Wednesday, November 30, 2011

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Cold Blue Hunger (E.P 1988)

(Australian 1986-1988) . 

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.

There's not much information available about this Obscure Melbourne band from the late 80's. Cold Blue Hunger evolved out of the bands 'Particular Motion' & 'The Plastoids' which were heavily based on Synthesizers but as 'Cold Blue Hunger' they had a tougher edge without losing its modern 80's sound. They were a Melbourne band playing the pub circuit during the later part of the 80's but never really made the big time. They played at such venues as the Corner Hotel in Richmond, the Tankerville Arms Hotel in Fitzroy and the Prince of Wales Hotel St. Kilda. While playing under the name of the Plastoids, they released an independent single called "Blue Cold Hunger", and was probably the inspiration for their name change. 

As Cold Blue Hunger, they released a single in 1987 entitled "Wasted Time" and a self-titled 4 track 12" E.P in 1988, as featured in this post. The 'Who's Who of Australian Rock' cites this independently released E.P as being called "Finland Friends" but was probably derived from the first track on the E.P of the same name. It was recorded at the Sing Sing Recording Studios in Melbourne. Band member details are also vague, as both the E.P and Who's Who Of Australian Rock only cite them by their first names (see below).
If I was forced to compare them with another band I would probably say 'Big Pig' or 'The Eurogliders', but in my opinion they didn't really have that 'X factor' which bands need to break into the charts. Anyhow, if you are curious about this band, as I was, when I came across the E.P at my local trash & treasure, or you simply have a 'cold blue hunger' to hear another WOCK posting, why not download this post and have a listen. The post contains mp3's ripped from my vinyl at 320kps and includes full artwork and label scans . 

Track listing
01 - Finland Friends (2:50)
02 - Oh So New (2:28)
03 - Get Out Get Up (3:07)
04 - Dollar (2:45) . 

Band members:
Paula (vocals, keyboards)
Mal (Bass)
Rocky (Drums)
Nick (Guitar)
T.C (Guitar, Vocals)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Runaways - Rock Legends Series (1980)

(U.S 1975–1979)
For those of you who do not know, The Runaways were an American girl group who released their first album in 1976. They were all aged about 16. The band came together in '75 in L.A. (of course) under the watchful eye of veteran rock hypester/houdini Kim Fowley, who has garnered himself a reputation (and rightfully so) of being truly crazed, fashioned a group containing young girls, all sixteen and seventeen. The girls, on command, played raunchy, overtly sexual music. In short, it was jailbait with a back-beat. The little boys (and the big boys, for that matter) went wild as the leather-encased, open-shirted batch of girls-next-door hit the road. Seeing the Runaways on stage, wielding their instruments like St. Valentine's Day assassins, was truly stirring, in a variety of ways.
Now, legend has it the members were recruited in the car park of an L.A. glam rock disco's car park. I'd like to imagine this is true, that the girls were found sitting on car bonnets, drinking underage, and popping pills. The fact that The Runaways were a 'manufactured' group doesn't bother me that much. Some great groups - Public Enemy, The Supremes, Sex Pistols, Spice Girls - were put together this way. All that matters to me is the end result. And to me, both then and now, The Runaways are as authentic and valid as I need.
If you haven't heard them, The Runaways records sort of mixed a Suzy Quatroesque Glam thump with a pre-punk, almost Ramones type minimalism. The songs were snotty, bratty, and full of bravado, underlined with the vulnerability of being an adolescent. Key words in the song titles and lyrics were 'night', 'streets', 'wild', 'bomb', 'fire', 'wasted', and 'neon angels on the road to ruin'.
They were a profound mixture of hype and mascara, and were the first batch of girl rock and rollers really to capture the attention of the world at large. (Earlier, Fanny nearly made it, Isis didn't even come close, and Birtha bombed big). From the start, the music industry knew that if these kids made it, they'd make it big, with such show-stopping numbers as "Born to Be Bad", "I Love Playin' with Fire", "Cherry Bomb", and "You Drive Me Wild".
But, by the time their second album, 'Queens of Noise' was released, the girls were badmouthing Fowley and Fowley was responding in kind, each accused the other of having a profound lack of talent. However, a short separation proved that each needed the other and, as the group began to change members. Fowley finally returned to the fold, however, the damage was already done, and after making a couple of albums, The Runaways decided to play their last concert on New Year's Eve 1978, at the Cow Palace near San Francisco and officially broke up in April 1979.
Life After The Runaways
Cherie Currie, the singer, went off to become a solo star and actress. I did see one film she did, 'Little Foxes'. In it she basically played herself, a no good, too fast to live pill popping wild girl who was born to lose. The film was pretty crappy. In real life, she did become a junkie, and after many years she kicked the habit, and now works as a drug counselor. Cherie wrote her biography a few years ago, and I have spent much time trying to track it down, to no avail.
The guitarist, Lita Ford, worked for years as a beautician, before launching herself as a sleek, cat-suited, heavy metal goddess. Her records were rubbish. She also married some tattooed Neanderthal from heavy metal grizzles W.A.S.P, and then I don't know what happened to her.
Joan Jett went on to be Joan Jett, Queen of Rock'n'Roll. I believe Joan to be (now bear with me on this one), in her purity and minimalism, as true an artist as John Cage or Yoko Ono, and in her tomboy leathers, to be as queer as Dennis Cooper or Kathy Acker. Her dedication to loud guitar music, hand claps and screaming choruses is so great, I think that if you were to cut Joan Jett in half, the words 'I love rock and roll' would run through her like a stick of seaside rock.
When people write about the birth of punk, they always talk about the same old stuff: The Velvets, The Stooges, The Dolls, etc. Well, for my money, The Runaways were just as radical, just as nihilistic, and just as suburbanly trashy [extracts taken from Lillian Roxon's Rock Encyclopedia, Angus & Robinson 1978, p435-436]
I feel The Runaways should be remembered as the greatest 'chic band' of the century - but then again, I'm a male and I'm biased

