Sunday, October 31, 2021

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Bert Newton - To A Sleeping Beauty (1960)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song or album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.

As far as showbiz royalty goes, Bert Newton, who sadly passed away this weekend, aged 83, and his widow Patti Newton are considered the King and Queen of the Australian entertainment industry. Bert made his small-screen debut in 1957 working alongside Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight and from that moment, the 81-year-old presenter has dominated every era of television.

Albert Watson "Bert" Newton, AM, MBE, was born on the 23rd of July 1938, and is a multiple Gold Logie winning Australian television, radio, film, stage performer and author. Newton was born in Fitzroy, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. Bert lived at home with his mother until the age of 36, prompting widespread gossip that he was gay. In 1974, he married Patti McGrath, a co-worker. The Newtons have a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Lauren. 

In 1989, Bert began hosting The Bert Newton Show, before going on to host Good Morning Australia.

Bert hosted the Logie Awards on numerous occasions through his career, and is a four time recipient of the Gold Logie and a Hall of Fame inductee.

Bert forged a long and successful partnership with Don Lane (see right) in the 70's. Both Lane and Newton maintain that the first time they met was on-air, during the first episode of the Don Lane Show. Each describes that there was instant 'chemistry', and that they never made any deliberate attempt to build the relationship; it just happened. Newton took much pleasure in sending up Lane's singing, sometimes by playing his records at half-speed while miming Lane's performance. 

Lane sometimes responded in kind by sending up Newton's own record, the "Bert and Patti Family Album". The Don Lane Show ended on 13 November 1983. It was during the Don Lane show that Bert adopted the nickname 'Moonface' which was indicative of his beaming round face.  

To write all about Bert's career in television, radio and stage it would be many pages but if you are interested go to Wikipedia.

I have very fond memories of watching Newton either host or co-host T.V shows during my teenage years and trying to pick the funniest moment is almost impossible. But a highlight would have to be his impersonation of Demis Roussos and especially the night when Roussos appeared on stage unbeknown to Bert.  What a set up!

Bert Newton was a household name for so many Australians during the 70's and 80's and a much loved and respected T.V personality. He was respected by all of his peers and gave so much joy and laughter to the world. A wonderful family man and a devoted husband, Bert was one of a kind. 

I am providing this 1960 single release by Newton for this month's WOCK post, not just because of its Obscurity but also because I think it typifies his deep seated love of family.  The dialogue might sound Corny in this day and age, but the message within is still relevant. There's nothing more tender than a father's love and concern for his beautiful baby daughter. 

This post consists of FLACs and artwork (thanks to Guitarzan)
01 - To A Sleeping Beauty
02 - The White Magnolia Tree

Download Here   New Link 26/03/22

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

REPOST: Various Artists - Sunbury '74 (Parts 1 & 2)

(Various Australian Artists 1974)

The 70's was a period in Australian Rock Music when the industry showcased its very best at the annual Sunbury music festival. On each Australia day weekend from 1972-1975, 35,000 plus people would travel to a picturesque site 30 minutes from Melbourne, in anticipation of witnessing some of the greatest performance of our own rock bands. For those who attended it was an event not to be missed and still considered today to be the most successful rock music festival of its kind held in Australia.
The Sunbury Music Festivals were organised by a group named Odessa Promotions, said to be members of the Melbourne TV Industry. The principal of the company was John Fowler, and it’s said that the company included people who had previously worked on shows such as Uptight, a pop TV show of the late ‘60s. The company went into liquidation after the final concert of ‘75, which was a financial disaster compared to the previous festivals.

There’s just as much mythology about the spirit of the Sunbury Music Festival, with some regarding it as Australia’s Woodstock, a keypoint in more innocent times that embraced peace and a laid back life, while others saw the Sunbury festivals as an event that mirrored the decline of that flowery period with some suggesting that the festivals steadily became a beer-soaked yob fest.
While the Sunbury Music Festivals did much for the Aussie music scene, featuring an all-Australian line-up in ‘72’s first festival, it also attracted well-known acts from overseas in the later festivals with British bands Queen appearing in ‘74 and Deep Purple taking the stage in the festival of ‘75.
John Fowler's Odessa Promotions flexed their muscles for Sunbury '74. But getting Daddy Cool to reform wasn't enough. They decided to impose their first 'international' act on the festival.    So far, Sunbury had been a celebration of Australian music. Their international guests were unproven and no one had heard of Queen. They were just two albums old and yet to make any significant name for themselves. Where Queen were treated like. . kings...down to being chauffeured to the site, the Australians of course made their own way. (Nothing's changed of course. Ask the Australians who were forced to appear for free at Rumba recently). The rest of the Sunbury '74 performers resented Queen being there, resented everything their presence represented. The audience also resented the English band being there. For them, the Australian music was more than enough. Making things just a little worse, there was a mix-up over daylight savings. Queen had been booked to appear an hour before they expected. They made everyone wait until the sun went down. Queen didn't do themselves any favours, but they were SO unknown, and SO insignificant no-one held it against them later. Only for Queen was it a day they would never forget.
When Queen took to the stage, the band was largely unknown at that time on Australian shores and they were unfortunately heckled from the stage following their performance, allegedly after the announcer of that year’s festival asked the audience, “D'you want anymore from these pommie bastards or do ya want an Aussie rock band?”

