Thursday, June 30, 2011

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Norman Gunston: Kiss Army (1980)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
Norman Gunston (the Little Aussie Bleeder) was originally conceived by comedy writer Wendy Skelcher and first appeared as a minor character in the second series of the cult Australian TV comedy series of “The Aunty Jack Show” (see previous post)
His single record releases sold sufficiently well enough to enter the Australian top 40 charts and his parody tributes included punk rock Sherbet, Abba & Kiss to name a few.
Gunston released his 'Kiss Army' single in 1980 around the time of KISS' long awaited Antipodean visit. He nearly ended up in serious trouble for using KISS' music from "I Was Made For Lovin' You" on this parody track, but things worked out well and he ended up being involved in the Inner Sanctum documentary.

This track is just typically crass and trashy Norman at his best, silly and innocent, with that horribly whiny and exaggerated Wollongong drawl: To-noit... I'll be stickin' out my tongue... (etc, etc) I am marching in the Kiss Army... A nice little takeoff of the Kiss Fever of 1980 - just look at the cover.
The B-side, "Normdrum," is a pretty funny take off of Molly Meldrum's "Humdrum" segment from Countdown.
Gunston also appeared at the Sydney press conference asking a number of questions (some confusing ... some controversial ... but KISS still gave as good as they got!).
Kiss wanted to sue for breach of copyright at first since this single's music is pretty much a direct rip off of "I Was Made For Loving You" with different words. Then things seemed to just settle down after Kiss had some revenge at the press conference.

The band humiliated poor sheepish Norman, Ace Frehley even dared Norman to become part of their stage show - "I could bounce my laser beams off your head" - and Norman just returned one of those pricelessly uncomfortable side-to-side Gunston shifts of naive embarrassment.
On the left is a (wrinkled) photo taken at this press conference (thanks to Archivist).
In Gunston's hand is a stamp and pad so he could quickly give KISS his autograph!!!
Gunston says: "Let's face was a pretty smart guys touring Australia just as I had my record out!"
The following is a newspaper article which talks about controversy surrounding the release of Gunston's Kiss Army single and video clip.

.....................(Newspaper Article Sourced From The Archivist)

So, its not too hard to see why I chose this 'bizzare song' for this month's WOCK on Vinyl post, as it pretty much covers all of the criteria: Weird, Obscure and Crazy. 
So I guess that just leaves K for Kiss !

This post includes a FLAC rip of my single (Side A & B) along with scans of the cover and record labels. A scan of the newspaper article shown above and a collection of relevant photos are also included (Thanks to the Kiss Archivist for these). To see a high resolution video clip of Gunston's appearance on Countdown (1980) performing his Kiss Army single,go to the Countdown website.

Track Listing
ide A - Kiss army (3:40)
Side B - Normdrum (4:27)

Kiss Army Link (33Mb)
New Link 30/9/2021

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Various Artists - Reading Festival (1973)

