991 - Nightstreet FLAC

Rock 'n' Roll Nights/My Way/Bad Boys/Midnight Love/Where Are You Now/Nightstreet/This Time/First Break From The Heart/ Stand Back/ Jimi G

Roxus were an Australian hard rock band which existed between 1987 and 1993. Members included Juno Roxas - lead vocals, Dragan Stanić - guitar, Darren Danielson - drums, John 'Stones' Nixon - bass guitar and Andy Shanahan - keyboards. Their debut album, Nightstreet was released in August 1991 and peaked at No. 5 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Their most successful single, "Where Are You Now?", reached No. 13 on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified gold.

Roxus formed as Bah Ragah in 1987 in the Melbourne south-eastern suburb of Springvale with Joseph La Ferlita (Joe Cool) on guitar; Darren Danielson (ex-Windsor Jamm) on drums; John 'Stones' Nixon (Windsor Jamm) on bass guitar; Juno Roxas on lead vocals (Party Pies); and Andy Shanahan on keyboards. Roxus gained a considerable live following. Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, found the group played a "blend of tuneful, Van Halenesque hard rock and Living Colour-inspired funk around the Melbourne pub circuit ... with their carefully cultivated image of black leather, ripped jeans, cowboy boots, bandannas and big hair". In 1989 Roxus supported international bands, Poison and Bon Jovi, on their respective Australian tours. Also that year Dragan Stanić replaced Joe Cool on guitar. The band came to the attention of music commentator and promoter, Ian (Molly) Meldrum, who signed them to his Melodian label via Mushroom Records. The group issued two singles in 1989, "Stand Back" in July and "Body Heat" in November. In 1990, they released a live EP, including live versions of the tracks "Stand Back" and "Body Heat".

In April 1991 Roxus supported US band, Warrant, on their Australian tour. In September that year their debut album, Nightstreet, was released, which reached No. 5 on the ARIA Albums Chart. In July they issued their most successful single, "Where Are You Now?", which is a power ballad that received considerable radio airplay and peaked at No. 13 on the ARIA Singles Chart and No. 11 on the AMR Singles Chart. In August, they followed up with "Bad Boys", which reached No. 39 on the ARIA chart, "Jimi G" was released in September.

In 1992, American AOR maestro Jeff Paris was hired to produce what was to be Roxus' second album. Recorded at Platinum recorders in Melbourne, the sessions engendered four tracks; "Invisible Man", "What You Don't Know", "Stop Playin' With My Heart" and "All The Way". The recording were cut short with unanimous decision to replace Danielson with a drum machine after time restrictions became an issue, with Danielson unable to provide adequate rhythm tracks.

 Roxas and Stanic returned to Los Angeles with Paris, to mix the four completed songs. The album however, was never completed and on New Year's Eve, 1992, Roxus played their last show before disbanding early in 1993.

After Roxus had disbanded, Juno Roxas went solo and recorded the album, Far From Here, on Melodian in 1994. He has worked as a musician and producer in both Los Angeles and Melbourne. Stanić continued playing locally in a range of projects including De-Arrow, Among Thieves and Kream. By March 1993 Danielson and Nixon had joined Melbourne rockers, Chocolate Starfish. Shanahan became a lecturer at RMIT University in Sound Production.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Stevie Wright - 1975 - Black Eyed Bruiser FLAC

Black Eyed Bruiser/The Loser/You/My Kind Of Music/Guitar Band/The People And The Power/Help, Help/Twenty Dollar Bill/I've Got The Power

Black Eyed Bruiser is the second studio album from Australian singer Stevie Wright. The album was not as commercially successful as its predecessor Hard Road and would be the Wright's final album released with production team Vanda and Young and record label Albert Productions.

After the success of Stevie Wright's debut album Hard Road and it's lead single "Evie", producers Harry Vanda and George Young returned to Albert Studios with Wright to record the follow-up album. The recording of the album was problematic as Wright's heroin addition, unbeknown to Vanda and Young, had escalated. During one session, Wright's manager Micheal Chugg saw Wright doing heroin, out of sight of George and Harry who were in the recording booth. Chugg walked into the booth and told them to, "Come with me, I want you to see this." He led around to where they could see Stevie sniffing heroin from aluminium foil and said, "There you go, that's your problem, end of story". 