Before leaving the stage to jeers that labelled them “pooftahs” who should go back to Pommyland, Freddy Mercury, Queen’s iconic front man (who was nonetheless fond of bottoms) boldly and bravely fired a parting shot back at the audience. He declared that when his band Queen would next visit Australia, they would be the biggest band in the world. And true to his word when they returned to our shores in ‘76, QUEEN were indeed one of the most globally acclaimed bands.
[extracts from]

The following is an account of the Sunbury '74 concert through the eyes of one of the festival's compares (and a well known celebrity from the Countdown era) - none other than Ian 'Molly' Meldrum. Reporting in his regular weekly column 'Ian Meldrums Keyhole News' (GoSet magazine, Feb 9,1974. p10), Molly gives us a wonderful run down of each band who played over the three days, and helps capture some of the excitement that occurred at what some people consider to be the best Sunbury of all. For more information about the Sunbury festival, see


SUNBURY BLOODY SUNBURY …POP ORGY…well, that was the headline in one of Melbourne’s better known Sunday papers…their editorial went on to describe how Sunbury became Sin City…of how sex, violence, drugs, and beer-swilling teenagers turned the festival into an orgy.  Wow, SUNBURY ’74 must have been sensational…I wish I’d been there…the funny thing is that I was there for the whole 3½ days and apart from a few isolated incidents involving some yahoo’s, no way known could you describe Sunbury as a violent festival…and as for the open use of drugs, well the drug squad who were there in full force must have been blind-folded because they only made a couple of arrests…thousands of contraceptives sold??...strange that the Chemists report that they only sold about a dozen. 
In other words, WHAT A LOAD OF BULL! fact, I would go as far as to say that Sunbury’74 was one of the most peaceful and most organised festivals you could ever hope for…Nude Bathing?...Well, why not?...I mean, who cares?...we have, thank you, grown up at least that much…and let’s face it, it’s papers like this Sunday rag that have made us immune to it all…they thrive on the Tits and teeth bit…unfortunately the thing they forgot to mention was the great line up of talent that kept us entertained over the three days…unfortunately this column is too short to give mention to everyone…but believe me, in one way or another, all deserve a pat on the back…my fear that this year’s Sunbury would be dreary and boring like Sunbury ’73, was completely unfounded…

Friday Night and Sherbet Slayed ‘em
Friday Night…a beautiful clear sky and the satellite city is already in full swing…and wouldn’t you know once again I opened my big trap once too often RE: SHERBET…I did say a couple of weeks back in the column that I couldn’t understand why the group was performing on the first night when most of the audience would be still hitching up their tents etc etc…Wrong…the audience hill was packed and I must say that Sherbet were magnificent…but the guys should give thanks to PIRANA, ROSS RYAN and BAND OF LIGHT who were on before them because they really put the audience in a great mood…PIRANA played a beautiful set and it’s hard to believe that they are not a bigger name in this country because they deserve to be…ROSS RYAN was good but Ross’s outstanding performance was to come on Sunday…BAND OF LIGHT were, I thought, tremendous… surely they are destined to do big things on the Australian music scene this year…and then there was SHERBET… what a performance! was their first ever Sunbury and let me tell you right here and now that they made up for the previous two years when they were unable to appear…For months I’ve been raving about their stage act and musical talents but every time I see them they just never cease to amaze me…I’ll go as far as to say that they have probably one of the finest stage acts in the world…and I’m sure the likes of Bowie, Rod Stewart and Elton John, if they were ever given the chance to see them, would agree with me…need I say that Sunbury loved them…it should, in SHERBET’S book, go down as one of the highlights in their already dazzling career…because Sunbury is a fest and in my book, and they may disagree because I believe they weren’t happy with their performance, they get 10 out of 10

To finish off Friday night, HOME, one of Australia’s up and coming groups put the final seal to the night’s superb display of entertainment.

Hot Saturday
Saturday was HOT, really, really HOT…and the drink and watermelon stores were doing great business…sure, people drank booze and happily I report that gone from the festival were the dozens and dozens of kids that were there last year staggering around till the early hours of the morning…by mid-afternoon temperatures had soared to 35 but this didn’t put a downer on UPP’s energy…here is another group that’s full of visual excitement…sure, they’ve got a long way to go but I have every confidence that over the next six or seven months they will build up the following they need and they’ll be up there with the best of them…next on were the 69’ers and as usual they provided the laughs for the day…they really are an incredibly funny group and I hope that they never lose their sense of humour…like last year, they more than wowed the crowd…and to finish off their set they had an all-out cream cake fight…as compare, they were the first act that I had to bring off stage and I’m sure you will agree that it was rather fitting that I ended up with a complete sponge-cake and cream all over my face.  SKYHOOKS were the next on and unfortunately I feel that this group needed a night-time spot when they could make full use of the lights…because they are as much into theatre as they are into music….but one thing’s for sure, watch out for the name SKYHOOKS…they’ve arrived

and they’ll be here for quite a while…SID RUMPO proved to all and sundry what fine musicians they are and after their performance I eagerly await their forthcoming album…MATT TAYLOR was on next doing his solo bit…and what can I say about MATT?... he defies all convention of a ’74 pop star… I mean, name one other pop star who gets out on stage, sits down, and says to 30,000 people, Gidday…but you can’t help but love his music…and as usual, in his own peculiar way, he got the audience going… MATT was rewarded with a fine ovation and an encore…but Matt had a surprise in store for them the following day…DINGOES were next on and boy, can they rock and roll…I absolutely love this group and obviously with the response they got, so did the Sunbury crowd…but the one thing that I feel is missing is visual projection from lead singer, BRODERICK SMITH…he possesses an incredible voice…he looks good, but for some reason he fails to project….there’s an old say Brod, If Ya Got It, Flaunt It, so Start Flaunting!  Next on were CHAIN…and has this group got themselves together up in Brisbane…all the reports and fears that the group would break up were dispelled five minutes after they started playing on stage…we all know what a fine group of musicians there are but now with the added confidence that the Australian public really do appreciate them, this group has really come alive…fortunately or unfortunately for Barry Harvey, they don’t miss him as a drummer at all…the group is tight as I’ve ever seen them…why even Phil’s developed a personality…it was a brilliant musical set and it put the crowd into a great mood for what was to come.

