Monday, 24 April 2017
The Chosen Ones/The Crack Up/Chained to the Wheel/In the Hands of the Enemy/Raise That Lantern/Hold on to Me/Glorybound/Fire Down Below/Sleep Through the Hurricane/The Story Never Changes/One Driver/Waiting for the Rain/Mercenary Heart/Kiss the Motherlode/Before the Shooting Stars/Safe in the Arms of Love
The Black Sorrows are an Australian blues rock band formed in 1983 by mainstay vocalist Joe Camilleri (ex-Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons), who also plays saxophone and guitar. Camilleri has used various line-ups to record 17 albums, with five reaching the top 20 on the ARIA Albums Charts: Hold on to Me (September 1988), Harley and Rose (August 1990), Better Times (September 1992), The Chosen Ones - Greatest Hits (November 1993) and Lucky Charm (November 1994). Their top 40 singles are "Chained to the Wheel" (February 1989), "Harley + Rose" (August 1990) and "Snake Skin Shoes" (July 1994).
Hold On to Me is the fifth studio album by Australian rock band The Black Sorrows. It's the group's first album to feature the vocals of Vika and Linda Bull.
Black Sorrows are
Linda Bull – backing vocals
Vika Bull – backing vocals
Mick Girasole – bass
Peter Luscombe – drums, percussion
Wayne Burt – guitar
Jeff Burstin – guitar, slide guitar, mandolin
Joe Camilleri (aka Joey Vincent) – saxophone, vocals, slide guitar
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Oh Boy/Born A Woman/If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me/Blue Moon Of Kentucky/I Love A Rainy Night/ Blanket On The Ground/Rockabilly Rebel/Tennessee Waltz/Help Me Make It Through The Night/Dream Lover/Here You Come Again/Lying Eyes/Your Cheatin' Heart/All Alone Am I/Funny Face/Satin Sheets/Are You Lonesome Tonight/Take These Chains From My Heart/ Blue On Blue/Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
A nice album enjoyed ripping it I think Hammard were a little presumptuous labeling the album "Australia's Queen Of Country Music" after all she is a Kiwi I know we often claim Kiwis as our own but we usually stop short of putting it on an album cover I wonder what Allison thought about it.
Stebbing was impressed and before she had turned 14, Allison Durbin had recorded her debut single, "Count On Me"/"Lover's Lane", for Zodiac. It didn't sell very well, so another was tried, "Rules Of Happiness"/"Two Shadows" with the same result. It was her third single that got her going. She did a cover of "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" with "Little Brother" on the reverse and this version out-sold the original by Herman's Hermits, giving Allison her first hit. She did one more single in 1965 for Zodiac called "Mix It Up"/"Little Girl Go Home".
In 1966 Allison then teamed up with the Mike Perjanik Band in the studio and released two singles on the Impact label. The first was "Sailor Boy"/"My Last Date", followed by "Borrow My Love"/"Don't Let It Happen". Before long she was featuring as the band's vocalist in their live work. Now only 16, she set off on a nationwide dance spot tour with special guest Tommy Adderley. After this, she did it again as part of the 'Impact Label Show", before appearing in a series of engagements in the South Island.
In October 1966, she and the Mike Perjanik Band moved across the Tasman for a residency at Sydney's Coogee Bay Hotel, before moving into the prestigious Latin Quarter in May 1967. After nine months, she left the band to pursue a solo career. She worked clubs and hotels, and returned briefly to New Zealand to tour with Gene Pitney. She was booked for a large amount of TV work, appearing on Bandstand, the Go Show, It's All Happening and others, all of which helped to put a professional gloss on her performances and win her new fans.
By the time Allison returned to New Zealand in late 1967, she was a professional. She'd learnt her craft and her television appearances displayed none of nervousness other 17 year olds betrayed. Now managed by Doug Elliot, she was signed up to a new contract with HMV in 1968.
Durbin's first HMV release was a cover of Morgana King's "I Have Loved Me A Man", backed with "Sand". Produced by Howard Gable, the song sold in excess of 30,000 copies in New Zealand, easily the best-selling local release of the year, spending two weeks at number one and collecting the 1968 Loxene Golden Disc Award. With little promotion, it also cracked the Australian charts, running abreast with the Morgana King version. Her first album "I Have Loved Me A Man" was also released at this time.
From the album another single was released called "Don't Come Any Closer"/"One More Tear". It reached number 3 on the national charts in December 1968. In April 1969 a new single, a cover of Joe South's "Games People Play" backed with "You've Lost That Loving Feeling/Soul and Inspiration" also made the charts, peaking at number 4. In 1969, Allison was awarded the "New Zealand Entertainer Of The Year Award", even though she had basically been living in Australia for nearly two years.
In 1969, Allison married Howard Gable and they settled in Melbourne. Initially she divided her time between the two countries, enjoying substantial success in both. But as the seventies progressed, she concentrated on the more lucrative Australian market. A second album "Soft and Soulful" was also released in 1969.
Allison's popularity was also huge in Australia, with her picking up the "Queen Of Pop" award for Best Female Artist, three years running in 1969, 1970 and 1971. During those years, singles continued to be released concurrently in New Zealand and Australia. They included "Sha La La La Lee"/"Cry Like A Baby", "He's Bad Bad Bad"/"Am I The Same Girl", "Don't Make Me Give In"/"World Of Music" in NZ and "Words Of Silence" in Aust, "Hallelujah"/"Tonight I'll Say A Prayer", "Holy Man"/"Letter To Bill", "Golden Days"/"Make The Feeling Go Away" and "Words Of Love"/"I Have A Son". Next came her best selling Australian single. It was a cover of Ocean's "Put Your Hand In The Hand" backed with "Didn't We". It reached number 24 on the National charts in May 1971.
In 1971 Allison recorded an album with John Farnham, who had been voted "King Of Pop" during the same years Allison received her awards. It was called "Together" and from it two singles were released. The best was "Baby, Without You" and it reached number 27.
Her next solo album came in 1972, "Amerikan Music" and the title track was the last single to make the charts for her, reaching number 33.
Allison then tapered off her singing work to concentrate on her family and by the time she did return in 1976, her days as a pop singer had passed. She moved into country music with great success. Joining the Hammond label, she produced six albums, one each year from 1976 to 1981. They were 1976, "Born A Woman", 1977 "Are You Lonesome Tonight", 1978 "Three Times A Lady", this one achieving triple-platinum status with sales of over 150,000 copies, 1979 "Bright Eyes", 1980 "Shining Star" and 1981 "My Kind Of Country". Missing a year she released "Country Love Songs" in 1983.