.This post consists of a rip (320kps) taken from my cassette tape version of this Rock Legends 'best of' compilation. Although the tape has been played relentlessly at many a party, it still plays true and the sound quality is still excellent. I have been able to source the artwork for the LP release, however, I suspect this compilation was never been released on CD. Select photos the band have also been included for your drooling !
Track Listing
01. Cherry Bomb

02. You Drive Me Wild

03. I Love Playin' with Fire

04. Born to Be Bad

05. Queens of Noise

06. Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin

07. American Nights

08. School Days

09. Waitin' for the Night

10. Hollywood

Band Members:
Joan Jett (Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals)

Lita Ford (Lead Guitar)
Cherie Currie (Piano, Vocals)

Jackie Fox (Bass, Vocals)

Sandy West (Drums, Vocals)

Runaways Link (77Mb) Link Fixed  05/01/2021


Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Angels - Live at El Mocambo (1980)

(Australian 1974–2000, 2008–present)
Since releasing their debut single ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ in May 1976, The Angels have gone on to enjoy an extraordinary career – through the release of a vast catalogue of recorded music and performing thousands of gigs over more than three decades. Buoyed by the encouragement of Malcolm Young, Angus Young and Bon Scott they moved to Sydney in early 1976 and were signed by Harry Vanda and George Young to the Alberts label after successfully recording some demos of their material.
‘Face To Face’ unleashed a stash of classic songs, all written by the song-writing team of ‘John Brewster/Doc Neeson/Rick Brewster’. Typically driven by a high energy mix of muscular guitars underscored by a pile driving rhythm section and topped off by manic and emotive vocals of their charismatic and hyper singer, ‘Face to Face’ also established the unique audience bonding tribalism now integral to an Angels show. There was no holding back the juggernaut as the follow up album 'No Exit' (June 1979) presented another clutch of classics also written by the team who have recently been inducted onto the Australian Song writers Hall of Fame.
Their dynamic live show saw them selling out the country’s biggest venues as well as helping mentor a whole new generation of bands as part of pub rock movement which became the dominant Australian sound for years to come.
The release of their fourth album 'Dark Room' (June 1980) provided their first number one title ‘No Secrets’. Penned by Doc Neeson and Graham “Buzz” Bidstrup the track further consolidated their enormous success.
'Going Down With The Angels' (by Andrew McMillan)
The smoke gets in your eyes. Shot with blood, peering through the blue haze. I flecks of ash floating across cracked glasses of scotch. Doc Neeson grips the microphone, the black leather jacket hanging loosely from his narrow shoulders, it's all going down, depression sets in with the mandies and some kid collapses to the glass strewn floor, only to have the space engulfed by the bleary surge. (Have you been drinking Andrew? - editor). On stage, through the haze. The Angels are grinding through "Am I ever gonna see your face again". Eighteen months ago it was their first single, a bitter number about a friend of Doc's who killed herself. Yeah, everything's going down. Into the void with the blues. It's got a familiar feel, something reminiscent of the Stones circa '68 to '73. Those open guitar chords and the fairly straight rhythm section ploughing through the shade. And it's hot. Rhythm guitarist John Brewster picks up his harmonica, blows wildly. He took it up when he formed a jug band with his brother Rick and Doc some five years ago. Heavily influenced by the old black blues men, the shrill knifing notes waver and plummet into the gloom. He wishes that he could play like those guys. The harp is creeping back into their repertoire, adding to the lonesome feel. Going down. (Stop! Stop! Before I suicide - editor) Lead guitarist Rick Brewster stands, deadpan, to the left of the stage. Never moving, his shades just sit there and the expression never changes, it was he who took the band away from its jug band days when Doc was studying for his masters degree in drama, who kept the Keystone Angels on stage when they took up the electric instruments and learn't a repertoire of fifties material that eventually got them a place on the Chuck Berry tour of Australia. Gradually the style developed, fifties gave way to sixties and a predominance of original material which helped score a record contract with Alberts before Chris Bailey took up the bass. Three months passed before an album was recorded under the combined production skills of Vanda and Young. Finally released in late September, it's a moody album, though perhaps a trifle too clean, 'cos these guys are carcass-poundin' dirty as they drive through their latest single "You're A Lady Now". The album's cover was designed by Peter Hay-wood who has previously done art-work for such acts as Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. That was the cause for the delay in release. Everything had to be just right. And it is! Immediately after the gig The Angels head down to the studio to put down some live demo tapes. Originally from Adelaide, the Angels are now based in Sydney playing up to ten gigs a week, working their butts off with brutally powerful but basically simple rhythm and blues. In the sleasiest of dives, going down. (Gaaaaaarg! - editor)
(Published in RAM Magazine #71 - November 18, 1977 - page 9)