And what was to come was four hours of sheer musical entertainment…the BALLS hit the stage with LOBBY not far behind…and did that audience develop balls!..Wow!...sure, the skinheads and the tattoo freaks love them, but so did everyone else…and I think it would be fair enough to say that the group put on their best performance ever…and LOBBY, me boy, there’s no denying it, you’re every bit a Pop Star…and what a great sight it is to see 30,000 people cheering and yelling and rocking their hearts out…ooooh, it sends shivers up me spine…and thumbs up (in the rude sense) to all those self-appointed critics who have written in to the paper over the past few months criticising this group and labelling them boring…cause when 30,000 get their rocks off on Ballpower, they must have something…next on was a surprise…it was the LA DE DAS and I thought they were bloody fantastic…it would be hard for any group to follow LOBBY successfully but the LA DE DAS did it and did it in fine style…it’s amazing the sound that can be created by just three musicians…and watch out girls because lead singer KEVIN BORICH is about to become a sex symbol…a job well done LA DE’s…

Go Set Magazine Article

Billy’s Not Over The Hill – A Rainbow Fixed That
 Next was one of the two Sunbury miracles…I must admit I felt like an ant walking out on stage with all these towers of equipment surrounding me…it looked as if we were about to restage the Commonwealth Games…but Aztec energy was about to be let loose…just before I made the announcemen I asked BILLY if the group would be wanting to do an encore…and he replied, Don’t Ask Me Man, You’ll Know From The Reaction Of The Audience…and I must confess that I thought, God, I hope last year’s no indication of audience reaction…’cause in ’73 an encore they did not want…Sunbury ’74 was possibly the greatest test this group had to go through, and I mean the Greatest…and BILLY knew it…gone is the denim and replacing it it are the superb tailor-made velvet and leather jackets etc…the next hour was one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever witnessed since I’ve been connected with pop scene…the AZTECS didn’t Wow the audience…they destroyed them!...BILLY had them literally eating out of his hands…you know, words can’t describe what happened…they did new songs, they did old songs…and ten minutes into their set BILLY was wearing the biggest smile you could imagine…he knew he had them back…one song, what was it? can’t go round saying What on stage??....F*CK I think…front of stage in the press and group arena it was packed…the COLOURED BALLS were down there, the DINGOES…you name them, they were there, all clapping and cheering…and the audience of 30,000 up on the hill with their arms above their heads, the bare-breasted ladies up on guy’s shoulders weaving and rocking, the Excitement…it was really Too Much…and what about when part of the audience  started chanting the AZTEC “Suck More P…” slogan…a saying that derived from their days at the Whitehorse Hotel…it spread through the audience like wildfire and BILLY said “Keep it up, Keep it up”…and then he and the group wrote a song, there on stage about suck more p…
I firmly believe that audience was ready to do anything for BILLY at that stage…after a couple more numbers like Oop Poo Pah Doo, BILLY announced that he was going to do a number that we’d either hate or love…”Here’s One For The Knockers”, he said…and, my God, he did a song that he made a hit eight years ago, ‘Over The Rainbow’…we all looked at each other in disbelief, but it was sounding great!...and on his alone THORPIE can take the title of Australia’s Top Superstar, because that he is…well, the audience just went beserk after that and they just continued to scream and yell, clap and shout and rock and roll…they finally walked off stage and I passed BILLY and I almost felt tempted to say, well it doesn’t look as if you’re going to do an encore…but I didn’t exactly want to wear a guitar at that stage…and the crowd was just screaming for more, and I do mean screaming…in the middle of my Do Ya Wanna Hear More, my voice suddenly cracked in the excitement and like, for the next two days they had to put up with a rather croaky demented Meldrum…there was no doubt that AZTEC energy was back!
What a hard job for ARIEL to follow this…but like the LA DE DAS with LOBBY, ARIEL did a grand job…all the work and effort that’s been put into their visual stage act is really starting to pay off though I must admit that the big explosion on stage that they created fair frightened the daylights out of me…they performed A Strange Fantastic Dream and is it any wonder that the album is selling so well?...what a shame the group, due to an energy crisis in England, are unable to go there in March because at this stage they are very together…obviously the gigs that they have done supporting overseas bands have helped instill a lot of confidence performance-wise into the group…musically you cannot fault them…visually they are progressing in leaps and bounds…MISSISSIPPI were the next on and this group possesses a brilliant range of harmonies…they lack the visual side but they make up for it with their voices and playing…I’m sure everyone out there agreed that they’re really nice to listen to.

Sunday – Madder Seals Crown
Sunday was just as hot and the St.Johns ambulance brigade were working overtime treating people for cut feet, heat exhaustion and other minor injuries…what would a festival like this be without them?...I shudder to think…GLENN CARDIER played a beautiful set that afternoon and it’s easy to see why he was given a Commonwealth Grant…he may not be everyone’s cup of tea but with that selected audience he really does entertain…RICHARD CLAPTON is another who performed that day and although he was very nervous, he proved what a talent he has, both as a singer and as a songwriter…CAPTAIN MATCHBOX were very entertaining…like SKYHOOKS, they are more a theatrical group and it’s good to see that the Australian music scene has now found a place for this type of group…one highlight of that afternoon had to be KUSH and LINDA GEORGE…KUSH are a brilliant brass-orientated group and with JEFF up front camping his way through song after song, ’74 should see this group emerge as a top seller on the record market…LINDA GEORGE was superb…she’s undoubtedly one of Australia’s finest female singers and you can see her confidence growing day by day (an unintentional pun!)…It’s also good to see that Sunbury has come of age and is able to present artists of her caliber on such a festival…there were some fine vocal backings also by the COOKIES…

Matt Taylor
Next on were the DINGOES who gave another fine rock and roll performance…another appearance by MISSISSIPPI and then MATT TAYLOR hit the stage with a rock group backing him…and what emerged was the MATT of old, the MATT TAYLOR that we once knew as lead singer of CHAIN…he really got that audience jumping and in so many ways I strongly feel that MATT should perform with a rock group more often…and what a gas to hear him sing once again “Grab A Snatch And Hold It”…it was yet another great performance by MATT and the audience fully appreciated it…and then came the big wait…for the appearance of QUEEN…apparently there were a lot of hassles with setting up the equipment etc. and I am not going to attempt to go into who was right and who was wrong…but one thing I will say…I don’t think any group should be subjected to the insulting remarks that were made on stage prior to them going on…after all, they were asked to come here and they wanted to give the best performance they could give…the remarks made by this certain person who, I might add, was not one of the comperes, were unfair and totally unjustified… and worse still, it put a downer on the whole audience…QUEEN finally hit the stage,  with all the odds stacked against them…no, they didn’t receive the greatest applause in the world but with a very tight set, they did swing the audience back and at the end the audience gave them a polite but genuine applause…unfortunately the next day they could not appear because their lead singer was legitimately ill…perhaps a few people will have to eat their words over the next year if QUEEN make the top ranks on the international scene.

