Friday, January 31, 2014

Stiletto - Licence To Rage (1978) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1976-1978)
Stiletto formed in the Autumn of 1976 and quickly gained a reputation of being a strong feminist band. At that point, their line-up included singer / songwriter Janie Conway on guitar and vocals and Marney Sheehan on bass. Shortly after Chris Worrall joined the band", Janie left. She did some demo tapes, produced by Mike Rudd for EMI, played as a duo with another singer/songwriter, Marney Sheehan (ex-bass player in the original Stiletto line-up) and, finally, in late '78, formed her own rock band, Janie Conway's Scarlet.
Stiletto first appeared on vinyl in July 1977 when they provided the B-side, 'Nights In Parlour', to Red Symon's single "Only A Flipside'. Later in the year, they gained prominence with the release of the Oz Records compilation album, Debutantes, to which they contributed three songs.
Their first wholly Stiletto single, 'Bluebirds', written by Andrew, was followed in August '78 by their debut album, 'Licence to Rage' — unfortunately to become their only LP. Two tracks from the album, 'Goodbye Johnny' and 'Woman In A Man's World' were released as a single (Oz label) in the same month.
In November it was announced that one of their songs, 'Women In Trouble', was to be used on a film soundtrack (other tracks by the band had been used previously on movies). This news was accompanied by some not so good tidings — they were dropped by their record company, EMI. Regrettably, this seemed to precipitate their dissolution.
Chris Worrall left to join Paul Kelly and the Dots. He was replaced by Chris Dyson (ex-High Rise Bombers) and briefly the band seemed to rejuvenate, and even appeared as special guests on Elvis Costello's Melbourne show; but early in 1979 the final decision to split was made.
Jane, Andrew and Celeste appeared in a rock musical,Mickey's Moomba, at the Pram Factory in February-March '79. (Andrew and Celeste in the backing band and Jane in a singing-acting role. Andrew also wrote some of the show's music.) Chris and Eddie were to join a reformation of the Melbourne new wave band, News, but in early '79 were playing with the Romantics [extract from Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock (1978-79) Yearbook, p94-95]

Pub Bands - An Ocassional Guide
(Article by Jenny Brown, 'Bottom Line' Newspaper - March / April 1978, p12)
Half man, half woman! C'est Stiletto, one of Melbourne's few truly underground bands, burrowing upwards toward the light of widerr recgnition.
Stiletto, whilst pretending to a certain cool, are closet flamboyants. Lots of colorand imagery, scrambled genders, and a sort of shivering toughness which has definite appeal.
Constant revolving in the club 'n' pub circuit has polished this sharp little gem of a band until crikey they can really rock. There's been the odd line-up casuality, but always the replacements have been well selected, eventually beefing up the band.
The line-up (at this time) is now Jane Clifton (vocals), Celeste Howden (bass), Chris Worrell(guitar), Andrew Bell (guitar) and Ed Van Roosendale (drums).
Stiletto's repetoire contains some very incentive originals, with a dyed-in-the-wool Melbournian 70's feel. Their interest in women's blues has labelled them a feminist band, but those who think the female members dominate the group may be surprised to know the guitarist Andrew Bell penned the tragicomic "Women In Trouble" (about the long distance adoration and eventual spurning "I wouldn't fuck you with a dog's dick" etc. of an impervious female passer-by building site workers). Also notable are "Premenstrual Blues", "Cream" and many more.
By no means are Stiletto going to set the world alight, but they have earned their tracks on the 'Debutantes' album released by Oz Records this November. They also have the flip-side of Red Symons "It's Only a Flip Side", the single from the album, with 'Nights in the Parlour'.
Interview with Jane Clifton (circa Music Makers, June 1979,    The Toorak Times)

When Jane Clifton talks about Stiletto, you can’t help but get the feeling that she looks back on her days in a rock’n’roll band not so much with regret as with a wisdom and a knowledge that she didn’t have when the band started.

Comfortably settled into a circuit of activities that includes acting, swingtime/jazz singing, and a late night spot at the Last laugh Theatre Restaurant, she can probably afford to feel that way.
But the Stiletto sag, starting off with so much enjoyment and ending in so much disappointment, still looms large in her mind.
“One of the great failings of Stiletto,” says Jane matter-of-factly, “was there was no single central figure to say this is the way ahead, this is the music we’ll play, these are the ideas we’ll have.”

“I firmly believe now that the most successful – in the commercial sense – rock and roll ventures have a typical structure, where there is a central person with an idea around whom other people cluster .“
She pauses a moment, then settles back into her armchair. It’s obviously a long story, and no longer worth telling in too much detail.
“ Like, in the beginning of Stiletto, we just fell into the band. It may have been that the five of us who ended up being together actually chosen people, we might not have chosen each other, for a lot of reasons.”

‘But,” adds Jane with a wry smile, “Stiletto was the band where I finally got to do the whole rock and roll trip, working four or five nights a week, touring…and getting exploited.”

Jane Clifton’s current relationship with rock’n’roll is what you might call a trial separation. “Right now I don’t think I’ll ever do that trip again,” she says.

