Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Flying Circus - Selftitled (1969) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1969 - 71)
The Flying Circus was a pioneering Australian country rock band who had a number of pop hits in Australia from 1968 to 1971 and then re-located to Canada from 1971 to 1974 where they also achieved a degree of success. Flying Circus are credited as one of the original links between Aussie pop music and country
The Flying Circus were formed in August 1968 in Sydney, Australia starting out as a country/folk-rock band. They performed "harmony-rich covers of Byrds, Dylan and Dillards country songs". Like The Byrds, a prominent part of their early sound came from the featured use of a 12 string Rickenbacker guitar. They were brought together by lead guitarist Doug Rowe who had been a member of New Zealand band, The Castaways, before coming to Australia. The original lineup was Doug Rowe [lead guitar, vocals], James Wynne [lead vocals, rhythm guitar], Bob Hughes [bass, vocals] and Colin Walker [drums]. Bob Hughes left in early 1969 and went on to become a well known screen actor with credits including the hit TV sitcom Hey Dad..! and ABBA: The Movie. He was replaced by bassist Warren Ward, an experienced musician.
They signed to EMI records in late 1968 and made one of their first major appearances at an outdoor concert in Sydney's Domain on Australia Day 1969. After recording, with the original line-up, a cover of the song, "Shame Shame" (which was not put out out at that time), they had their first chart success soon after with their debut single, a cover of the Buzz Cason - Mac Gayden song, "Hayride", in early 1969. As the song was firmly in the bubblegum pop genre (e.g. the Chipmunks sounding intro), this resulted in the band being branded with a bubblegum image, although their stage performances and later recordings were in the country rock vein.
Nothwithstanding its trite nature, "Hayride" was initially banned from release in New Zealand because of the lyric "...making love in the hay..." The song gained vital Australian national exposure thanks to a pioneering promotional film-clip which was shown on nationally-screened TV pop shows like Uptight!. Their second single, another Cason-Gayden song, "La La", was an even bigger hit but this cemented their image as a bubblegum band.
The group recorded their self-titled debut album around this time. The LP was an odd mixture of styles. Alongside the band's original country-rock numbers they included their pop hits and a medley of songs from the popular musical Hair.
Greg Grace left in June 1969 (to form Hot Cottage) and Warren Ward left in September,(to form Stonehenge. He later appeared on the hit "Boppin' The Blues" by Blackfeather). Warren Ward was replaced as bass player by Terry Wilkins (ex-Starving Wild Dogs, Quill).
"Run Run Run", released in December 1969 was their last "bubblegum pop" release. It sounded much like the first two Cason-Gayden hits although this one was actually written by Doug Rowe. [extract from Wikipedia]
For a full biography / discography on The Flying Circus, see Milesago
This rip was taken from my vinyl copy at 320kps and includes cover art and label scans. (Thanks to Deutros at Midoztouch for the home-made CD back cover). I have also included a couple of bonus tracks - their 1969 single "Run, Run, Run" which was recorded after they released their debut album and "Shame, Shame" which was actually their first recording but was not included on their debut LP. (Thanks to Dave at Midoztouch for "Shame, Shame")
Track Listing
01. Hayride
02. She Don't Care About Time
03. The Last Train
04. Scarborough Fair/Canticle
05 Groovy Night
06. I Think I'm Gonna Feel Better
07. So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star
08. La La
09. Twilight Journey
10. To Put Up With You
11. You Ain't Going Nowhere
12. Hair Medley: Aquarius, I Got Life, Hair, Let The Sunshine In
Bonus Tracks
13. Run, Run, Run (Single A-Side, 1969)
14. Shame, Shame (Previously Unreleased)
Band Members:
Doug Rowe (lead guitar, vocals) 1968-75
Colin Walker (drums) 1968-75
Greg Grace (vocals, harmonica) 1968-69, 1971-74
Bob Hughes (bass, vocals) 1968
Red McKelvie (keyboards, lap steel, vocals) 1970
Sam See (keyboards, vocals) 1970-71, 1974-75
Warren Ward (bass, vocals) 1968-69
Terry Wilkins (bass, vocals) 1969-73
James Wynne (rhythm guitar, vocals) 1968-71
Flying Circus Link (97Mb) REPOST


  1. Hey there folks...
    Thanks so much for this post... I used to have an all greyish-black LP of The Flying Circus which only had Hayride? on it...this is great to get their "hits" all together... top effort an much appreciated, Go Queensland

  2. Thanks for dropping by pug51...hope you enjoyed the (hay)ride...LOL
    Sorry - a bit of Victorian humor.

  3. so hard to find - thank you very much! and now, the search continues for their other stuff...!

  4. Grimsby Ont. will always miss you Doug