This post is an excellent Soundboard recording of The Angels (aka Angel City) when they toured the States and Canada in the early 80's, during their 'Darkroom Tour'. They were certainly on fire this evening while performing at the 'El Mocambo', one of Toronto, Ontario's oldest music venues. This historical concert venue has been at the heart of the Toronto Music Scene for over 100 years.
This is not my rip (192kps) and was sourced from the net while trawling for 'great aussie rock'. Full album artwork is included, along with a scan of the RAM newspaper article featured above.
Track Listing
01. After The Rain

02. No Exit

03. No Secrets

04. Comin' Down

05. Marseilles

06. Ivory Stairs

Band Members:
Doc Neeson (lead vocals)

John Brewster (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Rick Bre
wster (lead guitar, vocals)Chris Bailey (bass)
Graham "Buzz" Bidstrup (drums, vocals)

R.I.P  Doc Neeson  (04/06/2014) - One of Australia's finest
The Angels Link (45Mb) REPOST

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lenny Kravitz - Live Unapproved (1990)

(U.S 1988 - Present)
Born in 1965, Lenny Kravitz is a US funk-rock singer/songwriter from New York, who taught himself piano and guitar (later drums too), before his parents moved to Los Angeles, where he joined the California Boys' Choir. Adopting the pseudonym Romeo Blue in the early 80's, he began work as a session musician, then booked a studio to write and record songs for his debut album 'Let Love Rule' (1989), which mixed soul, funk, blues and hard rock.
Rejected by virtually all major labels, he signed to Virgin and released the raw-sounding album without even remixing it. Dismissed by many as a mere Sixties revivalist, he nevertheless won a fervent following and was voted Best New Male Singer by Rolling Stone.
In 1985, Lenny's parents divorced - a fact that affected Lenny very deeply. A year later, Lenny moved to New York where his girlfriend, the actress Lisa Bonet, worked on The Cosby Show. There, Lenny met the recording engineer Henry Hirsch with whom he worked together on his debut album, Let Love Rule.
In November 1987, Lisa and Lenny got married in Las Vegas. A year later, their daughter Zoƫ was born. In 1989, Let Love Rule was ready to be released by Virgin Records; Lisa had contributed to the lyrics. The album encountered harsh words from critics but the public liked the mix of soul and rock which ended up in the charts (US#61, UK#56). Lenny said that he wanted to create an honest sound, which sounded outdated to some listeners. He played most of the instruments on the album.
Lenny co-wrote the lyrics and produced Madonna's video Justify My Love. Rumors about a love affair between him an Madonna and other infidelities by Lenny resulted in a schism between him and Bonet in 1991 and ended with a divorce in 1993.