“I don’t think I’ll ever give myself totally to rock’n’roll.”
The question of talent versus timing-and-luck comes up. To Jane,the latter is the crucial ingredient, one with which Stiletto was not blessed.
“We were always out of phase.”
“We released ‘Bluebirds’ at the height of when punk was in vogue, so we were stuffed on that one. ‘Bluebirds’ was the pinkest thing we could possibly have put out!”
She laughs it off. Time heals all wounds.

Jane Clifton (vocals), Celeste Howden (bass)
“Then we released ‘Goodbye Johnny’, but by then the wave was over.”

“Our lyrics were out of phase too.”

But Jane, I always thought that was the one thing about Stiletto that was IN phase!
“They were to start with,” answers Jane, ‘and we were singing about interesting stuff that would never be popular within mainstream commercial rock.”

Stiletto never did quite achieve what they wanted i.e.general acceptance. Compounded by an album, as Jane admits, never quite lived up to the promise the band had shown, the band, the concept, and the hopes folded.
So how does she come to be performing with a jazz band doing Cole Porter material and the like?
The answer is simple.

She’d always enjoyed slipping into a torch song; even with Stiletto (‘Second Home’ and ‘Nights in Parlour’ were amongst their best songs).

When management of The Flying Trapeze Theatre Restaurant convinced her to take part in their fifth birthday celebrations, her spot was so successful that offers of work began coming in virtually of their own accord.

“Everybody kept saying ‘keep doing it’, and I kept getting offered gigs…it was exactly the same way Stiletto started, totally by accident and seeming like a nice idea.”

“I intend keeping it that way,” continues a worldly wise Jane. “With Stiletto we pushed the idea too far, kept it going too long. With this, as soon as the idea runs out or I get sick of it – I’m going to finish it.”

The obvious question is, do you feel more at home performing this style of music than you were in the rock band?

“Well, they’re both parts of what I wanted to do, Like, I don’t totally think of having left rock behind, but I’d never do it as part of a band.”

‘At the moment I’m getting another part of me out of my system, and learning a whole lot about jazz. Which, for me, is just great.”.  The smile on her face confirms that.

This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from vinyl and includes limited album artwork, sourced somewhere on the Internet many, many years ago.   I have also chosen to include 3 bonus tracks, taken from the Aussie compilation album 'Debutantes' (produced by Red Symons) to sweeten the deal. Thanks must go to Ozzie Music Man for providing me with these 3 tracks. Oh, and keep your ears out for the track "Cream" which has a distinct 'Skyhooks' sound about it, with Jane sounding a lot like Shirley Strauchan.
Stiletto were certainly an under rated band who deserved greater success and better treatment from their record company. So grab a copy of this rare Aussie album while you can and know that with it comes a License To Rage !

Track Listing
01 - Public Enemy No.1
02 - Licence To Rage
03 - Woman In A Man's World
04 - Bluebirds
05 - Not Too Young For Joy
06 - Goodbye Johnny
07 - Middle Of The Bed
08 - 2nd Home
09 - Rozalyn
10 - The Man (Bonus Track)
11 - Cream (Bonus Track)
12 - Nights In Parlour (Bonus Track)

* Bonus tracks taken from the 1977 compilation 'Debutantes
Band Line-up:
Andrew Bell (Guitar)
Jane Clifton (Vocals)
Celeste Howden (Bass, vocals)
Eddie Van Rosendall (Drums, vocals)
Chris Worrall (Guitar, vocals)
Stiletto Link (101Mb)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Judith Durham, Russell Hitchcock & Mandawuy Yunupingu: I Am Australian (1997)

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 aclaim. Therefore, I would like to celebrate Australia Day by posting this wonderful Australian Anthem recorded by some of our country's best musical artists. I hope you enjoy it and have a great Australia Day !

In September, 1997 as her Mona Lisas album was being released in Australia, Judith Durham (The Seekers) found herself back in a studio to record a new single, "I Am Australian". 
The popularity of this anthem, which Judith had already recorded with The Seekers on the 25 Year Reunion Celebration album and video, prompted EMI to ask her to join Russell Hitchcock and Mandawuy Yunupingu, respectively lead singers of the international chart-toppers Air Supply and Indigenous band Yothu Yindi, to record 'I Am Australian' as a single, with producer Charles Fisher.  
Within days of its release it had reached #17 in the Australian Top 40. For the first time since 'The Olive Tree' in 1967, Dudith's name was in the charts!

For those who don`t know much about Mandawuy Yunupingu, this great man was an artist, mentor and ambassador who galvanized Australia’s indigenous and non-indigenous people and brought contemporary Aboriginal music to the world through his group 'Yothu Yindi'. Sadly, he died last year at the age of 56. The former Australian of the Year and ARIA Hall of Famer died at his home in Yirrkala in Australia’s Northern Territory.  Yunupingu was a trailblazer who became the first indigenous Australian to be appointed a school principal and the musical group he founded went on to become Australia's most successful and highest-profile indigenous act.

