Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dragon - O Zambezi (1978) + Bonus Track

(New Zealand 1973 - 1979, 1982 - Present)
Dragon's story is an interesting one. They started out as a prog-rock group in the early seventies but were met with general indifference. It took some personnel changes and a move from Auckland to Sydney for their careers to take off.

The most notable of the personnel changes was the addition of vocalist Marc Hunter who replaced the departed Graeme Collins at the request of his brother and Dragon guitarist, Todd Hunter.

Marc Hunter looked the part and had the voice and the change of venue was just what the band needed. The move to Sydney put Dragon on a stratospheric trajectory in their adopted homeland.

Following their success in Australia they decided to try to crack the US market on a disastrous tour supporting Johnny Winter. After inciting a crowd in Texas by derogatorily insinuating they preferred the romantic company of the same gender. Marc Hunter related the story in a 1994 interview:

I remember seeing someone standing holding a pistol and shouting 'I'm gonna kill you, you son of a bitch'... I didn't know it but by this point the rest of the band had left the stage. I was still singing because I could still hear the music in my head. It took ages to clear the pile of debris on the stage - broken glass, bottles, chairs, half a table - but I was totally unaware of this, I thought I was going over really well and I'm standing there in a crucifixion pose with my arms out, really gone, with heaps of eye make-up on, looking like some sort of twisted priest. And apparently Johnny Winter was taking bets on the side of the stage as to how long it would take before somebody shot me. Then I turned around and saw no one was on stage so I realised I wasn't going over too well after all and I went back to the dressing room and everyone was just standing there... I said 'We went great, weren't we terrific?' At that stage of the band I was really a shocking sod. And all the record company people were just staring at me like I was an 'insectoid' from Mars. And so that was it for us for that trip to America."

Marc & Todd Hunter
O Zambezi was released just before Dragon's ill-fated tour of the United States in 1978. From start to finish this album is a catchy capsule of late seventies rock. The album only peaked at 17 in Dragon's native New Zealand but in Australia it was a much different story as the album shot all the way up to #3 largely on the strength of the #1 hit single "Are You Old Enough?" and the catchy "Still In Love With You". To this day, O Zambezi remains Dragon's highest charting album and largely on the strength of their catalog from this era of the band, Dragon was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2008.

If you're new to Dragon O Zambezi is an excellent album to start with as it's a snapshot in time of the band at the pinnacle of their success when they were firing on all cylinders making infectious uptempo pop music.

On a sad footnote keyboardist Paul Hewson died of a drug overdose on January 9, 1985 and the excesses of the rock and roll lifestyle also caught up with vocalist Marc Hunter. He was forced to retire from performing when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1997. Unfortunately, he inevitably succumbed to cancer on July 17, 1998. [extract from perplexio76]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my Rainbow CD release and includes full album artwork for CD and LP along with label scans.  Although their debut album 'Sunshine' is a classic, this album comes a close second in my opinion and is packed full of great tunes.
I have also chosen to include as a bonus track, their non-album single "Konkaroo" which was released between their 1977 Running Free album and the 1978 O Zambezi release. The track is also available on their Greatest Hits Vol.1 album released by Portrait in 1979. It is strange that this high quality release found its way on a low budget label such as Rainbow. Because I found the CD at the market I am unsure what its original selling price was but suspect it was a low cost release, indicating that CBS had probably lost faith in the band. They deserved better in my opinion.The cover for this Rainbow is shown right
Track Listing
01 - O Zambezi
02 - Still In Love With You
03 - Are You Old Enough
04 - Politics
05 - Reach The Top
06 - Civilization
07 - Midnight Grooves
08 - One Look Across The Water
09 - Company
10 - Burn Down The Bridges
11 - Konkaroo (Bonus Single)

Dragon were:
Marc Hunter (Lead Vocals)
Todd Hunter (Bass Guitar, Vocals)
Robert Taylor (Lead Guitar, Vocals)
Paul Hewson (Keyboards, Vocals)
Kerry Jacobson (Drums)

Dragon FLAC Link (268Mb)
Dragon MP3 Link (113Mb)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Soundtrack - Music From Great Australian Films (1982)

