Sunday, July 31, 2022

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Johnny O'Keefe - Shakin' At The Stadium (1958) E.P

 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.

Johnny O’Keefe was a lovable larrikin who became Australia’s first successful rock ’n’roll singer in the mid-1950s. Known either as J.O.K. or ‘The Wild One’ he had been singing for a number of years on stage in various groups but once he saw Bill Haley and the Comets performing ‘Rock Around the Clock’ in the film of the same name, he immediately knew that he would become a rock singer. He chased his dream relentlessly and became the first Australian artist to make the local Top 40 charts and the first Australian rock ‘n’ roll performer to tour the US. He had 29 Top 40 hits in Australia between 1959 and 1974 a number of EPs and successful LPs.

Liner Notes
Johnny O'Keefe is the latest meteorite to collide with Australia's music world. This spectacular young singer was born in Sydney in 1935 and began his professional career approximately three years ago.

Music runs in the O'Keefe family, Johnny's father having been a professional musician (for those who can remember) Ray O'Keefe and the Club Royals were a force to be reckoned with on the local music scene some years ago.

The first big step forward in Johnny's career took place with a visit of Bill Haley and his Comets to this country, when Bill selected him out of all the budding young artists he came in contact with out here, as the most outstanding exponent of the rock and roll idiom in Australia and named him future "King" in this field. Johnny really hit the high-lights this year when selected by Lee Gordon for a prominent part in his Big Show, amongst artists of such caliber as Little Richard, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran.

Johnny's most recent triumph was his return engagement for the Big Show in which he featured with Lee Gordon's latest batch of top liners from the States, among them Paul Anka, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jody Sands and the current high-flying quartet the Crickets led by Buddy Holly. The tumultuous reception Johnny received is reflected in the wild bursts of applause heard on the tracks "I'm A Wild One" and "Ain't That A Shame" which were actually recorded at a live performance.

JOK fronting the Dee Jays

Johnny formed the group, named the Dee Jays in January, 1957, and in a very short space of time O'Keefe and the Dee Jays have developed into the most popular commercial recording group in Australia. Their records are in great demand and the appearance of the group on the concert stage is the signal for he most enthusiastic and vociferous welcome ever accorded any artist in a live show.

O'Keefe's Big Shows

By this time O'Keefe had become a close friend of Lee Gordon and their popularity really took off when O'Keefe and the Dee Jays were installed as the featured support act for Gordon's famous "Big Show" concert bills at the Sydney Stadium. These "Big Show" concerts were landmarks in Australian popular entertainment, being among the first tours to feature leading overseas rock'n'roll stars, including Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis; Gordon also toured many top jazz acts of the day, including the first visits to Australia by black jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, who had been prevented from touring Australia in previous years because of the White Australia Policy.

O'Keefe and the Dee Jays' first major break was a support spot on Lee Gordon's first "Big Show" rock'n'roll tour, which starred Little Richard, Gene Vincent, and Eddie Cochran. When Gene Vincent and his band were stranded in Honolulu on their way to Australia, Gordon contacted O'Keefe and asked him to fill in for Vincent for the first night of the tour in Wollongong. This was followed by another support spot on the second all-star Big Show, which included The Crickets (with lead singer Buddy Holly on his first and only Australian tour), Jerry Lee Lewis and Paul Anka.

Their first EP, Shakin' At The Stadium, included JOK's signature tune "Wild One", co-written by O'Keefe with Greenan, Owens and top Sydney DJ Tony Withers. This became his first hit in March 1958, peaking at #20 on the newly established Sydney Top 40 (at this time there was no national pop chart in Australia). Although it was claimed that it was recorded live at the Stadium, it was in fact a studio recording, overdubbed with the sound of a real Stadium audience.

The song "Wild One" featured driving saxophones from Greenan and Owen, slap bass by Keith Williams, echo-inflected drums from Johnny “Catfish” Purser (recorded via the toilet in the studio), percussive finger snaps, pounding boogie-woogie piano by Mike Tseng and insistent guitar riffs from the talented Lou Casch, crowd noises were added on the album version of the song. 