Russel Hitchcock is also one of our best Aussie singers and I would place him in the same league as Farnham and Barnsy

This is the definitive version of what is a great, great, song and as we celebrate Australia Day today, let's pay homage to some of our great Australian Artists.  Ripped from CD in MP3 (320kps) format.
Track Listing
01 - I Am Australian (Single Release) 
02 - I Am Australian (Instrumental)
03 - I Am Australian (Little Australian Version) 
I Am Australian (30Mb)  
New Link 20/03/2023


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Silent Running - Walk On Fire (1987)

(Irish 1981 - 1990)
Belfast band who'd been active since 1978 as The Setz. The Setz changed image and musical direction at the end of 1981 and renamed themselves Silent Running.
Silent Running recorded a self-released demo single in 1982 with a Setz track on one side and a Silent Running track on the other. Just 300 copies of this demo single were pressed. It was not generally available to the public. Instead it was sent to various labels, DJs, journalists and other contacts within the music business as a calling card for the new band. As such it is now a difficult item to locate.
One DJ who liked what he heard was BBC One's Peter Powell, who invited the band to record a session for his radio program in the Autumn of 1982. This in turn led to interest from Warner Brothers who financed a seven song demo, but the deal being offered wasn't good enough and Silent Running signed instead to EMI. As far as I know the Warner session tracks have never been released.
Colin Gates joined on keyboards in 1983, the same year the band's first single on EMI was released. This was followed by a series of records during 1984-87 which were criticised for being "forgettable passionless dance-rock". This is perhaps unfair, though their records are sometimes plagued by an over-earnest over-riding seriousness and an overbearing early 1980s production. At their best, they're reminiscent of Simple Minds of the same era.
The band made several TV appearances including The Tube in 1984.
Alex White left in 1985 and was not replaced, session players being used as needed. Ian Gault left in 1988 during the recording of the final album and was replaced by Gary Kirby (ex True Colours) [extract from]
Alternative BIO
In 1981, the Setz dropped the punky stuff in favour of a new ‘stadium rock’ sound a la Simple Minds and drafted in keyboard player Geordie Beavis. They changed their name to Silent Running and produced a promotional single, a double A side featuring 2 songs All The Kings Men and When The 12th Of Never Comes. 200 copies were pressed purely for promotional purposes.
A copy was sent to BBC Radio One DJ Peter Powell who played it on his 5.45 show .He subsequently offered the band a session for his show, which they duly recorded in Pebble Mill Studios. An appearance on the Oxford Road Show also followed.

In January 1983, Silent Running signed  for EMI and released their first EP When The 12th Of Never Comes. Beavis quit the band during the recording of this single and from then on the band mainly used session musicians for live and studio work. They toured with Robert Palmer and on their own. In April 1984 they released their first album Shades Of Liberty and toured on their own and with Simple Minds in Britain, and extensively in Europe with Talk Talk. They released 3 singles Emotional Warfare, Young Hearts and Sticks And Stones, and appeared on national TV programmes including an Old Grey Whistle Test live concert and The Tube.
In 1986 Silent Running left EMI and signed for Atlantic Records New York, releasing their second album Walk On Fire in 1987. The single Sanctuary charted in the ‘rock’ top 40 in America. They toured with the Alarm and on their own around the East coast of America before releasing one further album Deep in 1989 on Atlantic. Gary Kirby (ex The Vedettes) replaced Ian Gault on drums shortly before Silent Running split up in 1990. [extract from Spit Records]

Album Reviews
Review 1 (thanks to Justin.G at Amazon)
1987's Walk on Fire was the second album from Belfast band Silent Running. I suppose comparisons to U2 are inevitable (hey, it's either that or Thin Lizzy), they are probably not fair. Walk on Fire is very much an 80's pop/rock album, and where an album like The Joshua Tree is timeless, this album definitely seems a bit dated. Besides, Silent Running's sound is closer to a harder rocking Simple Minds, particularly side 2.
Walk on Fire is still an impressive 80's album though, and one that should have done a lot better for the band. Even considering the keyboards and new wave hair, the band has an earnestness that you can't help but admire. For me, Peter Gamble's voice is the main attraction of this album. It's strong and full of emotion, and is perfectly suited to that mid 80's pop/rock sound. Standout tracks on this too brief (just under 36 minutes) are Sanctuary, Heartbreak City and Winds of War, though there really aren't any losers here.
It's a shame this album didn't bring the band a wider audience, because it is one of the better pop/rock albums from that time. I didn't discover the band until recently, but after hearing Walk on Fire I am now on the hunt for more Silent Running albums.

Silent Running On Stage (Early 80's)
Review 2 (Thanks to Thalys)
Strong album, this second one of Silent Running. The band has been compared with the "Simple Minds" quite a lot, but Silent Running is heavier. The songs, especially on this album, are more guitardriven. Peter Gamble's voice has indeed a distinct resemblance with the voice of Jim Kerr.
Fav tracks: "Sanctuary", "Heartland", "Heartbreak City", "Winds of war" and "Under your skin".
Album was produced by Terry Brown.
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy - recently acquired in almost virgin condition. Full album artwork is included along with select photos of the band, both as the Setz and Silent Running. I quite like this album, especially the opening track "Sanctuary" and recommend you give this album a spin, particularly if you are a fan of Simple Minds.
01. Sanctuary
02. Heartland

03. The Hunger
04. Heartbreak City
05. Walk On Fire
06. Winds of War
07. Under Your Skin
08. Till Tomorrow Comes

Band Lineup:
Peter Gamble - vocals
Tony Scott - guitar
Richard Collett - bass
Ian Gault - drums

