Friday, May 31, 2019

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Flexi Discs - INXS / Mental As Anything

Before things get too serious at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be considered to be either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.....
This months W.O.C.K on vinyl features two Flexi Discs that were released by two popular Australian bands - namely INXS and Mental As Anything. These 'single track' flexi discs were released as promotional items by the well known Australian magazines "Countdown' and 'Dolly'.
Although the pressings are not top quality (what would you expect on a 1mm thick piece of  plastic) but they are certainly collector items, making them fit into the Obscure categorisation.
INXS - Faith In Each Other (Live) 1991
(Flexi-disc, 7", Single Sided, Promo, 33 1/3 RPM, Blue)
Rare OZ  single sided flexi giveaway 45 released in 1991, through 'Dolly Magazine'.

With a career spanning 25 extraordinary years, INXS are undoubtedly one of the world's great bands.
With more than 30 million records sold worldwide, countless awards from their peers and fans, platinum certifications, and a history peppered with outstanding achievements, the band are arguably Australia's most successful rock export.

From their first gig as the Farriss Brothers in Sydney's Northern beaches in August 1977, Michael Hutchence, Kirk Pengilly, Garry Gary Beers, Tim Farriss, Andrew Farriss and Jon Farriss quickly won Australian then international acclaim.

In Australia INXS celebrated their first number one single with 'Original Sin' in December 1983, beginning a phenomenal run of 38 top 40 hits. The Swing in April the following year was the band's first Australian number one album, the first of seven to reach the top three, four of which charted at #1 (The Swing 1984, Listen Like Thieves 1985, Kick 1987, X 1990).

"It's incredible that a bunch of friends should end up such good players - never thrown anyone out, never needed help" vocalist Michael Hutchence marvelled around the time of the ten million selling Kick album. "We know each other so well. I find that rather frightening. Andrew and I may write most of the songs but this is a real band. It's not two writers and four dumb musicians; it's a very active, competitive, democratic group of people. We're a band that sounds very much like a band, a live band, that's who we are, where we came from. "

With each step of their path to the upper strata of international music carefully considered and deftly executed, they performed before gauchos in Buenos Aires, Royals in Melbourne and teens in Tokyo, on their way to number one American singles, headlining before 75,000 at Wembley Stadium - a show captured and released on DVD in the shape of Live Baby Live - , playing to 100,000 at Rock In Rio, seven MTV awards, three Grammy nominations, and albums which hit #1 all over the world.
[extract from A Day On The Green)

Performers – Andrew Farriss, Garry Gary Beers, Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly, Michael Hutchence, Tim Farriss
Recorded By, Mixed By – Mark Opitz
Written-By – J Farriss, M Hutchence
Recorded in London, 1990 (possibly London Arena, Nov 26th or London Wembley Arena, Nov 28th. Did not appear on their 'Live Baby Live' album released in 1991)
Mixed at Sarm Studios.
(Promotional use only - not for sale)
(Flexi-disc, 7", Single Sided, Promo, 45 RPM, Varying colours - Yellow [mine], Blue, Black, Green, Clear)
Taken From the US album, “Fundamental”.
Rare OZ Only 1 sided flexidisc, 'Rock Video Project' Promo by Gold Crest Muesli Bars/Countdown Magazine from Match, 1985. 
(A Mentals competition where the winners video clip idea would be made into a finished video in the Melbourne Countdown studios, plus the Mentals would play a gig in the winners home town)

Mental As Anything's music is characterised by poppy, accessible and well-crafted melodies and lyrics, and their work showcases an ironic, satirical and self-deprecating sense of humour.

The Mentals
The band formed in Sydney in 1976, initially playing to students at parties, pubs and uni dances, when they caught the attention of new independent Regular Records. The band sold out 1300 copies in a fortnight in late 1978 of the three track vinyl Mental As Anything Plays At Your Party with one track  "The Nips Are Getting Bigger".

All of the early members are visual artists and have had combined studio displays, some have had solo studio displays with Mombassa's artwork also used as designs by the Mambo clothing company. The majority of the group's record covers, posters and video clips have been designed and created by the band members or their art school contemporaries.

In 1985, they released 'Fundamental As Anything' – Platinum Best Selling Australian Album – Live It Up – Best Selling Australian Single – singles You’re So Strong( No. 8) / Date With Destiny (No. 18) – multi platinum Greatest Hits Vol I goes to No. 2 on the charts – Live It Up received Apra award for most performed work and Countdown award for best single and song writer.  "Hold On" was also taken from this album.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Various Artists - The Australian Revolution (1993)

(Various Australian / New Zealand 1970-1990)
This collection of Australian Rock is a superb reminder of the evolution of popular music in this country. Forty tracks from forty artists. Forty different approaches and forty songs that have contributed strongly to defining Australian music from the 70's to the 90's.