In 1986, Hammond released a best of album called "The Very Best Of Australia's Queen Of Country". Two years later a "best of" album of her pop songs came out on the Axis label, called "Amerikan Music".
1992 saw a return to the recording studio for Allison, after a number of years of dealing with personal issues. The album was called Reckless Girl and the songs are quite different to her recent country songs and earlier pop hits. Sadly it seems that this is the last studio album for Allison, as her personal life has caught up with her once again.
None of the Hammond Country albums were ever released in New Zealand, so in 1996 EMI put together a selection of songs from these albums and released a CD called "Country Classics" in New Zealand.
In 2001 EMI released a CD called "The Very Best Of Allison Durbin" which contains most of her early New Zealand singles.
Saturday, 15 April 2017
In Too Deep/I'm Living On Dreams/Isn't It Sunshine/Not Me/When You Love Me/Spanish Guitar/I've Been Waiting/When I Remember You/Having A Few/How Can I Live (Wthout Love)/Oh My Love
J.P. Young was one of the most popular and successful Australian male solo singers of the late Seventies. His powerful soulful voice was the right instrument the new songs of former Easybeats songwriting team George Young and Harry Vanda.
' Young had had a few single by 1974 when Vanda and Young took over his career producing his records. His big breakthrough came in March 1975 when Albert records released John’s recording of Vanda & Young’s "Yesterday’s Hero". In November the same his debut album "Hero" was relased - produced by Vanda and Young and featuring entirely material written by them.
More hits like "Lost in Your Love" and "Love is in the Air" followed and 4 more albums were released before the end of the decade. By 1979 his succesful chart career began to wind down. The singles were beginning to sound too much the same; the arrangements and melodies were created too much over the same formula.
By the end of 1980 his backing band "All Stars" which had featured names like Warren Morgan , Johnny Dick , Doug Parkinson, Ian Winter , Ronnie Peel , Ray Arnott , Vince Meloney, Kevin Borich , Phil Manning, Tony Mitchell and Ray Goodwin split up.
Young gathered new All Star musicians throughout the 1980´s´and released a couple of more albums and a string of singles,
"In Too Deep", which sees John reunite with his 70's hitmaker Harry Vanda as producer and principle songwriter. Several of the titles have been written by Vanda / Young including the first single "Isn't It Sunshine". In Too Deep is the ninth studio album by Australian singer John Paul Young and first studio album in 10-years.
Working in the company of the Vanda and Young team, John Paul Young became one of the biggest Australian stars of the 70’s and his career has progressed through the 80’s, 90’s and into the 21 Century over 4 million sales worldwide.
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
The Jo Jo Zep single, "Losing Game", was issued in 1983, and was produced by Split Enz member Eddie Rayner and Camilleri. "Losing Game" was released in the United States but was the last single by this version of the group, which by this point was essentially a solo project of Camilleri that the pub crowds and Australian public were not ready for. They played for 120,000 peeps at a Huge Rock Concert at Sydney Horden Pavilion with INXS, the new rising Goanna Band, Australian Crawl, Jimmy Barnes and Swanee and this hi-powered, precision Latin Rock Line-up really impressed The Rock Press, the crowd and the other bands, who stood beside the stage open jawed!
Fireworks/We Can Dance (Live)/When You're Young (Live)
The Choirboys is an Australian hard rock and Australian pub rock band from Sydney formed as Choirboys in 1978 with mainstays Mark Gable on lead vocals, Ian Hulme on bass guitar, Brad Carr on lead guitar and Lindsay Tebbutt on drums. Name was changed to The Choirboys with preparation for the sophomore album Big Bad Noise in 1988. The band whose set-up saw many changes went on to release 8 studio albums from 1983 to 2007. Their 1987 single "Run to Paradise" remains their biggest commercial success. Choirboys signed with Mushroom Records and released "Fireworks" #60 on the charts in May 1986, they also opened for Deep Purple on their tour of Australia.
Sunday, 26 March 2017
Concerto For A Three-Stringed Violin And Five Mugs Of Beer/Crooked Man/I’ve Been This Down Before /Devil’s Masquerade/Psychomania/Observations Of A Honest Man/In The Bosom Of A Shout /Take 2 Signature/Shattered Dreams/I'm A Man/Fixing A Hole/Summertime Blues/Who Is The Clown
While technically not an Australian band they were here for 2 years before returning to Hungary while here they became part of the lanscape and recorded this album on the Spin Label.
Miklós József "Jackie" Orszáczky (8 May 1948, Budapest, Hungary – 3 February 2008, Sydney, Australia) was a Hungarian-Australian musician, arranger, vocalist and record producer. His musical styles included jazz, blues, R&B, funk and progressive rock; he mainly played bass guitar – from the early 1990s he used a modified piccolo bass – but also various other instruments. In 2006 Orszaczky was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit by the Hungarian government. Also that year Orszaczky was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and died on 3 February 2008, aged 59.
Bang Bang/Sucide Ride/We're Getting Nowhere/In The Morning/Especially For You/Green River/Reach Out/Tilda Jane/Mistake/Southern Magic/Here We Come/Mirror Don't You Weep
Butler were one of few all-Maori rock bands. All four members were originally from Rotorua, but the band actually formed in Christchurch in 1970. Predominantly an underground group, they played their early gigs at the Open Door, before moving into Trevor Spitz's nightspot Aubrey's. Having built a strong Christchurch following, the band took stabs at other South Island centres, returning to hometown Rotorua in 1971. From there they began building up a North Island following, proving popular on the University circuit with their combination of originals and Led Zeppelin / Wishbone Ash covers.
Some television exposure followed with a spot on 'Happen Inn', 'Popco' and 'Free Ride'. This was fairly rare for an underground group and even with this they never really gained much pulling power.