In 1991, his second album, Mama Said (US#39, UK#8, Germany#20), was released. It was more introspective and sold platinum. Its single It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over was a hit (US#2, UK#11, Germany#43). In 1993, the third album, Are You Gonna Go My Way (US#12, UK#1, Germany#7), was the first to be acclaimed by critics. The title song won an MTV Video Award for Best Male Video.
In 1992, Lenny produced an album for the French singer Vanessa Paradis on which he played most of the instruments and wrote several lyrics. In 1993, Kravitz wrote "Line Up" for Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. Together with Mick Jagger, he recorded a new version of "Use Me" for Jagger's album 'Wandering Spirit'. Lenny also worked with Al Green and Curtis Mayfield.
In 1994, he released 'Spinning Around Over You', which included five live tracks from his 'Universal Love' Tour. His followup album, 'Circus', was influenced by emotions about his mother who was fighting cancer at the time. It was released in the summer of 1995; his mother died in the following December. Then, Lenny moved with his daughter and grandmother to the Bahamas.
Lenny's next album, '5', includes the hit singles "Fly Away", which earned him a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1999, "Thinking Of You", dedicated to his mother and "Little Girl's Eyes", written for his daughter.
After a successful European tour, Lenny's later editions of 5 included "American Woman", a song used in the film Austin Powers: 'The Spy Who Shagged Me'.
In 2000, Lenny Kravitz' Greatest Hits were released. The fifteen titles include "Are You Gonna Go My Way", the ballad "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over", "American Woman" and "I Belong To You". The album's track "Again" won the 2001 Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy Award.
Still tagged by some as an opportunistic chameleon who recycles Hendrix riffs, Kravitz is in fact a skilful stylist reshaping musical genres to fit his own progressive ideas [extract from Lenny Kravitz website]
This post is another Live Bootleg released by Mojo, featuring tracks from Lenny's 1989-1990 club tour which covered the USA (New York, Boston, Chicago) and the UK (London). The songs on this particular bootleg were recorded live in the Town & Country Club, London, 24.5.1990
The post consists of a 320kps rip taken from CD and includes the usual generic artwork typical of the 'Live Unapproved' series. This bootleg (or parts of it) have been released under other names: 'Always On The Run (Volume 1)' - 'Cold Turkey' - 'Flower Child' and 'If 6 was 9'.
I have included the more appealing artwork for 'Flower Child' as an alternative cover.
In addition, I have also included 3 bonus live tracks taken from Lenny's more recent single "Again". They are "Fly Away", "Always On The Run" and the hit "Are You Gonna Go My Way".
Track Listing
01 Mr. Cab Driver
02 Flower Child
03 Be

04 My Precious Love

05 Freedom Train

06 Cold Turkey

07 Fear

08 If Six Were Nine

09 Let Love Rule

Bonus Tracks

10 Fly Away*

11 Always On The Run+

12 Are You Gonna Go My Way+


* Recorded Live at Brixton Academy 1998
+ Recorded Live at Musiqueplus 1999

Lenny Kravitz Link (158Mb) REPOST

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Skyhooks - The Skyhooks Tapes (1977) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1973-1980, 1983-84, 1990, 1994)
When Cyclone Skyhooks (as they call her in the trade) appeared on the distant horizon in 1973, little was Australia aware that its entire bungling, struggling, apologetic little wader's pool of an industry was about to be swamped, revamped and exhilarated almost overnight.
Two years later Skyhooks, a band of unknowns with little more than a lot of lip, nerve, talent, imagination and several million dollar riffs with lyrics to match at their disposal, had completely revolutionised the face of Australian rock. They didn't have a manager till January '75, they still don't have a publicist.
The band was the basic conception of bass-player Greg Macainsh, who writes 90% of the repertoire, built upon by other Skyhooks Red Symons (aka Rocco Simone, guitar/vocals/odd compositions); Graeme Strachan (aka Shirley, vocals); Bob Starkie (aka Bongo Star, guitar) and Fred Strauks (aka Freddy Kaboodleschnitzer, drums/vocals).
They started out by winning over the bohemian grandchildren of Eltham, the theatrics of Carlton and the student intelligentsia of Melbourne's high schools, technical colleges and universities; picked up the sharpies and skinheads of St. Albans and Chelsea; did well interstate and ended up with the nation's Hot Sox and pimple-cure market on their hands - plus thicker wallets, gold record racks and more press clippings books than any Australian band had ever dreamed of. [extract from 'Million Dollar Riff', 1975, p6]