(Legend: Rel=Date Released, HP=Highest Charting Position, WI=Weeks in Charts)

Skyhooks remain one of this countries most notorious bands with a string of irreverent, distinctly Australian songs to their credit. Women In Uniform (Rel 27/2/78, HP 8, Wl 18) is one of their best known recordings. Two years later the song was covered (badly) by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden and reached the Top 40. Skyhooks themselves had charted it in England in 1979, although it only reached 79.
"Women In Uniform" was one of the first Australian singles to be issued in both 7 and 12 inch form. The song was later re-released as part of the Hooked On Hooks single issued by Mushroom two years after the band broke up. The record was a remixed medley of some of the band's classic recordings - Horror Movie, Ego Is Not A Dirty Word, This Is My City, Living In The 70s, You Just Like Me 'Cos I'm Good In Bed, Million Dollar Riff - and Women In Uniform.

Evolving out of the Melbourne rockabilly scene to become one of the country's finest pop/rock'n'roll bands, The Sports formed in late 1976 and signed with Mushroom in January 1978. Their debut single for the label was Boys (What Did The Detective Say). Less than a year later they had an overseas deal with England's hipper-than-hip Stiff Records. On one of the singles from their Peter Solley produced second album, Don't Throw Stones, The Sports took a tongue-in-cheek look at the airwaves with the Stephen Cummings/ Andrew Pendlebury penned "Who Listens To The Radio" (Rel 3/10 78, HP 35, Wl 12), one of the band's many classic singles that dominated the aforementioned commercial radio in the late Seventies. The song was their most successful international release peaking at 44 on the American charts.

Even more prominent on radio were Split Enz who topped the charts at the beginning of a new decade with the unbelievably infectious "I Got You" (Rel 21/1/80, HP 1, Wl 25). It was the biggest selling Australian single of the year and the band scored a double header when the album True Colours outsold every other Australian album. During this time the Enz did a national tour with The Sports under the monicker 'Sporting True Colours'. I GotYou was also Split Enz's only chart success overseas, making number 12 on the British charts in August of 1980. One of Australasia's most successful bands ever, it is estimated that Split Enz have sold well in excess of one million records in this country alone.

OL' 55
With their greasy, slicked back hair, astonishing stage act and period clothes Ol'55 emerged when the world was discovering punk rock - but these blokes (managed by the famous Glenn A Baker) much preferred to re-create the world of the Fifties, and took a lot of people back with them as testified to by the success of "On The Prowl" (Rel 10/5/76, HP 14, Wl 22). This was the band's first single and was followed a month later by the album Take It Greasy which was the biggest selling Australian album of the year. By the end of the year it was certified Gold five times over (representing sales in excess of 125,000 copies), and achieved the seemingly impossible in the mid 70's - it toppled the Best Of ABBA from the number 1 spot on the Australian charts!

The Sunnyboys combined a punk rock stance with a love of The Beatles, The Kinks and obscure American bands, influenced by The British Invasion of the early Sixties. The result was a series of sublime pop/rock'n'roll singles, none better than "Alone With You" (Rel 5/10/81, HP 28, Wl 17). It was a track from the band's self-titled, Lobby Loyde produced debut album for Mushroom in 1981. Curiously the band's Happy Man was the first Australian single to be issued on cassette. The cassette single included two bonus live tracks (Thrill and Why Do I Cry) recorded at Bombay Rock in Melbourne and another Loyde produced studio track - Tomorrow Will Be Fine. It is now an extremely rare and valuable collectors item. Mushroom issued a Sunnyboys Best Of CD in 1991 to coincide with the original line-up doing a brief reformation tour.

In his pre-Black Sorrows incarnation Joe Camilleri fronted the inspired R & B influenced Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons who, along with The Sports, virtually defined the Melbourne pub rock scene in the late Seventies. Formed in 1975 the band was quickly signed to Oz Records, their debut single being a version of Chuck Berry's Run Rudolph Run. After a period with EMI, Joe and The Falcons moved to Mushroom where they had numerous successful singles and albums. Amongst them was "Hit And Run" (Rel 30/6/79, HP 12, Wl 24) which featured the band at their blazing best.

There are those (this writer included) who'll go to their graves believing that The Dingoes were one of the most dynamic Australian bands they've ever seen. They were also a damn fine recording band as the anthemic "Way Out West" (Rel 11/10/73, HP40, Wl 10) from their debut album proved. The band ran into problems promoting the single because guitarist Chris Stockley was forced to spend two months in hospital after an accidental shooting at a party. Although released in October '73 it wasn't until January of the following year that the single began charting around the country.  It was followed in June by their legendary self titled debut album. Way Out West was later re-recorded in America during 1977 for the  band's first international album release on A&M Records. That James Blundell and James Reyne had a number 1 with it nearly 20 years  later shows just how timeless a song it is.