(U.K Artists 1973)
The Reading Festival originates from an annual Jazz and Blues festival organised by the National Jazz Federation and London's Marquee Club. The inspiration came from the Newport Jazz Festival of 1950s America. The first National Jazz Festival took place at Richmond Athletic Ground in August 1961 when the main attractions included traditional Jazz musicians such as the Tubby Hayes, Johnny Dankworth and Tony Russell.
By 1965 the popularity of traditional Jazz had waned, overtaken by Rhythm and Blues performers such as the Who, the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart. Subsequently the festival became known as the National Jazz and Blues Festival. Noise complaints forced the 1966 festival to move to Windsor Racecourse, then in 1968 to Kempton Park and then, in 1969, to Plumpton. The festival finally reached Reading in 1971. Reading Council granted permission to the promoter, Harold Pendleton, to hold the festival by the Thames as part of the town's Festival of Arts.
Between 1971 and the mid 1980s the festival built a reputation for booking the biggest names in the business, as well as showcasing the talents of new bands from around the globe. The late 80s and early 90s were to see changes in the contemporary music scene with indie sounds and dance cross-over acts coming to the fore. In 1988 the Mean Fiddler, who had championed such acts in venues across London, were given the task of booking the festival bands. The following year they were asked to organise the whole event and, after the legendary festivals of the early 90s, the future of the festival was assured (extract from readingmuseum)
Although the Reading Festival has been going, on and off, since the early '60s, I only know of two years where albums of the event were released, 1973 and 1982.
The '73 LP, Reading Festival 1973, was released by GM (Gaff/Masters) Records, the recording imprint of Rod Stewart's management company, Gaff Management, so it should come as absolutely no surprise to find that almost all (all?) of the eight artists represented had a clear GM connection in one form or another, with several cases of inter-band co-operation, too. Fair enough - it's their album... Despite containing an artistically pretty mixed bag, the album's chiefly of interest these days for its otherwise unavailable live tracks, although, surprisingly, it not only had a vinyl reissue in 1990, but has also made it onto CD via those nice See for Miles people (extract from
I remember picking up my copy of Reading Festival 73 from Brash Suttons, Geelong back in the mid 70's when they were having a huge sale. This album was one of many titles being given away for the pricely sum of $1.99 and I'm pretty sure the normal price for a record was around $7.00
What caught my attention was the inclusion of tracks from some well known artists: Roy Gallagher, Status Quo and The Faces. However, I wasn't all that familar with the other artists although one of these - Greenslade was a band that I'd always wanted to pursue.
Needless to say, I was happy with my purchase at the time and I still put this album on my turntable every now and then.
This album was also released on the Tiger Lily label as "Reading Festival Featuring Rod Stewart", and is a unique release ... it's certainly obscure. I've only seen two copies in 40 years of collecting so good luck locating another copy.
As you probably guessed, the other album title wasn't particularly accurate. Yeah, the performances were taped at the Reading Festival (officially The 13th National Jazz, Blues & Rock Festival, Reading, England held over three days in June 1973), but in spite of the title, Rod Stewart (and the Faces) were hardly the dominant act on this eight selection compilation. In fact they were only featured on one lackluster track - turns out Stewart and the Faces who were in the midst of going their separate ways also got pretty bad reviews at the concert itself. So what's actually on the album?
- The late Rory Gallagher started the set off with a blazing "Hands Off". Fantastic live version that kicked the crap out of the original studio version (found on 1972's 'Blueprint').
- There's a Bo Diddley "Road Runner" cover by the band Strider. Not a half bad heavy metal cover version I must say.
- Greenslade's was not exactly a known quantity in Australia in the 70's, but "Feathered Friends" was a surprisingly enjoyable piece of progressive puff. I've certainly pursued their albums since hearing this track from Readings.
- Pulled from their 'Piledriver' album, "Don't Waste My Time" was a standard Status Quo rocker. Mindless fun ...but still 12-bar blues at it's best.
- The Faces were probably the band most folks came to see, but based on their pro-forma cover of "Losing You" you had to wonder what the excitement was about. A lackluster Stewart vocal and seemingly endless Kenny Jones drum solo didn't exactly help.
- Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was Alan Bowan's "Long Legged Linda". Yeah, he didn't have the most impressive voice you've ever heard, but the song was a great slice of pub rock energy. One of the standout performances ...
Note: The album covers incorrectly credits his name as Andy Brown (not Bowan) which is pretty poor.
- Easily the weirdest artist and song in the lineup was Leslie Duncan's "Earth Mother" ... Mind you I have nothing against Duncan, but her pop moves sure sounded out of place here. Mind you her performance was actually quite good. Nice guitar work ...
- That left Tim Hardin as the other big surprise. Hardin managed to turn in a pair of stunning performances on "Hang On To a Dream" and "Person To Person". (He sure didn't rock out like this on the studio albums I've heard.)
The album also sported some great sound quality courtesy of Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio and producers Chris Beckwith and Jimmy Horowitz. In fact some if the performances were so good you had to wonder whether they were spiffed up with some post-production work (check out the strings on Duncan and Hardin's performances).
Shame the set didn't capture some of the other festival performances since the 1973 line up was pretty electric including opening act Embryo, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Genesis and Spencer Davis.
First Hand Concert Reviews
(taken from
Here's my recollection of the Reading Festival in 1973.. yes it was held over a bank holiday, and yes, too, by the time the festival was in full swing it was clearly evident that the hippie dream was well and truly done and dusted. Hawkwind never did play - wish they had. Commander Cody (reason I went) did well in a high profile but ultimately unsuccessful bid to break through to UK acceptance.They did a killer version of "smoke smoke smoke (that cigarette)."
Genesis and Rod Stewart were the big draws of the time, and I remember pissing myself with laughter when, after a suitably portentous two hour wait while the great Genesis got their stage set ready, on came Peter Gabriel in this ridiculous pyramid with eyes doing Watcher of the Skies.
No, not my kind of spectacle.
There was some ugly violence, led by this huge ginger haired guy in the crowd, I think during Rory "man of the people" Gallagher, whose power was briefly cut midway during a song.Of course he went on playing. And I remember another incident, sign of the times, when some gentle long haired guy got up to sway naked in the crowd only to be the recipient of bottle after bottle. (this would probably have been Jesus)
I remember John Martyn, and a whole host of now vanished wannabes. Alex Harvey went down a storm. But when Rod Stewart appeared with The Faces there seemed to appear from nowhere this crowd of hooligans waving football scarves, crowding in front of the stage like an army. "Am I losing you?" I remember Rod asking.
Weather was fine, the whole place fenced, regulated, homogenised, and I remember John Peel playing with breathless wonder the just released stones single "Angie". I went with a friend who was paranoid about being caught smoking substances in public. When I lit up, he scuttled like a crab about twenty feet forward.
Oh, another thing, in a bizarre way I think the first band on, a now forgotten German group (Em
bryo) were by far and away the best there! They announced in heavy Germanic tones "Ve haf just come bak from living in Morocco" and played what I guess would sound very much like world music nowadays. They were met by silence and me, noisily clapping.
(recollection by Nick Black)
Not all the programming of this efficiently organized festival may have been imaginative, but at least the top-of-the bill acts over the three days provided a vivid contrast, and if competition is partly what these events are about, then it must be said that Rory Gallagher excelled. He is a musician from Cork basing his music on the Blues, an anachronism, perhaps, but his sheer, honest energy rings through. Only he of the three bill-toppers risked doing anything new, when he played four numbers from his next album to be released in October. Of these " Sleep on a Clothes Line", " Million Miles Away" and "Who's That Coming" are well up to the standard he demands. His guitar-playing is unmistakable, which is more than can be said for most these days, and his musical integrity unchallenged. Loathing personal aggrandisement, he is the total anti-star, and as such a genuine hero of the people. In contrast, Saturday night's appearance of Rod Stewart and The Faces was a disappointment. They worked hard, but one wonders how long this group that has obviously lost its impetus can continue. Despite this, Rod Stewart still stands out as a personality, and surely must now make his own way in Rock.
Sunday night brought another glimpse of Genesis, a group who use theatrical effects as well as thoughtful electronic music in the style of groups like Pink Floyd. To say this is a tribute. They, too, are about to launch a new album, but played safe by rendering what we have heard before. "The Musical Box". " Supper's Ready" and " The Return of the Giant Hogweed" pleased both myself and the 25,000 audience, and was an effective climax to three days of sunshine and friendliness. Festivals always produce at least one surprise success and this year it was portly George Melly, musically from another era. The youthful audience immediately accepted his trad-jazz-flavoured tunes like " Frankie and Johnny" and his zany, uninhibited approach. Undoubtedly a new cult figure has arrived.