So, how did Shirley join the band?
Sunbury '75 was Skyhooks' big chance to win over thousands in one foul swoop, thrill the press and maybe even steal the thunder of many bigger bands. But on the day it didn't work like that. It was a stinking hot day in late January, and the band's allotted time slot was lousy mid-afternoon on Saturday, when the sun was at its zenith and everyone still left in their right mind would be swimming in the Hunter river or sleeping someplace in a tent. Uncharacteristically, before the performance Skyhooks were nervous. "I never thought I'd see the day", swears Gudinski, "when that band would be affected at all, and they really were."
In the hazy heat the make-up was dripping off their faces even before they reached the stage and guitar strings wretched flat immediately they re-tuned. The sound didn't come together at all and when a few of the standard festival hecklers caterwauled a little abuse along the lines of "poofters!", Hill overreacted and got involved in a shouting mouth fight with some cat in the crowd . . Altogether, the thing was a mess.
Sunbury was later televised by Channel 0, and Steve Hill felt sickened watching himself jerk and writhe in miniature on the video replay. Already more than uneasy with his position, he decided to quit while he was ahead.
"The main reason why I left - let's get down to the crunch of the whole thing - was because I was having an identity problem. . . You get to that stage in life where you're wondering who you are and all that sort of stuff, and in the context of Skyhooks it was very difficult to play out this role of this mysterious, macho, menacing, aggro lead singer of a rock'n'roll band, which is not me at all you know, and at the same time solve all my identity problems.
"It was just starting to spin too much in my head, and I felt that if I didn't step out of it then, and get a chance to look at things in perspective . . . well, I'd blow it for myself and I'd blow it for the band."
Also in Hill's mind was the factor that Skyhooks were soon to sign a deal with Gudinski's indigenous Mushroom Records, and to change your lead singer after your first record could be a major drag. When Steve announced he wanted out, no-one hit the roof.
"I'd been used to guitarists coming and going", mutters Macainsh, "so when he reckoned he was gonna leave the band it was just another person leaving. He'd been with us for a while, so it kinda posed a problem. But the band wasn't on the verge of breaking up because of it."
Gudinski was thinking "oh-oh, the band's dipped out." The band said not to worry. "It didn't worry me!" says Wilson. "I could see that it was gonna be alright anyway. I just sat back and watched what happened. Asked Greg what they were gonna do, and he said, there's this guy . . . "
Yeah, there was this guy alright. Shirley Strachan had been hanging loose down at Phillip Island ever since Frame broke up. But it was February 74, the cold was coming on and his girlfriend was off to Perth, so Shirl jumped in his combi and headed for Melbourne to work the winter through carpentering for his dad. But as he sped up the coast road, Greg Macainsh and Freddy Strauks were driving down and they must have passed each other in transit. The two Hooks arrived at Strachan's Phillip Island pad only to find him gone, so they turned around and began the long drive home. Later that day they caught up with him at his parents' Mt. Waverly home, sat down, had a cup of tea and asked him if he'd join the band.

It didn't take Strachan long to make up his mind. Melbourne he could take or leave - he didn't particularly want it. Really it was just a matter of being able to work there, make some money and take it down to the surf beaches again. Skyhooks, he thought, would be a nice interest to pass away the time.
*Ross Wilson actually considered joining Skyhooks around this stage, Mighty Kong having dipped out leaving time on his hands. "I thought it would be really neat to sing those songs and play with the really tough music . . . But I decided against it. I had to follow my own destiny through."
Graeme's first gig was March 3, 1974 in Frankston, Melbourne. Right from the start, Macainsh had made it clear to him that Skyhooks were streets away from Fame, especially in their approach of an audience.
"Greg said you're gonna have to talk, you're gonna have to look at people . . . And the first night I did, you know. And I thought, oh fuck, that's not bad ..." He wore a blue satin outfit something like a sailor suit and white gym shoes, he was lean and very suntanned from all that surfing and swimming and his hair was so long it had to be pulled back off his face in a ponytail.
"Greg introduced me to this guy", reminisces Gudinski, " really straight, quiet, meek guy. He says oh, you're the one, meets me and shakes my hand . . . little did I know that I felt funny to him because he was replacing Steve, he was the new outsider ..." But it wasn't long before the two were getting on like a house on fire. Shirley (Macainsh insisted on that name in the press releases) became the new band rep in the office; a whiz with figures and a keen, hard-headed businessman; and as such worked hand in hand with Gudinski, whose interest in Skyhooks was rapidly expanding. He'd signed them to a recording contract with Mushroom, and the hottest buzz in the industry was that Ross Wilson, probably Australia's most legendary 70's rock songwriter and performer, had talked Skyhooks into letting him produce their first album.
[extract from 'Million Dollar Riff', 1975, p25-27].