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The creation of Butler was both spontaneous and unconventional. A typical New Zealand rock band circa 1970 would comprise high school pals or early twenty-something Pakeha males, jamming in a garage or rehearsal space. The bonds between the four members of Butler were forged in the tobacco fields of Motueka and a drop-in centre in Christchurch. Butler comprised four Rotorua area born and raised Maori teenagers. The original (and only) line-up comprised Steve Apirana (guitar, vocals), Heidi Warren (guitar, vocals), Angel Adams (bass), and Hori Sinnott (drums). Apirana started playing guitar at age 15, and a year later he and Warren (who was a year younger) decided they'd start a band. Their dream, however, only coalesced with these jams in Christchurch. "We approached the guy who was running the centre and got him to open it up on a night it was not normally open so we could practice," Steve told Cross Rhythms. "Three days later, the son of the minister offered to be our manager. Here we were, a band formed in three days, nowhere to play, only a couple of instruments, but we had a manager!"
This fast-growing reputation led to an invite to appear at the now-legendary Ngaruawahia Festival in early 1973, alongside such other fledgling New Zealand bands as Dragon and Split Enz. "Back then everyone was getting record deals," notes Apirana. "Our manager asked around for a deal and Pye took us up on it. They put us on a new label, Family. I think John Hanlon was the only other artist on it."
Butler's disenchantment with the record and the label grew as time went by. "It took them 18 months to release it and by then we’d progressed more into prog rock and bands like Wishbone Ash. We weren’t even playing many of those songs on the record." An initial single had a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival hit 'Green River' as the A-side, but it fared poorly. "The label never really got behind it," Apirana laments.
On the Butler album, nine group originals nestled alongside covers of 'Green River’, Cher's hit 'Bang Bang’ and the Four Tops classic 'Reach Out I’ll Be There'. Despite the album's failure, Butler remained popular on the touring circuit, and they opened for such visiting groups as The Average White Band and Osibisa. By 1976, Butler were hoping to make another album, one that better captured their improved musical chops, but internal and philosophical differences within the band deepened, causing them to call it quits in 1977.
Saturday, 18 March 2017
Dreams Of Ordinary Men/Speak No Evil/Nothing To Lose/Western Girls/Intensive Care/Temptation/Midnight Sun/Love Don't Stop/Forever And Ever/Smoke/ Start It Up/When I'm Gone
Dragon is a rock band which was formed in Auckland, New Zealand, in January 1972 and relocated later to Sydney, Australia in May 1975. They were originally fronted by singer Marc Hunter and are currently led by his brother, bass player/vocalist Todd Hunter. They performed and released material under the name Hunter in Europe and the United States during 1987.
Keyboard player Paul Hewson wrote or co-wrote most of the group's 1970s hits: "April Sun in Cuba" peaked at #2 on the 1977 Australian singles chart, "Are You Old Enough?" reached #1 in 1978, and "Still in Love with You" reached #15 also in 1978. Later hits, from when the band re-grouped in the 1980s, were written by other band members, often working with outside associates: The Hunter brothers, with Todd's partner, Johanna Pigott, wrote "Rain," a #2 hit in 1983, while other, more minor hits were written by the Hunters and/or Alan Mansfield, frequently in collaboration with any combination of Pigott, Mansfield's partner Sharon O'Neill, Marc Hunter's partner Wendy Hunter, or producers Todd Rundgren and David Hirschfelder.
The name Dragon came from a consultation of I Ching cards by early band vocalist Graeme Collins.
Dragon have endured tragedy, adversity and notoriety, and during the course of the band's earlier career, several members died from drug-related causes. Problems began soon after their arrival in Sydney in late 1975, when all their equipment was stolen. Several months later, in 1976, drummer Neil Storey died of a heroin overdose; Paul Hewson of a drug overdose in 1985 and Marc Hunter of smoking-related oesophageal cancer in 1998. Several members of the group including Hewson and Marc Hunter were heavy heroin users during the band's heyday, and The Stewart Royal Commission (1980–1983) which investigated the Mr. Asia drug syndicate obtained evidence that Dragon members were clients. Two members were involved in a serious car crash in 1977, where Paul Hewson's neck was in a brace as well as having a broken arm and Robert Taylor needed plastic surgery, and Hewson also suffered from debilitating scoliosis and arthritis, the pain of which reportedly contributed to his heroin use. The band also undertook a famously disastrous 1978 tour of the USA, supporting Johnny Winter, which ended when Marc Hunter abused the Texan audience as "faggots" and the band were pelted off stage, while Winter's band were said to have taken bets about how long it would be before Hunter was shot. On 1 July 2008, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) recognised Dragon's iconic status when they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
Dreams of Ordinary Men is an album recorded by Australian-New Zealand rock band Dragon in 1986. Dreams of Ordinary Men peaked on the Australian Music Charts on 7 October 1986 at number 17. Dreams Of Ordinary Men first charted on September 8, 1986, peaked at 18th position and stayed in the charts for 20 weeks. The album spawned three singles, "Speak No Evil", "Dreams Of Ordinary Men" and "Western Girls". "Speak No Evil" first charted on March 11, 1985, peaked at number 19 and stayed in the charts for 14 weeks. "Western Girls" first charted on December 8, 1986, peaked at number 58 and stayed in the charts for 11 weeks. The album was produced by Todd Rundgren.
Backing Vocals – Todd Rundgren
Bass – Todd Hunter
Drums – Doane Perry
Engineer – Chris Andersen, Todd Rundgren
Guitar [Additional] – Todd Rundgren, Tommy Emmanuel
Keyboards – Alan Mansfield
Saxophone – Gary Window, Lenny Pickett
Vocals – Marc Hunter, Todd Hunter
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Born On The Wind/Corrina Corrina/Hooked On Music/Never Walk Alone/One More Last Chance/Return To Sender/Return To Sender/She Wears My Ring/Sunset Dreamer/Take A Chance/This Lonely Heart
In the late 60’s Dennis Knight recorded a song “Every Breath I Take,” with the backing of the then Bee Gees, Dennis’s career really started then. Dennis commenced working all major clubs throughout Queensland. Dennis further distinguished himself by winning the “Queensland Entertainer of the Year” award, five times in succession. In 1973, Johnny O’Keefe became Dennis’s manager and this boosted his career to the corporate market of the entertainment scene. J.O.K. nurtured Dennis to perform with such charisma, he himself had on stage. At Expo ’88 in Brisbane, Dennis performed to 12,000 people at the river stage and his concert could not be followed by any other artists, local, interstate or international. Dennis has shared the stage with some of the greats in the industry and he is still receiving the ovation he deserves. After the recording of four albums and six singles throughout his career, he finally received two Gold Albums for sales in excess of 80,000 for each album. Dennis is a great entertainer and in 1993 was voted “Variety Performer Of The Year”, for the Variety Club of Australia in which he plays an active part. Thanks to Geoff for this one.