(recollection by Michael Wale)
The post consists of a 320kps rip of my 'pristine' vinyl copy and includes full album artwork. Select photos from the festival are included, with thanks to Vin Miles, Steve Austin and Gareth Tynan who took them.
Track Listing
01 - (Rory Gallagher) Hands Off (8.50)
02 - (Strider) Road Runner (4.35)
03 - (Greenslade) Feathered Friends (6.00)
04 - (Status Quo) Don't Waste My Time (4.21)
05 - (The Faces) Losing You (7.00)
06 - (Andy Bown) Long Legged Linda (3.52)
07 - (Lesley Duncan) Earth Mother (6.10)
08 - (Tim Hardin) a. Hang On To A Dream
b. Person To Person (7.37)

Reading Festival 73 Link (105Mb) New Link 26/10/2015

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Noiseworks - Selftitled (1987) + Bonus B-Sides

(Australian 1985–1992, 2007–2011)
Noiseworks are an Australian rock band that formed in Sydney in 1985. They built up a strong following on the Australian pub-rock circuit, and in 1987 were signed by CBS. Their self-titled debut album was released in July 1987 and peaked at number 2 on the Australian Albums chart.
Considered to be one of Australia's more successful rock bands of the late 1980s, their self-titled debut had a series of successful singles, such as "No Lies," "Take Me Back," and "Welcome to the World." The album went on to sell more than 200,000 copies in Australia.
The band's second album, 1988's Touch, proved to be another big hit, reaching number 4 on the Album Charts. The hit singles included "Touch," "Voice Of Reason" and "In My Youth".
By the end of 1989, the band had commenced work on its third album. They were now signed to Sony, and when the album was presented to them, they rejected it. The album was reworked and finally made an appearance in July 1991 as "Love Verses Money". This album debuted at Number 1 on the Album Charts and the single "Hot Chilli Woman" became the band's biggest hit, reaching number 7 on the Singles Chart. In all, 5 singles came from this album.
At the start of 1992, Jon Stevens, joined the Australian cast of the revived stage musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" in the role of Judas. Jon appeared alongside the rest of the cast on a CD and single from the show. The show ran for 84 nights and was performed across Australia to more than a million people, making Jon a household name.
This stint with the show basically put an end to Noiseworks. The band played its last gig at Selinas in Sydney during March 1992. That gig produced the band's final single, a cover of the Beatles "Let It Be" (Live). This song appeared on the Greatest Hits CD released in October 1992.
Noiseworks disbanded in early 1992, shortly after the release of their third album.
Stevens has forged a somewhat unsuccessful solo career since Noiseworks with the albums "Are U Satisfied" , "Circle" , "Ain't No Life For The Faint Hearted" and "The Works." Jon had a brief stint as lead singer of INXS, but left after becoming frustrated with the band's lack of progress in generating new material. Steve Balbi and Justin Stanley formed The Electric Hippies in 1994 and had moderate success with the song "Greedy People".
Jon Stevens and Noiseworks reformed in September 2007 for a national tour with the Choirboys and Steve Balbi's project Move Trees. In December 2007, Jon announced that Noiseworks planned to return to the studio in 2008 to record their first album together in sixteen years [extract from sergent .com]
After a short break, Jon hit the road again in 2008 to join Ian Moss (Cold Chisel), Jack Jones (Southern Sons) and Tania Doko (Bachelor Girl) on the Let's Get Together national tour. After performing a number of shows in the UK, including an Australia Day event in London, Jon joined Noiseworks once again for a national tour. They released their first official live album, 'Live N Loud', recorded at The Palms (Melbourne, Australia) in October the year before.
2009 began steadily, with Jon hitting the road yet again to perform his more intimate shows and the commencement of work on new material at Rockinghorse Studios (Byron Bay). He and friend Stuart Fraser appeared as surprise guests on an episode of Domestic Blitz., singing an acoustic version of "Touch" for a deserving family. But a heart condition that he had been alerted to in December 2008 (when he had two stents inserted into his arteries) gave him a scare that no-one wishes to receive. Reflecting on his own ordeal, he leapt at the opportunity to become an ambassador for the Hugs For Hearts campaign and several other initiatives relating to his experience, and from there he eased himself back into touring.
Jon Stevens continues to go from strength to strength and fans eagerly await his first studio album in five years. He will bring a new touring line-up comprised of Adam Ventoura, Johnny Salerno and Danny Spencer. Another Noiseworks tour is also on the horizon, as well as more concert dates with John Waters.
Through his passion and tenacity, Jon has established himself as one of Australia‟s finest performers, and one only needs to listen to a record or see him in his element his live shows to realize what has made Jon a spirited and gifted musical talent.
This post contains a rip taken from CD (no longer available) at 320kps and includes full album artwork. I have also included three bonus B-Side tracks taken from the 3 singles released from this album, two tracks having been recorded live at Selinas Nightclub in Sydney in 1987.
This album was a huge hit when it first came out and established Noiseworks as another powerhouse band to come out of the land of Oz.
Track Listing
01 - Burning Feeling