Because Wright was going through drug rehabilitation, he was not able to promote the album. The album sold less than the more successful Hard Road, although the lead single "Guitar Band" reached No. 13 on the Australian Charts and No. 8 in Melbourne.

The compact disc is currently out-of-print and has become quite rare. A digital edition was available on iTunes as of June, 2014.

Stevie Wright may well be regarded as the forgotten man of Australian rock & roll thanks to a career that was curtailed and shortened by a long-running battle with drugs. Wright joined the Easybeats in 1964 and had several Australian hits, including the worldwide smash "Friday on My Mind," before the band broke up in 1969. He then formed the band Rachette and produced Bootleg's debut single, "Whole World Should Slow Down." He performed with Rachette at the Odyssey Music Festival in 1971 before briefly joining Likefun in Perth. He returned to Sydney to perform in the Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar and stayed with the production from 1971-1973. During 1972 he also performed with Black Tank and appeared on the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, released in 1973.

Stevie with Ray Hoff and  Shirley Read in Like Fun

He then began work on his debut album Hard Road with Easybeats' songwriters Harry Vanda and George Young. Released in April 1974, the album peaked at number five on the national charts and spawned Wright's best-known hit, "Evie," which peaked at number two. After touring the country with his band, the All Stars, he followed Hard Rain with Black Eyed Bruiser, another fine example of Australian '70s rock. It produced the hit "Guitar Band," which peaked at number eight in December 1974.

The All Stars left to back John Paul Young in 1975 so Wright formed the Stevie Wright Band but, by this stage, Wright's drug addiction had begun to curtail his career. He performed a few gigs with Sacha in 1976 and performed "Evie" alongside performances by the cream of Australian pop and rock at the Concert of the Decade in November 1979, captured on the double album Concert of the Decade (1980).

He next appeared on Flash and the Pan's 1982 release, Headlines. The single "Waiting for a Train" hit number seven in the U.K. and Headlines became Flash and the Pan's third consecutive number one hit in Scandinavia. His career, however, soon derailed again when Wright appeared in court charged with housebreaking in January 1984 while undergoing drug rehabilitation. Wright was arrested for heroin use in the same month after being found unconscious in a hotel toilet. The Easybeats reformed for a successful six-week national tour in October 1986. Wright formed the band Hard Rain in 1988 and released the album Striking It Rich in 1991. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

La De Das - 1975 - Legend

Gonna  See  My  Baby  Tonight/Morning  Good  Morning/I Guess I'll Never Stop Lovin' You/It's  The  Beginning/Honky  Tonkin'/ Too  Pooped  To  Pop/Feel  Like  A  Dog/Sentimental  Rose/ I'm  In  Love  Again/All  Along  The  Watchtower

In their 12-year journey through New Zealand and Australia in the 1960s and 1970s, The La De Da’s never took a backward step. They conquered New Zealand with a passionate live show, a string of hard, uncompromising chart singles and two of the best NZ albums of the 1960s.

Changing gear from R&B to psychedelia, The La De Da's shifted base to Australia in 1967 and 1968 where they released New Zealand’s first rock opera, The Happy Prince. In England in 1969 they captured a fine version of The Beatles’ voodoo rocker ‘Come Together’ at Abbey Road studios before returning to Australia and success as pioneering festival blues rockers.  By the time the Auckland band went their separate ways in the early 1970s they were a chart group once again and considered among Australasia’s best. 

The new wave of R&B was already breaking big ­in charts across the world when four of its best practitioners – The Kinks, Manfred Mann, The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things – rolled through New Zealand in 1965 for a series of concerts still vividly recalled decades later. The raw pull of the sound and the style and ethos of the players galvanised local teenagers, throwing up a large and responsive audience to be serviced by the likes of The Unknown Blues in Invercargill, The Third Chapter in Dunedin, Peter Nelson and The Castaways and Chants R&B in Christchurch, Bari and The Breakaways and Tom Thumb in Wellington, The Mods and The Trends in Hamilton, and The Dark Ages and The La De Da's in Auckland, along with dozens of lesser lights.

While beat music provided a new soundtrack to teenage lives, the group aesthetic and anti-social veneer of R&B offered up an alternative lifestyle to teenage fans – and a good living, local fame and the distant lurking prospect of a hit for groups – by pushing a covert message that being uncompromising not only paid, it gave you the freedom to behave in the way you wanted. Teenage heaven.

