Tuesday, September 30, 2014

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Johnny Chester - My Ding-A-Ling (1974)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
I first heard this novelty single sung by Chuck Berry on his London Sessions album and always loved the humorous lyrics and innuendo's which it portrayed. I was also pleasantly surprised when I heard Johnny Chester's cover of this Berry classic and thought it was appropriate to share it with you for this month's WOCK on Vinyl post, being both Obscure and a just a little bit Korny.
Johnny Chester is an international entertainment phenomena and Australian artist. His highly successful careers embrace a wide range of activities in the entertainment industry. Johnny's careers include artistic performer, recording artist, songwriter, radio personality, television host, promoter and record producer.

Throughout all of these highly diverse careers Johnny has achieved the highest professional and ethical standards. The respect audiences and industry peers have for him is unsurpassed..

Johnny Chester in the 80's
His outstanding achievements include:
- More than eighty releases on vinyl, cassette and compact disc in Australia and many other countries.
- Hosted national television series including Teen Time, Teen Scene and Country Road.
- toured extensively throughout Australia, performed in the United States of America and for the allied troops in Vietnam.
- achieved outstanding success on the radio at 3UZ, 6PM, 7EX, 7HT, 3GL, 3MP, 3DB and Radio Australia which broadcast his shows to every corner of the world.
- shared the stage with an almost endless list of acclaimed international artists including the Beatles, Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, Connie Francis, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Charley Pride, Roger Miller, Tammy Wynette and Freddy Fender.

Johnny Chester's highly polished entertainment skills have been widely recognised by both audiences and the entertainment industry. This is evidenced by the many accolades Johnny has received including:

- Best selling record 1975 ( She's my kind of woman )
- Australian Country Music Male Vocalist of the Year in 1980, 1981, 1982.
- International Country Music Award for Entertainer of the Year for Australia in 1982 and 1983.
- Tamworth Songwriters Association Songmaker Award in 1994
Track listing:
01 - My Ding-A-Ling
02 - Nowhere In Particular
Johnny Chester Link (MP3/320kps)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pseudo Echo - Desk Tape Live (1985) Soundboard

(Australian 1982-1990, 1999-2005, 2010-Present)
Formed in 1982 by school friends Brian Canham (vocals, guitars, and keyboards) and Pierre Gigliotti (bass, keyboards) the band completed its lineup with Anthony Argiro (drums) and Tony Lugton (guitars and keyboards).
Pseudo Echo's first album Autumnal Park was an Ultravox-influenced album that yielded the Australian singles "Listening" (produced by Peter Dawkins), "Stranger in Me", "Dancing Till Midnight", and "A Beat for You".
Their climb to success in the summer of 1984 was rapid, and they quickly became the second biggest band in Australia after INXS.
"His Eyes", a track from their first album, received exposure overseas as it was used in the movie Friday the 13th: A New Beginning.
There was a lineup change before their second album with Tony Lugton being replaced by James Leigh (real surname: Dingli) after a dispute between Lugton and Canham over money, and another lineup change during the making of the second album with Argiro being replaced by James's brother Vince.
Lugton went on to join synth rock band Talk That Walk.
Brian Canham joined as guest vocalist with The Incredible Penguins in 1985, for a cover of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)", a charity project for research on Fairy penguins, which peaked at #10 on the Australian Kent Music Report in December.
Their second album, Love an Adventure (1986), was also a success with several singles from that album topping the Australian charts including the title track, "Don't Go", "Try", and "Living in a Dream".
The album was re-released the following year to include their remake of the Lipps, Inc. song "Funkytown", which brought the group their biggest international success, reaching No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA and No. 8 in the UK in July, 1987, as well as spending seven weeks at #1 in Australia from December 1986.
The overseas release of Love an Adventure featured a somewhat different track listing which included re-mixed versions of 3 singles from Autumnal Park: "Listening", "A Beat for You", and "Destination Unknown".
Pseudo Echo 1985
These were remixed to sound more rock-oriented, to better-match the other tracks on the album. Brian Canham even re-recorded the vocals for a slicker sound to compliment these rock remixes.
Once again, the overseas version of Love an Adventure was re-released to include the re-make of "Funkytown", replacing "Don't Go" in the original track list.
In 1987, the band re-released "Listening" for the movie North Shore starring Nia Peeples.
Their third album, Race (1989), went further in the direction of pop rock and metal.
The album featured the Australian singles "Fooled Again", "Over Tomorrow", "Eye of the Storm", and "Don't You Forget".
The album stopped at #32 on the ARIA chart and it seemed that the band's move to a more rock/metal genre had alienated a good portion of their established fanbase.
Pseudo Echo disbanded shortly after touring for Race in 1990.
The band reunited in 1999 to produce the EP Funkytown Y2K: RMX, which included 6 new remixes of "Funkytown".
A year later, they released the double-CD Teleporter (2000), which featured 4 all-new tracks, 5 re-mixed tracks, and a live performance in Melbourne.
The live performance featured all the tracks from Autumnal Park except for "From the Shore", along with a few tracks from Love an Adventure and a performance of the rare B-side "In Their Time".
Since reuniting in 1999, the band has been touring constantly in Australia, and were previously seen touring with the "Idols of the 80s" in 2005.
In April 2010 they played two sold out shows in Adelaide, South Australia, and they continue to tour nationwide, as indicated in the review listed below  [extract from wikipedia]