One of the earliest signings to Mushroom were Melbourne's Madder Lake who followed up their debut single, Goodbye Lollipop (1972), with the distinctive and just a little weird "12lb Toothbrush" (Rel 18/8/73, HP 35, Wl 15). The five members of Madder Lake met when they were all enrolled in the same art course at Melbourne's Swinburne Institute of Technology. Formed in 1971 the band appeared at the 1972 Sunbury Pop Festival and soon after signed to Mushroom. The band's erratic career saw the release of two albums, Stillpoint (1973) and Butterfly Farm (1974). A compilation, The Best Of Madder Lake appeared in 1978. These recently became available on CD.

Matt Taylor's first professional performances were in Melbourne during 1966 as part of the Bay City Union, a band that included Glenn Wheatley, and Phil Manning who would go on to play guitar with him in Chain. Taylor, arguably Australia's finest blues singer, recorded his first solo album, Straight As A Die during 1973 with many of his old cohorts from Chain. The successful single lifted from the album was "I Remember When I Was Young" (Rel 17/9/73, HP 26, Wl 35). The track was actually recorded live in the open air at Kingston Park Farm in Frankston, Victoria where Taylor was living at the time. The B-side of I Remember was a song titled Krishna Loves You, Too!! Mushroom released two more solo albums from Taylor - Music (74) and Old, New, Intuitive (75).

The Stars, whose line-up included guitarists Mal Eastick and the late Andy Durant, embraced the country rock image, at least in the early stages of their career. Formed in 1975 they quickly established a substantial audience in Adelaide. As their reputation grew the band relocated to Melbourne where they recorded a debut single, Quick On The Draw, which was followed by With A Winning Hand, To coincide with a national tour supporting Joe Cocker they released a third single in "Mighty Rock" (Rel 6/6/77, HP 47, Wl 18). The band's debut album, Paradise, was released in January of 1978. During that year the band toured with the Beach Boys, and a year later they were supports for Linda Ronstadt's tour. The band's final album was 1157 (1980), the title apparently referring to the number of gigs the band had played during their five years together.

For more than a decade and a half  The Angels have been one of Australia's most consistently successful and influential hard rock'n'roll bands. Generally considered one of their finest outings was the 1986 album Howling, from which "Don't Waste My Time" (Rel 20/10/86, HP40, WI15) is taken. Howling in fact spawned four hit singles including one of the few cover versions of the band's career, a scorching reading of The Animals classic, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. Prior to the recording of the album founding member John Brewster decided to leave the line-up, his place being taken by former Finch and Skyhooks guitarist Bob Spencer, who co-wrote Don't Waste My Time with Rick Brewster.

Undoubtedly one of the more curious figures to emerge in Australian music is the self proclaimed suburban boy, Dave Warner, who managed to combine satire, a weird adaptation of stand up comedy and rock'n'roll. His anthem, not surprisingly, was called "Suburban Boy" (Rel 2/10/78, HP 31, Wl 14). Warner had formed his band, From The Suburbs, in Perth during 1977 and, prior to signing with Mushroom, had released a cassette, The Victoria Tape, and an independent single, Australian Heat. Suburban Boy was the first release on Mushroom, and was quickly followed by a debut album, Mug's Game.

One of Australia's most powerful vocalists, Jimmy Barnes has been a consistent figure on the Australian charts for years, first with Cold Chisel and later as a solo performer. "No Second Prize" (Rel 27/8/84, HP 12, Wl 13) is classic Barnes - powerhouse vocals, a killer hook, and a take-no-prisoners approach from the band. This was Barnes' first solo single and his first release on Mushroom. Much to the horror of the record company, he insisted on personally doing all the stunts for the video clip which included being strapped to the side of a moving train. To protect their sizeable investment Mushroom insured Barnes for a million dollars. The success of No Second Prize set up Barnes' album debut, Body Swerve, and he hasn't looked back since. Body Swerve and all his subsequent albums - Working Class Man, Freight Train Heart, Barnes Storming, Two Fires and Soul Deep, have all attained multi-platinum status, with Soul Deep passing the half-million sales mark.

The Choirboys have always performed as though they're destined to conquer the world. And when they released "Run To Paradise" (Rel 24/8/87, HP 3, WI 36) it seemed like they were about to do just that. After achieving some chart success in 1983 with Boys In The Band, the band had struggled after lead singer Mark Gable ruptured his vocal chords late that year which forced the band to virtually put their career on hold at a crucial time. Run To Paradise was a superb return to the charts and signalled the beginning of a couple of years when The Choirboys could do little wrong.