Skyhook's Rise to Fame
OK you say, but just how have Skyhooks revolutionized Australian rockbiz? Here's some of the things they've done in the year October 74 - October 75.
They sold over 350,000 LP's and cassettes of their first two albums. 'Living in the 70's' and 'Ego Is Not A Dirty Word' (the first outside productions of the multi-talented Boss Wilson). 'Living in the 70's' alone sold around 200,000 LP's and cassettes by October '75; approximately four times the previous record sales for a locally-produced rock album in Australia (set by Daddy who? Daddy Cool in 71-72). This amounts to over thirteen gold records. Ego went gold several times in pre-release orders alone and continues to give its forerunner a run for its money. Both albums have sold gold cassettes, a first for Oz rock. "Horror Movie" was a gold single and both subsequent singles have been National Number 1.
Skyhooks national tours have smashed attendance records all over the country. Their third was the premier tour of an indigenous act ever taken by promoters Paul Dainty Corporation - who wised up to the fact that in Australia, Skyhooks could equal or surpass the draw of any given international star act, and do it from Sydney to the black stump (requiring only internal airfares to boot).
They also effected a complete upheaval of the media . . . playing banned number "Smut" on the now defunct Blind Date (Red Symons, "date" for the evening, sending the whole show sky high by wearing dark glasses and tapping a cane as he entered the set, playing possum throughout the questioning and finally biting the lucky contestant on the neck instead of kissing her) and on kids show Do It (also now defunct) and other banned numbers elsewhere; making a strict point of discussing camera work, lighting and sets with every video crew they worked with; refusing to grant unwarranted interviews tc the press and;, eventually working a miracle on the country's stuffy, traditionalist major pop radio network . . .
For although FACB (Australian radio and TV's self-controlling body comprised of representatives from all over the nation) voted to ban six of ten tracks on 'Living in the 70's' something (perhaps the huge sales of that album) mysteriously moved them to leave 'Ego Is Not A Dirty Word' completely uncommented upon - with the result that "Smartarse Songwriters", "Saturday Night" (containing the word "dope") and "Love's No: Good Enough" ("The girls in the front row are or mandrax" - mandrax being a well-known soporiphic taken these days for kicks) are now being freely broadcast by at least one radio station reported to have large Catholic/Liberal Party interests. Not to mention "Love on the Radio", deliberately omitted from the first album because of the blatant way it rubbishes radio and its advertisers.
So Skyhooks have stretched all those limits we pessimistically imagined concrete beyond recognition In America, rock is close to the country's biggest industry In Australia it's still only a fraction of the national annual income, but increasing hundreds of percents every year giving our musical artists and everyone working around them a better chance for the right to decent conditions and a certain measure of respect.
In late 75, there were more rock and pop centered publications on the market than ever before and television gave us several hours o" rock-centered music every week.
Skyhooks have not been the sole cause of the uplifted state of Oz rockbiz of course . . . The Easybeats paved the way in the 60's, Daddy Cool gave it another great shove in the early 70's and Sherbet have been in there fighting for years, with considerable success - not to mention all those scores of bands and media fold who've given everything from a little inspiration to their all. But if the others put in the foreplay,it was Skyhooks who completed the act, and did it with such finality we were all left reeling.
So, having sold over Australia, $2,000,000 worth of recorded wares and with the best overseas deal yet clinched by an Australian act (one of the best offered to any new group around the world at the time, in fact), Skyhooks prospects are good..... [extract from 'Million Dollar Riff',1975. p145-147]