02 - Love Somebody

03 - Take Me Back

04 - No Lies

05 - River of Tears

06 - Welcome To The World

07 - Edge of Darkness

08 - Little Bit More

09 - Only Loving You

10 - It's Time
[Bonus Tracks]

11 - Don't Wait (B-Side Single)

12 - Love Somebody (B-Side Single Live)

13 - No Lies (B-Side Single Live)

Band Members:
Jon Stevens (Vocals)

Stuart Fraser (Guitar)

Steve Balbi (Bass)

Justin Stanley (Keyboards)

Kevin Nicol (Drums)

Noiseworks Link (115Mb) New link 02/11/2014

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Budgie - The Last Stage (2004) + Bonus Track

(U.K 1967-1988, 1995-1996, 1999-2010)
A Black Sabbath fan and good friend of mine always had a theory that Budgie missed out on the sales and success of Black Sabbath (who sometimes had a similar sound – tight but sludgy guitars, falsetto singer – and who shared with Budgie the services of legendary producer Rodger Bain) because, looks-wise, Sabbath had medieval castles, graveyards and spooky crosses in their album art, while Budgie went with Roger Dean and that cute li’l parakeet.
In other words, Budgie neglected certain trappings of serious bad ass-ism (scowling, strutting, shirtlessness and pyrotechnics) in favor of monster rock riffs and finely-crafted psychedelia. Not that they don’t have a loyal following, but when you peer through the coke-bottle lenses of Burke Shelley’s proto-nerdcore spectacles, it’s easy to reach the conclusion that these guys weren’t overly image-conscious. (I mean, look at ‘em. They’re just having fun playing music. That’ll never do.)
If you’re not into the hard rock, it can difficult to explain what’s so charming about Budgie. They aren’t over-the-top or chaotic sounding (their songs are sometimes absurdly mannered and precise) or emotionally distraught like metallish bands are “supposed” to sound. They make a “big” noise that somehow seems like it’s trapped in a small, dark room. They easily slip into sweet, folksy, pretty interludes – check out “Rolling Home Again” from the second LP – that might alienate a few Judas Priest fans (the two bands toured together in the early days). There’s a humble, wry sense of humor in the lyrics that imply it’s not to be taken all that seriously.
But man, what riffage! (is that a word?) When guitar demigod Tony Bourge started chugging out one of his stadium-ready hooks, and drummer Ray Phillips dictated a slow, heavy groove, it’s too much trouble to fight the rhythm. Go with it. Somehow, the combination just works.
A new three-man lineup of those spry young whippersnappers is now gigging again, and of course they have a website. Marvel at the photos showing how well they’ve physically held up, compared to the shuffling, jiving walking corpses of most of their contemporaries.
By the dawn of the '80s, the veteran British metal trio Budgie had experienced a career boost, thanks to the rise of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and subsequently, a sudden mass appreciation of all things metal. As a result, the group signed a deal with RCA, and issued such titles as 1981's 'Nightflight' and 1982's 'Deliver Us From Evil'
However, not all went well in the budgie cage during the late 80's and the band consisting of Shelley, Thomas and Jim Simpson decided to call it a day in 1988.
But it's a little-known fact that the group intended on putting together a third album for RCA, going as far as recording over an album's worth of tunes that went unreleased until now. Titled 'Last Stage' this 16-track set focuses solely on this latter day era (1979-1985, to be exact), right before the plug was pulled.
'The Last Stage' is a compilation of demo and session material that never made it onto any albums, due to record label hassles and the eventual break-up of Budgie in the late-80's. But don't get turned off by the prospect of a collection of demos. These songs could have easily been released as an album. As a matter of fact, it is downright depressing that the public never heard this material until 20 years after it was recorded. There is a strong chance that many of these songs may have been hits for Budgie had they been released. Despite the fact that these songs were only demos, they are far better than the finished albums of many other bands!
This era shows Budgie further experimenting with blending pop hooks with their updated New Wave of British Heavy Metal-ish/hard rock sound (i.e. "Power Supply", "Night Flights", "Deliver Us From Evil" LP's), while still incorporating the occassional funk/jazz elements which keep you guessing. John Thomas' guitar work on these tunes is amazing and top-notch. Just check out the torrential soloing on amazing hard rock tunes "House of the Sinner" or "Sweet Fast Talker".
Burke Shelley's voice is at it's best as well, and these tracks really demonstrate just how dynamic he really was. In my opinion, songs like "Signed You Own Fate", "Renegade", "Hard Luck", "Same Old Sad Affair" are just as good as their earlier material.
Now as a warning, if you are expecting a rehash of LP's like "Squawk" or "Never Trust A Friend", you may be disappointed. But if you enjoyed "Bandolier" and everything which followed it, particularly "Power Supply", "Night Flights" and "Deliver Us...", you will be pleasantly surprised by how great this collection is. At first glance when I got "The Last Stage" in the mail, I got kind of worried and thought 'just how good can a collection of demos be'?
The answer: absolutely amazing. Hell, what else is there to expect from a band like Budgie. So get a hold of this disc, get high, crank it up, and have your mind blown by a collection of tunes which really should have been released years ago! Rock Your Blood, man!
Although unfinished works ( in the sense that they are not final polished studio mixes) the first few tracks are outstanding and as good if not better songs than anything from 'Power Supply', 'Nightflight' or 'Deliver Us From Evil' albums.
The sound quality is very good still, and it baffles me that RCA dropped the band as these tracks show a band on form and as good as ever! It's criminal this didn't come out at the time. There was another track that was supposedly meant to be on the album, it was called "Beautiful Lies", unfortunately it never made it to "The Last Stage" so I have added it here as a bonus track.
Ok, a few of the tracks are a bit raw and unpolished, but the songwriting is first rate, and the playing is top notch, as has always been the case with one of the worlds great under rated hard rock acts. This is an essential album for any hard core Budgie fans (like yours truly !)
The rip was taken from CD at 320kps and includes full album artwork. Although this album has never been released on Vinyl the tracks were definitively recorded at a time when vinyl reigned and it is only fitting that this album finally has its day, here at 'rockonvinyl'. I have also included the bonus track "Beautiful Lies' which was recorded at the same time as the other tracks on this album. It was sourced from the double CD anthology 'Budgie, An Ecstasy of Fumbling: The Definitive Anthology - (1996)'. Select photos of Budgie are also provided from the early 80's.
Track Listing
1. Love Is When You Love
2. House of a Sinner
3. Same Old Sad Affair
4. Signed Your Own Fate
5. Hard Luck Listen
6. Living With Another Man
7. You Ain't Got Love
8. Renegade
9. Sweet Fast Talker
10. Wait Till Tomorrow
11. Rock Your Blood
12. Nutbush City Limits
13. Can't Get Up in the Morning *
14. Heaven in Your Eyes
15. Picture on a Screen
16. Victim
17. Beautiful Lies (Bonus track)