Shambolic, scruffy and with a street-suss attitude, Nick Barker and The Reptiles hit pay-dirt in '89 with a scorching version of the old Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel gem "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)" (Rel 2/10/89, HP 22, Wl 13).
Constantly touring around the country, Barker and The Reptiles quickly earned themselves a reputation as one of Australia's finest young bar bands - one that kept the time honoured Australian pub rock ethos alive during a period when sophisticated studio recordings were taking preference over sweat, grit and good, old-fashioned rock'n'roll.

Swirling, psychedelic pop masters The Church, have over the last decade forged a strong fan base around the world without compromising their vision one iota. With "Under The Milky Way" (Rel 15/2/88, HP 22, Wl 18) they delivered one of the finest singles of their career.
Written by lead singer Steve Kilbey and Karin Jansson it was taken from the band's first album on Mushroom, Starfish, which peaked at number 11 nationally. They have since released two more albums, Gold Afternoon Fix and Priest=Aura.

The nomadic Triffids meandered around the globe for years, hailed as one of the most distinctive and original Australian bands of their era. Regular fixtures on the independent charts they even gained significant mainstream acceptance with "Wide Open Road" (Rel 17/2/86, HP 64, Wl 5). The track was from the album Born Sandy Devotional, one of six albums the band released. The others being Calenture, In The Pines, The Black Swan, Stockholm Live and Love In Bright Landscapes.

A song called Before Too Long (from the double album Gossip) elevated Paul Kelly out of cult status and into the mainstream charts. Along with his band The Coloured Girls (later known as The Messengers), he released a succession of glorious singles and a bums during the latter part of the 80s. The single "To Her Door" (Rel 28/9/87, HP 14, Wl 24) remains an Australian rock classic. The song came from Kelly and his band's follow up to Gossip, Under The Sun, which in turn was followed by So Much Water So Close To Home ('89), Comedy ('90) and Hidden Things ('91).

Like The Triffids, The Go-Betweens were constant travellers, traversing the world performing their shimmering, literate pop.
That they never really broke through to a significant mainstream audience remains one of life's injustices. "Streets Of Your Town" (Rel 21/8/88, HP 70, Wl 6) is just one of many reasons why they'll be missed. The song was lifted from the band's critically acclaimed 16 Lovers Lane album. It was to be the band's only album for Mushroom but remains one of their best. In the wake of the band's demise, Grant (GW) McLennan (who shared songwriting and vocal duties with Robert Forster) signed to White Records as a solo artist.

Along with Radio Birdman, The Saints were one of the most pivotal and influential bands in the history of Australian rock'n'roll over the past fifteen years. Big on the mainstream charts they were a groundbreaking band who rarely stood still stylistically and inspired a generation of punk and post-punk rock'n'roll bands. Lead singer Chris Bailey, the only remaining member of the original lineup that recorded (I'm) Stranded in 76, delivered an absolute gem with "Just Like Fire Would" (Rel 24/2/86, HP 29, Wl 14). When it charted in April of '86 it was the first time The Saints had featured in a mainstream Top 40 chart since This Perfect Day made the English charts in July 1977.

They looked kinda strange in those butchers aprons but in their somewhat brief recording career Big Pig were responsible for some of the most infectious, contemporary dance music this country has produced. In terms of sheer vibrancy it's hard to go past "Hungry Town" (Rel 2/10/86, HP 18, Wl 18), a track from their debut album Bonk. They released one more album, You Lucky People, before hanging up their aprons.

The Machinations assumed a pioneering role in the development of sophisticated, memorable dance music in this country. Undoubtedly a band ahead of its time, The Machinations will be remembered for a number of classy singles, chiefly "Pressure Sway" (Rel 7/3/83, HP 21, Wl 15). This was one of the first Australian records tailored for the dance floor with a 12"mix and was a hit in the clubs before appearing in the charts. The standard of the single was further evidenced by the fact that it also went on to become an American dance floor hit, featuring on the Billboard Dance Chart and the playlist compiled Top 10 of Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM.

Equally significant are the Rockmelons who provided further proof that Australia was capable of producing soulful dance music as good as anything coming from anywhere else in the world. Theirs truly was a "New Groove" (Rel 14/12/87, HP 21, Wl 20).
The core trio that makes up the Rockmelons has developed a reputation for teaming up with some of Australia's most impressive vocalists - and on New Groove you'll hear the likes of Peter Blakeley and Wendy Matthews. The Rockmelons released a new album on Mushroom in 1992, Form One Planet.

From their rather off-beat beginnings in the late 70's, Models developed into solid chart performers, driven by the diverse talents of Sean Kelly (the only consistent figure through more than fifteen line-up changes) and James Freud (who joined in 1982). They hit the number one spot on the charts with the captivating "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight" (Rel 1/7/85, HP 1, Wl 23). It was the only Australian recorded single to reach the number 1 spot during '85 and in June '86 peaked at 36 on the American charts.