Thursday, 9 March 2017
Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go/Bama Lama Bama Loo/My Good Friend Mary Jane/Sinner's Prayer/Sweet Little Rock And Roller/Lookin' For My Pigs/Uncle Willee/Tossin' And Turnin'/ I've Got To Get You/Love, Love, Love/Chaser-I've Got My Mojo Working/In The Midnight Hour/Mercy, Mercy/Ain't Doing Too Bad
Singer Ray Hoff formed the first version of Ray Hoff and the Off Beats in Sydney during the late 1950s. The band's style of rock'n'roll was raw with a strong R&B base. The band made little headway, despite several years of slogging around the Sydney dance/discotheque circuit. There were a number of different line-ups during the band's early days. John Ryan and his brother Vince (sax) were temporary members. In 1960, Jimmy Taylor left to join Johnny Devlin and the Devils, and Leon Isackson joined Dig Richards and the R'Jays.
Original line-up: Ray Hoff (born Ray Hough, vocals), Jimmy Taylor (piano; ex-Warren William and the Squares), Darby Wilson (guitar), John Ryan (bass), Leon Isackson (drums)
Albums: Ray Hoff and the Off Beats (Clarion, 1966), Let's Go: The Festival File (Festival, 1988).
Friday, 3 March 2017
Dark Side Of The Man/Bed Of Nails/Ever Get The Feeling (That You've Been Had)/ Who Do You Take It To/You Got A Mirror/Go Bongo - Go Wild/When I Get My Hands On You/Tough Guy/What's Wrong With This Picture/Slow Fade
Ross Andrew Wilson (born 18 November 1947) is an Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer. He is the co-founder and frontman of the long-standing rock groups Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock, as well as a number of other former bands, in addition to performing solo. He has produced records for bands such as Skyhooks and Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons, as well as for those of his own bands. He appeared as a judge on celebrity singing TV series It Takes Two from 2005. Wilson was individually inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 1989 and again as a member of Daddy Cool in 2006. Wilson's most successful solo release was 1989's "Bed of Nails" which reached No. 25 on the National singles charts. It was released from his July 1989 solo album Dark Side of the Man on WEA.
Monday, 27 February 2017
Back Again/Pick Up The Pieces/Paradise/Jive Time/Good Times/Last Of The Riverboats/Jupiter Creek/Ocean Deep/Look After Yourself/Innocent Bystanders/Iceman/Solitaire/Wasted Words/Song For The Road/Mighty Rock/Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Andrew MacLeish Durant (1955 – 6 May 1980) was an Australian musician-songwriter. He was a member of country rock group Stars (1976–79) providing guitar, harmonica, and backing vocals. He was also a session and backing musician for a range of artists. He died of cancer, aged 25. On 19 August 1980 a tribute performance was held in his honour, with a live double-album recorded by various artists, Andrew Durant Memorial Concert, which was released on 9 March 1981. All but three tracks were written by Durant. It peaked at No. 8 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart and reached No. 40 on the End of Year Top 100 Albums Chart for 1981.
Back Again (Mick Pealing)
Pick Up The Pieces (Feat. Glyn Mason of The Rebels, Chain, Home & Ariel)
Paradise (Feat. Renée Geyer)
Jive Town (Mick Pealing)
Good Times (Feat. Mick Pealing & Jimmy Barnes)
The Last Of The Riverboats (Feat. Jimmy Barnes)
Jupiter Creek (Feat. Broderick Smith)
Ocean Deep (Feat. Broderick Smith)
Look After Yourself (Feat. Mick Pealing & Richard Clapton)
Innocent Bystander (Feat. Richard Clapton)
Iceman (Feat. Broderick Smith)
Solitaire (Feat. Ian Moss)
Wasted Words (Feat. Mick Pealing, Jimmy Barnes & Renée Geyer)
Song For the Road (Mick Pealing)
Mighty Rock (Feat. Mick Pealing, Jimmy Barnes & Renée Geyer)
Knockin' on Heavens Door (Feat. Ian Moss, Mick Pealing, Broderick Smith, Jimmy Barnes) & Renée Geyer)
Sunday, 26 February 2017
Escaping/Number One (Remember When We Danced All Night)/Only My Heart Calling/Give Me Some Credit/Guilty People/The Tide Keeps Rolling In/Your Love/Open Up/Slip On By/Deep Down/God Bless The Child
Margaret Urlich (born 24 January 1965 in Auckland, New Zealand) is an ARIA Award-winning musician based in New South Wales. Urlich moved to Sydney, Australia, in 1988 to pursue her singing career. Her debut solo album, Safety in Numbers, released in 1989, was highly successful and won "Breakthrough Artist - Album" at the 1991 ARIA Awards, Its follow-up Chameleon Dreams was also a success when released in 1992. Urlich has been successful Trans-Tasman, selling over 400,000 albums during her career, ranking her as one of New Zealand's most successful recording artists.
Safety in Numbers is the debut solo album by Margaret Urlich, released in 1989. The first single, "Escaping", was number one for three consecutive weeks in New Zealand and peaked at number 17 in Australia. Urlich won an ARIA Award in 1991 for Best Breakthrough Artist - Album for Safety in Numbers. The album achieved platinum status in New Zealand and triple platinum status in Australia. Safety in Numbers has sold over 265,000 copies.
Saturday, 25 February 2017
No Money/Poor Daughter/Only A Woman Knows/Don't Lean On Me/Decide
The Dugites formed in Perth in 1978 with a line-up of Lynda Nutter on vocals, Peter Crosbie on keyboards, Gunther Berghoffer on guitar, Phillip Bailey on bass and Clarence Bailey on drums. In 1979 The Dugites released a single "Hit Single"/"Bruce", and toured as the backing band for Dave Warner. The single had been self-financed, but that year they were signed by the Deluxe label distributed by RCA Records. In 1980 Paul Noonan (ex-Dave Warner's from the Suburbs) replaced Phillip Bailey. Their first album The Dugites was released in August 1980 and reached No. 22 on the Australian Album charts. It went on to attain gold status (35 000 copies sold). Three singles were issued from the album, "In Your Car"/"13 Again" in May 1980, which reached No. 34 on the Australian Singles charts in July, "Goodbye"/"No God, No Master" in July and "South Pacific"/"Gay Guys" in October, which reached No. 90. At the 1980 Countdown Music Awards both The Dugites and Nutter received nominations for 'Best New Talent' (Johnny O'Keefe Memorial Award) and 'Most Popular Female' respectively. In December the band were the opening act for Elton John's concert at the Perth Entertainment Centre.