(Australian 1982)
OK , so this post is a little out of character to what I usually post on this blog, but this album has many characteristics that I really like.  The fact that the music is associated with homegrown 'Aussie movies' and in particular features what I believe to be some of the most compelling 'soundtracks' ever released - namely 'Gallipoli' and 'Picnic At Hanging Rock'.  The hairs on the back of my neck still rise whenever I hear the haunting pan flutes playing on Picnic At Hanging Rock and am filled with emotion when Jean-Michel Jarre's "Oxygen" is played during Gallipoli. The music itself is performed by the Neon Philharmonic Orchestra with excerpts from the original soundtracks making this a wonderful listening experience.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Newsfront (Motzing)
The very grand opening comes as a momentary surprise. It's been easy to forget the warnings that ran through this Australian classic, and to remember best Newsfront's tremendous, foot-tapping arrangement of The Road to Cundagai. This great Mammy song has never been put to music better than in Newsfront. You can judge from this track of it, because conductor Motzing created the Newsfront score.

Phil Noyce's film (1978) is about Australian news-reel cameramen — and through them about recent history. At first there is friendly rivalry. But as the '40s turn into the '60s what began as a world of mateship ends in angry political divisions, dreams of big international money — and TV putting the movie newsreels out.

Producer David Elfick
Director/screenplay Phil Noyce (from script by Bob Ellis)
Leading players Bill Hunter, Chris Haywood, Wendy Hughes, John Ewart, Angela Punch, John Dease, Bryan Brown

Gallipoli (Jarre/Albinoni/arranged by Motzing)
This was never meant to be a war film. It's about going to war — why and how the Australian
young men of 1914-15 flung themselves into a volunteer army, lied their way in if they had to.
Never forgetting the ultimate tragedy, David Williamson's script is often funny, and makes a great yarn. Young Archy is a sprinter who'll be in world class — given time. He wins his first big race in an outback WA town, then tries to enlist but they find out he's under age. He and Frank (the runner he won from) head out together for Perth, almost perish in the desert, but get through still laughing — and into the army.

They meet again at the staging camp near Cairo, and race again for the sudden sheer fun of it, across the desert and up to the top of a pyramid. It's mateship at its happiest and most likeable. But orders come through to move, and the score has been warning us of tragedy ahead, in the passages back grounded by the singing and crying of bullets through the air. Albinoni's lovely Slow Dance (the Adagio in G Minor) carries the emotional burden of a great Australian film.

Producers Robert Stigwood, Patricia Lovell
Director Peter Weir
Screenplay David Williamson
Photography Russell Boyd
Leading players Mark Lee, Mel Gibson, Bill Hunter, Bill Kerr, David Argue

My Brilliant Career (Schumann/arranged by Motzing)
In 1979 My Brilliant Career came probably closer than anything before or since to putting Australian film officially on the world scene through the then obligatory road of the Competition of the Festival of Film at Cannes.
Career was given a standing ovation, and the word was all over Cannes that it was on the short-short list for the Golden Palm. Of course, it couldn't win against such heavy metal as Coppola's Apocalypse Now. But it went on to commercial success, and overnight fame for Judy Davis (Sybylla) and Sam Neill (Harry).
Based on the Miles Franklin novel, it's about Sybylla, a natural-born feminist girl around the turn of the century, fighting for a life and therefore a career of her own.
She's been bred on a run-down farm. Her grandmother brings her to live in the mansion on a great grazing property, and be trained to 'make a marriage'. Sybylla does almost accept Harry the jackaroo. But there's that brilliant career to work for. Meanwhile, sometimes, she can relax with Schumann at her grandmother's grand piano.

Producer Margaret Fink
Director Gillian Armstrong
Screenplay Eleanor Whitcombe
Photography Don McAlpine
Leading players Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes, Pat Kennedy, Aileen Britton

Tall Timbers (Evans/Rasbach)
A great Australian movie of 1937. Even 80 years ago they were worrying about trees. But this talkie was about who ought to be allowed to cut them down.
Rival timber companies are fighting for a major contract, felling entire hillsides of forest by the cruel but widely-used 'timber-drive' method: dynamite the row of trees at the hill crest. and the whole forest collapses downhill, domino-style.

