classic and rare Australian popular music from the 1950's, 1960's. 1970's and beyond..including rock and roll, pop, beat, rock, surf and progressive, plus contemporary artists, new releases, reviews and other fun stuff

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Hunters & Collectors first 2 albums H&C (1981) and Fireman's Curse (1983)




Hunters & Collectors formed in 1981. Fronted by founding mainstay, singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Seymour, they developed a blend of pub rock and art-funk. Other mainstays are John Archer on bass guitar, Doug Falconer on drums and percussion. Soon after forming they were joined by Jack Howard on trumpet and keyboards, Jeremy Smith on French horn, guitars and keyboards, and Michael Waters on trombone and keyboards. Also acknowledged as a founder was engineer and art designer Robert Miles. Joining in 1988, Barry Palmer, on lead guitar, remained until they disbanded in 1998. The group reformed in 2013 with the 1998 line-up.

Originally, Hunters & Collectors were influenced by Krautrock and productions of Conny Plank, featuring strong percussive influences, noisy guitar, and driving bass lines. Their sound was in the vein of the Talking Heads album, Remain in Light (1980). Hunters & Collectors utilised Plank to produce two of their early albums, The Fireman's Curse (1983) and The Jaws of Life (1984), but neither charted into the Top 50 of the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. 





Their first Top 10 album, Human Frailty (1986), also featured their logo, a H & C symbol, where the "&" consists of twin snakes entwined around a hunting knife, a variation of a caduceus. Later Top 10 studio albums were Ghost Nation (1989), Cut (1992), and Demon Flower (1994). Their hit singles were "Talking to a Stranger" (1982), "Throw Your Arms Around Me" (1984), "Say Goodbye" (1986), "When the River Runs Dry" (1989), "True Tears of Joy" (1992), and "Holy Grail" (1993). They became one of the best live acts in Australia and according to musicologist, Ian McFarlane, their "great achievement was to lay bare human emotions in the intensely ritualistic milieu of the pub-rock gig".






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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Do the Pop Australian Garage Rock compilation album....updated links

I've had a few requests to update the links on a previous post:

Do the Pop! The Australian Garage-Rock Sound 1976-87



The original post has now been updated with new links @320kpbs and also includes all artwork.

Go to original post here: http://theaussiemusicblog.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/do-pop-australian-garage-rock-sound.html

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Icehouse...first 2 albums...Flowers (1980) and Primitive Man (1982)



Icehouse formed as Flowers in Sydney in 1977. Initially known in Australia for their pub rock style, they later achieved mainstream success playing new wave and synth-pop music and attained Top 10 singles chart success in both Europe and the U.S. The mainstay of both Flowers and Icehouse has been Iva Davies (singer-songwriter, record producer, guitar, bass, keyboards, oboe) supplying additional musicians as required. The name Icehouse, which was adopted in 1981, comes from an old, cold flat Davies lived in and the strange building across the road populated by itinerant people.

Davies and Icehouse extended the use of synthesizers particularly the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 ("Love in Motion", 1981), Linn drum machine ("Hey Little Girl", 1982) and Fairlight CMI (Razorback trailer, 1983) in Australian popular music. Their best known singles on the Australian charts were "Great Southern Land", "Hey Little Girl", "Crazy", "Electric Blue" and "My Obsession"; with Top Three albums being Icehouse (1980, as Flowers), Primitive Man (1982) and Man of Colours (1987).




Icehouse was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame on 16 August 2006. ARIA described Icehouse as "one of the most successful Australian bands of the eighties and nineties...with an uncompromising approach to music production they created songs that ranged from pure pop escapism to edgy, lavish synthesized pieces...". Icehouse has produced eight Top Ten albums and twenty Top Forty singles in Australia, multiple top ten hits in Europe and North America and album sales of over 28 times Platinum in Australasia alone. As of 2006, Man of Colours was still the highest-selling album in Australia by an Australian band.





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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Singer-songwriter Elena b Williams new album release "Feet in the Sand"..world/soul/folk


Elena b Williams is a Samoan Australian singer/songwriter originally from Perth, Western Australia, now in Byron Bay, whose music encompasses world, soul and funk music. She started playing music at her father's poetry readings in Perth when she was 15. She was interested in music as a child and says her mother is a fantastic ukulele player and was always singing traditional Samoan Island songs when she was growing up. Her parents had an amazing music collection of all kinds of music, so that was a great introduction to world sounds. Some of her favourite artists are Nina Simone, Tracey Chapman, Tom Waits, Patti Smith and Bob Dylan. 



Elena's career highlights are many, varied and impressive. Here are a few so far:


  • Toured with well known band The Waifs in 2015

  • Sang with Toni Childs for The Rebuild Nepal Concert on May 30th 2015 at Crystal Castle, Mullumbimby NSW.

  • Two songs featured on ABC 2014 TV series "The Gods Of Wheat Street", songs from the show "Time" and "Wish" available on iTunes with Elena's EP "The Rose".