[Interview by Matilda Heggie. Pearl Magazine Issue #31, Sept 2014]
Looking back in to Australia's musical past, we may not have produced the number of super stars as the US or the UK, but we certainly have our own trailblazers.
Bands like Pseudo Echo, who looked at popular pub rock scene and challenged it with synths, a crimping iron and a makeup brush. So, was the prospect of wielding a keytar in front of rock-loving pub crowds ever daunting for the lads?
"There were definitely moments where we had to have integrity and stand our ground" reflects front-man Brian Canham. "catching our big break meant Pseudo Echo was the opening act for many big pub rock bands of the time. These bands had a brawny, real 'aussie type' crowd. So we'd come out with our makeup on, done-up hair and outlandish clothing and it would be quite full on because we'd have these guys eye-balling us thinking 'what's going on?"
.Lucky for Pseudo Echo, the opportunity to dance with a dame seemed enough to break down barriers and have even the surliest of men busting a move or two at their live shows.

"The girls would get into it and start dancing and by the end of it everyone would be dancing," laughs Canham. "It always ended happy and I think it became a lure for guys to go to a Pseudo Echo gig really."
Pseudo Echo's biggest break came about after Molly Meldrum saw the new wave youths play live in Melbourne and invited them to appear on Countdown.
"Meeting Molly was incredible. We'd actually met him a few years prior to even having a band and later down the track when he came to see Pseudo Echo he remembered us as the guys that he'd met. He was surprised because I was a sort of shy introverted kid, yet as a young band we were quite professional. So he kind of took us under his wing and did what he could to help us on our way."
And on their merry way they went, with the band finding a ready-made audience among teenagers who fawned on their every move. Canham explains the 80s as a bit of a golden-era for musicians, suggesting that many bands found "exposure and success that they might not have enjoyed in another era.
"The 80s was very open-minded. It was all about the big pop stars, the sensationalism of it all. You're on the screen, in magazines, newspapers etc.. .the 90s saw the end of it though as it brought about the anti-hero."
The latter part of the 90s also saw a major stylistic shift in Pseudo Echo's sound, which can be partly attributed to a change in band members. The line-up has changed a few times over the years, yet Brian Canham has always been at the fore. Now with what he deems as the ultimate Pseudo Echo formation, Canham has penned and produced the band's first album In 15 years.

'Ultraviolet' was released in April this year, thanks to a successful Pledge Music crowd funding campaign. Both the success of the campaign and the album's reception-has been a testament to the band's dedicated fab base. "A lot of fans have said that we've stayed true to the Autumnal Park stuff with our sound and I think we have done that without being stagnant.
Touring the album for the past few months has brought both die-hard fans and new fans out of the woodwork, with Canham describing his audience as basically every band's dream.