Queen at Sunbury
The saving grace of the night was the next act that was on…it was MADDER LAKE and they were really fantastic…first they had the hard task of pulling the audience out of their downer…once they achieved that they worked on the audience to bring them to what had to be the all-time high of the day…like the night before with THORPIE, the audience started to dance and wave their hands in the air etc…MADDER LAKE for the first part of their set, performed their new album, ‘Butterfly Farm’ and if you go by the audience reaction they should have no worry about it being a top seller…for the latter part of their show they performed numbers from their ‘Stillpoint’ album as well as their hit singles…and the audience ..well, need I say, just went ape…my only regret was that every programmer from interstate weren’t there to see MADDER LAKE perform…they are without a doubt one of Australia’s unique sounding bands…they are full of originality and are full of entertainment…just ask any one of the 30,000that were at Sunbury.

Queen's Setlist
After MADDER LAKE came JOHN GRAHAM and BLACKSPUR…Now there’s an under rated artist for you…but keep at it JOHN because they’re going to wake up soon…AYERS ROCK then hit the stage and what fine group of musicians they are…and full credit to them for getting the audience rocking and rolling again at 2.30 in the morning…they lack nothing in musicianship whatsoever and perhaps need a front man to give them some visual effect…once this is achieved I would imagine the sky’s the limit…both their performance this night and the following day proved that we have some really top-line Australian musicians…I thought they were great…to finish off the night, well as a matter of fact it was the very early hours of the morning, MACKENZIE THEORY played an amazing set…they really are an unbelievable group…there can be no other group like them I the world…and if they stick together then I’m sure someone from overseas is going to grab them…the worth of this group speaks for itself, but might I add that there were around about 4000 people who stayed up until 4 o’clock in the morning just to listen to this group…the group also played on the second stage and packed it out…
Daddy Who? Daddy Cool (Getting ready to go on stage at Sunbury 74)
Monday – 35C Cool Entertainment
Monday was a very tiring day…it was hot and muggy…once again PIRANA, AYERS ROCK, SID RUMPO and CHAIN entertained the crowd…ROSS RYAN made his second appearance that day and I would imagine it was one of the best performances he’s ever given…ROSS has always been full of confidence and unlike so many artists, he really knows how to work his audience…he has, over the last 12 months, emerged as one of Australia’s top singer –songwriters and his performance that day proved why he has become just that…

One group that emerged on that Monday who were virtually completely unknown before was BUSTER BROWN…they really got the crowd rocking so Watch Out For Them…that’s a definite name to put in your little black book…but Monday really belonged to DADDY COOL…they played as though they’d never ever broken up…and they somehow re-created the excitement of ’71…the crowd just went mad…Absolutely Deliriously Mad…just prior to the group coming on, they adored the stage with three giant Australian flags and during their performance they issued to the audience hundreds of toy flags…the scene was quite unbelievable…the did all their old hits…look, what more can you say…DADDY COOL HAD RETURNED…and so had the excitement…I really believe that they could have played all day and all night and the crowd still would have called for more…it was a great ending to a really successful festival…
I thank all and sundry who organised the festival, especially Odessa Promotions...and Mr. John Fowler…Sunbury ‘74 proved that the Australian music scene id very much alive…but more than that, it proved that Australian artists and musicians are amongst the finest in the world…
Sunbury Pop Orgy???...No!...Sunbury was full of Fun, Music and Entertainment…yes, this year at Sunbury a man died but also for the first time at Sunbury a baby was born… MOLLY xxxxxx


Now, firstly it should be noted that there are some discrepancies in Molly's account which should be noted. It has been reported (by that Skyhooks were booed off stage at Sunbury 74 (apparently the audience wasn't really ready for all of the glam and glitter that they brought to the table) and it is because of this that their first lead singer 'Steve Hill' left the band and was replaced by Graham "Shirley" Strahan, and of course the rest was history.  So, I guess Molly forgot to mention this in his report.
Another discrepancy lies with Milesago documenting that Blackfeather performed at Sunbury '74, yet Molly makes no mention of them playing in his extensive account. Likewise, another Sunbury review in GoSet by columnist Mitch entitled 'Front Row Reviews' (Feb 16, 1974) makes no reference to Blackfeather in amongst his listing of bands.  So, unless someone can provide direct proof, I think Milesago has got it wrong.
One real mystery associated with the recordings released by Mushroom on their Anti RipOff label (see below) is the inclusion of a recording made by an unknown group called 'Full Moon'. There has been much speculation about who they were yet 'Full Moon is absent from any reviews or articles in the GoSet Magazine at that time. There was a UK group with the same name (but are certainly not the same band) based on their style of music.