They came from nowhere and quickly returned there but The Swingers, led by founding Split Enz member Phil Judd, could do no wrong in the early part of 1981 as the nation collectively sang along to Counting The Beat (Rel 19/1/81, HP 1, Wl 23). It became the biggest selling Australian single of the year. Judd, with Tim Finn had been the nucleus for Split Enz since their formation in 1972 and had performed on their debut, Mental Notes, and its follow up, Second Thoughts. When Judd decided to leave, his place in the band was taken by one Neil Finn.

The hardest working band in Australian show business? The Dynamic Hepnotics produced authentic homegrown soul and R&B and took it into the charts with "Soul Kind Of Feeling" (Rel 3/ 9/84, HP 5, Wl 22). The song showcased the classy vocals of 'Continental' Robert Susz and the tightness of the Hepnotics' playing. Unfortunately this was their only chart hit, but they captured their exciting stage show on their live album (1984) recorded at the Billboard Club in Melbourne. Trivia buffs will be interested in the hissing sound that can be heard at times during the performance. This was the result of a fire breaking out under the stage during the band's performance - and what you can hear is the sound of fire extinguishers. The Hepnotics were always a hot live act.

The last few years have seen Australia's first Indigenous band Yothu Yindi scale astonishing heights but they were in the charts (only just mind you) a few years earlier with a song whose title ironically seems like a prediction of what was to come - "Mainstream" (Rel 13/2/89, HP 97, Wl 1). The track was originally recorded for the band's first album, Homeland Movement, but was re-recorded and included on the groundbreaking (and ultra successful) re-packaged version of the Tribal Voice album.

Hunters & Collectors remain one of Australia's most awesomely powerful live bands and have a catalogue of recordings the equal of these legendary performances. They continue to be every bit as uncompromising and creative as in the early 80s when the fledgling outfit (at this stage numbering 12 members ) released "Talking To A Stranger" (Rel 12/7/82, HP 59, Wl 10). It had been preceded by the World Of Stone four track 12" release. Soon after Talking To A Stranger came the band's self titled debut album, a period that also saw the release of the Payload EP, and, the next year, The Fireman's Curse, recorded in Germany with producer Conny Plank. The video for Talking To A Stranger was one of Richard Lowenstein's first music videos.

To say that Renee Geyer is one of the finest vocalists Australia has ever produced is an understatement. Aside from her own recordings she has sung on records by Joe Cocker, Harry Nilsson and Sting. Renee had scored her first hit single in 1974 with a version of James Brown's "It's A Man's World" which was revived in 1987 for a Swan beer television commercial. Like all great singers she gets better with age - and she weren't half bad a decade ago when, signed to Mushroom, she scored a Top Five hit with the delightful "Say I Love You" (Rel 1/6/81, HP 5, Wl 20).

In the late 80s two Australians teamed up with the Stock Aitken Waterman production team and dominated the pop charts both here and in England. One of them was Jason Donovan (and I don't think I need to say who the other was) who just missed the number 1 spot with "Nothing Can Divide Us" (Rel 17/10/88, HP 3, Wl 19). It was a track from Jason's album Ten Good Reasons which both debuted and peaked at number 5 on the national charts. Jason initially starred alongside Kylie Minogue in the successful Australian sitcom "Neighbours".

James Freud played a crucial role in the commercial success of Models, but his career before then wasn't without its highlights. Prior to this Freud had fronted Melbourne bands Teenage Radio Stars and Berlin as well as recording a solo album, Breaking Silence, and having a hit with "Modern Girl" (Rel 12/5/80, HP 12, Wl 24) which displayed the powerful pop style that he would later introduce to Models.

Way back in 1977 The Ferrets had a major hit with their second single, the sophisticated, smooth and classy "Don't Fall In Love" (Rel 20/6/77, HP 2, Wl 23). The Ferrets owe much of their success to lan Meldrum who heard their demo tape, helped them get a record deal with Mushroom, and worked with them as producer (under the pseudonym Willie Everfinish). Don't Fall In Love became the biggest selling Australian single of the year and prompted Mushroom to rush release Dreams Of Love, the album the band had been working on for more than a year. It was supplied to shops in a brown paper wrapper because in all the haste to get it out there hadn't been time to complete and print the cover. It was supplied to purchasers a few weeks later.

To say that "Suddenly" (Rel 29/6/87, HP 2, Wl 28) was a surprise hit for Angry Anderson is something of an understatement. After more than a decade fronting one of Australia's toughest ever rock'n'roll bands. Rose Tattoo, it was somewhat ot a surprise to find Angry at the top of the charts with a ballad. Suddenly was Angry's first solo single and actually a track from Rose Tattoo's 1986 album Beats From A Single Drum. Later it was used as background music at the famous wedding of Charlene Mitchell (Kylie Minogue) and Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan.) in Channel 10's Neighbours. The exposure led to a hugely successful record, one that ironically was kept out of the number 1 spot by Kylie's Locomotion.