Guest Artist:
Alex White - keyboards
Silent Running Link (85Mb)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hush - C'mon We're Taking Over (1974) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1971-1977)
Aussie rockers, Hush, came to life in 1971 as a five-piece unit consisting of Keith Lamb (vocals), Chris Nolan (keyboards), Robin Jackson (guitar), Rick Lum (bass) and John Koutts (drums). The band gigged in this incarnation until the middle of 1972, when Nolan, Jackson and Koutts exited. Les Gock (guitars) and Chris Pailthorpe (drums) were enlisted, leaving Hush as a four piece. This newly revitalized lineup went on to win Hoadley’s National Battle of the Sounds contest later that year, putting them squarely in the spotlight and prompting a recording contract with Warner Brothers. By 1973, "Alive 'n Loud" was issued on the strength of their first single, "Get the Feelin", which peaked at #11 on the Aussie charts. Touring ensued and by early 1974, Hush moved to Wizard Records to record their sophomore album.
"Get Rocked" was released in early spring, spawning three singles that were all met with a reasonable amount of success. However, Wizard was not satisfied with the album's triple gold status. Sensing the impending glam explosion that had already swept the UK, the band were pressured to adjust their look accordingly and focus on finding a glam standout that could send them up the charts. The band were quickly shuffled into the studio to record their third album, "C'mon We're Taking Over", which hit store shelves in September of 1974. The album failed to impress critics and fans, causing their lone selftitled single from the album to sink without a trace.
Though their live reputation was formidable, Hush seemed barely on the cusp of something great and luckily Wizard made one last attempt to help the band strike gold. This finally came in 1975, as their fourth album, "Rough Tough n Ready" exploded onto the scene with the help of an explosive cover of "Boney Maroney" and a colorful appearance on the famous, "Countdown" TV program. Soon Hush were the glam darlings of their native country and their tour that year sold out virtually everywhere in Australia. This success lasted thru most of 1976, which also saw the addition of a second guitarist, Jacques DeJongh. This augmented lineup was short lived as Gock departed at the conclusion of the tour in early 1977.
Determined to eclipse the success of their last album, Hush released "Touche" in the summer of 1977, but their audience had all but vanished along with the dying glam scene that helped them achieve such success. One single from the album was issued and failed to chart, prompting Wizard to drop the band later that year. The band effectively ceased to exist by early 1978. In the wake of the split, several of the members went on to issue their own singles to little response. In the years following, Lamb suffered from mental illness and eventually left the business to work in embroidery (Rajmahal) and gaming (TAOC). Gock became a jingle writer and has successfully maintained his career for 20+ yrs. Lum returned to his first career in graphic design, while Pailthorpe became an architect. DeJongh is now a chef. Hush reformed twice, once in 2004 and again in 2006 for short tours but as of this writing, the band is finally put to rest.
Hush 1974
Album Review
"C'mon We're Taking Over" is easily the band's most unusual work which explains why this album seems to be overlooked by fans of the band. Not subscribing to the overt glam stylings of their subsequent work, the band shoot for depth here and to some extent it works. Tracks like "In My Short Life", "Rocking Gypsy Kings" and "Longing To Get Home" show the band at their most subdued, which came as a surprise for
ardent fans. Though Hush should be commended for attempting to diversify their sound, these tracks all lack the hooks necessary to make them classics. Predictably, it's the fiery rockers that command attention here, as tracks like "Caroline" and the title track illustrate. In truth, most of the material here is bordering on mediocrity, but this interesting nugget deserves revisiting. It's a clear step in a different direction that Hush would never return to in subsequent years [Review by Robots for Ronnie].
This post consists of a Vinyl rip in MP3 (320kps) format and includes full album artwork. In addition I have opted to throw in some additional  tracks to sweeten the deal.  The first is the A-Side single "Maneater" which was released before the album was and never included due to contractual constraints with Warner Bros (thanks to Happy Camper at Midoztouch).
The second bonus track is an extended version of an earlier single "Get That Feeling" (thanks to Tom Mix Music) and the last is a live rendition of  "Johnny B.Goode" - taped for GTK at the Sydney Town Hall in 1974.
For more information and photos about Hush, I highly recommend you visit the Hush Website
Track Listing
01 - C'mon Were Taking Over    

02 - Rockin' Gypsy King    
03 - Caroline    
04 - In My Short Life    
05 - Born In The Age Of Rock N Roll    
06 - They're Having A Party    
07 - Temperatures Rising    
08 - Longing To Get Home
09 - Maneater (Bonus A-Side Single)
10 - Get The Feeling (Bonus Extended Version)
11 - Johnny B. Goode (Live Sydney Town Hall 1974)

Band Members:
Keith Lamb (vocals)
Les Gock (guitar)

Rick Lum (bass)
Chris Paithorpe (drums)