One hint that might help, is when Molly refers to a 'second stage' when discussing MacKenzie Theory's performance. It is possible that Full Moon may have performed "Freedom Jazz Dance" on this second stage to a smaller crowd, and the recording used to diversify (or fill) the Mushroom release - Part 2.
Apparently, the new concept of a 'second performing stage' was added to the Sunbury festival in 1974 to include "alternative performances such as jazz recitals, theatre, dance, mime, poetry and acoustic music." which seems to fit in with this explanation.
As to the identity of the band Full Moon, ChickaMunro provides us with the only info at hand, on the Midoztouch forum when he reports:  'From the front cover of a promo booklet from Open Sky Productions, who were putting on a gig at the Dallas Brooks Hall, Nov 1975'.
Ayers Rock, Silver Sun, Phil Manning, in concert at The Dallas Brooks Hall
Conceived in our illustrious Gardenvale, Silver Sun makes it's first public appearance tonight.
After months of solid slogging in that fine suburb, the band features John Pugh, a former member of Healing Force and FULL MOON, on lead guitar and vocals. Barry Sullivan,...bass,...Sunil De Silva from Skylight and the Dingoes on drums...Sam McNally...Mal Logan...jazz, soul and blues...funky...Herbie Hancock...Marvin Gaye..."

This has something to do with the whole Healing Force thing - who also had their biggest gig at Sunbury 73, didn't they? Also the Company Caine precursors had Pugh - and so the trail leads all over the place in Melbourne.  Any further information about this mysterious group would be gratefully received !

One final note, before I close this 'rather long post'. Apparently, Sherbet was supposed to have "Hound Dog" included on one of the featured albums but pulled the plug at the last moment for some reason and Thorpie's XXX rated track "You Can't Go Around Saying F*ck On Stage" was pulled by Mushroom in fear of legal repercussions.  In addition, EMI would not allow its acts to appear on these albums, hence the absence of tracks by Ariel, Coloured Balls, Mississippi, Ross Ryan etc..
This post consists of FLAC rips taken from vinyl, both in excellent condition.  Full album artwork is also included for both vinyl (mine) and CD (thanks to Bondie), a multitude of newspaper articles (from Go Set magazine thanks to RAM) and photos (sourced from The Age archives and with gratitude).
Artwork and associated Sunbury literature are also included as a separate download for those you who already have the music, and only want this support material. 

Track listing:
(Sunbury '74 - Part 1)
01 - Lizards (Madder Lake)
02 - I'm a Dingo (The Dingoes)
03 - Gonna miss you babe (Chain)
04 - Big Shake and Hi Honey Ho (Daddy Cool)

05 - New Orleans (Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs)
06 - Hey What's the Matter (Skyhooks)
07 - Roll over Beethoven (Buster Brown)
08 - Buster Brown (Buster Brown)
(Sunbury '74 - Part 2)
01 - Payday Again (The Dingoes)
02 - Morning Magic (Ayers Rock)
03 - Supreme Love (Mackenzie Theory)
04 - Love On The Radio (Skyhooks)
05 - We'll Never Do The Same Again (Matt Taylor)
06 - Wang Dang Doodle (Sid Rumpo)
07 - Sweet Home Chicago (Sid Rumpo)
08 - Freedom Jazz Dance (Full Moon)

Sunbury '74 - Part 1&2 FLAC Link (476Mb) New Link 20/10/21
Sunbury '74 Artwork and Photos (36Mb)

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Jethro Tull - Rock Island (1989) + Bonus Tracks

 (U.K 1967 - 2012, 2017 - Present)

1987’s Crest Of A Knave pushed Jethro Tull in a harder rock direction which renewed their popularity. Ian Anderson’s frenetic style and his signature flute virtuosity enabled the group to retain its uniqueness as their sound moved into the modern age.

'Rock Island' released two years later in 1989, continued their hard rock journey. It did not have the consistent quality of its predecessor but there were enough high points to make it a solid release.

The core of the group remained the same. The ever present Ian Anderson, guitarist Martin Barre, and bass player David Pegg were together for the fifth studio album in a row. Drummer Doane Perry, who had worked with them part time on their last album, was elevated to full time member status. Former member Peter Vettese returned on a part time basis to add keyboards to four tracks.

When Jethro Tull is good they are usually very good. The title track contains some nice flute/guitar interplay and the lyrics are philosophical as they explore the theme of loneliness. “Another Christmas Song,” which re-appeared on their 2003 Christmas Album, is a rare soothing and positive song from the group. I have always liked the music of “Kissing Willie” but the lyrics move in a risqué direction to say the least. “The Whaler’s Dues” tells a poignant tale as it explores the story of a whaling man.

Now, I can't say that I'm a 'huge' Jethro Tull fan, yet this record kills me every time. Not just the guitar playing of course (Martin Barre 's licks are killers) but the songs themselves also.

Gotta love these lyrics and melodies. Both mature (yeah I know what Willie means but it's still a cool song anyway!) and catchy.

The Album 
"Kissing Willie" is a straight rocker with organ and guitar rhythm.   "The Rattlesnake Trail" continues the same vein with more use of flute in rock style. 
"Ears of Tin" is a very nice mellow track with good melody and nice acoustic guitar. 
"Undressed To Kill" brings the music back to rock but this time with harmonious flute and electric guitar work. 
"Rock Island" is my best song coming out from this album. It has a very strong melody with solid composition. It reminds me of the band's "Heavy Horses" album. 

"Heavy Water" is another good rocker with aggressive flute work and electric guitar, while "Another Christmas Song" is a slow ballad with pop structure. "The Whaler's Dues" has an ambient opening with flute and keyboard augmented with electric guitar work. It's another good composition with a bit of complex arrangement in some segments. Melody-wise, this is the strongest track of the whole album and it has become my favorite as well. 

"Big Riff And Mando" brings the music up to an energetic one with guitar riffs and "Strange Avenues" is another excellent track with ambient flute and guitar work in atmospheric setting. Oh, I love the aggressive flute work in dynamic music setting and spacey nuance. It's a favorite.

Ears of Tin, Rock Island, Whaler's Dues and Strange Avenues - these may be the highlights but each track is a killer. Funny that it's the only Tull album that I can listen to from start to finish - other albums tend to have 2 or 3 great tracks and the rest boring fillers. Yet I'm shocked to read all the 'negative' reviews on the Internet. Seems like hardened Tull fans hate this one for some reason!

What's the problem with this one? It's so head and shoulders above the rest of their catalogue (except for maybe Thick As A Brick and Aqualung), so I'm kinda puzzled. Sure I'm not a die hard fan, but really.  