The inclusion in the score of the unadorned tune of Joyce Kilmer's Trees (saying that trees are more lovely than poems) might be better — but less interesting — if Tall Timbers had been about not cutting forests down at all.

Producer/director Ken G Hall
Screenplay Frank Hurley
Leading players Frank Leighton, Shirley Anne Richards, Campbell Copelin, Harvey Adams, Aileen Britton, Joe Valli

Cathy's (Child Motzing)
Her immigrant father steals her from her mum, Cathy Baikas, and takes her back home so that she can grow up Greek. Don Crombie's film gets very close to one of the most paraful sides of the migration experience. It also makes an interesting 'true' story about the real-He efforts of the Sydney Sun's 'Hot Line' reporter (Dick Wordley) to get the child back to the distracted Cathy, splendidly played by Michelle Fawdon.

The strings in Motzing's selection, here, speak of Cathy's loneliness; the clever little arrangement for electric piano and percussion talks of hope, and home.

Producers Pom Oliver, Errol Sullivan  
 Director Don Crombie 
Screenplay Ken Quinnell from Dick Wordley's book 'A Piece of Paper' 
Leading players Michelle Fawdon, Alan Cassell, Bryan Brown, Arthur Dignam, Willie Fennell

Eliza Fraser (Smeaton) 
Audiences of 1976 didn't feel the fate of Captain Fraser and his wife Eliza was as funny as David Williamson and Tim Burstall hoped. The fat Captain and his pretty wife put their ship into the infamous Moreton Bay convict settlement in 1836. After farcical bedroom adventures they sail again only to be dashed ashore and stranded with a murderous crew. They escape these to be taken by Aborigines — and enslaved, according to Eliza later. The Captain is killed. The wandering crew turn to cannibalism. Eliza is rescued and spends her days telling versions of her adventure at fairgrounds and circus sideshows.

Bruce Smeaton's music, here, is in part a clever, pop 'homage' to a Prokofiev piece about a Russian soldier-hero who never existed. Is Smeaton saying something about Eliza's tales.

Producer/director Tim Burstall
 Screenplay David Williamson
Leading players Susannah York, Trevor Howard, Noel Ferrier

Breaker Morant (Stuart/arranged by Motzing)
Nobody watching the API Awards of 1981 will forget the almost non-stop rendering of Soldiers
of the Queen as Breaker took almost every award.
Soldiers of the Queen was the ironical theme of this enormously successful film about two Australians and the Anglo-Australian remittance-man, horsebreaker and poet, 'Breaker' Morant, who in 1901, at the Boer War, were executed by the British high command on what many believe were false and political charges of unlawfully shooting Boer prisoners.

In 1980 it became Australia's third successive film to be invited to Cannes; and it brought the first Cannes award — to Jack Thompson as Best Supporting Actor (as the Australian defending officer.)

Producer Matt Carroll
Director/screenplay Bruce Beresford (screenplay from the play by Kenneth Ross)
Leading players Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, Bryart Brown, John Waters

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Smeaton)
This was Australia's first film invited to Cannes. Part of its financial failure afterwards may have been due to the tremendous hype it was buried in at Cannes. And although critics went on praising it, audiences were often alienated from the hero by the brutality of the Blacksmith
Smeaton's echoes of operatic themes fits this entirely operatic story of race, rebellion and wholesale slaughter. The dark warnings of Fate bring memories of Bizet's Carmen.

Producer/director/screenplay Fred Schepisi
Leading players Tommy Lewis, Freddy Reynolds, Ray Barren, Jack Thompson, Angela Punch

The Picture Show Man (Best)
Perhaps the most lovable of our 'small' films. It's the mid-20s, Maury is a travelling picture show man, wandering from town to town in his horse-drawn van, with his cranky arc lamp and shaky gear, his son Larry and his shiftless pianist Lou. Of course he has a rough competitor — the American, Palmer. The plot is hopeless; but the wanderings are wonderful, the scenery and camerawork lovely, John Meillon at his best as Maury, and his Tap, Tap, Tap, song-and-dance number is irresistible.

