Saturday, October 12, 2013

Various Artists - Devastator (1977)

(Various Artists 1976-1977)
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Here's another compilation album, this time it is one of my favourite albums, partly because of the amazing Front Cover artwork and partly for the great selection of artists & tracks from 1977.  This album has had more spins on my turntable than I can count, but I never tirer from listening to it.  Featuring bands such as Jo Jo Zep, The Saints, AC/DC, Redhouse, Flash & The Pan  and solo artists like Harpo and Ray Sawyer, this compilation has something for anyone who appreciates 70's music.
The following are brief notes on the bands and their albums from which the tracks were taken.

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Mark Holden
Mark Holden's career defies the limits of the capsule biography. Born in Adelaide in 1954, he was a top pop star in Australia with regular appearances on Countdown and had five hit singles 1976-1977.
In 1976, he released his breakthrough record, "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again". As the single became a national hit, Mark left Target and transferred his activities to Melbourne where he began appearing regularly on all the top nat
Meanwhile, Mark's next single, 'I Wanna Make You My Lady', sold even better than its predecessor and, in October 76, he released his second album, Let Me Love You, which sold over 50,000 copies during the next six months. That same month he began appearing in the television series Young Doctors, which was screened on the nine network. In November, Mark made his first big live appearance at the Superock concert in Melbourne and received a tumultuous reception. At the TV Week King of Pop awards for 1976, he was voted Best Newcomer. Two more singles followed — 'Last Romance' (November 76), and 'Hey My Love' (February 77).
The new year got off to a great start with Mark winning two television logic awards, one for the Best New Talent, and the second for the Most Popular Teenage Personality. Now a recognised star, he headlined his own TV special for the 0/10 network called All Need Is Love.
Mark On Countdown with Red Carnation
Mark spent April of 1977 writing and preparing for his third album (Encounter). The following month he travelled to England to gather additional material for recording purposes. The Encounter album was assembled and released in August. By the end of the year, it obtained sales of over 50,000 copies. The first single to be lifted from the LP was 'Reach Out For The One Who Loves You'.
In recent years he has been on Australian TV as an Australian Idol and X Factor judge, and he has also worked in various roles as a radio presenter. Along the way he completed his legal studies and now practises as a barrister in Melbourne.

ional television shows (Countdown, the Don Lane Show, and, naturally, on old friend, Ernie Sigley's show). However, the record did take a little time to get off the ground as he ran into trouble with the Musicians' Union over payment of musicians who appeared on the promotional film clip. As they numbered over thirty, its screening became an uneconomic proposition and the song therefore failed to get its share of TV exposure.
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TMG
British-born singer-songwriter Ted Mulry first became known through such sweet, melodic songs as his own Julia (1970) and Vanda & Young's Falling In Love Again (1970). His career really took off in the mid-70s with the Ted Mulry Gang (later TMG), a rocking goodtime band familiar through TV's Countdown and such hits as "Jump In My Car" (1975) and "Darktown Strutters' Ball" (1976).
The success of "Jump In My Car" (a number one hit and total sales of over 80,000 copies) stimulated new interest in their debut album and by May '76 it had gone gold. Early in the piece though one track on the LP, "Dyna", had caused some problems. It was a popular song on stage and one verse included a four letter word which had to be blanked out on the album.
The band's next single, 'Darktown Strutter's Ball'/'She's For Me', made the top five in charts all around Australia and at the end of May, 1976 they released their second album entitled 'Struttin'. A track from it called "Crazy" was lifted from the LP and it became their third hit.
To promote the album's release the group set off on their first national tour ('Struttin' Across Australia') and in the meantime a contract for world-wide release of their records was signed with Phonogram. Then in June they teamed up with Sherbet for their 80 day Australian tour.
Ted and the boys wasted no time in coming up with their third album Steppin' Out, which was the first record by the band to carry their new abbreviated name of TMG. It was released in October '76 and displayed a greater emphasis on melody and harmony than their first two albums. It sold rapidly, going double gold after only two weeks in the shops. Coinciding with its release the band set off on yet another tour around Australia.