Sadly, Rock Island tends to get lost in the large Jethro Tull catalogue as there are a number of better stops. Still the album remains very listenable and is a good example of Tull’s current sound.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my CD which was my introduction to this album. I have since looked high and low for a copy on vinyl, with no luck. This LP is certainly high on my wish list. One nice bonus with the CD release are the 3 extra live tracks from a concert held in Zurich, Switzerland in Oct, 1989.  

To make this post even more desirable, I am also including a couple of rare studio outtakes from the Rock Island recording sessions. Of course, full album artwork for both vinyl and CD are included, along with label scans.

01 Kissing Willie 3:32
02 The Rattlesnake Trail 3:59
03 Ears Of Tin 4:53
04 Undressed To Kill 5:24
05 Rock Island 6:52
06 Heavy Water 4:12
07 Another Christmas Song 3:30
08 The Whalers Dues 7:53
09 Big Riff And Mando 5:57
10 Strange Avenues 4:09
11 Christmas Song (Live) 3:06
12 Cheap Day Return, Mother Goose (Live) 3:09
13 Locomotive Breath (Live) 3:38
14 Piece Of Cake (Studio Outtake) 3:38
15 Hard Liner (Studio Outtake) 3:46

Bonus Tracks 11-13 "The Dressing Room Tape" Recorded Live in the dressing room at the Zurich Sports Hall, Zurich, Switzerland on 13th October 1989

Line-up / Musicians
- Ian Anderson / vocals, flute, mandolin, keyboards (Synclavier), acoustic guitar, drums (2,7), producer 
- Martin Barre / electric guitar 
- David Pegg / electric & acoustic basses, mandolin 
- Doane Perry / drums
- Martin Allcock / keyboards (1,10)
- Peter-John Vettese /keyboards (3-6)

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Yes - Going For The One (1977)

(U.K 1968 - 2004, 2008 - Present)

'Going for the One' is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Yes, released on 15 July 1977 by Atlantic Records. The album was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland after the band took a break in activity for each member to release a solo album and their 1976 North American tour. It marks the departure of keyboardist Patrick Moraz and the return of Rick Wakeman, who had left to pursue his solo career after musical differences surrounding Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973). In a departure from their previous three albums, Going for the One features shorter and more direct songs written without a unifying theme or concept, and saw Yes record with new producers, engineers and cover designers.

'Going for the One' received a mostly positive response from music critics who welcomed the band's return to more accessible music like their earlier albums The Yes Album (1971) and Fragile (1971). It was a commercial success and reached number one on the UK Albums Chart, their second album to do so, for two weeks and peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard 200. "Wonderous Stories" and "Going for the One" were released as singles; the former went to number 7 in the UK which remains the band's highest charting single. 'Going for the One' was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 500,000 copies sold in the US. A remastered edition was released in 2003 that contains several previously unreleased tracks from the album's recording sessions. Yes supported the album with a six-month tour of North America and Europe.

In August 1975, Yes wrapped their 1974–75 tour of North America and the United Kingdom in support of their seventh studio album, Relayer (1974). The line-up during this time was lead vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Patrick Moraz. For their next move, the group decided to take an extended break so each member could record and release a solo album. They regrouped in early 1976 for their 1976 tour of North America from May to August, which saw Yes perform some of their highest attended concerts. By October 1976, they had become tax exiles and relocated to Montreux, Switzerland to record a new studio album at Mountain Studios, their first studio album recorded overseas. Upon their arrival, Emerson, Lake & Palmer were supposed to have finished recording Works (1977) at the studio but they were running overtime, leaving Yes to work at a nearby rehearsal space for several weeks. A substantial amount of writing and arranging was done during this time.

During the first two months of writing and recording, Moraz was let go from the band, which he did not expect. Anderson thought he "just wasn't playing like he was involved", and that his sound was not "too good, and that affected his vibe ... it was obvious that he just wasn't getting off on what we were doing." Several months after his exit, Moraz said he had to leave because of "the enormous psychological pressures at the time within the group ... I felt there were a few things going on that I didn't know ... Unfortunately some people did not play the game fair, although the final decision was taken by all members." The decision was made after Rick Wakeman, who left Yes in 1974 over differences surrounding their ambitious double album Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973) and whom Moraz replaced, was invited to play on 'Going for the One' as a session musician by Brian Lane, manager of Yes and Wakeman, and his business partner Alex Scott.

Wakeman had pursued a successful solo career but by mid-1976, he faced money issues after his tour earlier in the year had met its minimal targets. He became interested to play with Yes again after he had heard a tape of early versions of two of their new songs, "Going for the One" and "Wonderous Stories". Upon his arrival at Switzerland, Wakeman was surprised by how much the band had changed. "We began relating to each other for the first time. I think we had all grown up and became much more mature. Maybe I had to grow up more than them." At a party held by Claude Nobs soon after Wakeman's arrival, Lane and Squire convinced Wakeman to rejoin as a full-time member as the group would have difficulty in finding a suitable replacement to play Wakeman's parts on their upcoming tour, but did not tell him that the press had already been informed of his return. Several hours after his decision, Wakeman found Melody Maker had printed "Wakeman rejoins Yes" on the front cover of its 4 December 1976 edition.

In addition to a change of producers and engineers, 'Going for the One' also marked a departure in the band's choice of artwork design. Since 1971, they had worked with English artist Roger Dean who became known for his surreal and fantastical landscapes and designed their logo. While the band were recording, Dean had an idea for its sleeve he thought would suit the album which involved pieces of rock floating in the sky with the largest piece containing trees and a pool of water. It was intended to be a sequel design to his art on the band's first live album, Yessongs (1973). However, when Dean flew to Montreux to pitch his idea, his idea was turned down. Dean recalled visiting the studio to find Anderson painting a cover of what he wanted and seemed disinterested to see his own design. In the end, he claimed he did not present his ideas to any other band member.