JO’K tore up the vocals and revealed the influences of his idols Little Richard and Bill Hayley, and after The Wild One hit the charts and climbed to #20, he became the definitive embodiment of the Wild One. The song was later covered by Iggy Pop in 1991 and was a huge hit for Iggy as well.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 64 year old vinyl (I know this as this is my age having been born in the same year of its release) and is in better condition than me  LOL. I did however have to apply some extensive de-clicking to clean up this recording.  Full artwork and label scans are included.
This very rare EP certainly ticks the Obscure box (eBay copies are selling for up to $100) and based on how I feel at the moment, it also ticks the Old box !   
Hope you enjoy some of Australia's best vintage rock n roll from one of the greats in the music industry.

Track List
A1 Wild One 2:30
A2 Ain't That A Shame 2:54
B1 Silhouettes 2:13
B2 Little Bitty Pretty One 2:30

Personnel of the band is as follows:
Johnny O'Keefe - Piano, Vocal.
Dave Owens - Sax.
Johnny Greenan Sax.
Lou Casch - Guitar.
Keith Williams - Electric Bass.
Johnny (Catfish) Purser Drums.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Live ! (1973) E.P

 (U.S 1968-1970, 1973-1974, 1976-2015)

Formed in summer of 1968 by David Crosby, who was preparing a solo album after quitting the Byrds, Steve Stills who had just left Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of U.K. pop outfit the Hollies who was then visiting California. The three sang together at John Sebastian's house in Laurel Canyon, and were knocked out by Crosby and Nash vocal harmonies and decided to assemble as a group.

They went to the U.K. later that year for Nash to sever commitments with Hollies and then returned to Los Angeles to work on their debut album which was released early 1969.

That first album, which won immediate critical acclaim, still stands as a perfect example of contemporary acoustic music - powerful melodies, with harmony singing of Crosby and Nash to the fore. Stills was also at his creative peak around this time - evidence is his seven minute long "Suite: Jude Blue Eyes", purportedly about his old flame Judy Collins, which became the group's first U.S. hit.

Nash's "Marrakesh Express", from same album (by now a gold seller), followed it into U.S. singles charts and broke the band into British lists in the same year.

L to R: Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Neil Young, Graham Nash

Having previously played with Stills in Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young joined later that year at the suggestion of Atlantic boss Ahmet Ertegun. The band were looking for a keyboard player to fill out sound for live gigs. Ertegrun suggested that Young should play guitar, allowing Stills to double on keyboards.

The band, now named Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSN&Y), started their tour, and played their second gig at the Woodstock festival in the early morning hours of August 18, 1969.

Their second album, Deja Vu (1970) - further augmented by Greg Reeves (bass) and Dallas Taylor (drums), later replaced by Calvin Samuels and Johnny Barbata - was credited to Crosby Stills Nash & Young and more electric in its approach. Overall, though, it was a mixed bag, containing an electric version of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" (a U.S. hit), Nash's banal "Teach Your Children" and Dave Crosby's self-conscious song of hippie martyrdom "Almost Cut My Hair". All were easily out classed by the immensely-superior material of Young.

Their second gold record, Dela Vu was still on U.S. chart when the outfit's third album, the brilliant 4 Way Street double live set was released early 1971. However, the title itself indicated different directions each member of the aggregation was taking prior even to release.

Young's brilliant "Ohio", written in the wake of Kent State University killings which outraged young America, provided another U.S. hit, but, shortly after, CSN&Y disintegrated to pursue individual paths.

There was a reunion tour in 1974, which ended at London's Wembley Stadium without any fresh recordings. Subsequent attempts at a further CSN&Y album inevitably disintegrated in acrimony and rumour. Just when it seemed finally a total irrelevance whether they ever worked together again, Crosby Stills and Nash chose the Summer of Punk - 1977 - to announce a reunion LP. [extract from The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock, Salamander Books, 1977, p63]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my recently acquired E.P which I found at a garage sale.  I've been looking for this EP for ages, and am stoked that I've finally found one and in near mint condition.  Worth every penny of the $5 price tag (eBay has one for sale at present for $44.95).
I believe these four live tracks were taken from their 4-way Street album.
As usual, full cover artwork and label scans are included

Track List
01 Love The One You're With (Stephen Stills)
02 Teach Your Children (Graham Nash)
03 Chicago (Graham Nash)
04 Ohio (Neil Young)

David Crosby - guitar, vocals
Stephen Stills - guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals
Grahann Nash - guitar, vocals
Neil Young - guitar, vocals

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Budgie - In For The Kill (1974) + Bonus Tracks

 (U.K 1967-1988, 1995-1996, 1999-2010)

This post is my tribute to Burke Shelley and the greatest rock band of the 20th Century - Budgie.