Hush Link (105Mb)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Little River Band - The Net (1983) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1975 - Present)
Little River Band (LRB) is an Australian rock band formed in Melbourne in 1975 and named after a road sign for the Victorian township of Little River, on the way to Geelong. The founders were Glenn Shorrock (ex-The Twilights, ex-Axiom), Graham Goble (ex-Mississippi), Beeb Birtles (ex-Zoot, ex-Mississippi) and Derek Pellicci (ex-Mississippi). John Farnham took over lead vocals temporarily from Glenn Shorrock between 1982-1986. LRB were the first Australian rock group to enjoy sustained commercial success in the United States. During their career the band have sold more than 25 million records and scored 13 American Top 40 hits.
LRB with John Farnham
Guitarist Beeb Birtles didn't want John Farnham to replace Glenn Shorrock as lead singer of Little River Band initially. 'We were already under fire for being a middle of the road band, and the last thing we needed was someone who would bring an even more middle of the road type presentation as lead singer. I think the band was doomed from the time John joined because Capitol Records in the US didn't like
John's voice.'
The band's manager, Glenn Wheatley, fought very hard for Glenn Shorrock to stay, recalls LRB's father-figure Graham Goble. 'Wheatley believed that if Shorrock left LRB, it would be the end. But I knew if there wasn't a change, there wouldn't have been any more LRB anyway. It was a choice between changing lead singers or breaking up completely. Given that choice -why not change to the most gifted singer in the business?'
But why was Down Under's most successful band changing course after going further than any other Australian act in that toughest music market of all - America? What the fans hadn't realised was that by 1981, the facade of success was beginning to slip from LRB. Record sales were stalled, the tours were high-tech and ferociously expensive and still the band hadn't cracked that elusive US No. 1 single and the public seemed to be tiring of smooth Eagle-style harmonies and were looking for a sharper edge to their music. And there was tension on the road and in the studio between brilliant, driven musicians like Birtles and Goble and the laid-back, tomorrow's-another-day Shorrock. Beeb claims the band's irritation with Shorrock peaked while they were recording the 'Time Exposure' album in Monserrat. 'Shorrock had reached the stage in his career where he didn't want to try any more ... perhaps it was a form of midlife crisis. I'd had enough of people complaining to me about Glenn, but no one saying anything at band meetings. I think to this day Shorrock still holds me responsible for being the instigator, the first to say, "Look, mate I can't work with you any more". For the sake of the band, something had to be done. It was either that or other people might have left. Once I'd said it, other voices started piping up and supporting what I said.'
Graham Goble was also looking for a 'new shot of energy'. 'Creatively [with Shorrock] we felt in a bind ... we wanted to grow in all sorts of areas that the public wouldn't let us do under the guise of LRB.' Beeb, having led the charge to rid the band of its lead singer, saw no need to rush into a decision on a new singer and was surprised when the others began discussing John Farnham as the man most likely to succeed. But Graham and drummer Derek Pellicci, who had also worked on 'Uncovered', were keen on John Farnham. Graham admits to having always been a fan of John's, 'there is no singer in the world who could do more with their voice from a technical point of view... and he is also one of the best harmony singers on the planet. When we were looking at LRB, the question was, could he sing the harmonies? Not only could he sing them, but also he could sing them incredibly well. The vocals we sang on 'Playing to Win', 'The Net' and the 'No Reins' albums [the three LRB albums with John Farnham's name on the credits] are the most exciting I've ever been involved with because they were done so quickly, but with so much energy.'
In February 1981, John was holidaying at Sorrento, south of Melbourne, with Jillian and Robbie when Glenn Wheatley phoned and put the offer to him to join the band at 10.30 p.m. John went back to the kitchen, opened a bottle of wine, and sat down with Jillian; they talked about the move until 4 a.m. or so. He returned to Melbourne that morning, attended a band meeting at 11 a.m. and was in the studio at noon.
Why did John Farnham choose LRB, just when his career was coming off hold, after a moderately successful album, 'Uncovered', a popular single in 'Help', and a rousing pub tour with his first band? To an extent, it was security; his first child had recently been born and what appeared to offer a regular and possibly handsome income was attractive to someone recently burdened by a couple of heavy financial blows; LRB seemed to offer a secure fast-track into the mainstream world of rock and roll; John's first exposure to the stadium crowds that LRB commonly played to would be great experience and, besides, he had seen them perform and he believed it to be one of the best live bands in the world. 'It was a hot band. Hot, hot, hot.' Then there was the credibility factor: John simply did not feel credible on the wilder side of popular music. Fame had come so quickly, so easily and with a song that was a joke among his peers. How many other singers could say they'd left their job two days before a single came out and three weeks before it was a national hit? In short, John felt he'd never had to work for fame. 'I spent years buzzing around and seeing all these poor buggers living in one house with one pair of shoes between them and I always felt fairly guilty that I hadn't had to pay any dues.' LRB might just be the first step in settling the account.
Graham Goble told John that as Glenn Shorrock was going out the door after that last fateful band meeting, he turned to the room and said, "I think you should get Farnham". 'If that's true, it's nice,' said John. 'Glenn and I are good mates, though we don't see each other that much. There was no animosity there.' And he's keen to debunk the theory current at the time that Glenn Wheatley had taken him on to be groomed as a replacement for Shorrock. 'That wasn't the case in my mind. There had been a lot of in-fighting for a number of years and I understand that it got to the stage where they made the albums with one member at a time in the studio because no one would talk to anyone else. But that's the case with a lot of bands and some are very successful.'
The songs for 'The Net' were already chosen. John's only input was to harmonise and take care of some of the lead vocals. 'I had no input because the songs were already in place. But I thought, "What the hell, let's see what happens".' It was one of the last times in his professional life that John Farnham was to adopt such an easy-going attitude to his career. His years with LRB, which were to prove the coalface of rock 'n' roll, would make him tough, wary and, for the first time, his own man. [Extract from 'Whispering Jack: The John Farnham Story' by Clark Forbes, Hutchinson Australia 1989. p89-90]
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy that is in pristine condition, and features 2 bonus tracks - the first being the Vanda/Young classic "St.Louis" (released only as a single just before the release of The Net) and the second a session track simply called "D", left off the Net album but later released on the compilation 'Too Late Too Load'.  In addition to the original LP artwork, CD artwork is also included, modified to incorporate the 2 bonus tracks. Note that the CD release of this album is no longer available.
Track Listing
01 - You're Driving Me Out Of My Mind