Producer/screenplay Joan Long
Director John Power
Photography Geoff Burton
Leading players John MeiHon, Rod Taylor, John Ewart, Judy Morris, Harold Hopkins

Picnic at Hanging Rock (Smeaton/Enesco/arranged by Motzing/traditional arrangement by Motzing)
1975, but even now not many can hear pan-pipes without remembering Georghe Zamphir's pipes haunting the score of this enchanting fantasy about three senior schoolgirls just disappearing forever during a bush picnic in Victoria on St Valentine's Day, 1900. Four of the girls from Miss Appleyard's boarding school outing climb the huge Hanging Rock. Only one ever comes back.

Peter Weir wove a wonderfully fascinating film around this story from the (fictional) novel by Joan Lindsay. Here, Motzing brings us reminders of those pan-pipes; and reminders of the menace of Hanging Rock.

Producers Hal and Jim McElroy
Executive producer Pat Lovell
Director Peter Weir
Screenplay Cliff Green
Leading players Rachel Roberts, Dominic Guard, Helen Morse, Jacki Weaver, Anne Lambert, Karen Robson, Jane Vallis, Christine Schuler

The Mango Tree (Wilkinson)
A lilting old-time country melody takes us back to Ronald McKie's story of the melodramas of growing up in a Queensland country town during World War One. Jamie Carr, rising 17, learns about sex from his pretty French teacher. The Professor — an alcoholic English remittance man — runs into trouble with wartime patriotism. The Preacher goes out of his brain and kills the local cop. It was good fun.

Producer/screenplay Michael Pate
Director Kevin Dobson
Leading players Geraldine Fitzgerald, Robert Helpmann, Christopher Pate, Gerard Kennedy, Diane Craig

Dimboola (Dreyfus)
Ocker, sometimes funny but not often enough. An English feature writer Mr Vivian Worcester-Jones, from The Times arrives, bemused by this Victorian town, round about dawn (the music could be dawn music). Gangling and ocker Morrie (Bruce Spence), is about to marry Maureen. The astonished Worcester-Jones gets mixed up in the bucks' parties, the brawls and the grog.

Producer JohnWiley
Director JohnDuigan
Screenplay Jack Hibberd
Photography Tom Cowan
Leading players Bruce Spence, Natalie Bate, Max Gillies

Caddie (Flynn)
Perhaps the best hard-times movie since The Sentimental Bloke, and the best jazz of this recording.
It's 1925. Caddie, with her two small kids, walks away for good from her suburban home: her husband's been having an affair. She takes a job in a seedy suburban bar, finds a seedy room — with bugs, one of the kids almost dies and she sadly has to put them in a home. Jack Thompson, as the pub bookie, names her Caddie: she has class, like his new Cadillac tourer.

The years pass. Peter, a Greek, is her lover. He leaves her to face the Depression alone. Bill, a simple rabbit-oh, sees her through — and so it goes. Direction and acting make it work like love's old sweet song. And like an old sweet song Flynn's music comes through here, before it shifts into some great jazz trumpet.

Producer Anthony Buckley
Director Don Crombie
Screenplay Joan Long
Leading players Helen Morse, Takis Emmanuel, Jack Thompson, Jacki Weaver, Kirrily Nolan
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my virgin vinyl and includes full album artwork and label scans.  So sit back and relax to this wonderful compilation of famous Aussie Movie Themes.
Track Listing
01 - Newsfront
02 - Gallipoli
03 - My Brilliant Career
04 - Tall Timbers
05 - Cathy's Child
06 - Eliza Fraser
07 - Breaker Morant
08 - The Chant Of Jimmy Blacksmith
09 - The Picture Show Man
10 - Picnic At Hanging Rock
11 - The Mango Tree
12 - Dimboola
13 - Caddie
Music From Great Australian Movies FLACs (257Mb)
Music From Great Australian Movies MP3's (120Mb)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bill Haley And His Comets - Selftitled (1960)