Instead, the band commissioned Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis to design the artwork who came up with a marked change in direction that represented a new, revitalised attitude within the band and their return to more direct and concise songs. Presented as a gatefold sleeve, the front cover depicts a standing nude male looking towards multiple skyscrapers against a blue sky. Dean's logo designed for the band was retained and is credited in the liner notes. Inside features a photograph of each band member by Lake Geneva with a background depicting a tree above a lake. Melody Maker reporter and band biographer Chris Welch later wrote about the cover: "Gone were the elaborate Roger Dean landscapes. In their place came stark, geometric simplicity. Anticipating computer designs of the future ... it symbolised a new look for Yes". Martin Popoff reviewed the design in 2016. "A new accelerated, late-'70s escapism through the clean lines of Hipgnosis, who combine slick, futuristic geometric urban angles with a man in his birthday suit, perhaps urgently propelling the band forward, while simultaneously embracing roots".

'Going for the One' was released in the UK on 15 July 1977, available on LP, audio cassette, and 8-track tape. It became a commercial success for the band, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart, their second album to do so following Tales from Topographic Oceans, for two weeks in August 1977 and peaking at number 8 on the US Billboard 200. Elsewhere, the album went to number 7 in Norway. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 2 August 1977 for selling over 500,000 copies in the US. In the UK, the album reached silver certification by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 19 September 1977, signifying sales worth over £150,000.

The album spawned two singles, both released in 1977. "Wonderous Stories" was released with "Parallels" as the B-side which peaked at number 7 in the UK singles chart. To help promote the song, Yes filmed their first music video for the song which received airplay on the BBC television music show Top of the Pops. It remains the band's highest charting single in the country. The second, "Going for the One" with an edited version of "Awaken Pt. 1" on the B-side, reached number 24 in the UK. [extracts from On the road again blog & Wikipedia]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my vintage vinyl and includes full album artwork and label scans.  Featuring bi-fold gatefold and custom labels designed by Hipgnosis, this luxury release holds a special place in my record collection. With no expense spared by the classic Yes team on this album, this release signifies the last of their great classic albums. Their follow up album 'Tormato' was a flop and a huge disappoint, and so the classic lineup parted ways. Along with the title track, my other favourite track on the album is Chris Squires composition "Parallels" and features Wakeman on Church organ, recorded at St Martins Church, Vevey, Switzerland.  Play this loud on Sunday mornings!

01 - Going For The One
02 - Turn Of The Century
03 - Parallels
04 - Wonderous Stories
05 - Awaken

Line-up / Musicians
- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Chris Squire / bass and vocals
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards
- Alan White / drums
- Steve Howe / guitars

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Jan Hammer - Hammer (1979)

(Czech-American 1968-Present)

Prior to scoring Michael Mann’s groundbreaking show - Miami Vice, Jan Hammer was best known as the keyboardist from Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham’s monumental Seventies jazz fusion project. Post-Mahavishnu, he led the suitably named prog-rock outfit Hammer, and released collaborative albums with Jeff Beck and Neal Schon. But it was Vice that made him a household name when the show’s theme song topped the Hot 100 in 1985 — the last instrumental recording to do so until 2013’s “Harlem Shuffle.” Hammer’s score compositions (including “Crockett’s Theme,” a No. 1 single across Europe) were also packaged with original songs licensed for the show (Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight,” Glenn Frey’s “You Belong To The City”) on a soundtrack album that hit No. 1 for an impressive 13 weeks in 1985 and 1986.

Hammer Strikes Out
Hammer's pedigree reads like a Who's Who of the modern jazz world. His first band, formed at school in Prague, was a trio that included Weather Report founder Miroslav Vitous. In 1966, Jan and Miroslav gained scholarships to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and when Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia, Hammer decided to become a US citizen. Early in 1970 Hammer joined the Sarah Vaughan Trio as composer, arranger, conductor and keyboard player, and in 1971 he began to play in New York with John McLaughlin, Jerry Goodman, Billy Cobham and Rick Laird.

Eventually this group evolved into the phenomenon known as The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and it's interesting to note how each of the musicians involved in it experimented in stretching the boundaries of jazz, using electronics. British guitarist McLaughlin was one of the first musicians to use guitar synthesisers extensively, starting with the 360 Systems polyphonic unit (on 'Inner Worlds', for instance); Cobham experimented with electronic percussion and often modulated his drum sound through digital effects on his solo albums; and Goodman (who recently re-emerged on ex-Tangerine Dream man Peter Baumann's new American label) created some of the strangest sounds anyone has ever heard emanating from an electric violin.

Hammer's role in Mahavishnu was demanding — an up-front, often improvising lead synthesist with staggering technique, he developed a shoulder-slung keyboard to allow him to move around on stage. After two studio albums and a live release. Hammer left Mahavishnu to record the impressive Like Children album with Goodman, and then to form a new band, The Jan Hammer Group. At this stage, Hammer built the studio which has been the venue for all his recordings to date: Red Gate Studio, located in a farmhouse in upstate New York.

After a second JHG album, Oh Yeah, Hammer toured and recorded with guitarist Jeff Beck and went on to release Melodies, and then a solo effort — Black Sheep — on which he played keyboards, drums, guitar and an astonishing lead guitar synth patch.

A new band was formed for the self-titled album Hammer, after which the player went back to the guitar world for two collaborative LPs with Journey's Neal Schon. These albums, coupled with some film work, were profitable enough to help Hammer buy a Fairlight for his studio, and in 1982 he began a collaboration with guitarist Al DiMeola which resulted in the albums Electric Rendezvous, Tour de Force and Scenario.

But Hammer's recent history, as far as his climb to TV fame is concerned, begins in 1983 when he scored the films A Night In Heaven and Gimme An F. Although neither film was widely distributed, they did give Hammer an opportunity to express his feeling for the visual aspects of music, a discipline which comes to the fore in each style-soaked episode of Miami Vice, the TV Cop genre's answer to L'Uomo Vogue. 