  • Featured on Pete Murray's album "Summer at Eureka" on the track "Sugar".

  • 3 time MusicOz Finalist for songs "Different Kind of Water" 2013, 
  • "The Long Intro" 2012, and 2007 "Capital Clown".

  • Has released independent albums in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016.

  • Writes music for film and television and enjoys bringing life to moving images.




Elena's new album "Feet in the Sand" is out now and available on iTunes. $3 dollars from every album sold goes to a youth surf program in the Byron Shire. 

You can stream and sample Elena's music on her reverbnation page: https://www.reverbnation.com/elenabwilliams

She also has her own independent label, "Tauia Records", her mother's family name.

Marty's review: Elena's unique and distinctive vocals are something you just have to hear and experience. The diction and timbre resonate on every note and suit her musical styles that combine folk, soul and world music sounds. Her lyrics come from within and she reaches deep down into her soul to tell you a story that you know has been carefully and beautifully created.


             


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Divinyls...Desperate..1983 debut album


Divinyls formed in Sydney in 1980. The band primarily consisted of vocalist Chrissy Amphlett and guitarist Mark McEntee. Amphlett garnered widespread attention for performing on stage in a school uniform and fishnet stockings, and often used an illuminated neon tube as a prop for displaying aggression towards both band members and the audience. Originally a five-piece, the band underwent numerous line-up changes, with Amphlett and McEntee remaining as core members, before its dissolution in 1996.

Amphlett was the cousin of 1960's Australian pop icon Patricia "Little Pattie" Amphlett, who had been married to Keith Jacobsen—younger brother of pioneer rocker Col Joye and leading promoter Kevin Jacobsen. In her autobiography Pleasure and Pain (2005), Amphlett described breaking into the music scene from the age of fourteen, being arrested for busking when seventeen and travelling in Spain, and how her performances drew upon childhood pain.

At the start of their popularity, Divinyls were considered to be a hard rock band. At some point many fans referred to Amphlett as the female Angus Young, as both had similar mannerisms on stage and wore black and white school uniforms while performing in the early 1980's. The band's image gradually changed after the release of the What A Life! album when the band began wearing elaborate clothing and producing more songs in the pop music genre. By the time of the release of their Temperamental album, the Divinyls' image had changed to a glamour fashion style where they produced modern pop music.




In May 2001, the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), as part of its 75th Anniversary celebrations, named "Science Fiction" as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time. The band was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2006 and in late 2007 Amphlett and McEntee reconvened to record a new single and begin working on a new album. The band played a short series of live gigs in Australia in late 2007 and early 2008.




Divinyls released five studio albums—four placed in the Top 10 Australian chart, while one (Divinyls) reached No. 15 in the United States (US) and No.33 for 3 weeks in Canada. Their biggest-selling single "I Touch Myself" (1990) achieved a No. 1 ranking in Australia, No. 4 in the US, No. 10 in the United Kingdom (UK), and No. 13 in Canada.

"Desperate", released in 1983, contained the hits "Boys in Town", "Only Lonely", "Science Fiction" and a cover of The Easybeats' "Make U Happy".

Aged 53 years, Amphlett died on 21 April 2013 at her home in New York City, USA, after a protracted battle with breast cancer. Amphlett had been unable to receive radiation or chemotherapy treatment for the cancer because she concurrently suffered from multiple sclerosis.

See also Chrissy Amphlett tribute post on this blog.



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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sunnyboys..This Is Real...Singles/Live/Rare



Sunnyboys were a power pop/post-punk band that formed in Sydney in 1980. Fronted by singer-songwriter, guitarist Jeremy Oxley, the band "breathed some freshness and vitality into the divergent Sydney scene". Their first two albums, Sunnyboys and Individuals both appeared in the Top 30 of the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart.

They signed to Mushroom Records in February 1981, becoming the first Sydney-based band on the label. Their first release was a single, "Happy Man" (Mushroom, K8335), which reached number 26 on the national singles chart. The same month they made an independent EP entitled Happy Birthday, containing the tracks "What You Need", "Why Do I Cry?", "I Want To Be Alone" and "Let You Go". This was given away at gigs.

Sunnyboys' eponymous debut album was recorded at Alberts Studio in Sydney between May and July 1981 with producer/mentor Lobby Loyde. The album (with an initial print run of 2,000 on yellow vinyl) reached number 13 on the national album charts in October 1981, establishing them as a headline attraction. A second single was taken from the album, a re-recorded version of "Alone With You", which also reached number 26 on the national singles chart.

Sunnyboys originally broke up in June 1984. Jeremy Oxley formed various incarnations of the band throughout the 1980's and into 1991, as the only original member. The original line-up (without Burgman) reunited for a one-off show in 1998 for the Mushroom 25 Concert. In 2012 the original line-up reunited for a surprise show in Sydney as part of the Dig It Up concert series, billed as "Kids In Dust". The original line-up of Sunnyboys later played sporadic shows in 2013 and also undertook national headline tours in March 2014 and March 2015.