 In West Auckland at Te Atatu’s newly opened Rutherford High School, were the mod-ish Mergers with Kevin Borich (lead guitar/vocals), Trevor Wilson (bass), Brett Neilsen (drums) and Phil Key (rhythm guitar/vocals) who attended Mount Albert Grammar. They had heard the word and flirted with an anti-social name, The Criminals, before settling on the provocative ambiguity of The La De Da’s.

Establishing an immediate following through hall and club dates, they stepped into a residency at inner city teen club The Platterack in April 1965. That’s where NZBC producer Robert Handlin found them and soon became their manager, releasing Kevin Borich’s folkie ballad ‘Ever Since That Night’ backed with the Borich/Wilson penned R&B of ‘Hey Little Girl’ on his Talent City label in June.

The emerging group soon found space in their ranks for classically trained organist Bruce Howard, who swelled their sound and added another vocalist. With guitar whiz Kevin Borich picking out the leads, they had a strong rhythm section in Wilson and Neilsen with Phil Key on rhythm guitar. And when Samoan New Zealander Key came out of his shell, he revealed one of New Zealand’s finest R&B and soul voices.

By February 1966, now signed to Eldred Stebbing's Zodiac label, The La De Da’s were in Stebbing's Auckland studio with producer John Hawkins, recording ‘How Is The Air Up There?’. The song now most readily identified with them is usually mentioned as a Blues Magoos cover. However, The Blues Magoos never recorded the song and was most likely sourced from US folk pop group The Changin’ Times, who released it as the follow-up to ‘The Pied Piper’, a version of which was on the flip of The La De Da’s’ hit single. Both songs were written by The Changin’ Times’ Artie Kornfeld and Steve Duboff.

Success didn’t mellow The La De Da's. They were right back in your face with their third single, the hard swinging R&B of ‘Don’t You Stand In My Way’, a Bruce Howard/Trevor Wilson original backed by the pumping soul of Sam and Dave’s ‘I Take What I Want’, which was also released by Philips Records in Great Britain, Australia and the USA via a deal with Zodiac.

A creative triumph it may have been, but it was also a chart mis-step that was quickly redeemed by another cover, the slow fuzzed R&B of John Mayall’s ‘On Top Of The World’, which threatened the top of the New Zealand charts in November 1966.  The La De Da’s stepped up to a residency at the harbourside Galaxie Lounge, where their sharp stage set, live verve and impeccably tailored look  established them as one of Auckland’s top groups

With two hits under their finely styled belts, The La De Da’s stepped up to a residency at the harbourside Galaxie Lounge, where their sharp stage set, live verve and impeccably tailored look – by Jerry at His Lordships – established them as one of Auckland’s top groups. While no film or live recordings exist of the group in their early prime, you need only slap the much-reissued first La De Da’s album from December 1966 onto the record player to get a taste of what Auckland fans heard.

Lead track ‘On Top Of The World’ was a John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers song, first recorded three months after Eric Clapton joined in June 1965. Jimmy Page was the producer. ‘My Little Red Book’ was a show tune made popular by Manfred Mann and LA group Love who edged it to No.52 in the US charts in March 1966. Manfred Mann’s version, released in April 1966, is a more likely source for the song.

‘Jump Back’, ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ (sung by Phil Key) and ‘I Put A Spell On You’ (sung by Kevin Borich) are R&B standards taken from Rufus Thomas’ October 1964 Atlantic single and Jimmy Reed and Screaming Jay Hawkins (1956 Okeh Records) respectively. They were all songs covered by British R&B groups, which is likely where The La De Da’s copped their versions. ‘Whatcha Gonna Do About It?’ was a recent R&B hit for group faves The Small Faces.

 Wilson Pickett's frantic soul hit ‘Land Of A Thousand Dances’ was a No.6 hit in 1966 on Atlantic Records. ‘I Take What I Want’ was a Stax/Atlantic hit for Sam and Dave, although, The La De Da’s version was most likely taken from The Artwoods' fourth single released on Decca in April 1966.