02 - We Two
03 - No More Tears
04 - Mr Socialite
05 - Down On The Border
06 - The Danger Sign
07 - Falling
08 - Sleepless Nights
09 - Easy Money
10 - The Net
11 - St.Louis (Bonus Single)
12 - 'D' (Bonus Session Track)

Band Members:
John Farnham - Lead Vocals
Stephen Housden - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Wayne Nelson - Bass Guitar and Vocals
Graham Goble - Electric/Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Beeb Birtles - Electric/Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Derek Pellicci - Drums and Percussion

The Net Link  (130Mb).

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Glenn Shorrock - Villain Of The Peace (1982) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1962 - Present)
Glenn Shorrock is an English-born Australian singer-songwriter. He was a founding member of pop groups The Twilights, Axiom and Little River Band as well as being a solo performer.
The Twilights had eight consecutive national hit singles including "Needle in a Haystack" and "What's Wrong with the Way I Live". Axiom's top 10 hits were "Arkansas Grass", "Little Ray of Sunshine" and "My Baby's Gone". While fronting the highly successful Little River Band (LRB), they had national and international chart success, including the Shorrock-penned "Emma", "Help Is on Its Way" and "Cool Change".
Shorrock was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1991 and as a member of Little River Band in 2004. In May 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), as part of its 75th Anniversary celebrations, named "Cool Change" as one of the APRA Top 30 Australian songs of all time. [extract from wkipedia]

Glenn enjoyed moderate success in 1979 with a solo rendition of Bobby Darin's "Dream Lover", and in 1981 LRB single, "Long Jumping Jeweler" [never released outside of Australia] was very much a Shorrock initiated and promoted project. So the move from LRB frontman to individual entity was a relatively effortless one.

Glenn enthusiastically embarked upon a number of projects, starting with a superb solo album 'Villain Of The Peace'; recorded in Los Angeles under LRB producer and close friend John Boylan, and featuring contributions from three members of THE EAGLES, Bill Payne [LITTLE FEAT], Jeff Baxter [STEELY DAN/THE DOOBIE BROTHERS], Garth Hudson [THE BAND], Jimmy Fadden [DIRT BAND], Andrew Gold and Tom Scott.

The American release of the LP (see back cover below) featured three newly recorded songs, one of which "Don't Girls Get Lonely" is included on Glenn's 'The First Twenty Years'. From those sessions, "The Duchess Is Returning" emerged as a B-side single and "Big Smoke" was, until 'The First Twenty Years', unreleased.
To support the album's release in Australia, Glenn undertook a short tour with his own hot road band. He also joined Renee Geyer on stage at Sydney's Tivoli in December 1982 for a soaring rendition of the Goffin/King masterpiece "Goin' Back", which archived some chart success when released as a single. Having previously supplied a title song to the television documentary 'Australian Music To The World', Glenn was approached to provide themes for the films 'We're Coming To Get You!' and 'World Safari II', both of which are featured on 'The First Twenty Years'; along with a lovely treatment of "Paperback Writer" [cut at the Dream Lover session] and the very first (unreleased) LRB recording of the EVERY BROTHERS' "When Will I Be Loved?" [featuring guitarist-for-a-day GRAHAM DAVIDGE].

Three years of work under his own auspices may not have brought Glenn as much commercial success as he enjoyed with LRB, but his personal satisfaction is considerably greater. "When I made my own album," he confides, "there was just two of us making decisions, instead of six or eight. Instead of compromise, I now have the freedom to feel my way around. I've always thought of myself as a very versatile singer and now have the chance to prove it." [Glenn A. Baker, Aust. editor - Billboard 1985]
Countdown Magazine Vol.1 #6 Dec 1982