Producing that quantity of carefully synchronised and stylised music every week for a whole season can't be easy, but Hammer says his Fairlight has been an enormous help.

'I first saw the Fairlight around 1981/82 and the price was prohibitive, but the movie soundtracks raised the money and it soon paid for itself. It allows you to work very quickly and to come up with all sorts of styles, from classical to old-fashioned jazz. Before that time I'd used an Oberheim DS1 digital sequencer and the Sequential Polysequencer, but this was something completely new. Obviously it took some time to learn how to use it — it didn't come easily — but I had a voracious appetite for the thing and there are really only a few major commands.'

Aside from his keyboard adventures, Hammer also has a long history as a drummer, and though he doesn't play acoustic drums much these days, his percussion sounds have some unique qualities. And many of them, it seems, start life in a perfectly standard LinnDrum.

Hammer's so-called 'new musical style', the searing synth guitar melodies, sequenced electro patterns and full-frontal drums package he developed for the Miami Vice series, is in fact no more than the latest extension of what he's been doing, in various bands, for the last 20 years [extract from Electronics & Music Maker - Feb 1986].

The quartet, with which he also performed live, included two multifunctional members such as bassist Colin Hodgkinson , a long-time collaborator of Alexis Korner (and who is currently part of a renewed Ten Years After !) And singer and guitarist Glenn Burtnick, that among countless projects you can place him as a member of Styx (in the '90s) and Dennis DeYoung's band .

Rockers like Goodbye or Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison's) are fine but too verbose and robotic I would say, although they will probably sound more polenta live.
The best without a doubt comes in the end.  Rainbow Day brings an irresistible tempo means while closing Side 2 is Sister Louisiana , a melody composed by Burtnick that sounds like an outtake from London Town of Wings.

This album was tragically forgotten in Jan Hammer's discography on Spotify, and at the time of its release the cover was censored in some countries due to protests from feminist organizations that considered it offensive. A precedent of repudiation of gender violence, when the term was not yet widely used nor was it on the covers of newspapers.

Not All Gig Reviews Are Great
Jan Hammer stood on the stage of the Bottom Line on Monday evening and pretended to play guitar. There are a lot of guitarists whose instrumental prowess is only pretense, but what made his performance unusual is that he is a noted jazz‐rock keyboard‐player. No more. Slung over his shoulder was an unwieldy keyboard contraption plugged into a battery of synthesizers that enabled him to mimic quite uncannily the sounds of an electric guitar. Mr. Hammer even aped the cliched gestures of a rock guitarist, writhing and grimacing to beat the band —which in this case bore his surname, Hammer.

After playing with John McLaughlin and Jeff Beck, perhaps Mr. Hammer feels that he has been a power behind the throne's of great guitarists for too long, and now he wants to grab a bit of that center‐stage glory for himself. But his performance at the Bottom Line was as pointless, obscene and inadvertently comic as the act of an inept but utterly straightfaced female impersonator. So what if he can imitate on a keyboard Jimi Hendrix's guitar riffs? Jim Bailey does a great Judy Garland.

Not only has Mr. Hammer traduced the tool of his trade, but he has also dropped the jazz from the jazz‐rock at which he used to excel. True to its name, his band hammered away witlessly. The rigid thwack of his new drummer, Gregg Carter, deprived Mr. Hammer's material of interesting rhythmic activity.

The stentorian tenor vocals of the “rhythm keyboardist” Bob Christianson seemed inspired by second‐rate rock groups such as Kansas. Only his bass‐player, Colin Hodgkinson, with his burly, rumbling tone, acquitted himself honorably, and even his sound seemed cheap when compared to its ringing innovativeness in the context of the pioneering British band, Back Door. That's the same door through which Mr. Hammer should beat an embarrassed retreat.
(Review from The New York Times, March 22, 1979, Section C, Page 16. By Ken Emerson)

Alternative Cover

I was in two minds whether I would include this gig review, mainly because I believe Mr Emerson was still stuck in the early seventies when music was all about music and stage presence was just an after thought. It is obvious to me that Hammer was tired of sitting back in the shadows of the Marshall stacks and playing 2nd fiddle to the lead singer and guitarist who dominated front stage. The 80's were only just around the corner and the stage act was now as important as the music.  Outrageous hairstyles, stage costumes and gimmicks were becoming the norm, so it's no wonder Hammer decided to step it up a notch and show off his talents on his astonishing lead guitar synth patch.  Why should the lead guitarist and vocalists have all the fun. 
It is obvious that Hammer was trying to reinvent himself and keep up with the times, something that Mr Emerson was incapable of realising.  It's not rocket science Ken, even Barbie could have seen it!
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my vinyl (which I purchased at a time when record covers were important to me, this one certainly caught my attention) and includes full album artwork. Of course label scans and reference articles are included, so I guess I've nailed it again. Now trust me -
you are really gonna enjoy this album - great songs, great lyrics and an excellent cover of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman".

Track Listing
01. Goodbye (Colin Hodgkinson, Jan Hammer) - 3:37
02. I Got You (Music: Colin Hodgkinson, Lyrics: Jan Hammer) - 5:50
03. Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbinson, Bill Dees) - 3:41
04. One Day (Glen Burtnick, Ivona Reich) - 4:38
05. Vaporize Me (Music: Colin Hodgkinson, Lyrics: Jan Hammer) - 3:42
06. Nowhere To Go - 5:46
07. Forever Tonight (Colin Hodgkinson, Jan Hammer) - 4:46
08. Highway Made Of Glass (Ivona Reich, Jan Hammer) - 3:14
09. Rainbow Day - 5:38
10. Sister Louisiana (Colin Hodgkinson) - 3:14

Hammer is :
Colin Hodgkinson : Bass, 12 String Guitar & Vocals
Gregg Carter : Drums
Glen Burtnick : Lead & Background vocals, Acoustic & Rhythm Guitars, Tambourine
Jan Hammer : Keyboards, Lead & Rhythm Synthesizers, Vocals

Hammer Link (181Mb)