‘Shake’ – a Sam Cooke 1965 No.7 for RCA Victor – was another Small Faces cover and a No.3 hit single from the first Small Faces album from May 1966. The La De Da’s returned to John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers for ‘Parchman Farm’ (a John Mayall solo), originally released in September 1966. ‘The Pied Piper’ I’ve already mentioned.

Rounding out one of our finest 1960s albums is Muddy Waters' ‘I Got My Mojo Working’ (sung by Kevin), and ‘Ride Your Pony’, a foot down R&B screamer sung by Phil Key which was written by Allen Toussaint and originally released by Lee Dorsey on Amy Records in 1965, when it became a No.28 hit in the US. and just in case the fans still didn't get the point, The La De Da’s unleashed a live EP called Stupidity in April 1967.

Having shown their knack and feel for interpretation, and with a good grasp on the best music coming in from overseas, Auckland’s finest R&B group dipped into their own strong collection of songs in May 1967 for successful follow-up album Find Us A Way. They were billing themselves live as “Soul Blues”, which nicely sums up the churchier, more gospel feel of their new record. While the band still found a frantic sweaty beat on ‘Find Us A Way’, ‘I Gotta Woman’, ‘Tell The Truth’, ‘Cool Jerk’ and ‘Gimme Some Lovin’, they left room for the sunny pop of ‘Sonny Boy’ and spacier keyboard-led originals ‘All Purpose Low’, ‘Thank You For The Flowers’, ‘Rosalie’ and ‘Beside Me Forever’. Meeting the two strands in the middle was the fine organ-led, gospel inclined soul of ‘Goodbye Sisters’ – a take on The Artwoods' third single from April 1965 – and their version of The Marvelettes’ ‘Too Many Fish in the Sea’ from 1964. 

The heavy nature of The La De Da’s NZ-recorded covers reflects the importance of interpretation in the 1960s and echoes the similar makeup and musical influences heard on early records by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, amongst others. The care taken to find rare B-sides and album tracks or songs that were minor or non-hits, and therefore contemporary, chart-minded and accessible to Kiwi musicians, is similarly an echo of other groups who fished around in rare back catalogues for material.

The La De Da’s spent 1967 managing themselves, running their fan club and touring, including a long national jaunt in January alongside frequent appearances on the new and influential live pop TV show C’Mon. The group's pop currency was still high after another massive No.1 hit in March with a laid back version of Bruce Channel’s ‘Hey Baby’, a song recommended by blind pianist and former Johnny Devlin and The Devils member Claude Papesch one night at the Galaxie Lounge.
Making it in Australia

With four hit singles, two classy albums and a national following behind them, The La De Da’s set out for Sydney. Their first two singles had been released across the Tasman, but with pop’s menu changing daily they had quickly fallen from view. The independent quintet struggled, finding their R&B and soul based set outdated. They also bristled at micro-management and unsuccessful recording attempts, despite gaining fans at Ivan Dayman’s Op Pop disco.

They flopped even worse on the strong Melbourne club circuit before heading home in September 1967 for a month-plus residency at 1480 Village in the old Top Twenty premises in Auckland, where they retooled their set and sound before touring New Zealand. Godzone hadn’t forgotten them, sending ‘All Purpose Low’ to No.5 in June and ‘Rosalie’ to the same spot in August.

In January 1968, Brett Neilsen left the group, replaced by The Action’s Bryan Harris, who gave way on the group’s return to Sydney in June to Australian drummer Keith Barber (The Wild Cherries). Wielding a wide and eclectic array of instruments and introducing Sydneysiders to The Doors, Vanilla Fudge, Traffic and The Band, this was the psychedelic La De Da’s, and their heady themed sets immediately caught on.

 Back on the front foot, they returned to Melbourne in August 1968 with the show they had wowed Sydney with. This time the city fell for their charms, sparking a long and close relationship with the Victorian capital’s music scene. At year’s end they were voted Australia’s Best Disco Group in popular music magazine Go Set.

Better was to come in 1969. ‘Come and Fly With Me’, their first single since mid-1967, was an upbeat burst of good feeling and the standout track on The Happy Prince, the rock opera on based on Oscar Wilde’s short story, which Trevor Wilson and Bruce Howard had long been working on. The ambitious project had finally found firm ground in January with the group entering EMI studios in Sydney with producer David Woodley-Page and narrator Adrian Rawlings to record for an April release.