(U.S 1952–1981)
It was the 1950s and prosperity had arrived. There was time for spending money, fads, and heroes. It was time for a new generation, the living was easy. Time for the start of something big.
If you were a kid there was time for movies, and of course records. A new sound had arrived - Rock 'n' Roll propagated across the country. By 1955 it had taken over, and Bill Haley and his Comets were in first place with "Rock Around The Clock" - 1955 was Bill Haley's year. His records were not only played, but were bought by the new generation in their thousands — much to the chagrin of their parents.
In 1954, Bill got his Comets together, and they recorded hits like 'ABC Boogie', 'Razzle Dazzle', Thirteen Women', 'Dim, Dim The Lights', 'Shake Rattle and Roll', and in 1955 his phenomenal 'Rock Around The Clock'. Bill Haley and his Comets rocketed to world stardom.
More hits followed, 'Burn the Candle', and of course 'See You Later Alligator' - a phrase that became part of the jive talk anywhere kids were together.
Bill Haley had a wide appeal - rock 'n' roll spread from middle-class suburbia through to New York's Harlem (Haley was one of only 5 white artists to make the R & B charts between 1950 and 1955).
By 1966, much to parental dismay, rock 'n' roll was a household word, and a very important part of life for teenagers. Competition was growing, but Bill still churned out hits such as 'Rip It Up', 'Skinny Minnie', and 'R.O.C.K.'

Other rock 'n' roll singers were emerging, and bringing with them a new breed of rocking, raving, shrieking, bumping, grinding performers. A new kind of beat the kids could dig because it was their own.
Bill Haley was at the top for a long time. He had his own style, and it had a lively foot-stompin' beat which was the forerunner for much of today's music. Many of our current musicians owe a debt to people like Bill Haley who helped change the course of popular music all over the world.
Bill Haley's sound has never died, and the combination of R & B and back country music will be remembered for a long time yet, along with the famous 'spit curl hair' and plaid jackets which were the image of Bill Haley's style.
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my Australian vinyl pressing, released on the Fiesta Label (a subsidiary label for Warner Bros), which after 57 years, stills plays as well as the day is was released back in 1960, when I was still in nappies.  Full album artwork and label scans are also included.
There is an enormous variety of music in this album, and it is a tribute to Bill Haley that he could perform all of it so splendidly. Not many artists of that era could draw material from so many sources and be so completely at home with all of it.  On a final note, the album states that it is Stereo, but I suspect some electronic enhancement has been used to convert Mono into Stereo.  For you added enjoyment, I have included some bonus tracks that are well known standards of Haley -  "See Ya Later Alligator ", "Razzle Dazzle" and "Burn That Candle".  Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.
Track Listing
01 - Crazy Man, Crazy
02 - Kansas City
03 - Love Letters In The Sand
04 - Shake Rattle And Roll
05 - I'm In Love Again
06 - Stagger Lee
07 - Rock Around The Clock
08 - I Almost Lost My Mind
09 - Blue Suede Shoes
10 - My Special Angel
11 - Blueberry Hill
12 - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On
Bonus Tracks
13 - See Ya Later Alligator
14 - Razzle Dazzle
15 - Burn That Candle

Band Members:
Bill Haley (Vocals, Guitar)
Johnny Grande (Piano and Accordion)
Billy Williamson (Steel Guitar)
Franny Beecher (Lead Guitar)
Rudy Pompilli (Saxophone)
Al Rappa (Double Bass)
Ralph Jones (Drums)

Bill Haley And His Comets Link (86Mb)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mike McClellan - Laughing In The Dark (1980)

(Australian 1966 - Current)
Mike McClellan has long been regarded as one of the finest singer, songwriter, guitarists Australia has ever produced.  He's had three top 5 singles, recorded ten albums, of which two went gold, many songs covered internationally, hosted his own TV series on the ABC (Australia's national broadcaster) for four years and sold out concerts across Australia.  He's universally known as The Song and Danceman after the title of his biggest hit which was voted song of the year by the Australian Music industry in 1974.  It's an iconic song in his native Australia and has been covered many times around the world. The following a brief chronological biography of his musical career todate.