"We connect with our audience on such a level that when we release something they nearly always like it. If I put my heart and soul into it, and am not swayed - like we were sometimes in the past by record companies or management - that seems to be the right formula. When you have that kind of relationship with your audience the pressure doesn't come from them, it comes from yourself. So I need to ask, is this really me? Is this really the best I can do this song or album? That's why it took me so long to release this album to be honest"

Pseudo Echo will be playing all their old hits and a mix of tracks from Ultraviolet when they take the stage at the Chelsea Heights Hotel (Melbourne) on Friday October 3, 2014.  For more information about Pseudo Echo, their latest release and up and coming gigs, see their Facebook page
This posting is a live desk recording of Pseudo Echo from sometime late in 1985, probably December and was sourced from Gruntrat's Live Preserver blog with thanks.  From his recollections, the recording can only be narrowed down to either The Palace in St Kilda or Monash University. It is believed that Aaron Chugg was the FOH engineer.

I first saw Pseudo Echo in the early 80's at 'Kramers' in Preston, when they were the support act for The Little Heroes, and was where I met my beautiful wife !
This recording (MP3/320kps) is really a great representation of the band in its heyday. I'm positive that fans of the Pseudo's will love this....the recording actually predates their release of Funky Town.
Track listing
01 Intro-Stranger In Me

02 I Ask You Why
03 Lies Are Nothing
04 Tell Me
05 Try

06 I Will Be You
07 Girl
08 Lonely Without You
09 Listening
10 Don't Go
11 Living In A Dream
12 A Beat For You
13 Love An Adventure
14 Destination Unknown
15 Funky Town
16 Let's Get Together

Band Members:
Brian Canham (Lead Vocals, Guitar)
Pierre Gigliotti (Bass, Vocals)
Vince Leigh (Drums, Vocals)
James Leigh (Keyboards, Vocals)
Pseudo Echo Link (157Mb)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Colin Hay Band - Wayfaring Sons (1990) + Bonus Track