Rock operas were thick on the ground by then, and while the opera created by The La De Da’s had its highpoints in Kevin Borich’s slide guitar and Phil Key’s soul-gospel vocals, the songs too often struggled to elevate the storyline.

None of the band ever dismissed it. It was an artistic statement they needed to make. But now it was done, they set their sights on London – a trail well-worn by New Zealand and Australian groups.

Finding their set out-dated and record company interest in London lukewarm, it was Melbourne the first time all over again – a comedy of missed opportunities and half chances. The La De Da’s performed little outside of a short tour of West Germany, and recorded only once, a menacing take on The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ taped with Norman “Hurricane” Smith at Abbey Road Studios for Parlophone Records, which was released in Great Britain (as The La De Dah Band), Australia and New Zealand.

Down, but not out, they headed home in February 1970 and regrouped with new bass player Reno Tehei (Sounds Unlimited/Compulsion), then refocused their repertoire and settled into a booming Australian circuit energised with the opening of pub venues and the sparking of large outdoors festivals.

All that travel inevitably took a toll on the group’s stability. Trevor Wilson remained in England and wouldn’t return until October. When he did, the group fractured, first with Bruce Howard, then everyone except Wilson departing.

Wilson didn’t want to start all over again, leaving the remaining La De Da’s to claim the name. Managed by Phil Key, they headed out on the live circuit with new bassist Peter Roberts and a core set of hard-rocking blues and boogie.

Bruce Howard soon joined The Clefs and went on to one of Australia’s biggest groups, Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, where he was a key member in 1972 and 1973. Trevor Wilson joined fellow New Zealand veterans Glyn Mason and Mal Logan in Sydney-based Home in early 1972, pushing what Australian music historian Ian McFarlane called “a light and nimble country rock with a clean blues edge.”

 The La De Da’s meanwhile set about building a dedicated live following for their hard, blues-based rock. This time, pop culture’s fast flowing current was running their way. Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs had opened up a successful circuit of big live rooms in Melbourne’s suburban pubs and the public’s taste for bigger festival events was rising. The group took on Sydney-based Mike Chugg as their manager in November after he signed them to his new booking agency Sunrise, then released their first Australian hit record, the Borich-sung, Howard Gable-produced, locomotive blues of ‘Gonna See My Baby Tonight’, which spent eight weeks in the Go Set National Top 20 between November 1971 and February 1972. It was only one of a number of distinctive songs that The La De Da’s got down that year. Their take on Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’ became a signature live song, and they captured a studio version with Bruno Lawrence drumming, which would appear belatedly on 1976’s Legend compilation. There's also a fine live-for-TV interpretation featuring a haunted Phil Key vocal and biting Borich guitar lead, filmed for Melbourne magazine show, GTK (Get To Know).

After cancelling a New Zealand tour in November 1971, The La De Da's fronted up at Rosebud, a Melbourne free festival, which drew 40,000 fans to Mornington Golf Course at Christmas to hear Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Daddy Cool. It was a dress rehearsal for what was to come. In the early 1970s live music spilled from city clubs into summer festivals in the surrounding countryside, and The La De Da’s nearly always played. They were there at the successful first three-day Sunbury festival outside the city on Australia Day long weekend in January 1972, which showcased Melbourne’s rock and roll talent and community, and New Zealand musicians’ prominent place in it. 

As one of the festival’s highpoints, The La De Da’s had three songs – their upcoming hit single ‘Morning Good Morning’, the dynamic blues rock of ‘Roundabout’ and their 1971 hit ‘Gonna See My Baby Tonight’ – included on EMI Records’ Sunbury live album, from a set which included ‘Carol’, B.B King’s ‘Rock Me Baby’ and Traffic’s ‘Give More Than You Can’.

The La De Da’s didn’t linger at Sunbury long. The same weekend they had a festival date at Meadows Technicolour Fair in Adelaide in South Australia where they performed before 30,000 people. Again, New Zealand musicians were thick on the stage with John Bissett in Fraternity, Wellington’s Highway, and Spectrum and Friends wowing the crowd.

Six weeks later on March 12, The La De Da’s helped break Australian attendance records at a free 3XY concert at Melbourne’s traditional Moomba festival at Myers Music Bowl. Three weeks after that, on Easter weekend, they fronted the Mulwala Festival midway between Sydney and Melbourne, which no doubt helped push their festival anthem, the Phil Key sung, ‘Morning Good Morning’, into the Australian charts in May for a 10 week run, peaking at No.17.