1945 – Born on August 24th in Melbourne. He began performing in the mid 1960’s as a singer-guitarist at the “Troubadour” (Sydney’s folk music headquarters). As neither a folk singer or a traditionalist he took to blues and country and developed his own guitar style.

1969 – Joined the “Clair Pool” singers on Barry Crocker’s weekly “Sound of Music” show and stayed until the end of 1970.

1972 - Released his first album, titled simply "Mike McClellan". He toured extensively for the next 2 years playing the songs from that first album and previewing the material that would make up his breakthrough record.

1974 – Release of  "Song and Danceman". Mike McClellan was already an established performer on the acoustic music scene. That song was to bring him national recognition and a following that has remained loyal to his highly personal brand of music for over 25 years.

His second album. "Ask Any Dancer" went Gold and "Song and Danceman" was voted Song of the Year at the Annual Music Industry Awards in February 1975.

Tours with such performers as Roger Miller, Melanie, Dr. Hook, The Hollies and Leo Kottke expanded his audience even further and he earned rave reviews for his capacity to hold his own in the company of such internationally recognised stars.

That recognition took a giant leap forward when Rick Nelson recorded one of his most acclaimed songs, "Rock’n Roll Lady", in 1975 and John Farnham covered "Saturday Dance".

1976  - The release of what many regard as his finest album of the 70’s - "Until the Song is Done". "The Gamble" shot to the top of the country charts and "Lovers Never Wind up Friends" and "Midnight Flight" were covered overseas.

1978  - "An Evening With Mike McClellan" was released and included some of his most requested concert tunes, among them several brilliant demonstrations of his unique guitar playing.

1979 - Mike compered his first television series "National Star Quest" which lead to his being asked to take over the highly successful ABC program "Country Road". Within a year it became "Mike McClellan’s Country Music" and he continued to present the show for a further 3 years.

1980 - Marked a change in direction. He parted company with EMI and, working with Harry Vanda and George Young of the Easybeats, released "Laughing in the Dark" on the Albert’s label. It became his second gold album on the strength of the single "The One I Love".

1982 - Took him overseas to the UK and America. He was away for 12 months, gathering enthusiastic reviews wherever he played and establishing valuable contact with international publishers.

1983 - His return to Australia was to become a watershed. Weary of the constant travelling he committed himself to building a reputation in the advertising industry for which he had occasionally been writing as a freelancer. Success came quickly. Firstly with Mojo, then an agency in partnership with others and finally his own company, Hooks, Lines and Thinkers.

1984 – Inducted into the Hands of Fame.

He released an album of new songs in 1990. "The Heartland"

1998 was another auspicious year in his long career for it marked the release of his first single for Warner Music. But the three songs it contained were a little different to past McClellan discs. They were tributes to three great Australian sportsmen, Mark Taylor, the then recently retired Aussie cricket captain, Sir Donald Bradman, and David Campese, often called "the Bradman of Rugby."

2001 sees the release of a comprehensive retrospective of his recording career. Personally chosen and carefully remastered from the original tapes "Time. And Time Again." is a double CD containing more than 30 of his best songs. Among them he has re-recorded two from his very first album. A third track, "New York City Blues", is a never before released gem that was recorded during the sessions for "The Heartland" CD.

Today, McClellan is a senior tutor at the CMAA Country Music Academy in Tamworth, Australia, and is still performing extensively [extract from Country Music Hall Of Fame Website]
Mike's Guitar (Interview)
 Like Dylan, McClellan’s acoustic guitar has become a part of his life’s story:

"It was 1965, a friend of  mine was short on cash, and he wanted to return to Adelaide. Would you be interested in buying the guitar he asked?. It was a red Gibson Hummingbird. We agreed on a price, and I took it home with me. I have had it ever since.

It’s the guitar on which I wrote almost all of the best songs from the early years of my career, and I still have a quite magical relationship with it. It’s not loud, but sings beautifully either finger picked or strummed, and remains among the finest examples of its type.