The Dugites signed to Mercury/PolyGram and released their third album, Cut The Talking, in April 1984. Three singles were released from the album, "Cut the Talking"/"Michael and Rodney", in November 1983, "Juno and Me"/"Everything Must Change" in April 1984, which reached No. 60 on the Australian Singles charts, and "It Ain't Like That"/"All That I Want" in August. Following the release of the album the band added Peter Kaldor on saxophone and John Crosbie on trombone and trumpet to the line-up for touring purposes, but by the end of 1984 the group disbanded.
When the ABC's Sydney 'youth' radio station Double Jay was launched in 1975, Skyhooks' "You Just Like Me Cos I'm Good In Bed" was chosen as the opening song played on air, specifically because it had been banned by Australian commercial radio. When Double Jay switched bands to FM in 1980, The Dugites' "Gay Guys", the B-side of the Dugites 1980 single "South Pacific", which was also banned by commercial radio, became the first song to be played by Double Jay's successor, 2JJJ-FM Triple J.
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Who the Hell Do You Think You Are/Red Light Avenue/Lion in the Winter/Uptown Ruler/Goin' Fishin'/It's Only Natural/Winds of Change/Only a Fool Would Say That/Walking in the Dreamtime/Poor Man in the Penthouse/No Secrets
The Whiff of Bedlam is the fourth solo studio album by Australian singer/songwriter James Reyne released in October 1994 and peaked at number 20 in Australia. The album was preceded by lead single "Red Light Avenue" in September 1994. It was his first album released under label rooArt.
Tomas Mureika of All Music said "An astonishingly mature album by any artist's rights, The Whiff of Bedlam delves into territory many would never even dare to approach, all the while remaining cloaked in some of the most gorgeous melodies Reyne has ever crafted. The opening "Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?" sets the agenda - from a wispy electric piano intro, Reyne launches into an enigmatically vicious attack against someone, yet does so simply through the dynamics of his voice, avoiding the high-pitched intensity that earmarked his earlier works. From then on, there are twelve achingly soulful confessionals through which Reyne seems constantly on the verge of tears.. The devastating "It's Only Natural" moves from an organ intro through irresistable [sic] hook after hook, as Reyne seems to resign himself to his new discoveries as he has aged, only to immediately counter the downfall with the more upbeat melancholy of "Winds Of Change". With the harrowing possibilities unleashed by The Whiff of Bedlam, it is certain to say that Reyne has found his own day in the sun... and it keeps getting gloriously darker."
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Get So Rough/One Of The Good Guys/Song Of New Devotion/Spellbound/Never Give Up/Southern Cross/Ever Since You've Gone/Never Be The Same/Talk To Strangers/Desires Of The Heart
Marc Alexander Hunter (7 September 1953 – 17 July 1998) was a New Zealand rock and pop singer, song writer and record producer. He was the lead vocalist of Dragon (1973–79, 1982–89, 1995–97), a band formed by his older brother, Todd Hunter, in Auckland in 1972. They relocated to Sydney in May 1975. He was also a member of the Party Boys (1985). For his solo career he issued five studio albums, Fiji Bitter (November 1979), Big City Talk (August 1981), Communication (September 1985), Night and Day (August 1990) and Talk to Strangers (late 1994). During the 1970s Hunter had developed heroin and alcohol addictions; he was recklessly outspoken and volatile on-stage: in November 1978 during the band's United States tour, supporting Johnny Winter, they performed in Dallas, Texas, where "he made some general stage observations about redneck buddies, illegal oral sex and pick-up trucks" and called the audience members, "faggots". Upon return to Australia, in February 1979, he was fired from the group by his brother, Todd.
In August 1982 Hunter returned to the line-up of Dragon and continued with the group while also maintaining his solo career. They disbanded in 1997 when he was diagnosed with throat cancer, he died on 17 July 1998. Benefit concerts were held to provide for his widow, Wendy Hunter, and children. On 1 July 2008, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) inducted Dragon into their Hall of Fame. His biography, Chasing the Dragon: the Life and Death of Marc Hunter, was published by Jeff Apter in October 2011.
Thursday, 16 February 2017
Lovers Alias Fools/The Darlings of Market Street/Anniversary/New Born Babe/Ulysses/Tin Minstrel/Every Wounded Bird/I am the Day/Cars/
Dance Numbers/Butterfly Net/The Iridescent Pink Sock Blues/Oh Dear St Peter/Christopher Columbus/Love at First Sight/Please Don't Eat the Flowers Dear/The Same Old Story/ I Saved Annette From Drowning/I See A Comedy/ Spaghetti Western (Live)
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.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Feelings Of Grief/God Told Me To/Stolen Apples Taste The Sweetest/Sweetest Thing/You're 39, You're Beautiful And You're Mine/The Lion And The Lamb/Right Outta My Head/Keep On Driving/The Ballad Of Queenie And Rover/The Foggy Fields Of France/Please Leave Your Light On
Paul Maurice Kelly AO (born 13 January 1955) is an Australian rock music singer-songwriter, guitarist, and harmonica player. He has performed solo, and has led numerous groups, including the Dots, the Coloured Girls, and the Messengers. He has worked with other artists and groups, including associated projects Professor Ratbaggy and Stardust Five. Kelly's music style has ranged from bluegrass to studio-oriented dub reggae, but his core output straddles folk, rock, and country. His lyrics capture the vastness of the culture and landscape of Australia by chronicling life about him for over 30 years. David Fricke from Rolling Stone calls Kelly "one of the finest songwriters I have ever heard, Australian or otherwise." Kelly has said, "Song writing is mysterious to me. I still feel like a total beginner. I don't feel like I have got it nailed yet".
Stolen Apples is the twenty fifth album by Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly and was released in July 2007 on EMI Music. The album is Kelly's first solo album since Ways & Means in 2004, and features religious themes throughout. It peaked at No. 8 on the ARIA Albums Chart.
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Original Sin/I Send A Message/Burn For You/Dancing On The Jetty/Love Is (What I Say)/Jackson
Dekadance is the title of two different collections of remixes by Australian rock group INXS: a 1983 four-track 12" and cassette EP released in the United States of songs from Shabooh Shoobah; and a 1984 seven-track cassette released in Australia of songs from The Swing. The latter included a cover version of "Jackson" as a duet by INXS' Michael Hutchence with Jenny Morris, their backing singer. This compilation peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart in April 1985.