Glenn Shorrock Today
After 40 years of friendship, music and laughter Glenn Shorrock and Brian Cadd have reunited on stage for an Australian Tour which commenced in 2013 and will go through until June 2014. The stage show is full of comedy and laughs, with Brian and Glenn performing timeless smash hits from the 60’s to the 80’s harvested from their past supergroups: 'The Twilights','The Groop', 'The Bootleg Family', 'Axiom' and of course 'Little River Band'. Details of up and coming shows can be found on Glenn's Website.
Glenn & Brian have also re-recorded some of their hits such as Little Ray Of Sunshine, Reminiscing, Arkansas Grass and Help Is On Its Way to name but a few, all taken from their past supergroups. The album is entitled 'The Story of Sharky & The Caddman' and is available from the following outlet . Additional musicians on the album include Axiom members, Chris Stockley and Doug Lavery as well as the inimitable Melbourne musos Sam See and Glyn Mason.
This post consists of  FLACs ripped from my vinyl copy of his debut solo album, along with 3 bonus singles. Please note this is the Australian release of the album, and the song listing varies slightly to the American release (see displayed below). Full album artwork is also included along with scans of the the three 45's.
My favourite tracks would have to be the single "Rock 'N' Roll Soldier" and his cover of  Lovin' Spoonful's  "Summer In The City".
Track Listing
01 - Rock 'N' Roll Soldier
02 - Secrets
03 - Summer In The City
04 - Onwards and Upwards
05 - A Cry In A Jungle Bar
06 - Villain Of The Peace
07 - Angry Words
08 - Martinique
09 - Do It Anyway
10 - Will You Stand With Me?
11 - The Dutchess Is Returning (Bonus B-Side Single)
12 - Dream Lover (Bonus A-Side Single)
13 - Goin' Back (Bonus Live with Renee Geyer)

The Musicians
Vocals - Glenn Shorrock
Guitars - Kevin Dukes, Jeff Baxter, Andrew Gold, Waddy Wachtel
Acoustic guitar - John Boylan
American Release

Keyboards - Jai Winding, Bill Payne
Synthesizer - Steve Davis, Michael Boddicker, Bill Payne
Bass - Scott Chambers, Bob Glaub
Drums - Michael Botts, Robert Greenidge
Percussion - Geoffrey Hales
Saxophone - Tom Scott
Dobro - David Linley
Harmonica - Jimmie Fadden
Harmony vocals - Timothy B. Schmit, Glenn Shorrock, Brian Cadd, Marcy Levy, Randy Meisner, Tom Kelly, Jude Johnstone, Wendy Matthews, Karla Bonoff

Glenn Shorrock FLAC Link (333Mb)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cutting Crew - Broadcast (1986) + Bonus Track

(U.K 1985 - 1993, 2005 - Present)
The pop/rock group Cutting Crew formed in England in 1985, just one year before "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" made them stars at home and across the Atlantic. Founding members Kevin Scott MacMichael (guitar) and Nick Van Eede (vocals) met in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while both musicians were on tour with their respective bands. A musical connection was made, and MacMichael soon relocated to England, where he and Van Eede immediately began to collaborate. After signing with Siren Records on the strength of their demos, Cutting Crew became a foursome in 1986 with the addition of bassist Colin Farley and drummer Martin Beadle; they entered the recording studio that same year. While the pace was certainly quick, the quartet was comprised of veterans; Eede had toured the world with his Sussex-based outfit the Drivers, MacMichael served time as guitarist for Fast Forward, Beadle was a one-time member of Hull, and Farley had completed hours of session work for many artists.

Cutting Crew released their debut album, Broadcast, in 1986. The group received mixed reviews from music critics, but not when it came to the album's undeniable highlight, the synth-heavy "(I Just) Died in Your Arms." The song became smash hit in the United States, reaching number one on the Billboard singles chart and enjoying similar success in the U.K. "One for the Mockingbird" and "I've Been in Love Before" also enjoyed significant radio play, and the band left home for a worldwide tour, standing in as opening act for such groups as the Bangles, Starship, and Huey Lewis & the News.
Cutting Crew released a sophomore album, 'The Scattering', in 1989. A third full-length effort, 1992's Compus Mentus, failed to revive their sagging popularity, however, and Cutting Crew called it quits the following year. MacMichael paired up with Robert Plant for the singer's 1993 solo effort, Fate of Nations, while Nick Van Eede chose to revive Cutting Crew the following decade. Featuring a radically different lineup, the group released Grinning Souls in 2006. [extract from]

Nick Van Eede reflects on the original lineup of the band on his website:

Colin Farley was a fab bass player from Surrey.  Loads of ideas, tons of experience and very musical.  He helped with every aspect of setting up and forming the band and crucially, he knew Frosty.  Frosty (Martin Beedle) was a (relative) youngster from Hull, Yorkshire who brought with him hilarity, energy and confidence and was ready to step up to playing rock music, after having played big band music for a few years.  My good friend Tony Moore joined as the coolest keyboard player, and there you have it.  Kevin & I wrote 7 songs, the boys added a few others, and within the year we had a Number 1 hit single all over the world &  the ecstatic farce continued.  After all those years of chipping away at the music business, it wasn't supposed to happen like this & not so fast and furious.  I never complained (obviously) but we were like frightened rabbits on those first Top of the Pops and Johnny Carson shows.  
All those years of waiting and suddenly you're not prepared &  not that big &  not now &  maybe in a few months time???