(Australian 1987-1991)
Scottish-Australian singer Colin Hay (lead singer of Men At Work) released his second solo album, “Wayfaring Sons”, through MCA Records in 1990. The band was formed with Gerry Hale, Paul Gadsby and Robert Dillon. The single “Into My Life” was a huge hit in Brazil.
Even though Colin James Hay's solo debut sold acceptably in the States, the cost benefit ratio apparently wasn't high enough for Columbia Records which promptly dropped him from its recording roster.   Three years later Hay reappeared signed to MCA Records.  Billed as the Colin Hay Band, his sophomore album found Hay making some major changes to his sound.   The most immediate was Hay's decision to return to a band format - in this case drummer Robert Dillon, bassist Paul Gadsby, and violinist Gerry Hale.  Co-produced by Hay and Elliott Scheiner, "Wayfairing Sons" also found Hay trying to expand his sound beyond the pop/new wave sound that had made Hay a mega seller. While marketing pressures required the album include at least some pop and radio friendly material, exemplified by material like the title track, "Dreamtime In Glasgow" and "Dream On (In the Night)", about half of the set featured acoustic numbers that seemed to settle somewhere between Celtic folk and Mumford & Sons-styled folk-rock (I can already hear the shouts of protest over the latter comparison).
I'll be one of the first to admit those folkish numbers were surprisingly and somewhat jarring.  That said, given a chance, most f then grew on you.   As for the more conventional material, the single "Into My Life", the big pop ballad "Not So Lonely" and the jittery reggae-ish 'Don't Drink the Water'  were all worth hearing.
Colin Hay 1990
Album Review
Opening up with Gerry Hale's squealing violin, "Wayfaring Sons" came as quite a surprise.   It wasn't that the track didn't rock, rather the Irish bar band vibe took awhile to get acclimated to.  Personally I wasn't a major fan. 
Just speculation on my part, but I'd imagine MCA wanted at least a couple of commercial tunes - one of the results being "Into My Life".  Musically this bouncy pop number actually bore a mild comparison to his earlier Men At Work catalog, in the process sounded nothing like the rest of Hay's new-found acoustic orientation.  Naturally it was the track MCA tapped as a single though it did nothing commercially.  Shame since it was actually pretty good; better than almost anything on the debut LP.    For anyone interested, you can see the MTV promotional video here.
"Storm In My Heart" returned to Hay's acoustic folk orientation.  With support for keyboardist Robert Kilgore, the result was one of the album's prettier melodies, showcasing the band's nice harmony vocals. 
Built on a jangly melody, "Dream On (In the Night)" was also notable for showcasing what a nice voice Hay had - especially when he wasn't trying to sound cute.  Simply a happy and uplifting song that was great for rolling down the car windows while cruising on a warm Spring day. My favourite track on the album actually.
Into My Life Single
The first of two group-penned songs, "Not so Lonely" was another exception to the folk orientation - Hay and company apparently aiming for a Corrs-styled epic pop ballad.   I'm guessing the odd backing vocals were in Gaelic.  Surprisingly commercial and enjoyable.
With a full rock arrangement (kudos to bassist Paul Gadsby), "Don't Drink the Water" found Hay demonstrating his environmental credentials on what was the album's second overtly pop-oriented tune.  This one would not have sounded all that out of place on a Men At Work album.
"Help Me" was another radio friendly tune showcasing a full band arrangement and another pro- environmental message.   While "Don't Drink the Water" was at least clever, this one's a bit short on subtlety.  I suspect most of his fans are already pretty environmentally sensitive.  Nice title track chorus, though the song had kind of an anonymous AOR feel.  MCA coughed up for a promo video on this one also. "Dreamtime In Glasgow" is a rollicking tune with some nice power chords hiding in the background.
"Back In My Loving Arms" is the second group composition and was a breezy, radio-friendly pop tune.   Probably one of the songs I would have tapped as a single.
With the last track "Ya (Rest In Peace)" Hay and company decide they like mandolins ...I generally like mandolins, but was lukewarm to this one.
And as mentioned, the single was: "Into My Life" b/w "If You Want It All' (MCA catalog number 1408) and the B-Side did not appear on the album. But you are in luck here, as I'm  including this nice little ballad here as a Bonus Track.
The Colin Hay Band - 1990
Now, in MCA's defense, figuring out how to sell Hay in an early 90's market that embraced Wilson Phillips, Phil Collins, and Madonna must have been a  nightmare and in spite of some promotional efforts, including a  single, the company seemingly threw in the towel with the album quickly disappearing without a trace.
[review by RDTEN1 Jan 25, 2014]
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from virgin freshly pressed vinyl (yep, another shrink wrapped find at the market) and includes full album artwork for both LP and CD. As a bonus, I've also included the non-album B-Side single "If You Want It All" - a hard track to find indeed.
Note:  Track "Not So Lonely" is unfortunately distorted on the album and I suspect the pressing I have is either faulty or the production of the track is crap. Not much I could do with this I'm afraid 
Track Listing
01 - Wayfaring Sons
02 - Into My Life
03 - Storm On My Heart
04 - Dream On (Into The Night)
05 - Not So Lonely
06 - Don't Drink The Water
07 - Help Me
08 - Dreamtime In Glasgow
09 - Back In My Loving Arms
10 - Ya (Rest in Peace)
11 - If You Want It All (Bonus B-Side Single)

Colin Hay Band were:
Colin Hay - vocals, acoustic 12-string guitar, acoustic 6-string guitar, electric guitar, E-Bow
Gerry Hale - violin, mandolin, background vocals
Paul Gadsby - bass guitar, background vocals
Robert Dillon - drums, percussion
Robby Kilgore - keyboards
Jann Karam - background vocals ("Not So Lonely")