The title track from the album was released as a single and it charted in November '76. Then in January '77 a further song, "Jamaica Rum", was lifted from the LP and it became the band's fifth hit single.
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Pussyfoot
Pussyfoot was the name of a British recording act of the late 1970s. The act consisted of former The Mixtures member, songwriter, producer and musician Mick Flinn, and vocalist Donna Jones. Flinn remained behind the scenes, and Jones was marketed as a solo artist. In 1976 they recorded a disco song "The Way That You Do It", and first attracted public attention when the song's suggestive lyrics caused it to be banned by the BBC.
In Australia, the television show Countdown began playing the video clip, and exploited the British ban on playing the song. Over several months, Jones became a sensation and a sex symbol. The song was released as a single by EMI Records and spent eight weeks at number one on the singles chart from December 1976.
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Harpo
Harpo (born Jan Harpo Torsten Svensson) is a Swedish pop star known under the stage name Harpo. He was popular in Sweden and around Europe in the 1970s and is best known for his worldwide hit "Moviestar", which reached number 24 in the UK Singles Chart, and number 2 in the Australian Singles Chart in 1976.
He released a number of follow up singles, notably "Motorcycle Mama" (number 9 in Germany) and "Horoscope" (number 1 in Denmark and number 3 in Germany), as well as releasing a number of releatively successful albums, including 'Smile' from which this featured track was taken.
In 1977, the newspapers made a fuss about Harpo when he refused to go to Military Service and he consequently went to prison for a year. Towards the end of seventies he left his musical career and started to raise horses and to paint.
In 2005, he continued his music career and published new album material and continued touring in Germany where are his most devoted fans. Harpo has continued to work in the music business, releasing an album of new material as recently as 2005 and continues to tour to this day. He remains popular in Germany and toured there throughout 2007.
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Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids
Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids, now known as Flash Cadillac, were an American retro rock 'n' roll band. They are best known for their portrayal of the group Herbie and the Heartbeats in the film American Graffiti, to which they contributed three songs: cover versions of "At the Hop" and "Louie, Louie", and the original composition "She's So Fine".
They appeared on American Bandstand - one of the only bands to do so without having released an album. They were offered the job of playing the band Herbie and the Heartbeats in the George Lucas movie, American Graffiti. Later they appeared in an episode of the TV show Happy Days as Johnny Fish and the Fins, and in the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now. The band commissioned surf artist Jim Evans to paint the cover of their third album, Sons of the Beaches.
The band hit the hot 100 in 1974 with their version of the Barry Blue/Lynsey De Paul classic, "Dancing on a Saturday Night" and then again in 1976 with "Did You Boogie (With Your Baby)" (peaking at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100) from their album 'Sons of the Beaches'.
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Bay City Rollers
The Bay City Rollers were a Scottish pop band whose popularity was highest in the 1970s. The British Hit Singles & Albums noted that they were "tartan teen sensations from Edinburgh", and were "the first of many acts heralded as the 'Biggest Group since The Beatles' and one of the most screamed-at teeny-bopper acts of the 1970s". For a relatively brief but fervent period (nicknamed "Rollermania"), they were worldwide teen idols. The group's line-up featured numerous changes over the years, but the classic line-up during its heyday included guitarists Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood, singer Les McKeown, bassist Alan Longmuir, and drummer Derek Longmuir.
By early 1975, they were one of the highest-selling acts in the UK. That year saw a successful UK tour (which prompted newspaper headlines about "Rollermania"), and a 20-week UK television series, Shang-a-Lang.
A cover of the Four Seasons' "Bye, Bye, Baby" stayed at No. 1 in the UK for six weeks in the spring of 1975, selling nearly a million copies to become the biggest seller of the year, and the subsequent single "Give a Little Love" topped the charts that summer, their second No. 1 hit. Two full-length LPs were produced during this period: Once Upon a Star (1975) and Wouldn't You Like It? (1975).