The Australian cassette version of Dekadance features remixes from The Swing, and was released in six different versions. Each had a different sleeve, one for each member of the band, which were sourced from the band photo on the cover of The Swing. In following the general theme of the release, the photos themselves were "remixed" by the use of halftone (or similar) printing. Each image wraps completely around the package and is difficult to identify unless the package is dismantled and opened flat. Instead of the usual plastic hinged case, the packaging was a cardboard box that featured a flip-top opening, similar to that of a cigarette packet. The album was also available strictly for Promo use to radio stations. The LP version omitted the Jenny Morris/INXS cover version of "Jackson". It is a highly prized collector's item, as it was for promo - hence it is very scarce nowadays & finding it on LP is indeed a needle in a haystack!
Thursday, 2 February 2017
Suddenly I See/Live To Tell/She Will Be Loved/Avalon/So Much Beauty/ I'll Stand By You/Chasing Cars/Stars and Satellites/Play Me/ Never Say Never/Babylon/Bridge Over Troubled Water
So Much Beauty is a studio album by Australian recording artist, Kate Ceberano. It was released on April 26, 2008 and reached #9 on the Australian charts.
Excluding the three new tracks, "So Much Beauty", "Stars and Satellites" and "Never Say Never", the remaining 9 songs are cover versions. Ceberano co-wrote all three originals; she co-wrote "Never Say Never" with Eddie Chacon of Charles and Eddie.
Ceberano recorded it in co-producer’s Steve Scanlon’s lounge room, with the aim of keeping both herself and her band relaxed.
The Hard Times/What The Future Holds/ Take It Or Leave It/Our House/Have No Fear/Clear Skies/Trash The Planet/Hooligans/Don't Fall Asleep At The Wheel/A New Start/Oceania
Spy vs Spy, also known as v. Spy v. Spy, The Drug Grannies and The Spies, are an Australian ska/pub rock band from Sydney formed in 1981. They became known for tackling political issues through their music, including racism, homelessness and contemporary drug culture.They were named after a comic strip, "Spy vs. Spy" in the US Mad magazine.
The band's initial line-up was the trio of Craig Bloxom on bass guitar/lead vocals, Cliff Grigg on drums/percussion and Mike Weiley on lead guitar/vocals. Spy vs Spy's early music was ska-influenced indie rock, exemplified by their debut single "Do What You Say" on the independent Green label in April 1982. They released an EP Four Fresh Lemons in August. Their music became more straightforward hard rock for their pub audiences. The band broke up in early 1983 only to reform mid-year, by which time they were using the name v. Spy v. Spy to avoid legal problems with Mad magazine. They were eventually signed to Midnight Oil's label Powderworks and managed by Oils manager, Gary Morris. Their first full-length album Harry's Reasons was released in March 1986 and produced by Leszek Karski. They switched labels to WEA and had their highest charting success in February 1987 with their single "Don't Tear It Down" on the Australian singles chart and the associated album A.O. Mod. TV. Vers. peaked at No. 12 on the Australian albums chart.
Spy vs Spy's follow-up album, Xenophobia was released in March 1988 peaked at No. 15 in Australia. It was produced by Karski and Guy Gray and released by WEA in 14 countries. Their 1989 album Trash the Planet peaked at No. 22 on the ARIA Charts. None of their subsequent releases reached the Australian Top 40. The band split and reformed a number of times but still developed a strong following in Brazil.
Hold Your Head Up/Is This The Way To Say Goodbye/He's Gonna Step On You Again/She's A Mystery/Rising Star/Gloria/Small Talk/It Could've Been You/Gonna See My Baby Tonight/High Voltage
The Party Boys are an Australian rock supergroup with a floating membership commencing in 1982. Created by Mondo Rock's bass guitarist, Paul Christie as a part-time venture for professional musicians with downtime from their other projects, the group had temporary members from acts such as Status Quo, The Angels, Sherbet, Skyhooks, Rose Tattoo, The Choirboys, Australian Crawl, Divinyls, Models, Dragon and Swanee plus international stars including Joe Walsh, Eric Burdon, Alan Lancaster and Graham Bonnet. In March 1983 their debut album, Live at Several 21sts, peaked at No. 9 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. In June 1987 they had a number-one hit on the related Singles Chart with a cover version of John Kongos' hit, "He's Gonna Step On You Again". It also peaked at No. 10 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.
The Party Boys is self-titled album by Australian rock band The Party Boys. It was the band's first and only studio album. Tracks 2, 4, 5 and 8 were originals, the rest of the songs were originally recorded by (in order): Argent, John Kongos, Them, The Angels, La De Da's and AC/DC, however "It Could Have Been You" was originally released by Party Boy's lead singer John Swan as a single in 1985.
Space Race/Pages And Matches/Living In September/I Don't Know/Slippin' Out/ It Only Hurts When I'm Laughing/People/Good Guys Always Win (Satire)/Ghosts/ Burning Up/Ice Cold Dead
Mi-Sex (also styled as MiSex) is a New Zealand new wave rock band that was originally active from 1977 to 1986. Led by Steve Gilpin as vocalist, Kevin Stanton as guitarist and songwriter and Don Martin as bassist. They provided top ten singles, "Computer Games" in October 1979 (No. 1 in Australia, No. 5 in New Zealand) and "People" in 1980 (No. 6 and No. 3, respectively). Their first two albums both reached the New Zealand top 10, Graffiti Crimes (July 1979) and Space Race (No. 1, June 1980). They were known for their cutting edge production and dynamic live shows. Gilpin died in January 1992, two months after a serious car accident from which he never recovered.
For their second album, Space Race (June 1980), the label provided a "massive promotional campaign for which 'Are you a clone? . . . No, I'm in the Space Race' was the slogan, and little rubber mannequins of the alien featured on the front cover popped up all over the place." Ed Nimmervoll of Howlspace website felt that the album was "talking about overpopulation, environmental issues, genetic engineering and other issues of great importance for the future."
Dawkins produced the album, recording it in January 1980. In New Zealand it peaked at No. 1 and in Australia it reached No. 6. Space Race provided another top 10 single, "People", which reached No. 3 in New Zealand and No. 6 in Australia. The title track was the next single and peaked in the top 20 in New Zealand and top 30 in Australia. Although Mi-Sex toured Australia and New Zealand through 1981 – performing 366 gigs in that year – the group "found its popularity in slow decline."