Colin Hay Band Link (103Mb)  New Link 30/08/2015

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Rose Tattoo - Rare Blooms (78-82) Bootleg

(Australian 1976-1985)
Rose Tattoo was formed in Sydney in 1976 with Leigh Johnston on rhythm guitar, Tony Lake on lead vocals and were led by slide guitarist Peter Wells—who had just departed as bass guitarist of heavy metal band Buffalo. Drummer Michael Vandersluys completed the line-up. Ian Rilen from Band of Light joined on bass guitar. He had taught himself to play while in prison and gave Wells' band the street-cred he was looking for. Rhythm guitarist Mick Cocks soon replaced Johnston; Lake and Vandersluys were substituted by former Buster Brown members Angry Anderson and Dallas "Digger" Royall respectively. Melbourne-based Buster Brown had enjoyed local notoriety, playing at the 1974 Sunbury Festival and had included future AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd. Rose Tattoo made their public debut on New Year's Eve at the rock club Chequers.
Chiefly inspired by The Rolling Stones, Faces and Billy Thorpe and his 1970s Aztecs, Rose Tattoo's hard-rocking sound quickly earned a devoted following in the Sydney area. Members of AC/DC were fans and recommended them to their label, Albert Productions. Their career simply took off from here.

Rose Tattoo In The Media
When it came to the press, Rose Tattoo always made good copy, so writers were never short of fodder. Although he was living the wildest lifestyle, Angry had a social conscience even then. When rock writers came to talk to him, they'd ask him about the band, and he'd start talking to them about homelessness or street kids. Writers weren't interested, and it was a hard lesson for him to learn.
"After a few months of being newsworthy, magazines wanted to talk to us and photograph us, and you know, I was doing endless interviews," says Angry. "There's only so much you can say about the band, and then you've got to talk about other things. But basically, rock journos just want you to tell them that over the last month you were with so many women, took so many drugs, drank so much alcohol etc.
In other words, they want you to be what they think you are.
When I first started doing interviews, you know I loved the attention, but some of the best interviews I've ever done were cut down to about two paragraphs, and none of the issues were ever raised."
For writers, Rose Tattoo was the copy. Angry Anderson was the news. No one was interested in what he had to say about it.
In the Rose Tattoo years, stories about Angry grew and grew. As he says, if he'd done only half the things of which he was accused, he'd have been a monster. At one time, a newspaper reported that he'd been charged with carnal knowledge, which simply wasn't true. The newspaper did print a retraction many months later, but it was hidden toward the back pages. It hardly made up for the headline which basically screamed that Angry Anderson had taken sexual advantage of a fourteen-year-old girl.
Many articles also talked about Angry as a person who'd spent long periods of time in prison, when in fact Angry s only experiences in prison cells were for eight or twelve hour spells, usually for being drunk and disorderly. There was one night in Perth where Angry was arrested for using offensive language on stage, and another time in Kempsey where he was arrested for assault, but he was never the longtime ex-crim that people talked about. As Angry says, "The things I'm supposed to have done are unbelievable. I could have been locked up for most of them. You know, people come up and still say 'I heard this about you', or 'I heard that about you', and you say 'No, that didn't happen'. They just look at you. They want to believe it, but they look at you and they're saying, 'I know you did you bastard.' Even though you're saying no, they're saying they know you did. It's damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
Angry copped most of the flak without too much complaint, but he did get frustrated with the stereotypes. He didn't mind so much if someone met him, talked to him, and then decided he was a jerk, but he hated the articles that summed him up unfairly. Some writers would analyse him without ever meeting him, and others would arrive at the interview with such a definite preconceived idea of who Angry was, and of what he was about, that they may just as well have not turned up at all.
It was all part of being a rock and roller. There were just so many critics who weren't comfortable with Angry because he broke the mould. At one stage, a Juke Magazine article basically admitted the press was selling Angry short. The writer made what almost amounted to an apology: "The fifteen minutes allocated for the interview extended to a three hour yap session about everything from science and philosophy to the latest in porno movies. I left impressed with his courtesy and general knowledge, and somewhat sheepish that I'd dismissed him as a moronic jerk, simply for the way he looked."
Years later, when Angry s profile was big enough to earn him a complete feature article in Playboy magazine, the senior contributing editor Phil Jarratt made a similar observation. "There is no subject on which he will not offer a mouthful, and the work of the interviewer was essentially to keep him to one subject at a time. Although he looks like a midget wrestler, Angry is in fact a sensitive performer, a deep thinker, and a philosopher. [extract from Angry: Scarred For Life, by Karen Dewey. Ironbark Books, 1994. p98-100