Influenced by his local music scene and, of course, the Beatles, Burke Shelley formed Budgie in 1967 with drummer Ray Phillips and guitarists Kevin Newton and Brian Goddard, but Newtown was out the following year and the long-serving Tony Bourge was brought in as his successor and he helped yield the most fruitful era of the band as Shelley's reliable co-writer.

The sound heard on seminal albums such as Budgie's self-titled debut (1971), Squawk (1972) and Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) pushed hard rock into heavier places and the band is largely regarded as a proto-metal act that went on to influence the likes of Metallica and Van Halen. Many metal fans were likely introduced to the group through Metallica's covers of "Crash Course in Brain Surgery" and "Breadfan," while Van Halen, in their early days, were known to cover the title track to Budgie's fourth album In for the Kill!, which was released in 1974.

Burke Shelley, Tony Bourge, Pete Boot

Between 1971 and 1982, Budgie released a total of 10 full length albums and they originally disbanded in 1988. A brief reunion occurred in 1995 and 1996 where the band played one-off shows before reforming again in 1999. One more album, You're All Living in Cuckooland, came out in 2006.

The Making Of 'In For The Kill'
After Budgie released their 3rd album 'Never Turn Your Back On A Friend' in 1973 (considered by many as their best release), disagreements within the band surfaced resulting in drummer Ray Phillips leaving the band. Because existing tour commitments needed to be fulfilled and the bands agent did not want to cancel the tour, a replacement drummer had to be sourced quickly to honour the dates. Burke recalls: "When Ray left we had the problem of trying to find someone to fill his shoes. Pete Boot came along because our agent at the time said 'I'm not cancelling gigs just because Ray Phillips has left. I'll get a stand in drummer'. We felt obliged to do that. He already knew Pete Boot and send him along'.

Pete Boot, Tony Bourge, Burke Shelley

Pete then stayed on for the recording of our follow up album 'In For The Kill' due to MCA pressuring the band for a new album.

Seven tracks finally emerged from the recording sessions including an edited single version of Zoom Club / Wondering What Everyone Knows

Most of the music recorded for Budgie's fourth studio album was written whilst gigging during the 1974 dates. In For The Kill went on to reach number 29 in the UK charts in 1974.

Burke Shelley: In For The Kill was the album that Pete Boot came in on. I can remember rehearsing the songs over in Barry at the Memorial Hall, throughout the daytime. It was a case of getting Pete to rehearse the set, quickly. We were trying to write songs, trying to put stuff together and do gigs at the same time. Although we did the first album in a couple of days, the point was it was written and ready, by the time we arrived at In For The Kill I think we had about three or four song's that's all. We were hard pressed to come up with material and it was all rushed plus there were gigs that we had to do. It wasn't as though we could relax doing it. I remember we were mixing the album whilst our truck was revved up and waiting at the back of the studio in Rockfield and me rushing the last bit of mixing before we had to run out into the truck and tear off to catch a ferry to go to Europe, it was that tight.

In For The Kill was an apt title, we just went for it. There are some good songs on there but I would have done a lot more to them. It turned out, considering, pretty good."

But things were not working out with Pete Boot and he parted company with the band less than a year after joining. His replacement was Steve Williams who remained Budgie's drummer to date. Steve Williams recalls: "In For The Kill is one of my favourite Budgie albums, had things worked out differently in 1973, I may have had a crack at it"

Album Tracks

01. In For The Kill:
This is a stomping song on record and equally so on stage. According to Burke: "It's got a nice chugging riff courtesy of Tony Bourge. We recorded this one under extreme pressure - it was due to us gigging so much that we didn't have time to spit.". One of the highlights of the album, the title track was often covered by Van Halen in their early live sets.