Band Members:
Burke Shelley (Bass, Vocals)
John Thomas (Guitar, Vocals)
Steve Williams (Drums)
Rob Kendrick (Guitar, Vocals) *

Sorry, but it's just come to my attention that this album is again available from Budgie's Website

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Various Artists - Great Aussie Rock (1975)

(Australian 1973-1975)
Other than Festival Records, no local company has had such a dramatic impact on Australian popular music as Michael Gudinski's Mushroom label. Although it struggled as a minor player for its first two years, it had a major effect on the direction of Australian music because of the many important acts it signed, and because of its intimate business connections with what became the leading east coast agency, Premier Artists.
Mushroom evolved from Premier's immediate ancestor, Consolidated Rock, which was formed by Michael Gudinski and Ray Evans in 1971.
The fledgling label's inaugural release in February 1973 was Madder Lake's Goodbye Lollipop. The inaugural album release, issued in April 1975, was typically ambitious -- a triple album compilation of live tracks from the previous January's Sunbury Festival. The first year of Musroom's output reflected the diverse rage bands Gudinski and Evans had signed -- Madder Lake, Friends, Bobby James Syndicate, Chain, Matt Taylor, Ray Brown's One Ton Gypsy, Ayers Rock, The Dingoes, Sid Rumpo, Buster Brown.

The label might well have folded had it not been for the signing of an up-and-coming Melbourne art-rock band called Skyhooks, who were championed by former Daddy Cool supremo Ross Wilson. Wilson signed them to his publishing company, convinced Gudinski to sign them to Mushroom and produced their debut album and single. Released in August 1974, it shot to the top of the charts around the country [extract from Midoztouch]
In addition to the releases on their standard label, Mushroom records also released a limited number of 'compilation' albums on their 'budget priced' anti-Rip Off label. One of these releases was called 'Great Aussie Rock' which is featured in this post. All artists on this great compilation were signed to Gudinski's record company and in many respects were his showcase bands. Bands such as Skyhooks, Madder Lake, Chain and The Aztecs were all huge at the time and help to make this a very collectible item indeed.
Here is a brief run down of the bands on this compilation and the albums from which the tracks were taken:.
Skyhooks - Living In The 70's
Living in the 70's was the debut album released by Melbourne band Skyhooks in October 1974 on the Mushroom Records label. Initially charting in Melbourne only in 1974, by early 1975 the rest of the nation began to catch on. It spent 16 weeks at the top of the Australian album charts from late February 1975, and became the highest-selling album by an Australian act in Australia up until that time, with sales of 240,000. In October 2010, it was listed at No. 9 in the book '100 Best Australian Albums'. The album was produced by former Daddy Cool lead singer Ross Wilson.
Two singles were lifted from the album: "Living in the 70's"/"You're a Broken Gin Bottle, Baby" and "Horror Movie"/"Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo)", the latter spending 2 weeks at the top of the Australian singles chart in 1975. Six tracks from the album were banned on commercial radio in Australia, including the featured track 'Smut' on this compilation However, in defiance of this, the ABC's new youth station in Sydney, 2JJ, played the track "You Just Like Me 'Cos I'm Good in Bed" as their first ever song when they began broadcasting in January 1975.
Ayers Rock - Big Red Rock
Ayers Rock's debut album 'Big Red Rock' was taped live before an invited audience at Armstrong's Studios in Melbourne, over two nights in September 1974. The live-in-the-studio approach worked extremely well for Ayers Rock, and the album clearly demonstrated why their awesome live 'chops' had made them such a popular concert attraction. But it also was something of a necessity for the cash-strapped label -- they took the same approach with and another early signing, Mackenzie Theory. The Ayers Rock LP reportedly cost Mushroom a mere $5000 to record.
Big Red Rock was an early critical and commercial success for Mushroom, showcasing the band's considerable prowess and the material was a good balance between the more commercial song-based material of McGuire and Brown and the more adventurous instrumentals. The LP features three songs by McGuire, including their memorable second single, the Latin-flavoured "Lady Montego", a song that dated back to McGuire's stint in Friends; an earlier, slower version appears (in a live recording) on the Garrison: The Final Blow LP.
Big Red Rock also features two excellent pieces by Loughnan including an awesome power-jam "Crazy Boys", two songs by Chris Brown, and a dazzling cover of Joe Zawinul's "Boogie Woogie Waltz", originally recorded by Weather Report (who were at that time virtually unknown in Australia).