In an era when the charts were dominated by bands like Human League, Duran Duran, and Spandau Ballet Australia wasn't left behind and Kids In The Kitchen laid down a cool, soulful dance groove on "Change In Mood" (Rel 3/10/83, HP 10, Wl 22). The band are credited with having one of the shortest American tours by an Australian band. During a promotional visit to the states in 1986 they performed one show, and one show only, at New York's Cat Club.

Not to be confused with the Hunters & Collectors song of the same name, "Say Goodbye" (Rel 6/5/89, HP 6, Wl 17) established the clean cut, good lookin' Indecent Obsession who sold a heap of records 'cause thousands of young girls had, let's admit it, an indecent obsession with this bunch. Cynics described them as an Australian answer to New Kids On The Block but as their worldwide profile increased, particularly in Japan, the band certainly weren't complaining. Since those days Indecent Obsession have developed a tougher image and approach.

The little known Redbone are the only rock band ever led by full-blooded North American Indians. One of their finest performances (and a hit in 1971) was Witch Queen Of New Orleans. In March 1987 the vibrant and stylish Chantoozies recorded it as their debut single and took it into the charts again. Over the next few years the Chantoozies made a succession of light'n'breezy records that had no pretence to high art. Theirs was simply good tine, sing along pop rock'n'roll that captured the imagination of the audience they were aiming for with summery songs like "Wanna Be Up" (Rel 5/9/88, HP 8, Wl 28).

You can't keep a great song down and Kylie Minogue revived a classic that old timers remember from Little Eva's version - "Locomotion" (Rel 13/7/87, HP 1, Wl 31) and took it back into the charts. Right into the charts. Like number 1. This was the first time that the song, which had also been covered by American band Grand Funk Railroad in the 70s, had reached number 1 in Australia. Little Eva's 1962 version reached number 10, whilst GFR had a surprise hit, reaching number 4. Kylie's version also became Mushroom's biggest selling single, surpassing sales of Split Enz's I Got You. She has since become the only act in the history of British pop music to have their first 13 releases all go Top 10.

Post-Split Enz, Tim Finn embarked on what has been an erratic solo career. The quality has always been there but sometimes it hasn't been reflected in sales. Everything gelled however with "Fraction Too Much Friction" (Rel 23/5/83, HP 8, Wl 20) from his solo debut album Escapade, which was every bit as quirky and memorable as the best Split Enz records.

As the Eighties drew to a close Paul Norton combined a well developed image with some classy, polished rock'n'roll and, hey, did he find an audience?  "Stuck On You" (Rel 13/2/89, HP3, Wl 21) steamrolled its way up the charts and stayed there. Not bad for a debut single. He has since recorded two albums, Under A Southern Sky (1990) and the recently released Let It Fly.

Jimmy Barnes wasn't the only former Cold Chisel member with a hit record lurking inside him. After a lengthy hiatus from studio and live work, lan Moss reappeared with "Tucker's Daughter" (Rel 9/1/89, HP 1, Wl 24) which, as everyone knows, was a monster hit. The song was written by another former Cold Chisel member, Don Walker, and appeared on Moss' phenomenally successful and multi ARIA Award-winning Matchbook album. - Stuart Coupe November '92