Tattooed Terrors
"Angry" Anderson, Australia's original punk rocker, loves shocking little old ladies on buses.
"You see them staring out of the windows when you walk down the street. They're horrified" says the lead singer of Rose tattoo.
"We all love being outrageous".
The band's effect on elderly females is hardly surprising.
Angry - he answers to no other name - is bald, short and stocky.
His tall, gaunt partners sport flaming red hair, short cropped at the front with tails at the back.
and they all wear the band's trademark....anti-social tattoos.
This motley crew never wanted fame.
They originally formed a year ago as an underground punk band: Australia's answer to the likes of Johnny Rotten and The Sex Pistols.
"We thought it was highly unlikely that we'd get anywhere but it was possible that we might" said Angry.
"We just wanted to sing punk songs and have a nasty image".
For the first six months the band achieved its aim. People hated them.
"We were spat at, punched and abused. It didn't worry us at all". But something went wrong".
Bad Boy, a single the band recorded, suddenly sprung up the charts.
Rose tattoo became something it neither wanted nor expected - a well-known band.
But Angry and the boys have learned to live with this fact of life and to continue "freaking people out"
Their personalities have remained intact and they all live together in a room in Sydney were we breed cockroaches".
We've managed to remain anonymous" says Angry.
"People can't tell the band members apart, except for me of course".
"And we dig dropping clangers on stage and getting kicked out for playing too loud".
Angry is glad that Rose tattoo was the first punk rock band to make it big in Australia but doesn't think the musicians look all that unusual.
"You see more extravagant punks on the streets. There are a lot of sharp-looking guys around."
"Our stage act is really theatre but it's not contrived."
"We all had tattoos long before the band and we're playing ourselves".
"When I was young I was a larrikin. You don't grow out of something like that."
"Some people stay with us at concerts but others come once and never return. They're freaked out."
When he's not freaking out people, Angry travels incognito - he wears a hat to cover the bald pate.
"It's nice not to be recognised sometimes".
"I'm not a lair all the time"  
[Newspaper article by Bryan Patterson]
This post consists of MP3 (192kps) compilation taken from various sources (studio and live) and released as a Bootleg with full album artwork.  although the bit rate is not the greatest, the overall sound is pretty good - no distortion thankfully. This is a great anthology of the Tatts spanning over a 5 year period, and includes some of their best known hits such as "Bad Boy For Love", "Rock'n'Roll Outlaw" and "Snow Queen" to name but a few. So get out ya ol' denims, crank up ya amp and let the Tatts send a message to ya neighbours that you've had enough of their winging about ya loud music!
Track Listing
01. Bad Boy For Love (BBC Session)
02. Nice Boys (BBC Session)

03. The Butcher & Fast Eddie (BBC Session)
04. Rock'n'Roll Outlaw (BBC Session)
05. All Hell Broke Loose (B-Side)
06. Fightin' Sons (B-Side)
07. Never Too Loud (B-Side)
08. Release Legalise (B-Side)
09. I Had You First (B-Side)
10. Snow Queen (B-Side)
11. Rock'n'Roll Is King (Single Version)

Band Members
Angry Anderson (Vocals)
Pete Wells (Slide Guitar)
Mick Cocks (Guitar, Vocals)
Ian Rilen (Bass)
Dallas 'Digger' Royall (Drums)
The Tatts Link (67Mb)
Ignore the stupid Amazon blocks and keep trying - link will eventually work