Tony Bourge: "In For The Kill . I think I wrote this one. I was in the house one day and I was messing around with a couple of ideas the we had written before and I wanted to do something that was really heavy, grindingly heavy, something that you felt was going to walk through a brick wall, but I wanted to keep it simple. I thought about some of the other songs we'd done. They were usually easy to play riffs down in E somewhere or G to E, what ever, but really getting down low on the bass strings and we'd done a couple of other things like that, one that Bourke wrote ....Guts, and that was a really easy simple grinder, and I think that was what we like doing, that's what Budgie were good at doing, ie. playing simple grinding riffs".

02. Crash Course In Brain Surgery: This song was originally recorded around the time of Budgie's debut album as the bands first single released in 1971 though was not included on the original pressing of the album (even though the cover listed it). The track was included on In For The Kill due to a shortage of material. Subsequently covered by Metallica for their Garage Days EP in the eighties Metallica have continued to cite Budgie as a major influence in their own music. Listening to Crash Course one can understand why!

Burke Shelly: "I idealistically thought this might be a cure for a lot of the worlds problems, including my own"

Tony Bourge: "It was one of those tracks that we did on stage and it had a great feel to it"

03. Wondering What Everyone Knows: Two minutes and fifty seconds of Typical Burke acousticness! This is a lovely song that certainly creates the feeling of the calm between two storms, which sandwiched between the bone crushing Crash Course and the driving Zoom Club, it certainly is.
04. Zoom Club: Zoom Club quickly became a favourite live number with the fans and still is today. A club in Frankfurt, Germany was the initial inspiration for the number. Burke recalls: "Playing in Frankfurt at the Zoom Club. Americans need to turn up at this club which was when the Vietnam war was on. They were all off to Vietnam eventually, most of them. It was just one of those places, it was like the last place before they all went to war. The Zoom Club was the place they all went to."

Tony Bourge: "That was again one of Burke's ideas. It was basically about a club that we played in, in Germany, where all the G.I's used to go. Hence the first couple of lines...."Come on all you G.I's"

05. Hammer and Tongs: The song was based on yet another Tony Bourge guitar riff.

Burke Shelley: "It was a bluesy but heavy number that reflected how we'd been influenced by the progressive blues scene of the mid 1960's which later produced bands like Cream, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix etc. Tony particularly liked the Chicago blues bands."

06. Running From My Soul: Budgie had to come up with extra material for the album and quickly. Running From My Soul was one of the late additions. Again featuring some great guitar work from Tony Bourge and classic Burke vocals.

Tony Bourge: Running From My Soul and Living On Your Own: "They were a bit more light hearted. Burke and I were both of the mind that we didn't want to listen to one album track after another just to hear everything sounding the same, so we constantly tried to come up with maybe some lighter ideas using more chords rather than riffs.

Burke Shelley: "This track is a mix of influences - Chicken Shack, Stan Webb, Love Sculptures "Blues helping' album and all the rest of the late 1960's blues bands."

07. Living On Your Own: The final track of the album and another worked on heavily in the studio. Burke Shelley: "I remember pinching the chord chopping style from a great band called 'Glass Menagerie'. The end section is 'Beck's Bolero' revisited.

Simon Lees, Burke Shelley, Steve Williams (2003)

[Bonus Tracks]

08. Zoom Club Edit (Single Edit):  Shortened to fit time constraints of the a 45 and of course 'Radio Station Playtimes'

09. In For The Kill 10. Crash Course In Brain Surgery 11. Zoom Club

Final 3 tracks are re-recorded tracks. Recorded in summer 2003 by Burke Shelley, Steve Williams and Simon Lees with a mobile studio during rehearsals for the 2003 Autumn Tour.
[Taken from Liner Notes]

Attention: RIP Burke Shelley (Jan 11, 2022)
It is with heavy heart that I announce the sad news that Burke Shelley passed away on the 11th January this year at the age of 71. 
I have only just seen this news today, some 6 months later (how I missed this news baffles me) and I'm gutted. Nothing mentioned on Budgie's official website which is really strange and sad.