At the peak of their popularity in the UK, comparisons were made to The Beatles. Also by this time, Bay City Roller fans had a completely distinctive style of dress, the main elements of which were calf-length tartan trousers and tartan scarves.
The group released an album titled 'Dedication' in 1976, and hit the charts with a cover version of the Dusty Springfield song "I Only Want to Be with You", which reached US No. 12 and No.8 in Australia. [extract from wikipedia]
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Ray Sawyer (aka Dr Hook)
Ray Sawyer, the spirited, eye patched lead singer of the group Dr. Hook, whose soulful and sometimes comic vocals fronted the bands breakthrough to the “Cover Of The Rolling Stone” an international superstar status in the early 70's and 80's, has been touring the United States, Canada and Countries Overseas, since the break-up of the Band in 1984.  His trademark eye patch was acquired following a 1967 auto accident that left him without his right eye and kept him laid back for two years. When he was back on his feet, Ray set out for Los Angeles in 1968, working his way back east to New York where the nucleus of Dr. Hook was formed in time to record the score to a Dustin Hoffman film "Who is Harry Kellerman (and why is he saying those terrible things about me)".
Accumulating 60 Gold & Platinum Records worldwide with Dr. Hook, He has gained the confidence of a seasoned entertainer, Ray still to this day travels the World with his Band.
Ray's first solo adventure (selftitled) only had a minor hit with "Daddy's Little Girl" and the album was a characterisic mixture of sleazy humour and country-music sentiment which his band was noted for [extract from http://www.raysawyer.com/]
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Flash And The Pan
The title was actually a pseudonym for songwriters, producers, musicians and ex-Easybeats George Young and Harry Vanda. Their partnership began in 1963 when the two met having both just migrated to Australia. They went on to become part of the Easybeats a year later and the band became one of our most successful groups ever.
Following the dissolution of the Easybeats, George and Harry returned to the UK early in 1970. Their financial situation was not very healthy at this point. Gradually they found work as independent producer/musician/songwriters. They also formed a session group to work on the co-op style label Youngblood, and set up a buy-a-session situation. The idea was that the financer could pay for a session and the group would provide the songs and the playing. The result could be released under any name. Their releases included some under the name of the Marcus Hook Roll Band.
Interestingly enough, although the Marcus Hook Roll Band album was done for a London company, it was actually recorded at the EMI studios in Sydney during a trip back to Australia. Apparently Malcolm and Angus of AC/DC were also on the album. Harry and George even had offers to form an actual group to promote the record. However, this was not the direction they wanted to move in.
Vanda and Young
Instead, they concentrated on promoting, writing for and producing a number of extremely successful Australian artists including Stevie Wright, William Shakespeare, John Paul Young and AC/DC. By now they were regarded as the country's most successful song-writers ever. It was now time for their next project.
This was to write and produce for themselves. They recorded "Hey! St. Peter" during 1976 and adopted the title of Flash & the Pan. The single made number three in Australia and later in 1977 it made the charts in a variety of European countries including Belgium and Holland (Harry's birthplace). Despite the record's success, Harry and George confirmed that their primary objective was to continue writing and producing.
For their admirers an album called The Vanda—Young Story was released on EMI in 1976. It included a collection of tracks they had created, by various artists, as well as a couple by the duo themselves.
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The Walter Murphy Band
Walter Anthony Murphy, Jr. was an American instrumentalist, songwriter, and arranger. He rose to fame with the hit instrumental "A Fifth of Beethoven", a disco adaptation of passages from the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, in 1976, when disco was rising in popularity.
In 1974, Murphy was writing a disco song for a commercial, when the producer gave him the idea of "updating classical music," which "nobody had done lately." He then mailed a demo tape to various record labels in New York. Although response was unimpressive, a rendition of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5 In 'C' Minor" generated interest amongst the owner of Private Stock Records, Larry Uttal. Murphy agreed to produce the song under contract and recorded it in 1976, creatively dubbing it "A Fifth of Beethoven". The record was credited to "Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band" upon encouragement from the company, who believed it would become a hit if credited to a group rather than an individual. However, two days following the record's release, Private Stock discovered the existence of another Big Apple Band; the record was later re-released and credited to "The Walter Murphy Band" before dropping the tradition altogether.