The saddle was replaced with a fixed one some years ago, which stabilized the tuning. The neck and fret board have had some work done on them over the years, and the original tuning heads were replaced back in the late eighties. So it’s not in original condition. It now has an L.R. Baggs Anthem pickup in it, but I rarely, if ever, perform without a high-quality microphone in front of it. I have yet to find a pickup that can convey all the subtleties I hear coming from the sound hole.

It’s been a working musician’s instrument, and since resuming my performing career in recent years, continues to remind me of why I fell in love with it so long ago.
[ extract from]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl (another mint 2nd hand record store find) and the usual album artwork with label scans. The usual mix of folky / country tracks with some more racey, uptempo tracks with full orchestral backing like the title track and "Hold Tight". Mike's backing band reads like a who's who of Aussie rock legends - Tommy Emanuel, Kirk L'Orange, Warren Morgan and Tony Ansell to name but a few.
Kirk L'Orange's slide guitar work on "Good Companions" adds a new dimension to the music and at times sounds like Jackson Browne's 'Running on Empty', while Tommy's guitar pickin' skills gives "Sad Songs" the Bluegrass injection that Mike was looking for when he wrote the song. The standout track for me, however, is his catchy hit single "The One I Love" which showcases Mike's songwriting skills and mastery of the acoustic guitar. This is probably one of Mike's best albums.
Track Listing
01 - Good Companions
02 - Rock 'N' Roll Man
03 - Lovers And Strangers
04 - Laughing In The Dark
05 - The One I Love
06 - Burnin' Your Bridges
07 - Hold Tight
08 - I Got Over You (A Long Long Time Ago) *
09 - Sad Songs
10 - All I've Got Is Love

Mike cClellan (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar)
Doug Gallacher (Drums, Percussion)
Clive Harrison (Bass)

Wayne Findlay (Piano)
Warren Morgan (PIano)
Tony Ansell (Organ, Synthesizer, String Arrangements)
Tommy Emmanuel (Electric / Acoustic Guitars)
Kirk L'Orange (Slide Guitar)
Phil Lawson (Bass) *
Doug Bligh (Drums) *

Laughing In The Dark FLACs (240Mb)
Laughing In The Dark MP3's (105Mb)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Angels - Sydney Opera House (1979) Bootleg

(Australian 1970-present)
In June 1979, The Angels' 'No Exit' album entered the Australian album chart at #8 upon its release and again at #15 in September. George Young contributed as a backing vocalist to "Out of The Blue".
In October 1979, Albert released their 12" 'Out Of The Blue' EP.

On New Year's Eve 1979, the band performed in front of almost 100,000 people on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. Their show, however, was cut short when a riot broke out in the audience. Doc Neeson was hit on the head with a sign and Chris Bailey was knocked unconscious by a flying bottle and hospitalised.
" The Angels have always had their fair share of issues and controversy; it's probably the reason for the sheer intensity of their live shows which catapulted them to the forefront of Australian Music and kept them there for three decades ... No dubbing or backing tapes are used in The Angels Live Gigs ... What You See Is What You Get ... Hot, Loud, Real, Rockin' and Live ... The Angels put on an unforgettable night for the fans ... Here are The Angels finishing of the Decade of the 70's with a performance on the steps of the Sydney Opera House on New Year's Eve in front of an estimated 100,000 people ... The night was marred with drunken violence; ... Neeson was hit in the head by an object and Bailey was knocked unconscious with a beer bottle ...That put an abrupt end to an Awesome Gig and ringing in the new year with The Angels"

Note: A beer can is clearly seen flying past Doc (just missing him) 2m:20sec in the video clip for "Marseilles" (included with this post). The actual incident occurs at 3m:30sec when Doc is hit by another flying object and collapses to the stage, face forward holding the back of his head.
Radio announcer says that Doc was hit by a piece of signage and had blood pouring from the front of his head.   The concert was called off at this point, ending what was a great concert on a very sour note. Many people blame Cold Chisel fans, but the identity of the person who caused the incident is still unknown.

Unfortunately, 2014 brought its fair share of tragedy to the hard rocking five-piece, as original lead singer, Doc Neeson, who had departed fairly acrimoniously in 2011 (he was subsequently replaced in the lineup by Dave Gleeson), finally lost his 18-month battle with cancer.