[Taken from Liner Notes: Chart information courtesy of Stephen Scanes / Australian Music Report. Stuart Coupe would like to acknowledge the use of Noel  McGrath's publications - The Australian Encyclopedia of Rock, The 1978-1979 Yearbook, and The Book of Australian Rock in the compilation of these notes]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my CD copy and includes full album artwork.  Although not released on vinyl, this compilation was released on cassette (Mushroom/C80952and so I consider it to be a valid entry for my blog. Having said this, I have not been able to source the artwork for the cassette release and was hoping that one of my followers might be able to fill the gap.
This compilation attracts big dollars on eBay and represents a great selection of Australian/N.Z artists. The only inclusions that I would question on this comp are Jason Donovan and Indecent Obsession, especially when Mushroom artists like Chain, Ayers Rock and Mother Goose have been ignored.
1-1  Skyhooks (Women In Uniform)
1-2  The Sports (Who Listens To The Radio)
1-3  Split Enz (I Got You)
1-4  Ol'55 (On The Prowl)
1-5  The Sunnyboys (Alone With You)
1-6  Jo Jo Zep And The Falcons (Hit And Run)
1-7  The Dingoes (Way Out West)
1-8  Madder Lake (12 Lb Toothbrush)
1-9  Matt Taylor (I Remember When I Was Young)
1-10  Stars (Mighty Rock)
1-11  The Angels (Don't Waste My Time)
1-12  Dave Warner's From The Suburbs (Suburban Boy)
1-13  Jimmy Barnes (No Second Prize)
1-14  The Choirboys (Run To Paradise)
1-15  Nick Barker And The Reptiles (Come On Up, Make Me Smile)
1-16  The Church (Under The Milky Way)
1-17  The Triffids (Wide Open Road)
1-18  Paul Kelly And The Coloured Girls (To Her Door)
1-19  The Go-Betweens (The Streets Of Your Town)
1-20  The Saints (Just Like Fire Would)
2-1  Big Pig (Hungry Town)
2-2  Machinations (Pressure Sway)
2-3  Rockmelons (New Groove)
2-4  Models (Out Of Mind Out Of Sight)
2-5  The Swingers (Counting The Beat)
2-6  Dynamic Hepnotics (Soul Kind Of Feeling)
2-7  Yothu Yindi  (Mainstream)
2-8  Hunters & Collectors (Talking To A Stranger)
2-9  Renee Geyer (Say I Love You)
2-10  Jason Donovan (Nothing Can Divide Us)
2-11  James Freud (Modern Girl)
2-12  The Ferrets (Don't Fall In Love)
2-13  Angry Anderson (Suddenly)
2-14  Kids In The Kitchen (Change In Mood)
2-15  Indecent Obsession (Say Goodbye)
2-16  Chantoozies (Wanna Be Up)
2-17  Kylie Minogue (Locomotion)
2-18  Tim Finn (Fraction Too Much Friction)
2-19  Paul Norton (Stuck On You)
2-20  Ian Moss (Tucker's Daughter)
Australian Revolution CD1 & Artwork Link (513Mb)
Australian Revolution CD2 Link (493Mb)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Doris Day - Greatest Hits (1958)

(U.S 1939 - 1989)
With the recent passing of Doris Day, I felt compelled to pay tribute to one of the most popular female Singer / Actresses of the 20th Century.  I admit that her genre of music isn't the usual type of music that I post on my blog, but I'm prepared to make an exception in this case, and if the post isn't well received, then in her own words: (Que Sera, Sera) Whatever Will Be, Will Be.
When Doris Day decided to set out on her own after being feature singer with such famous bands as Bob Crosby's, Fred Waring and Les Brown, she did not realize she was launching such an amazing musical career.
On her first engagement at the Little Club in New York, she was offered a screen test by Warner Brothers. Director Michael Curtis saw the test and three days later the unknown Doris was playing one of the leads in "It's Magic". From that point on, her movie career progressed in leaps and bounds, covering comedy, drama and musicals.

At the same time her singing career also kept pace with her amazing movie career. Each year Doris came up with hit after hit—such as "If I Give My Heart to You", "Lullaby of Broadway" and "Everybody Loves a Lover." In many, cases, her "hit songs" were the feature of her films—the Academy Award winning "Whatever Will Be, Will Be" (The Man Who Knew Too Much"), "Teacher's Pet" (the film of the same name) and "Secret Love" (Calamity Jane).
Even after, ten years, Doris Day is still as popular now as she ever was. Furthermore, she has a voice and personality that will keep her in the number one position for a long time to come [ Liner Notes]
Obituary By Aljean Harmetz
(May 13, 2019 New York Times)
Doris Day (Born April 3, 1922), the freckle-faced movie actress whose irrepressible personality and golden voice made her America’s top box-office star in the early 1960s, died on Monday at her home in Carmel Valley, Calif.  She was 97. The Doris Day Animal Foundation announced her death.

Ms. Day began her career as a big-band vocalist, and she was successful almost from the start: One of her first records, “Sentimental Journey,” released in 1945, sold more than a million copies, and she went on to have numerous other hits. The bandleader Les Brown, with whom she sang for several years, once said, “As a singer Doris belongs in the company of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.”

But it was the movies that made her a star.

Between “Romance on the High Seas” in 1948 and “With Six You Get Eggroll” in 1968, she starred in nearly 40 movies. On the screen she turned from the perky girl next door in the 1950s to the woman next door in a series of 1960s sex comedies that brought her four first-place rankings in the yearly popularity poll of theater owners, an accomplishment equaled by no other actress except Shirley Temple.

Doris Day plays Calamity Jane
In the 1950s she starred, and most often sang, in comedies (“Teacher’s Pet,” “The Tunnel of Love”), musicals (“Calamity Jane,” “April in Paris,” “The Pajama Game”) and melodramas (“Young Man With a Horn,” the Alfred Hitchcock thriller “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “Love Me or Leave Me”).

James Cagney, her co-star in “Love Me or Leave Me,” said Ms. Day had “the ability to project the simple, direct statement of a simple, direct idea without cluttering it.” He compared her performance to Laurette Taylor’s in “The Glass Menagerie” on Broadway in 1945, widely hailed as one of the greatest performances ever given by an American actor.

