Friday, January 26, 2018

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Barry Crocker - Bazza McKenzie's Party Songs (1972)

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future. Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788.

With respect to Australia's Music Industry, we can be very proud of the contributions that our Aussie Musos have made in entertaining people from every nation with music and song, with many of our artists achieving world wide acclaim. Therefore, I would like to celebrate Australia Day by posting this Party Classic by one of our country's well known and respected T.V / Radio celebrities from the 70 / 80's. I hope you enjoy it and have a great Australia Day !

Nothing can be more Aussie than grabbing a meat pie and a nice cold frothy and singing along to the cheeky and in some cases, very politically incorrect ditties sung by Bazza McKenzie (alias Barry Crocker). The character Bazza McKenzie was the brain child of Barry Humphries, back in the early 70's and resulted in the release of a Comic Strip and several rather riskee satirical movies entitled 'The Adventures of Barry McKenzie' (which basically focused on taking the piss out of the Poms).

Barry Humphries summarizes 'Bazza's' musical master piece in the album liner notes:

Barry McKenzie has a really beautiful singing voice! I first suspected this around 1965 when he warbled a ditty called The Old Pacific Sea in the 'Private Eye' comic strip, and he absolutely bewitched them with his native woodnotes wild — and with that raunchy no-holds-barred lyric about the simple joys of chundering whenever the spirit, or the beer, moved him. It was a notable first; a comic strip character with a really good voice. Mandrake might gesture hypnotically, Popeye consume his spinach, Snoopy could actually talk, but none of them could hold a tune.

Comic Strip
When it came to transposing Bazza to the silver screen we had long ago cast Barry Crocker in the star part; he looked like Bazza, given a script crammed with timeless archaisms he could talk like Bazza, he could even be persuaded to act like Bazza. The problem which vexed us sorely was: could he SING as well as Nick Garland's drawing? Now, if Mr. Crocker has not convinced you of his musical prowess up till now, either accept the judgement of one of the 200,000 connoisseurs who have purchased his albums over the past few years or hearken to this one.
If anyone wished to demonstrate that Bazza McKenzie doesn't need to be classy to have Class, then Mr. Crocker's nimble larynx has made the point, NO WORRIES.

There are still  a few pedantic old duffers in Australia who can't imagine Bazza opening the Opera House. Stiff cheese to them. He's lived in London long enough to top the bill in our newest Palace of Varieties, and he enshrines our happiest of knacks for social and cultural mobility. With less charm, he could step adroitly into the shoes of Archbishop, Prime Minister, General Manager of the A.B.C., or even those of the Commonwealth Film Censor.
His solitary vice (if you'll pardon the expression) is that he infuriates dull people, which is probably the only reason he isn't in the Public Service. He answers Samuel Butler's description of himself: 'as innocent as a new-laid egg', and yet Bazza seems capable of anything.

He is Joan Sutherland in a Bond's singlet, Candide  with  an  Akubra,  Childe Roland in Young and Jackson's Galahad in   Gomorrah, Gulliver in the Realm of Lillibet, Hamlet in Hammersmith, Alice in Chunderland. Right now, on this record, he's having a few quiet tubes with his mates in  Earl's Court and singing an artless ballad or two with some of the thirstiest choruses ever written. Melodies grave and gay, they'll set your thongs a'flapping and the sheilahs down the far end of the room are welcome to join in too, NO  RISK.
Barry Humphries (Tangier, Nov. 1972)

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 'beer / meat pie' stained vinyl copy and includes full album artwork plus label scans. 
I really like the live pub atmosphere that the producer has created on this record and the intermittent sounds of Fosters cans being opened in the background and the yahooing by the thirsty crowd adds to the flavour of this record. 
Favourite tracks are "Washed Down The Gutter" and "One-Eyed Trouser Snake"
Sink one while they're still cold !
A1 Pub With No Beer
A2 Earl's Court Blues
A3 There's A Bridle Hanging On The Wall
A4 Where Have They Gone
A5 Washed Down The Gutter
A6 Swaggie Jock
B1 Bazza's Rock
B2 Bazza's Love Song
B3 One-Eyed Trouser Snake
B4 Old Shep
B5 Chunder In The Old Pacific


  1. Great to see this one turn up. Would love to see any other Barry Humphries LPs - in particular 12 inches of Les Patterson, released in 1985 on Towerbell Records. It is very funny.

    1. Yep - I've got the LP
      I'll consider posting this for my next WOCK on Vinyl post