Burns told The Australian Women's Weekly's Susan Moore that "When we arrived new wave was very full-on and we had pretty much a street image. Then when we did Space Race, which we felt was an extension of what we were doing, I guess some people didn't like the idea of a concept album ... we copped a lot of flack."
White Roses (String Of Pearls Mix)/(You Can Put Your) Shoes Under My Bed/White Roses (Album Version)/White Roses (Instrumental)
Deborah Ann Conway, (born 8 August 1959) is an Australian rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, and had a career as a model and actress. She was a founding member of the 1980s rock band Do-Ré-Mi with their surprise top 5 hit "Man Overboard".
Conway performs solo and has a top 20 hit single with "It's Only the Beginning" (1991). The associated album, String of Pearls, also peaked in the top 20. She won the 1992 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Award for 'Best Female Artist'. Her next album, Bitch Epic, reached the top 20 in November 1993. Conway organised and performed on the Broad Festivals from 2005 to 2008 – show-casing contemporary Australian female artists.
"White Roses" was released on the Mushroom Label in May 1992 and charted at #87 it was taken from the platinum album "String of Pearls"
Gap That Opened/Hands Up In The Air/Love Me To Death/City Flat/Her Charity/Sleeping Time/Great Wall/Bombshell/Caught Between Two Towns/Too Hot To Think
Boom Crash Opera is the first album by Australian rock band Boom Crash Opera, released in 1987. Singles released from the album include two which reached the top 20 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart, "Great Wall" and "Hands Up in the Air".
In 1986 Boom Crash Opera signed with Dirty Pool Management and WEA Records. The band recorded their first two singles in 1986 with English producer Steve Brown (ABC, The Cult and Wham!) at Platinum Studios in Melbourne. Their debut single, "Great Wall", which was released in May 1986 reached No. 5 on the (Australian) national chart. Their second single, "Hands up in the Air", followed in late July, peaking at No. 16. Following which the band toured nationally with Icehouse.
The label then flew the band to London to record their debut album at RAK Studios with producer, Alex Sadkin (Simply Red, Grace Jones, Talking Heads) and engineer, Will Gosling (Big Country). Both "Great Wall" and "Hands up in the Air" were remixed for their album versions. After recording the album Sadkin travelled to the Bahamas to work, where he died in a car accident in July. The self-titled album was released in September 1987, reached No. 19 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart and went on to achieve Gold record status. It spawned a further three singles, "City Flat" (June 1987), "Her Charity" (September 1987) and "Love Me to Death (March 1988).
In an interview Farnan said "The whole idea of the album was to capture a live band feel, rather than a meticulously layered, constructed studio artist sound. We just wanted to capture a fairly live feel and wanted people feeling there were musicians playing and performing, rather than, you know, machines."
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'/Wouldn't It Be Loverly/Every Day A Little Death/I Dreamed a Dream/Whats The Use Of Wond'rin'/Younger Than Springtime/Edelwiess/Memory/Tell Me On A Sunday/I'll Do Anything/Medley From The King And I
Debra Anne Byrne (born 30 March 1957), formerly billed as Debbie Byrne, is an Australian pop singer, actress and entertainer. From April 1971 to March 1975 she was a founding cast member of Young Talent Time. She started her solo singing career with a cover version of "He's a Rebel" (March 1974), which peaked at No. 25 on the Go-Set Australian Singles chart. At the Logie Awards of 1974 she won Best Teenage Personality and followed with the Queen of Pop Award in October – both ceremonies were sponsored by TV Week. She repeated both wins in the following year.
As an actress Byrne appeared in the Australian musical theatre versions of Cats (July 1985 to mid-1987), Les Misérables (November 1987 to May 1988, December 1989 to June 1990) and Sunset Boulevard (October 1996 to June 1997). Her solo album, Caught in the Act (April 1991), peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified gold. In 2006 Byrne published her autobiography, Not Quite Ripe: A Memoir.
Monday, 23 January 2017
Tony Barber Someday/I Want Her Too/Is It Raining/You Can't Lie To A Liar
Steve & The Board The Giggle Eyed Goo!/Rosalyn/Margot/Rosemarie
Marty Rhone Nature Boy/Every Minute Of You/Thirteen Women/I Can Tell
Ronnie Burns True, True Lovin'/Too Many People/Very Last Day/Let It Be Me
There were a few of these 4x4's released in the sixties mostly by Festival Records a bit like having 4 EP's on one album this one has 4 of the best Marty Rhone, Tony Barber, Ronnie Burns and Steve And The Board.
Marty Rhone was born as Karel (or Karl) Lawrence van Rhoon on 7 May 1948 in Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies (later named Surabaya, Indonesia). The family migrated to Australia on 21 April 1950 and briefly lived in Sydney and Brisbane, and then moved to Darwin. After he finished primary school, the family moved to Sydney, where he attended Crows Nest Boys High School. In mid-1961 he appeared on a talent quest segment of ATN7-TV series, Tarax Show, and was offered a singing spot on a children's show, Kaper Kabaret. In late 1965 he formed a band, The Blue Feelings, and they auditioned for an appearance on Saturday Date, a teen music show. After the audition Spin Records owner, Nat Kipner, signed Rhone to a recording contract and the label issued his debut single, "Nature Boy", in February the following year. For his next two singles, "Thirteen Women" (April) and "I Want You Back Again", Rhone was backed by Spin Records label mates, The Soul Agents, a beat pop group. They had formed in 1964 and by 1966 consisted of Jerry Darmic on bass guitar, Roger Felice-Andrews on drums, John Green on guitar and Barry Kelly on organ.
Ronald "Ronnie" Leslie Burns AM (born 8 September 1946) is an Australian rock singer and guitarist. He fronted the Melbourne band The Flies in the early 1960s.
As a solo artist, Burns became one of Australia's most popular male pop singers from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. His first single, "Very Last Day" was released in June 1966 on Spin Records and peaked at No. 12 on Melbourne's Top 40 singles chart. His second single, "True True Lovin" followed in August and reached No. 15. Go-Set published their inaugural pop poll on 5 October, Normie Rowe won 'Australian Male Vocal' of the year – he was later called 'King of Pop' – with Burns second and Johnny Young third. Also in October, Go-Set published Australia's first National Top 40 singles chart, Burns' third single, "Coalman", which was released in January 1967, peaked at No. 6. Another Top 20 single was "Exit, Stage Right" in June. In August, Burns topped the Go-Set pop poll for 'Top Male Singer' and ABC-TV broadcast a documentary, The Life of Ronnie Burns. Over the next four years, he consistently finished third on the Go-Set pop poll.