When The La De Da’s closed the year out at the Bungool Festival of Music outside Sydney with Band of Light, Bakery, Home, Spectrum and Sherbet before a disappointing crowd of 2,000 people, they were a three-piece with sole remaining member and Go Set best guitarist winner Kevin Borich in charge, backed by Ronnie Peel on bass and Keith Barber drumming. Phil Key and Peter Roberts had jumped ship in September, forming Band of Light with ace slide guitarist Norm Roue and experienced drummer Tony Buettel after arguments over money and frustration that Key’s songs weren’t being played live. Roberts soon departed, replaced by Ian Rilen.

 The stripped down La De Da’s had boogied on, playing out again by November and supporting Manfred Mann Chapter Three, Little Richard, The Guess Who, Gary Glitter, Lindisfarne and Three Dog Night. They were a massive hit back home in January 1973 at The Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival, returning on the back of the buzz generated for a successful national tour in April. New Zealand Rolling Stone caught up with them in Dunedin, asking Borich about the trio’s drug consumption – no dope or acid in the mid-1960s but he noted there was now plenty of acid around – and he revealed the group had been stalling on doing anything with EMI Records to get out of the contract, but were now working on the blues-boogie Rock And Roll Sandwich album, which would be released in November, following non-charting single ‘The Place’. Recorded live at Doncaster Theatre in Kensington and tidied up at EMI studios in Sydney by ex-pat New Zealand producer Rod Coe, the album showed Borich firmly in charge, augmenting his searing blues guitar with flute and piano.

A subtler La De Da’s can be heard that year, backing folkie cum street rocker Richard Clapton on the bright and breezy funky blues of ‘Hardly Know Myself’ (B-side to ‘All The Prodigal Children’ October 1973) and providing a wordy, weary-eyed blues shuffle with sparking Borich solo, ‘I Am A Survivor’ (July 1974 single) on Clapton’s November 1973 Infinity Records’ album Prussian Blue.

With Band of Light, Phil Key was determined to find an outlet for his slow, slide-driven hard blues originals. He had near immediate success with the Sunbury’ 73 blooded ‘Destiny Song’, which climbed to No.18 in the Go Set national chart in July 1973, having placed ‘Messin’ With The Kid’ onto a triple LP Sunbury festival soundtrack, once again crammed with other New Zealand musicians.

Key clearly still had as much of an Australian following as Borich. Band of Light’s debut album Total Union showed he had paid close attention to the distinctive utopian cover, aspirational words, importance of packaging and the mournful expressive slide and churchy vocal of The Happy Prince. His new group had its own distinctive logo, emotive music and words concerned with racial equality, social justice and spiritual harmony. Key also found the creative freedom he sought by leasing the tapes to record companies for release. Total Union was on record shelves by August 1973 and while it sold well, reaching No.13 in the Go Set charts, it lacked the “stinging white heat” of their live shows. That could be found on the B-sides of their three singles in ‘Over B’, ‘The Cat’ and ‘If’.

A second, less well received album, The Archer appeared in 1974 with two more singles. But with core line-up changes stunting their progress, Band of Light soon split up, leaving fans with memories of “Norm (Roue) storming across the stage like a kind of psychedelic Eddy [sic] Cochran, cutting the air to ribbons with bottleneck” and a peerless cover of blues standard ‘Crossroads’ on GTK.

In 1974, Kevin Borich’s La De Da’s had the pub rock formula down and were filling a hungry Australian live circuit, scoring one last Top 30 hit with Chuck Berry’s ‘Too Pooped To Pop’ in July, followed by a neat take on Hank Williams’ ‘Honky Tonkin’, both produced by Rod Coe.

Their final New Zealand show was a brief visit to Western Springs Stadium in Auckland to support Elton John. They were back on the bill at the final Sunbury in January 1975, but with the appeal of festivals dwindling the group weren’t going anywhere new on the endless pub circuit. They finally called it a day in May, 1975. Kevin Borich would soon be back on the road to being one of Australia’s favourite guitarists. But the others faded away, with Phil Key leaving music completely. He died young in Sydney in 1984 from a congenital heart problem.