All hell broke loose.  It was frantic, painful, and to be honest all a bit of a blur.We gave Richard Branson his first US Number one record for his fledgling Virgin US Record Company.  Six years of non-stop travel, pretty awards and the inevitable chemistry lessons!!!!  I loved our songs and our gigs, every single one of them.  I'd finally invented and steered my band to a position where the whole feckin' world had finally heard us &  and it felt &sadly &empty.  Frankly, apart from the love of the fans and the support we got from our friends/families and dearest allies in the biz, I found the so-called big time fickle and totally beyond any control. All those (apart from a few glowing exceptions) corporate managers, lawyers and accountants screwing and manipulating you because they had control of the money and contracts &the sad, inevitable, personal rows that sprung up &  and then suddenly it was over.  Cutting Crew RIP

Cutting Crew never deserved the hacking they received from critics. Music reviewers lined up to throttle Cutting Crew's debut album, Broadcast, when it was released in 1986. The slick guitar rock on Broadcast may not have wowed the rock & roll intelligentsia, but it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, an underrated collection of simple, heartfelt love songs and up-tempo pop that reside between the stylistic boundaries of new wave and mainstream rock. "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" and "I've Been inLove Before" immediately thrust Cutting Crew onto the U.S. charts; however, both songs aren't sufficient in summing up Broadcast's appeal. Nick VanEede's soulful croon is mesmerizing on "Any Colour" and "Sahara"; instead of bludgeoning the microphone with vocal histrionics common to late '80s rock, VanEede is thankfully restrained, imbuing every track with ample emotion. "Any Colour" should've been Cutting Crew's third hit, a moving tale of loneliness that easily draws the listener in, while the lovely "Sahara" captures the subtleties critics claimed Cutting Crew wasn't capable of. "One for the Mockingbird" and "Life in a Dangerous Time" are armed with stellar hooks. Cutting Crew somehow manages to incorporate guitar solos with the propulsive rhythms of U2 and the Fixx and the moody angst of Tears for Fears without sounding forced. Broadcast is not a creative breakthrough; it's simply an LP absent of any filler [ review by Michael Sutton at]

I don't think it's totally fair to write the Cutting Crew off as just another Eighties relic best left unearthed. For one thing, Cutting Crew were a band. It sounds a little silly to say that, but when we think of pop music (especially from the 80s), we think of a guy with funny hair holed up in a studio creating a "band" sound with computers, and maybe a little help from his friends Moog and Fairlight.
Not Cutting Crew. They were a band in the traditional sense - four guys who played instruments and stuff, with one guy who sang lead, and a couple of the others taking harmonies.
More than that, they were a talented band, who knew not only how to write their own songs, but how to put them together in the studio. Nick Van Eede has a singular, instantly recognizable voice of the love-it-or-hate-it variety, and wrote or co-wrote all of the songs. The rhythm section of Colin Farley on bass and Frosty Beedle on drums, lend a propulsive and dynamic sound to all of the songs, and Beedle's drumming is especially creative and layered.
And finally, there's Kevin Scott MacMichael on guitar, who delivers colorful lead work all over the album - his style is both rhythmic and melodic, and he had the chops to impress no less than Robert Plant, who hired MacMichael for his biggest post-Crew gig (in fact the biggest post-Crew gig any of them scored), playing guitar on and touring behind Plant's "Fate of Nations" album in 1993.

One hit wonder, my butt!
The sound of "Broadcast" is slick, but the production (by Terry Brown with the band) is detailed, intricate and layered, and at times, quite dazzling. This is a great sounding record, bringing hookfests like the sadly-neglected singles "Any Colour" and "One for the Mockingbird" into sharp relief and making them perfect soundtracks for a drive down the Interstate.
Even the two big hits the Crew are known for - "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" and "I've Been in Love Before" - sound really good after nearly 20 years, despite the fact that they were criminally over-played at the time of their release.

At times, the band tries a little too hard to be arty: "Life in a Dangerous Time" flirts with a prog rock epic sound, with military-style snare rolls, apocalyptic lyrics, and strategically placed power-chords. Of course, that won't stop you from singing along to the gorgeous falsetto chorus, but you will feel a little silly about it, thinking maybe this would have fit in better on something by Kansas or Asia.
Sometimes, however, their ambition pays off - especially on the six-and-a-half minute, album-closing title track, which is moody and atmospheric, never feels forced, and boasts one of the album's most sweetly affecting choruses sung once again by Eede in his clear and sympathetic falsetto."Broadcast" may never make Rolling Stone's 100 Best Albums of the 80's list, and it probably shouldn't, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's simply a very enjoyable, well-crafted slab of mid-80's pop - totally innocuous, and certainly well worth downloading it here - so get yourself a copy now...
This post consists of a freshly ripped copy from my vinyl in MP3 format (320kps) and includes artwork for both vinyl and CD. Also included is the B-side to their hit single 'Died In Your Arms' which was not included the LP, entitled "for The Longest Time". Unlike most non-album B-Sides which are usually throw away tracks, this track is a great song and a lost gem.

Track Listing
01 - Any Colour (4:42)  
02 - One For The Mockingbird (4:31) 
03 - I've Been In Love Before (5:06)    
04 - Life In A Dangerous Time (4:33)

05 - Fear Of Falling (4:53)   
06 - (I've Just) Died In Your Arms (4:38)    
07 - Don't Look Back (4:08)    
08 - Sahara (4:52)    

09 - It Shouldn't Take Too Long (4:05)
10 - The Broadcast (6:39)
11 - For The Longest Time (Bonus B-Side Single)  4:27
The Band
Colin Farley - Bass, Piano, Backing Vocals
Martin Beedle - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Kevin Macmichael - Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Nick Van Eede - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboard

The Cutting Crew Link (127Mb) New Link 18/12/2023