In the early 1970s, Burns had moved from pop to more adult contemporary music, he toured the club and cabaret circuit. Further Young-penned singles were "The Prophet" in January 1971 and "If I Die" in 1972. He appeared on variety TV shows including as a judge on Young Talent Time, where Maggie Burns was a choreographer. Burns' last single, "Brand New Number One" was released in 1980 on the Fable Records label.
In the short time they were around, Steve & The Board supplied listeners with a menu of sublime and snotty garage-punk songs and a wild stage presence. Formed in late '65, the group was unusually one of the very few young Australian beat units to be allowed the indulgence of an album without a string of chart hits behind them. This situation may be attributable to the fact that Steve's dad just happened to be the boss of Spin Records -- producer, songwriter and entrepreneur Nat Kipner, who had previously been one of the partners in Ivan Dayman's Sunshine label.
Nat had formed a close relationship with The Bee Gees. In 1966 he saved them from being dropped from the Leedon label by Festival Records, persuading the company to transfer them to the Spin label and co-produced most of their last Australian recordings with Ozzie Byrne at his St Clair studio in Hurstville. Through his father, Steve Kipner and the band became good mates with the Gibb brothers. Colin Petersen drummed on many of the Bee Gees Spin recording in 1966, and Carl Keats is also probably the only person to have ever written a song specifically for the Bee Gees -- "Lonely Winter" (1966). Steve & The Board returned the favour by covering Barry's "Little Miss Rhythm & Blues" on their Giggle Eyed Goo LP. The album was recorded at the end of 1966 with Colin Petersen, but he quit immediately after the sessions and head to the UK soon after.
A particularly interesting piece of Steve & The Board trivia is that Brisbane-born drummer Colin Peterson was a noted child actor. Colin will be known to generations of Australians for his portrayal of the irrepressible young larrikin Smiley in the classic 1950s Australian film of that name, and he also appeared in The Scamp and A Cry in the Streets.
Nat Kipner penned the band's first single, the rude and raucous "Giggle Eyed Goo", which cheekily copped a line in the bridge from a contemporaneous toilet-paper commercial jingle -- "It's pink and blue and primrose too". This remarkable piece of ratbag punk-rock became a sizable hit in Eastern states in '66, and was followed up by a great rocking track with possibly one of the corniest garage rock titles ever: "I Call My Woman Hinges ('Cos She's Something To Adore)".
Colin Petersen's replacement was Geoff Bridgford, a solid player who went on to join Melbourne soul stylists The Groove. Geoff played on Steve and The Board's final single, "Sally Was a Good Old Girl"/ "Good for Nothing Sue" (January 1967), but the group broke up soon afterwards, in May 1967.
Guitarist, singer, songwriter and author Tony Barber is one of the unsing heroes of the Beat Boom in Australia. Rock historian Dean Mittelhauser considered him "one of our most underrated performers from the Sixties" and felt that Tony had "played a bigger part in the success of Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs that has been generally credited".
Tony was one of the many music-crazy young migrants who arrived in Australia in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and he had played in a minor band called The Electrons before leaving the UK. Within weeks of his arrival in Australia in 1964 he met a cocky young singer called Billy Thorpe in Kings Cross and he was immediately drafted in as the fifth member of Billy's backing band, The Aztecs. Tony was already developing into a competent pop writer and he composed both sides of the Aztec's first single "Blue Day" / You don't love me", released on the Linda Lee label in April 1964.
Two days before The Aztecs' next recording session, Tony received a 'care package' from his brother in the UK that contained the Rolling Stones' first EP. Afer hearing The Stones' version of Lieber & Stoller's "Poison Ivy", Tthe Aztecs decided to record the song on their next single. It's now a matter of history that their version (widely regarded as being superior to The Stones') shot to #1, became one of the biggest Australian pop hits of the year, kept The Beatles out of the top spot in the Sydney charts in the very midst of their tour, and made Billy and The Aztecs into national stars. Tony featured on the next three Aztecs singles, "Mashed Potato" "Sick and Tired" and "Over The rainbow" -- all of which were major hits -- but in late 1965 Tony and the rest of The Aztecs quit en masse, mainly because of ongoing financial wrangles with manager John Harrigan.
After leaving The Aztecs, Tony and fellow Aztec Vince Maloney formed the shortlived Vince & Tony's Two, with John Shields on bass and Jimmy Thompson on drums. In late 1965 Tony was signed as a solo artist to the newly formed Everybody's label, which had been established by Clyde Packer's Consolidated Press. Tony's solo debut single (produced by Nat Kipner) was a thumping beat original called "Someday", which it was one of the first (and only) four singles issued on Everybody's. None of these singles -- including Tony's -- was unsuccessful on first release because of resistance from radio DJs who (not unreasonably) regarded the label as blatant cross-promotion for Packer's Everybody's magazine and refused to name it on air.
Although he was signed to Spin as a recording artist, Tony also worked with another independent label during this period, the Melbourne-based Phono Vox. He produced several singles by Phon Vox artists, including Denise Drysdale and The Bentbeaks, and he also wrote the A-side of Denise's single "Sunshine Shadow". In late 1967, after his Spin contract had ended, Tony released one single under his own name on Phono Vox, but this proved to be his swansong as a recording artist. During 1967 Tony married his girlfriend Sue Peck, a staffer with Go-Set magazine, and soon after he left the pop scene to concentrate on business ventures and raising a family. In the 1980s he reunited with his old friend Billy Thorpe in the successful 'Sunshine Friends' soft toy enterprise.
In 2002, after more than thirty years away from the limelight, Tony reunited with Billy and the original Aztecs for the historic Long Way To The Top concert tours. His experiences inspired him to write a memoir of the tour and his early days as a pop musician, entitled Long Way Til You Drop. Regrettably, there was opposition to the book from some of those involved in the LWTTT tour, fuelled by pre-publication media hype that suggested it would be a tell-all exposé. In the event, Tony's book proved to be an entertaining, witty and affectionate account of an important chapter in Australian rock history.