The song was a smash hit, and reached number 80 on the Hot 100 on May 29, 1976, eventually reaching number 1 within nineteen weeks, where it stayed for one week. An album under the same name was released later during the year; the album notably featured a rendition of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" entitled "Flight '76", which reached number 44 on the Hot 100. He released four albums within the following six years, and in 1982, released his final single, a medley of "Themes From E.T.which climbed to 47 on the Hot 100. [extract from wikipedia]
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The Sylvers
The Sylvers were a popular R&B/soul and disco family group during the 1970s. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, the family would later relocate to Watts, California.
In 1976, following the recording of their next album, 'Something Special', Charmaine, one of the original members, left the group. "Something Special," was the family's biggest selling LP, reaching #13 on the Billboard album charts. Produced by Perren, the LP spawned another smash million-seller, "Hot Line" (#5 on Billboard Hot 100) as well as "High School Dance" (#17 on Billboard Hot 100).
Now there are some groups whom you really can't appreciate if you know nothing but their hits--groups that, for all their unevenness, produce enough good music to earn a special place in the hearts of listeners avid for something more than catchy tunes. And while The Sylvers can't claim to deserve "retrospectives," and will never have afficianadoes raving about unreleased recordings, they deserve better than to have their early work completely ignored by this compilation.

So if by some miracle you like the Sylvers' music, but weren't around back in the mid-70s (before the silliness of disco and the wretched "Boogie Fever"), then do yourself a favor: try to get recordings of the first three Sylvers' albums (entitled, respectively, The Sylvers, The Sylvers II, and The Sylvers III). The first shows a photograph of the original six Sylvers, and though time may have made the absolutely huge afros the Sylvers' men wear a little comical, you will have to agree that never in the history of music has there been a group whose members, male and female, were so incredibly beautiful! As for the music, the Sylvers may suffer in comparison to the Jackson 5 (as they were known then) because their music was not as infectious, but then, as far as musical sophistication goes, the Sylvers were infinitely more inventive. To hear this, you need only consider the fact that the Jackson 5 were mostly earthy energy, while the Sylvers could combine earthiness with the angelic.
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Little River Band
Original line-up: GRAHAM COBLES (guitar/vocals); BEEB BIRTLES (guitar/vocals); GLENN SHORROCK (lead vocals); RICK FORMOSA (guitar); ROGER McLACHLAN (bass); DEREK PELLICI (drums).
The band was formed in 1975 as a direct descendant of sophisticated pop group Mississippi (which included Graham, Beeb and Derek). They added Rick and Roger (who toured with Godspell) and then last, but not least, Glenn (ex-Twilights and Axiom). Apparently the name was derived from a sign bearing the name Little River which they spotted while driving to one of their early gigs in Geelong.
Their aim was to establish a sound based on tight, intricate harmonies backed up by expert musicianship. Glenn Wheatley (ex-bass player with the Masters Apprentices) took over their management and they wasted no time in starting work on their first album. In September, 1975 the band's debut single 'Curiosity (Killed The Cat)' was released. The song was written by Beeb and was taken from their then recently completed 'Little River Band album'. Both releases became immediate best sellers and the LP had gone gold by February, 1976. In January 76 the band's second single, 'Emma' made the charts and by now they were being recognized as Australia's most sophisticated rock group. 
Fuelled by the successful Australian hit singles "Curiosity Killed the Cat" and "Emma", the band began making promotional visits to the US in September 1976, which resulted in a US hit single, "It's a Long Way There" (edited down from the album track, which ran over 8 minutes long). It broke into the US Top 30 and galvanised the commitment of the band members.
Note: once you hear the full album version of this song, the single edit becomes insignificant in comparison, as it is missing the brilliant guitar solos that make this track one of their best releases. It's a bit like drinking decaf coffee!
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Redhouse
Original Line-up: JOHNNY DALLIMORE (lead guitar, vocals); JAQUES DE JONGH (second guitar); JACK GREEN (bass); GARY CROTHALL (drums).