..Madder Lake - Butterfly Farm
Recorded in October 1973 at TCS studios Richmond Melbourne . Produced by John French and Madder Lake.This album takes on a different musical direction with the inclusion of " Andy Cowen" on keyboards.
The second LP, 'Butterfly Farm', was released in April 1974; it sold very well (giving the band their second gold album) and went to #18 in the album charts. Mushroom lifted two Singles from it: the first was Butterfly Farm / Back Seat Song (April '74). Radio in Melbourne picked up one of the album tracks, "Booze Blues", and gave it a lot of airplay. Many fans thought it was the new single, so Mushroom rush-released it in May, but it was only a local hit in Melbourne and didn't chart nationally. The next single, It's All In Your Head / Slack Alice (November) was written specifically as with radio airplay in mind, but it didn't make the charts. A CD release of 'Butterfly Farm' is currently from Aztec Music
Matt Taylor - Straight As a Die
His debut solo album, 'Straight as a Die', was released at the end of 1973. The single "I Remember When I Was Young"/"Krishna Loves You, Too," which had been recorded in an open paddock at Kingston Park Farm, hit the Top Ten in Melbourne. Note that his single "I Remember When I Was Young" didn't actually appear on the vinyl release in 1973 (even though a longer version of "Krishna Loves You, Too" did), but was included on the CD release in 1997.
The album reached number 15 on the national charts and Taylor toured the country, performing at Sunbury 1974; the live track "We'll Never Do the Same Again" appeared on the various artists album 'Highlights of Sunbury '74 Part 2'.
. .
Dingoes - Selftitled
The Dingoes are one of the greatest bands Australia has ever produced.
The Dingoes were only relatively successful when they released their self-titled debut album in June 1974, one of the first signings to Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Records label. The lead single ‘Way Out West’ made an impression as did the second single ‘Boy On The Run’ released to coincide with the release of the album, but they weren’t runaway hits – and yet, you will know both those songs, as all through the years that have passed since they’ve never been far away from radio playlists. That in itself is a not sign of greatness but certainly of longevity.