The Angels - 2017
 Ever Gonna See That Place Again
Article by Luke Voogt (Geelong Indy March 31, 2017) 
After four decades touring the country with The Angels the only thing that has changed is the comfort, according to guitarist and co-founder John Brewster.
"We basically went on the road straightaway and we've been on the road ever since," he said.
"But it's a bit more civilized nowadays."
The Angels will perform at The Gateway Hotel on 8 April as part of their '4x4 Across Australia' tour, after shows in the previous two years at the hotel sold out, Brewster said.
"It was often regional cities like Geelong and Newcastle which were the places for us to break (out)."
Brewster was amazed to see so many young Angels fans on the tour.
"Radio stations still play a lot of our music - I think the band is pretty timeless," he said.
Part of that timelessness was thanks to the band's disdain for "teeny bopper" music, Brewster reckoned.

"We were a rock band from day one. I remember when we recorded the 'Face to Face' album and some expert came into the studio and said radio wouldn't play us."
"Our attitude was radio can shove it, but radio played every track on the album."
Brewster recalled when the band first hit the road in a 1964 EH Holden station wagon in the mid-'70s.
"We piled into that and travelled all around Australia and played week after week," he said.
The band would take on overnight trips from capital to capital in the trusty Holden to make a name for themselves.
"That car never missed a beat," Brewster said.
Sometimes, they would even stop in towns for an afternoon show on their way to late-night pub gig.
"I guess cause you're young you can handle some of that stuff," Brewster said.
But The Angels took off "like a rocket ship" in the late '70s and abandoned the car in Brewster's Adelaide driveway.
"All of a sudden, we were flying places or hiring cars," he said.
"It sat outside my house for years, and bits kept getting taken off it."
The band has played with AC/DC and David Bowie but for Brewster nothing beats playing with rock god Chuck Berry in 1978.
"That has to be one the greatest musical memories in our lifetimes."
Fast-forward 40 years and the current line-up is like a big family, Brewster said. "No one's precious and there's no pressure."
The Angels tip their hats to their lost members every night on stage, Brewster said. "But the band survives and life goes on."
And as for that iconic chant, Brewster still had no idea where it originated. But he does remember hearing for the first time - at a Mount Isa concert in 1983.
Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again was a "flop" and it was the first time the band had played it in years, Brewster said.
"That thing spread like wildfire around the country without our knowledge."
Brewster's theory was that it began on a cruise ship. "That way they may have taken it back to their towns," he said. "It's Australian larrikinism and I love it."

The Angels are currently touring around Australia on their 4 x 4 Across Australia Tour. To see where they are playing next, visit

Current Band lineup is:
John Brewster (Rhythm guitar)
Dave 'Gleeso' Gleason (Vocals) x Screaming Jets
Rick Brewster (Lead Guitar, Keyboards)
Nick Norton (Drums)
Sam Brewster (Bass) Rick's son
This post consists of MP3's (192kps) - not my rip folks and thanks to the original uploader - along with some basic artwork. The artwork refers to the band as 'Angel City', however The Angels did not adopt this name until mid 1980 when they were breaking into the U.S market and had a conflict of name with another American band. Also included is a video clip of their last song "Marseilles" (sourced from YouTube) which clearly shows the incident where Doc is struck in the head, bringing the show to an abrupt end.
The quality of the recording varies from one track to another with some tape speed issues, however disruptions to the listening experience are only brief. This bootleg is a must for all Angels fans.
Track Listing:
01.  I Ain't The One
02.  Night Comes Early
03.  Take A Long Line
04.  No Secrets
05.  Comin' Down
06.  Alexander
07.  After The Rain
08.  Who Rings The Bell
09.  Marseilles (plus Videoclip)

The Angles were:
Doc Neeson (lead vocals)
John Brewster (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Rick Brewster (lead guitar, vocals)
Chris Bailey (bass)
Graham "Buzz" Bidstrup (drums, vocals)
The Angels Live At The Opera House (92Mb)