I have followed Budgie since they first released their debut album in 1971 and was lucky enough to see them play live in 2009, when they finally visited Australia for the first time.

Without Burke, the band can never be the same - his voice and bass lines were the essence of this great band.

When I saw Burke play in 2009, he had the energy of a 21yr old and a voice as good as the day when he first sang "Guts". But I must admit he didn't really look 100% and I suspect that this was around the time when his health started to deteriorate. The world has lost a talented musician and entertainer, and a band that led the way for so may heavy metal bands.   You can read more details at

This post consists of FLACs ripped from CD and includes full album artwork for both CD and Vinyl. My vinyl copy of In For The Kill has had nearly 50 years of spin time on my turntables and still plays as well as it did when I first purchased it from K-mart in Geelong. I'm pretty sure it set me back $5.99 and it is one of my favourite Budgie releases.  Four bonus tracks are included which were released with the 2004 CD release by Noteworthy Productions.  This album is no longer available and is officially out of print. 

Track List
01 In For The Kill 6:26
02 Crash Course In Brain Surgery 2:37
03 Wondering What Everyone Knows 2:53
04 Zoom Club 9:53
05 Hammer And Tongs 6:52
06 Running From My Soul 3:35
07 Living On Your Own 8:54
[Bonus Tracks]
08 Zoom Club (Single Edit) 3:26
09 In For The Kill (2003 Version) 3:35
10 Crash Course In Brain Surgery (2003 Version) 2:44
11 Zoom Club (2003 Version)

Budgie were:
Burke Shelley - Bass, Vocals
Tony Bourge - Guitar
Pete Boot - Drums

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Jane - Live At Home (1976)

 (German 1970 - 1992)

Jane was among the most commercially successful groups in Germany in the seventies. The band was founded in 1970. After their appearance at the Little Woodstock Festival, Hannover in June 1971, a recording contract with Brain Metronome was secured. With vocalist Bernd Pulst they recorded Together in Star Studio, Hamburg in late 1971 with Konrad Plank. This was an impressive debut with a dominant guitar and organ style. Of most interest were the extended tracks "Spain" (11:53), "Hangman" (9:58) and "Daytime" (8:05). It is tempting to compare Jane's characteristic slow, classical influenced heavy rock arrangements to the music of groups like Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly or early Deep Purple. Jane had developed these elements into a polished 1971 'progressive sound'. Indeed their patented rock sound wouldn't change too much during their long career. Some would say their music is far too predictable, easy-going and pompous. Label manager Gunter Korber produced Jane's first four albums.

For many people, the low-point of Together had been the turgid vocals of Bernd Pulst. He quit Jane in April 1972 and reduced the group to a quartet. Just before Here We Are, recorded at Windrose Studios, Hamburg, Charly Maucher fell ill and was replaced by Wolfgang Krantz. This was another great album, featuring both long instrumental work-outs and some good shorter songs. The highlight was definitely the nearly instrumental opening track "Redskin" (8:54), which comprised slow heavy rock with guitar and organ reminiscent of Pink Floyd. The four tracks on side two revealed the rawer and heavier side of Jane. Quite a few people quote this album as their favourite by Jane. Although this music was dismissed by the reviewers, the commercial response was great. Jane, Eloy, Novalis and others enjoyed long lasting and/or increasing success with their accessible records. Merely a month after the recordings of Here We Are were finished, Nadolny quit to form his own band Lady. Maucher thus returned to Jane again and for a short while their characteristic organ sound was abandoned.

On Jane III Hess and Krantz fought twin guitar battles instead, resulting in a more ordinary heavy rock sound. This album (recorded at Conny's Studio in February 1974) also opened with an excellent long and mainly instrumental track: "Comin' Again" (9:40). In general it was a highly enjoyable album. More changes in personnel followed in the Summer of 1974: Maucher and Krantz quit Jane to form Harlis. Their replacements were Martin Hesse and Gotfried Janko (previously the leader of Dull Knife). Janko brought back the organ sound for the album Lady (recorded at Conny's studio during November 1974 and January 1975), but also brought in some rather misplaced gospel-soul vocals. One felt that this album was an attempt to continue their increasing success with easy-going heavy pop. Luckily enough former organist Werner Nadolny soon replaced Janko again.