Greg Sneddon - Mind Stroll
Decent biographical information on Greg Sneddon is hard to come by; suffice to say that he's still performing today, thirty years after the release of what I presume was his debut album, 'Mind Stroll'. A keyboard player of some repute, Sneddon used a handful of other musicians on the album (not least a singer), playing multi-keys himself, although I'm afraid to say the end result's a little anodyne; the composition has its moments, but overall has far too much of a 'soft-rock' vibe about it. Full-on symph this is not. The two longer compositions, the title track and Madman are probably the best, but there's something lacking in this album; it doesn't even touch Aussie prog masters such as Sebastian Hardie or Aleph.
Ignore online references such as 'lots of Mellotron' with regard to this record; only two tracks I can hear, with polyphonic flutes on Winter and orchestrally-inclined strings on Take It Slow And Easy, which doth not a 'Tron album make.
Coloured Balls - First Supper Last
Australia's Coloured Balls are the sort of thing legends are made of. In their homeland, that's exactly how they're revered, though their impact in the states and other parts of the world has gone virtually unheard. Headed by guitar hero Lobby Loyde, Coloured Balls pioneered a raucous, abrasive and loose sound that at one point became the mantra of skinheads in their native country.
'First Supper Last' is a stonkingly rocking album that was actually recorded in 1972, making it their first album, but was not released until 1976 after the band split in 1974.
'First Supper Last' is the sound of a band finding its sound. Though it is essentially a blues workout on most of the material here, the sound is punishing and energetic. It's evident from the start how this band earned its reputation. The album is padded with numerous cover tunes, but the original material is what really demands your attention. Loyde's guitar work is abrasive, chaotic and teetering on the verge of destruction...everything a charged rock and roll album should be.
Buster Brown - Something To Say
Buster Brown was a short-lived, but highly influential Melbourne band from the early Seventies, who are remembered as the breeding ground for some of Australia ’s most famous musicians (AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd & Rose Tattoo vocalist Angry Anderson being the most notable).
Lack of industry infrastructure and media outlets plus sheer bad timing were factors - newly signed and fellow mushroom label-mates Skyhooks eclipsed Buster Brown just as they were gathering momentum. Angry Anderson on vocals and Phil Rudd on drums were the backbone of a rock outfit who were a force to be reckoned with on the live circuit.
Title track/theme song Buster Brown showcases the roots of Australian heavy blues-rock and Angry's penchant for writing lyrics that address growing up tough on the wrong side of an Australian suburb; Young Spunk and Apprentice do the same, echoing a time when panel vans had murals and kids from private schools would never dream of having tattoos. A CD release of 'Something To Say' is currently available from Aztec Music
Chain - The (Very) Best Of
Chain were an Australian blues band formed in Melbourne as The Chain in late 1968 with a lineup including guitarist, vocalist Phil Manning; they are sometimes known as Matt Taylor's Chain after lead singer-songwriter and harmonica player, Matt Taylor. Their January 1971 single "Black and Blue", which became their only top twenty hit, was recorded by Chain line-up of Manning, Taylor, drummer Barry Harvey and bass guitarist Barry Sullivan. The related album, Toward the Blues followed in September and peaked in the top ten albums chart.
Chain had various line-ups until July 1974, they separated for several years then reformed in 1982 for a one-off concert and more permanently from 1983–1986. Further line-up changes occurred with some forms called Matt Taylor's Chain, from 1998 Chain members are Harvey, Manning, Taylor and Dirk Du Bois on bass guitar. Both Manning and Taylor have also had separate solo careers.
In 1973, Mighty Mouse would evolve into yet another Chain -- by now the 15th permutation of the band!. Signing to Mushroom, this line-up issued two singles, the medium-tempo "I Thought You Weren't My Friend" (August) and the gruff shuffle-blues "I'm Gonna Miss You Babe" (November). Neither was particularly successful, but the reconstituted group did impress on the touring circuit, appearing in March at yet another large outdoor gathering, the Down Under Rock Festival in Melbourne (again, all the usual suspects were on a bill that featured – surprise – headliners The Aztecs). During May, Chain toured the country as support to the Muddy Waters Band and soon after teamed with that band's James "Peewee" Madison (guitar, vocals) and George "Mojo" Beauford (vocals, harmonica) for recordings that would form part of Chain's next LP, Two Of A Kind.
Sadly, the single "I'm Gonna Miss You Babe" was never released on a studio album, although it did appear on later compilations 'The History Of Chain (1974)' and 'The (Very) Best Of Chain (1978)'
Sid Rumpo - First Offence
Sid Rumpo was a fairly polished pub-rock band which formed in Perth in 1971 and unfortunately disappeared into the mists of time in 1974. 'First Offence' - Sid Rumpo's one and only LP as it turned out - features the twin guitar riffing of Elliot and Rob Searls on some very catchy boogie and blues-rock songs.
All the songs pump along with the assistance of some tasty electric piano chops from Ken Wallace over the tight grooves laid down by Noel Herridge on drums and Owen Hughes on bass.
But for me, it's Rob Searls' bluesy vocals that stamp 'First Offence' with it's appealing, distinctive 70's, Aussie Rock sound.
"The Riddle"/"Jump Down, Step Aside" was their only single with the A-Side only appearing on their album.
Phil Manning - I Wish There Was A Way
One of Australia's best known guitarists, Phil has a single handedly turned more Australians onto the Blues than any other performer.
Chain guitarist and sometimes vocalist "I Wish There Was A Way" was Phil Manning's first solo album. In this case, Phil has pulled out his acoustic guitar and presented a set of predominantly well-structured soulful ballads - in most parts far removed from the sometimes meandering blues of Chain. Phil is one of the great Aussie guitarists and his playing on this sets a pretty high standard. The superb title track opens the album and fairly well sets the scene for what is to come. Renee Geyer also features on vocals. [extract from Midoztouch]

Aztecs - Sunbury 73
Thorpie and the Aztecs' Mk V legendary performance at the inaugural Sunbury Pop Festival in January 1972 spawned the Top 5 hit album Aztecs Live! At Sunbury. The album peaked at #3 on the national chart during September, sold over 80000 copies and remains a milestone in the annals of Australian heavy rock. The crunching 'Mamma' also appeared on the Various Artists live album Sunbury, issued by EMI. Just after Sunbury, alongside La De Das and Friends, The Aztecs were responsible for drawing one of the largest crowds ever assembled in Australia at Melbourne's Myer Music Bowl (estimated at over 200000 people).
Thorpie was back in Australia in time to headline at Sunbury 1973. The live track, 'Going Back Home', appeared on Mushroom's triple album set 'The Great Australian Rock Festival Sunbury 1973' (April 1973). The version included here is an edited rendition of the 13min original, with the track fading out after 6 mins.
The rip included here was taken from CD at 320kps and includes full album artwork for both LP and CD (thanks to Woodynet for the CD artwork). I have also included scans of the LP labels which depict Mushroom's infamous anti-rip off label.
This is certainly one of my favourite compilation records and a prize possession amongst by Aussie record collection.
Track Listing
01 - Smut (Skyhooks)

02 - Lady Montego (Ayers Rock)