She went on to appear in “Pillow Talk” alongside Rock Hudson (1959), “Lover Come Back” (1961) and “That Touch of Mink” (1962), fast-paced comedies in which she fended off the advances of Rock Hudson (in the first two films) and Cary Grant (in the third). Those movies, often derided today as examples of the repressed sexuality of the ’50s, were considered daring at the time.

Doris Day with Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk
“I suppose she was so clean-cut, with perfect uncapped teeth, freckles and turned-up nose, that people just thought she fitted the concept of a virgin,” Mr. Hudson once said of Ms. Day. “But when we began ‘Pillow Talk’ we thought we’d ruin our careers because the script was pretty daring stuff.” The movie’s plot, he said, “involved nothing more than me trying to seduce Doris for eight reels.”

(Ms. Day and Mr. Hudson remained close. Not long before his death from AIDS in 1985, he appeared with her on her television show “Doris Day’s Best Friends” and at a news conference. “He was very sick,” Ms. Day said. “But I just brushed that off and I came out and put my arms around him and said, ‘Am I glad to see you.’ ”)

Doris Day 1965
Following “Pillow Talk,” which won Ms. Day her sole Academy Award nomination, she was called on to defend her virtue for the rest of her career in similar but lesser movies, while Hollywood turned to more honest and graphic screen sex to keep up with the revolution sweeping the world after the introduction of the birth control pill.

Ms. Day turned down the part of Mrs. Robinson, the middle-aged temptress who seduces Dustin Hoffman, in the groundbreaking 1967 film “The Graduate,” because, she said, the notion of an older woman seducing a young man “offended my sense of values.” The part went to Anne Bancroft, who was nominated for an Academy Award.

By the time she retired in 1973, after starring for five years on the hit CBS comedy “The Doris Day Show,” Ms. Day had been dismissed as a goody-two-shoes, the leader of Hollywood’s chastity brigade, and, in the words of the film critic Pauline Kael, “the all-American middle-aged girl.” The critic Dwight Macdonald wrote of “the Doris Day Syndrome” and defined her as “wholesome as a bowl of cornflakes and at least as sexy.”

Doris Day  spent much of her time rescuing and finding homes for stray dogs

Doris Day with her dog in1960
For the rest of her life she lived on a seven-acre estate with many more dogs than the zoning laws allowed. In the 1985-86 television season she was the host of “Doris Day’s Best Friends,” on the Christian Broadcasting Network, which focused on animal welfare.

Terry Melcher, her only child, who became a successful record producer, died in 2004. Her survivors include a grandson.

In 2011, three years after she received a lifetime achievement Grammy Award, Ms. Day surprised a lot of people by releasing her first album in almost 20 years, “My Heart,” which consisted mostly of songs she had recorded for “Doris Day’s Best Friends” but never released commercially.

Ms. Day, who summed up her fatalistic philosophy in the words of one of her biggest hits, “Que Sera, Sera” (“What will be, will be”), never liked unhappy endings. She told one interviewer: “It upsets me when the hero or heroine dies. I would like them to live happily ever after.”

But, except in movies, nobody lives happily ever after. Ms. Day told Mr. Hotchner: “During the painful and bleak periods I’ve suffered through these past years, my animal family has been a source of joy and strength to me. I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent, devoted companionship of your pets that you can get from no other source.”

“I have never found in a human being,” she added, “loyalty comparable to that of any pet.”
[extract from the New York Times]
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my newly acquired vinyl which is in relatively good condition. Coincidentally, I came across this album at my local flee market only weeks before her passing, and is not normally the genre of music that I pick up, but the cover image caught my eye and the $2 price tag made it to good to resist.  It was only when I got it onto my turntable at home that I realised there were a few annoying scratches on some tracks, but I have painstakingly removed all clicks and pops manually using Audacity's Click Removal Tool sparingly. As usual full album artwork is included, along with label scans and all photos included in this post. I have also added the European front cover (see right) which is different to the unique Australian cover which is in my opinion is far superior.

Note: There is some contention as to when Doris Day was born. All sources on the Internet say 1922, however Melinda Schnieder (who has performed a tribute show 'Melinda Does Doris' for many years now) was told by Doris in person that she was born on 1924. Whether this was old age talking or maybe just vanity, 1922 is still considered to be correct. 

I do hope you take a risk and download this album, as it is a wonderful collection of her early material, including her biggest hit "Que Sera, Sera".   RIP Doris Day

01 Everybody Loves A Lover
02 It's Magic
03 A Guy Is A Guy
04 Secret Love
05 Teacher's Pet
06 Bewitched
07 (Que Sera, Sera) Whatever Will Be, Will Be
08 If I Give My Heart To You
09 Shanghai
10 When I Fall In Love
11 Lullaby Of Broadway
12    Love Me or Leave Me

Doris Day's Greatest Hits MP3 Link (78Mb)