The concept album Fire, Water, Earth & Air was a more rewarding album than its predecessor. It was their first self-produced one, recorded in dummy-head stereo at Plank's studio in November 1975. Synthesizers were now introduced, resulting in a typical late seventies symphonic sound. For a large tour in March 1976, Nadolny had quit again. This time the replacement was a better choice than in the case of Janko: Manfred Wieczorke, previously of Eloy. His first recording with Jane was a double live album: Live At Home (1976). It was recorded in their hometown of Hannover in August. As with most other live albums, it was mostly of interest for fans and quite superfluous for others.

The stunning " Live At Home" double live LP comes complete with a cover of a Martian landscape snapped by the Viking Mars lander. Released in early 1977 and broadcast nationally in it's entirety in on WDR Radio in January of that year, "Live At Home" went gold in their native Germany and helped them break the international markets in both North America as well as Japan and South America.

The great success of Live At Home immediately improved the group's bargaining position with their record company, Brain. Based on their rapidly increasing record sales, the musicians negotiated a clearly improved contract, investing the money in their own Jane studio in 1978, where they went on to record further albums.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my Import Vinyl pressing which is as clean and perfect as the day I bought it back in the late 70's. Jane was my first introduction to Krautrock, thanks to a small Import Record shop located in an L shaped arcade running between Little Flinder's Lane and Swanston St, Melbourne CBD  (thanks to Peter for identifying the shop - Pipe Records).
I absolutely loved the album covers and labels associated with these German imports, and quickly progressed onto bands such as Eloy, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Can, Grobschnitt, Thirsty Moon and Kraan to name but a few.

My only difficulty was trying to finance these purchases, as these imports were almost 50% dearer than locally released music and therefore I had to choose wisely. Thankfully the guy behind the counter was happy to play any requests (try before ya buy) and it was then that I heard "Hangman" for the first time. I was blown away by the amazing keyboard and guitar sounds that Jane produced - and it was live !  Hope you enjoy this album as much as I did (and still do). Of course, full album artwork for both vinyl and CD are also included along with label scans.

A1  All My Friends  5:00
A2  Lady  3:40
A3  Rest Of My Life  4:36
A4  Expectation  5:40
B1  River  3:38
B2  Out In The Rain  6:21
B3  Hangman  12:14
C1 Fire, Water, Earth & Air  4:05
C2  Another Way  5:33
C3  Daytime  9:56
C4  Hightime For Crusaders  4:52
D1  Windows  19:28

KLAUS HESS guitar, vocals 
MANFRED WIECZORKE keyboards, vocals
MARTIN HESSE bass, vocals
PETER PANKA drums, vocals

Jane Live Link (462Mb) New Link 31/12/2023

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Cybotron - Implosion (1980) plus Bonus Tracks

 (Australian 1975 - 1981)

Synthesizer fanatic Steve Maxwell Von Braund teamed in the mid-70s with Geoff Green to form Cybotron in 1976, but Von Braund had already caused a considerable stir by releasing what is largely regarded as Australia's first fully electronic album, Monster Planet (Clear Light Of Jupiter, 1975). Influenced by contemporary "Krautrock" electronic outfits like Can, Amon Duul, Faust and Tangerine Dream (not surprisingly, the German-born Von Braund had been an associate/friend of some of these musicians) the ambitious suite impressed with its rich layers of synths, treated sax and electro-percussion. [Wikipedia]

Having already released a self-titled album in 1976 and Colossus in 1978 (see earlier post), Mark Jones joined on bass for Braund's next LP 'Implosion', and engineer Gil Matthews was back playing drums and keyboards and their contributions added a more conventional sound to the proceedings. Stylistically, the album retained the heavy keyboard driven symphonic flavour but also incorporated a pop tinge as displayed on "Encounter" and "We'll Be Around" in which Cybotron were exploring newer pastures in the Yello/Yellow Magic Orchestra vein. "We'll Be Around" was a significant Cybotron moment: here a bright and breezy slice of electronic dance-pop is enlived by hand claps and vocoder vocal treatments which repeat the simplistic title phrase over and over. The artistic intent even predates the British synth pop explosion (Depeche Mode, latter day Human League, Soft Cell etc) by a good year. "Encounter" / "We'll Be Around" was issued as a single in December, 1980 (Cleopatra records), although it was unlikely that Cybotron would ever snare a hit single!