The band was founded in Geelong by Jack Green and by mid 1973 they were being recognised as the town's top group. In those days they were known as the Redhouse Roll Band and they even released a single, 4O Lucky Man' which was issued on Atlantic in November 73.
They worked the pub circuit in Melbourne constantly and their only hang up seemed to be a number of line-up changes.
In June, 1976 Jaques left to join Hush and was replaced by GRAHAM MATTERS (who had appeared in the movie Oz and in the rock musical The Rocky Horror Show) on vocals and keyboards. At the same time GARY QUINCE joined on rhythm guitar and the band, now five piece, shortened its name to Redhouse.
Later in the year they entered the charts with a song they had penned themselves called 'I Like Dancing' which reached #21 on the Australian charts. It was followed by another single, 'Who's Foolin' and an album entitled One More Squeeze which apparently the boys were not happy with, since they had not been involved in the mixing of the tapes.
Then in March, 1977 Gary left to join Finch and he was replaced by ROBIN RILEY (ex-Lois Lane). Midway through the year they supported Sherbet on their national tour and a third single, Thank You'was released.
More hassles occurred in September with their split from EMI and Graham's departure from their ranks to take part in the stage show Chorus Line. A short time later Robin left and Jaques rejoined temporarily while Hush were off the road.
During December the band completely reformed. Jack took over management of the group and Gary's brother, RICK CRO-THALL (who had been part of their road crew) took over on bass. At the same time JOEY AMENTA (ex-Taste) joined on guitar. The final line-up consisted of Rick, Gary, Joey and John.
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Jo Jo Zep & The Falcon
Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons are an Australian blues and rock music band which features singer, songwriter and saxophonist, Joe Camilleri (aka Jo Jo Zep). The band was active in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and had several Australian chart hits, including "Security", "Hit and Run", and "Shape I'm In".
In late 1975, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons were formed in Melbourne as Jo Jo Zep and His Little Helpers. The band was put together after Ross Wilson (ex-Daddy Cool), who was waiting out his recording contract, had turned to producing other artists for the label, Oz Records. He decided to produce a version of Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run", as a one-off Christmas single for Mushroom Records.
Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons signed with Oz Records and, in July 1976, released their first single, "Beating Around the Bush". The track was written and sung by Burt and peaked at No. 73 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. The song was also one of two tracks by the group on Wilson's soundtrack for the feature film Oz (1976). The follow-up single was a cover of Otis Redding's "Security" sung by Camilleri, which peaked at No. 98. In February 1977, the band released their debut album, 'Don't Waste It', which was produced by Wilson and contained both singles. The album featured lead vocal turns by Camilleri, Burt and Power. The songwriting was mostly by Burt, with a few cover tunes, and one song by Camilleri. Although the intent was to be a serious R&B band, the musical direction was never set in stone. The band released 8 albums up to 1984, when they finally called it a day, and Joe Camilleri set off the form the Black Sorrows.
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The Saints
The Saints were to Australia what the Sex Pistols were to Britain and the Ramones to America. Picking up the germ planted by the defunct Stooges, MC5, Velvet Underground, and New York Dolls, The Saints sparked the Far East punk rock movement with a blasting, blistering, scorching sound no one had heard before. Moreover, The Saints were blitzing the unsuspecting in their home of Brisbane in 1973, long before the Sex Pistols or the Ramones had even begun. Australians today hold The Saints in greater reverence than any rock band in its history, save for the Easybeats. After their incendiary, self-released debut 7" single
"(I'm) Stranded" b/w "No Time" blew minds of a raving British press on import in 1976, subsequent sales of the single proved to the industry that the upstart punk movement was in fact commercially viable. The Saints pocketed a worldwide deal with EMI Australia, who rush-released "(I'm) Stranded" in Australia and Britain (and in the U.S., on the heavyweight punk label of the time, Sire Records) to capitalize on the new trend. Their first LP was actually nothing but eight rough-and-raw demo tracks the band had no intention of releasing, plus the two sides of the much better, cleaner-sounding single. The heavy, buzzing racket on the eight demo tracks borders on unintelligible, they're so cheaply recorded, but nothing can stop a collection of cracklers this intense, with two absolutely astounding, blues-heavy ballads thrown in for great balance -- "Messin' with the Kid" and "Story of Love" drip with genuine, bratty soul. Of the hard-fast tracks, even today's punk fans are amazed at the sheer tenacity and outright fire of "Nights in Venice," "One Way Street," and "Erotic Neurotic." Hear history burning. [extract from http://www.allmusic.com]
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AC/DC
Original line-up -MALCOLM YOUNG (guitar); ANGUS YOUNG (guitar); PETER CLARK (drums); ROB BAILEY (bass); DAVE EVANS (vocals).