After completing their 1976 US tour, the band remained in San Francisco and recorded their third album with Wilson producing, Straight in a Gay Gay World—called Living in the 70's for US release with "Living in the 70's" replacing "The Girl Says She's Bored"—which appeared in August and peaked at #3 on the Australian album charts. In July, upon return to Australia they launched The Brats Are Back Tour with a single, "This is My City", which reached the Top 20. "Blue Jeans" followed in August and peaked at #13 on the singles chart. By October, Strachan provided his debut solo single, "Every Little Bit Hurts" (a cover of Brenda Holloway's 1964 hit), which reached #3. In February 1977, Symons left the band and was replaced on guitar by Bob Spencer (Finch later called Contraband). With Symons' departure the band dropped the glam rock look and used a more straight forward hard rock approach. During 1977 Skyhooks toured nationally three times, while their first single with Spencer, "Party to End All Parties", peaked into the top 30 in May. Strachan released his second solo single, a cover of Smokey Robinson's "Tracks of My Tears", which reached the top 20 in July. Meanwhile, Mushroom released a singles anthology, 'The Skyhooks Tapes', which entered the top 50 in September and is featured in this post. The band's mass popularity had declined although they still kept their live performances exciting and irreverent and played on until 1980, when they finally disbanded [extract from wikipedia]
This post consists of a vinyl rip at 320kps taken from my treasured copy of 'The Skyhooks Tapes', which has rarely seen daylight. Full album artwork is also included along with a selection of B&W photos sourced from the 1975 biography 'Million Dollar Riff' by Jenny Brown (photos thanks to Carol Jerrems). As this compilation was a collection of A & B side singles, I have also chosen to include 2 tracks from a rare flexi disc which was only available with the 'Vault Magazine' Vol 1 #4 (sourced from Ozzie Music Man with thanks).
This album was not meant to be a definitive collection of 'hits' at the time of its release, but rather a compilation of singles and non-album tracks. I have also chosen to include a podcast of an interview with Greg Macainsh on a San Francisco radio show called 'The Rock 'n' Roll Geek show' and was sourced from the Midoztouch Forum with thanks to Jetboy. This is a wonderful 1/2 hour mixture of dialogue and music centered on Skyhooks invasion of America during their 1976 tour and well worth the listen.
Track Listing
01 - All My Friends (Are Getting
02 - Party To End All Parties

03 - Crazy Heart

04 - Ego Is Not A Dirty Word

05 - Hot Rod James

06 - Million Dollar Riff

07 - You're Like A Broken Gin Bottle Baby

08 - Let It Rock

09 - Revolution (US Version)

10 - Blue Jeans

11 - Living The The 70's

12 - You Just Like Me 'Cos I'm Good In Bed

13 - Forging Ahead

14 - Horror Movie

Bonus Tracks
15 - Sweet Sister (A-Side Flexi Single)

16 - Guitar Thunders In My Hand (B-Side Flexi Single)

17 - Greg Macainsh Radio Interview (Rock 'N' Roll Geek
Show, 2007)

The Hooks were:
Shirley Strachan (Lead Vocals)

Red Symons (Guitar/Vocals)

Bob Starkie (Guitar)

Greg Macainsh (Bass/Vocals)

Freddy Strauks (Drums/Vocals)

The Skyhooks Link (165Mb) New Link 25/07/2022

Thursday, November 3, 2011

George Thorogood And The Destroyers - Selftitled (1977)

(U.S 1974 – Present)
George Thorogood was born on December 31, 1950 and was raised in Naamans Gardens, Delaware, where his father worked for DuPont. He graduated from Brandywine High School in 1968. Thorogood played semi-professional baseball, but turned toward music after seeing John P. Hammond perform in 1970.
Thorogood formed the Delaware Destroyers in 1973, and moved the band to Boston where they became familiar faces on the East Coast blues circuit. During this time, Thorogood continued to play baseball, touring with the band during the off season. The band recorded a demo tape in 1974, which would later be released in 1979 as the 'Better Than The Rest' album.

Thorogood's scorched-earth live performances with the Destroyers brought the band to the attention of Rounder Records, which released the band's critically-acclaimed, self-titled debut in 1977 (Note: Stockade released this album in Australia).
The album sold extremely well for an independent release, leading to the 1978 release of Move It On Over, which I will post at a later date.
In the 34 years since the release of this debut album, George Thorogood and the Destroyers have forged a career of exceptional durability. Delivering guitar-driven roadhouse rock and houserockin' blues, the blueprint established by that debut has been followed by the band ever since, and songs from that album like "Madison Blues" and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" are crowd-pleasers still played by Thorogood and the Destroyers to this day.
This basic blues-rock sound has brought Thorogood criticism from blues purists even while it's made Thorogood and the Destroyers one of the most popular blues-based bands on the road and in the studio.