L-R: Steve Braund, Mark Jones,
Gil Mathews
"Eureka" opens the album with a beautifully sustained collection of cascading synthesizer notes and drones before the bass and drums kick in, adding considerably to the air of brooding menace. Also included here is a previously unreleased and slightly longer mix which is boosted throughout by crashing guitar chords (played by Gil Matthews). Heavy metal electronica never sounded so sweet, powerful and dramatic all at the same time!

Meanwhile, the album's two epic tracks - the nine minute "Implosion" and the 10 minute "Black Devil's Triangle" - find the band in more familiar and sprawling electronic mode. The pulsating "Black Devil's Triangle", in particular, is reminiscent of the spacey minimalist sound that Klaus Schulze developed on his run of classic albums such as Cyborg and Moondawn. It's a brilliantly formulated piece of controlled electronica, once again quite unlike anything else heard in Australia at that time.

"By the time we came to record Implosion, Geoff and I had parted our ways", explains Braund. "Actually before Colossus came out, Colin had left the band so we got another drummer in briefly. Then we got Mark Jones to play bass. The sound of the band had changed by then. I didn't make the change because I felt I had to; my tastes had changed and I liked a lot of those new bands as well. To me the music scene was a progression from one thing to another. I was just progressing from one scene to another, so the sound started to change. Also because I was doing most of the compositions after Geoff had left".

"By then I had a four-track machine myself and I'd demoed all the songs and did all the layering of parts and that's how most of the songs came together. I'd do that in my little studio in my house in Richmond. I'd work every night so I had all the parts worked out. Then I added the drum machine to these demos. When we got into the studio, Gil played all the drum parts and Mark added his bass parts. We started the album in Gil's studio and transferred it over onto the muti-tracks at Armstrong's to finish it off. Jeremy was the executive producer and he'd organise things. In the studio I'd sit next to Gil and basically work closely with him, tell him what I wanted plus he'd always have ideas to add. We'd do a few trial mixes as we'd go along until it all fell into place".

"With the Implosion album, I was aiming for a more commercial sound. I did want to keep the old progressive sound to a certain extent but just to vary it a bit. For "We'll Be Around" we added the vocoder. That just happened in the studio. We were just mucking around with different things and we decided to put the vocoder on the record. For that song I think we must have only had a half-formed idea of what to do; it didn't sound quite right. So we put all the parts down, I added my sax and then when we added the vocoder to the vocals it all came together. For other tracks like "Black Devil's Triangle", I wanted that to be the deep spacey one. I'd worked that out in my demo studio. I was playing that track to various people at the time who were a bit doubtful that I'd be able to do the album on my own. That was to prove to them that I could" [extracts from AZTEC release Implosion booklet]

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from CD and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD releases. The bonus tracks (except for Eureka) are recordings that were destined to be released on a follow up album to Implosion, but for various reasons never made it, and the band eventually imploded.
Please note that this album is no longer available through AZTEC or any other distributor.

01. Eureka  (6:56)   
02. Implosion  (8:52)   
03. Suite 16 / 9th Floor  (3:07)   
04. Encounter  (6:08)   
05. Black Devil's Triangle  (9:56)   
06. We'll Be Around  (3:13)
Bonus Tracks  
07. Abbey Moor  (5:05)   
08. Peter Gunn  (3:29)   
09. Unorganisation  (5:52)   
10. Detective  (3:10)   
11. March  (4:37)   
12. Eureka (Guitar Version)  (7:32)  

Cybotron were:
Bass – Mark Jones
Drums, Guitar, Keyboards – Gil Matthews
Keyboards, Saxophone [Alto] – Steve Braund