03 - Booze Blues (Madder Lake)
04 - Well Never Do The Same Again (Matt Taylor)

05 - Way Out West (Dingoes)
06 - Winter (Greg Sneddon)

07 - Johnny B Goode (Coloured Balls)

08 - Something To Say (Buster Brown)

09 - I'm Gonna Miss You Babe (Chain)

10 - The Riddle (Sid Rumpo)

11 - Love Is The Mender (Phil Manning)
12 - Going Back Home - Live (Aztecs)

Great Aussie Rock Link (108Mb) New Link 11/01/2023

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Neil Young - Live Unapproved (1989) + Bonus Tracks

(Canadian 1960-Present)
Starting out as a Canadian folk singer, Neil Young ended up in Los Angeles in the mid-Sixties, where he joined Stephen Stills in Buffalo Springfield.
His debut selftitled 1969 album marked a return to the acoustic guitar, though a follow-up 'Everybody Knows This is Nowhere', issued later that year, found him in blistering form, backed by a full band, Crazy Horse.
Public recognition came when he reunited with Stills in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, joining them at Woodstock and making telling contributions to the 'Deja Vu' album. The arrangement was short-lived and Young returned to his solo career with several strong albums throughout the Seventies. 'Harvest' (1972), featuring the 'Heart Of Gold' single, was the most successful, though it was the desolate 'On The Beach' (1974) that was probably his finest achievement.
In 1976, Young performed with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and numerous other rock musicians in the high profile all-star concert The Last Waltz, the final performance by The Band.
Young has often alternated between the soft and the hard, a musical eclecticism that has continued to the present day. One minute, he's almost strangling his guitar with Crazy Horse, on 'Live Rust' album (1979); the next he's back with the seemingly lightweight songs of 'Hawks & Doves' (1980).
The 1982 album 'Trans', which incorporated vocoders, synthesizers, and electronic beats, was Young's first for new label Geffen Records.
Young reunited with Crosby, Stills and Nash to record the 1988 album American Dream and play two benefit concerts late in the year, but the group did not embark upon a full tour. The album was only the second-ever studio record for the quartet.
Young's 1989 single "Rockin' in the Free World", which hit #2 on the U.S. charts, and accompanying album, Freedom, rocketed him back into the popular consciousness after a decade of sometimes-difficult genre experiments. The album's lyrics were often overtly political; "Rockin' in the Free World" deals with homelessness, terrorism, and environmental degradation, implicitly criticizing the government policies of President George H.W. Bush.
Young continued to hit form again, with the abrasive 'Ragged Glory' and 'Weld', followed by 1992's more mellow 'Harvest Moon'.
In 1994 Young again collaborated with Crazy Horse for Sleeps with Angels, a record whose dark, sombre mood was influenced by Kurt Cobain's death earlier that year; the title track in particular dealt with Cobain's life and death, without mentioning him by name. Cobain had quoted Young's lyric "It's better to burn out than fade away" (a line from "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)") in his suicide note, causing Young to then on emphasize the line "'cause once you're gone you can't come back" when performing the song. Young had reportedly made repeated attempts to contact Cobain prior to his death.
Neil Young still continues to release new material at a rapid pace in the new Millennium, his most recent album appearance on the album Potato Hole, released on April 21, 2009 by Memphis organ player Booker T. Jones, of Booker T. & the MG's fame. Young plays guitar on nine of the album's ten instrumental tracks.
Young also continues to tour extensively. In 2009, he headlined the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England, at Hard Rock Calling in London (where he was joined onstage by Paul McCartney for a rendition of "A Day in the Life") and, after years of unsuccessful booking attempts, the Isle of Wight Festival in addition to performances at the Big Day Out festival in New Zealand and Australia and the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona. [extracts from 'The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock' and 'Wikipedia']
This MOJO bootleg release has no date or concert details credited, however, it is highly likely that the recording was taken from a concert held at the Jones Beach Theatre, Long Island, NY 1989 during Young's tour for the 'Freedom' album. This concert has also been released under the title 'Rock at The Beach'.
The concert includes a guest appearance from Bruce Springsteen on 'Down By The River'. Young performs his classics "Heart Of Gold", "Hey Hey, My My", "The Needle And The Damage Done", "After The Goldrush" alongside then-recent material "Rockin' In The Free World", "This Notes For You". The concert is a great acoustic performance with good and clear sound and features Young making regular dialogue with the audience.
The full concert has also been released on DVD under several titles 'Rock At The Beach' and 'At The Beach', available through Amazon
Finally, while researching this concert I stumbled upon this YouTube clip depicting some very funny Charlie Chaplin antics with Neil Young's "Old Laughing Lady" as its background music. Absolutely brilliant!

The rip was taken from my CD at 320kps and includes 4 bonus tracks taken from the 'Rock On The Beach bootleg, also ripped at 320kps. Full album artwork is included for the MOJO release.
Track Listing
01 Rocking In The Free World
02 The Needle And The Damage Done
03 No More
04 Comes A Time
05 Sugar Mountain

06 After The Goldrush
07 Heart Of Gold
08 Crime In The City

09 Helpless

10 My My Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)

11 Ohio
Bonus Tracks
12 This Old House
13 This Notes For You
14 Powder Finger
15 Down By The River (featuring Bruce Springsteen)

Neil Young Link
(160Mb) REPOST