 Over the course of 15 live and studio albums – two which have gone "Platinum" for a million units sold, and six that have been certified as "Gold" – the hard-working trio has become known for signature songs like "Bad To The Bone," "Move It On Over," "Born To Be Bad," "Get A Haircut," and their raucous cover of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" [ extract from wikipedia]
Thorogood's association with Chess Records
George Thorogood has been essaying the Chess repertoire since his 1977 debut album, which included songs by Elmore James and Bo Diddley that originated on the label. He has cut 18 Chess covers over the years; three appeared on his last studio release, 2009’s 'The Dirty Dozen'. On 2120 South Michigan Avenue, he offers a full-length homage to the label that bred his style with interpretations of 10 Chess classics.
Chess’ studio spawned timeless ‘50s and ‘60s recordings by Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Howlin’ Wolf, which served as inspiration for the Stones and their blues-rocking brethren, and then lit a fire under their successors George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
Thorogood recalls:
"I remember as a teenager reading about Mick Jagger meeting Keith Richards on a train. Jagger had a Chuck Berry record, and he said he wrote to Chess Records and got a catalog sent to him. Just out of curiosity, I took out one of my Chess records, got the address, and I wrote to Chess Records. And they sent me a catalog of the complete Chess library, and I started buying up these Chess records. I bought every single one of them I could possibly get.
“And I remember reading
the backs of those Chess records and seeing the address, 2120 South Michigan Avenue, and I said, ‘That’s the same address as the Rolling Stones’ instrumental!’ And I started putting one and one together and coming up with a big two.”
Over time, Chess’ catalog and artists became the sources of Thorogood’s higher education in music. “That was my school, the college that I had to learn my trade in,” he says. “I had to figure out how these people did these things.”

His latest album also celebrates the performers who shared stages with Thorogood and the Destroyers and encouraged them when they were just coming up on the East Coast blues scene.
He says, “The people who helped me out were all the guys in Muddy Waters’ band, all the guys in Howlin’ Wolf’s band. They were wonderful to me, and they wanted to help me. They saw what I was trying to do.” [extract from Thorogood's Website]
Album Review
Break out the bottles of booze and crank up the volume... gritty guitarist George Thorogood and his tight backing Destroyers blow-out ten raucous, John Lee Hooker and Chuck Berry inspired songs to throw back shots into the early morning hours throughout the 1977 hard rockin', blooze-based LP. Opening with the quick-hittin' "You Got to Lose", the self-titled album rolls behind raw tracks that features the lengthy "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer", plus the get-down stomp of "Madison Blues", "Can't Stop Lovin'", and set closer "Delaware Slide".
This is like the best bar band you've ever heard. People who talk smack about George Thorogood are really missing the point. By playing such cranked-up versions of their music, he has undoubtedly introduced more people to Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Elmore James, and John Lee Hooker than any SBS documentary ever will.
If you want to collect Thorogood, his first two albums (this one and 'Move It On Over') are his best. He sold more copies later when he switched to EMI, but the records just aren't as consistent or fun. An unfortunate consequence of the label change is that both of the compilations put out by EMI miss out on classic material from the first two records, stuff like "Ride on Josephine", "You Got to Lose", and "It Wasn't Me".
This album was everything that I wanted it to be, high energy, raw and considering how long it took to record, amazing quality. No matter that it had only two George Thoroughgood written tracks, it transformed some of the other tunes into something I could relate to. Thus Bo Diddleys "Ride on Josephine" and Earl Hookers "You got to lose" were headed in a direction that I could understand. Some 35 years later I still get the buzz that I had then when I first heard the album played at a Uni party.
Surely that's the test of a great album?
This rip was taken from my virgin vinyl (ripped at 320kps) and includes full album artwork. This 'Stockade pressing' is something special I can tell you - it sounds almost like a direct to disc recording. Crystal clear and super sharp acoustics make this a 'kick ass' blues and boogie album, So enjoy!
Track Listing
01 You Got To Lose

02 Madison Blues
03 One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

04 Kind Hearted Woman
05 Can't Stop Lovin'
06 Ride On Josephine
07 Homesick Boy
08 John Hardy
09 I'll Change My Style
10 Delaware Slide

Band Members Are:
George Thorogood (electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica, lead vocals)

Jeff Smith (Drums)

Billy Blau (Bass)

Ron Smith (Second guitar on some tracks)

George Thorogood Link (104Mb) New Link 27/02/2024