Malcolm and Angus were younger brothers of ex-Easybeat George Young who played an important role in advising and directing the band. The boys began playing with a variety of musicians in 1973, consolidating with the above line-up in April 1974.
The band began working to develop the AC/DC sound, but their progress was temporarily delayed with Rob and Peter leaving to be replaced by PHILLIP RUDD (drums) and MARK EVANS (bass).
This change was followed by the departure of vocalist Dave Evans to join Rabbit, and led to the new notorious line-up including singer BON SCOTT. Bon was an experienced rock performer, having worked in top bands Fraternity and the Valentines and seemed to be the spark AC/DC needed to set the rock scene on fire.
Their single, 'Can I Sit Next To You Girl?', sold only moderately. However, the follow-up, 'Baby, Please Don't Go' (which was a hit for British blues group, Them), entered the charts in March 1975 and became a national hit.
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was their third studio album, released in 1976. The album has been certified 6x platinum in the US, selling at least six million copies, becoming the third-highest selling album by AC/DC in the US. The album contained a number of fan-favourite songs, including the title track "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", "Jail Break" and "Problem Child".
The single "Jailbreak" preceded the album's release in Australia and the UK. After the album's release, the single for "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" was released in Australia in October 1976, in the UK in January 1977, and in the US in 1981 (when the album was finally released there).
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap also led to more AC/DC appearances on Australia's Countdown music program, following those in support of High Voltage and T.N.T. These appearances included a live performance of the album's title track, as well as a music video for "Jailbreak".
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This post consists of a vinyl rip in MP3 format (320kps) and includes full album artwork, along with all album covers featured and the record labels for this EMI compilation.
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Track Listing
01 - Last Romance - MARK HOLDEN
02 - Jamaica Rum - T.M.G.
03 - Way You Do It (The) - PUSSYFOOT
04 - Horoscope - HARPO
05 - Did You Boogie… - FLASH CADILLAC AND THE CONTINENTAL KIDS
06 - I Only Wanna Be With You - BAY CITY ROLLERS
07 - (One More Year Of) Daddy's Little Girl - RAY SAWER
08 - Hey St. Peter - FLASH IN THE PAN
09 - Fifth Of Beethoven - THE WALTER MURPHY BAND
10 - Hot Line - SYLVERS
11 - It's A Long Way There (edit) - LITTLE RIVER BAND
12 - I Like Dancing - RED HOUSE
13 - I Wanna Make You My Lady - MARK HOLDEN
14 - Security - JO JO ZEP AND THE FALCONS
15 - I'm Stranded - SAINTS
16 - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC/DC

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Devastator Link (124Mb)  New Link 31/03/2016
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4 comments:

  1. Useless trivia - the cover art is a reproduction of a 1970s paperback cover ("The Green Brain" by Frank Herbert, best known for the "Dune" novels). It's by Bruce Pennington, who painted literally hundred of British paperback covers - mostly SF, Fantasy and Horror - from the late 1960s through to the early 1980s.

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    1. Thanks for the background info on the cover - always interested in facts surrounding an album, particularly one that I'm fond of.
      A similar story for the cover of Trower's 'Beyond The Mist' which is posted here also.

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  2. can you pleas help me buy mine? 45rpm and 78? arnoldpoper@gmail.com

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