                                          


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Friday, January 20, 2017

Hoodoo Gurus...Electric Soup..The Singles Collection



Hoodoo Gurus (referred to as "The Gurus" by fans), formed in Sydney in 1981, by the mainstay Dave Faulkner (songwriter, lead singer and guitarist) and later joined by Richard Grossman (bass), Mark Kingsmill (drums), and Brad Shepherd (guitar, vocals, harmonica). Their popularity peaked in the mid to late 1980's with albums Mars Needs Guitars!, Blow Your Cool! and Magnum Cum Louder.

Hoodoo Gurus had a string of acclaimed pop-rock singles including "Leilani" (1982), "Tojo" (1983), "My Girl" (1983), "I Want You Back" (1984), "Bittersweet", "Like Wow - Wipeout!", and "What's My Scene?". After touring the United States from 1984 onwards they gained popularity on the U.S. college rock circuit[4] with singles "Come Anytime" (1989) reaching No. 1 and "Miss Freelove '69" (1991) reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.The Gurus’ biggest Australian hit single was their 1987 Top 3 hit song "What's My Scene?" or, as modified for the National Rugby League 2000s theme, "That's My Team".

Hoodoo Gurus' iconic status on the Australian rock scene was acknowledged when they were inducted into the 2007 ARIA Hall of Fame. Their induction announcement stated that the Gurus were one of the most "inventive, lyrically smart and exciting" bands from Australia. From 1960's power pop, and wild garage punk to hard driving rock and funky psychedelic kitsch their music stood out from Sydney's Detroit-inspired bands.







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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Do the Pop! The Australian Garage-Rock Sound 1976-87



For collectors of compilation albums, you can't go past this amazing collection of gems and rarities from the "other" side of pop. Over two decades before the White Stripes and the Hives made 'garage-rock' the new buzz-word, numerous Australian bands were cranking out a raw, high-energy music which had all the elements that the kids are hankering for today.

Isolation can breed some pretty amazing music and if you're looking for proof, look no further than this magnificent compilation chronicling 12 incredible years of the incomparable Oz garage/punk scene. Rarely is Australia's scene ever mentioned in the same breath as those of New York or London. Whereas New York's was art-centered and London's was fashion-centered, the Aussies put the music firmly up front and centre, right where it belongs. 

Although few of the bands which show up here may be familiar to the casual listener (the exceptions probably being Radio Birdman, The Saints, and The Celibate Rifles), you may find yourself scrambling to get your hands on everything you can by the rest. There's not a duff track to be found anywhere here and if songs like The Lime Spiders' "Slave Girl," The Fun Things' "Savage," The Screaming Tribesmen's "Igloo," or The Exploding White Mice's "Burning Red" don't put some lead in your pencil, you may want to have someone check you for a pulse. 50, count them, tracks that will certainly quench your thirst for a good dose of garage rock.


I remember having many of these as vinyl singles in my own collection which have now (sadly) moved on to other music aficionados. It's good to hear these again, they bring back some sweet memories.



Do the Pop Twice
(updated links @320kpbs, including artwork, 07/03/17)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Like, Wow - Wipeout - Australian Pop of the 80's...various artists



Seeing the blog is heading away from the 70's a bit and more into the 80's era (with a few contemporary artists in between), thought it would be good to sample some great Aussie sounds from this decade. Artists on this 40 track compilation include Hoodoo Gurus,  Dragon, Little River Band, Big Pig, Sunnyboys, Models, Gangajang, Men At Work, Johnny Diesel, Jenny Morris, The Angels, James Reyne, The Models, The Saints, Mi-Sex, The Sports, James Freud, QED, Tim Finn, Mondo Rock, The Church, Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons, Mental As Anything, Kids In the Kitchen, Goanna, Pseudo Echo, Jimmy Barnes, Choirboys, Kids In the Kitchen and a few more.

This will hopefully keep you entertained over the holiday period whether you're having fun in the sun in the Southern hemisphere or chilling out in the more Northern parts of the globe.

Would just like to say thanks to all visitors, readers and contributors of the blog and for all your support and kind words. Enjoy the season and the music!





                                             


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Friday, December 16, 2016

Russell Morris picks up second ARIA for best Blues and Roots album



Legendary Australian singer-songwriter/musician, Russell Morris, recently picked up his second ARIA award for Best Blues and Roots Album, "Red Dirt, Red Heart".

Red Dirt, Red Heart is the third in a trilogy of blues-roots albums by Russell that have an Australian historical aspect in the songs. Russell calls them his labour of love and they have all been well received both critically and by his long-time fans and new admirers alike.

See the full article here: http://www.noise11.com/news/russell-morris-wins-aria-award-for-best-blues-and-roots-album-20161123


Find our more on his WEBSITE: http://russellmorris.com.au/


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sydney musician and producer Mickey Kojak releases new single "Bones"



Mickey Kojak returns with his new single and b-side respectively titled 'Bones' and 'Together'.  The release is an uncompromising sleazy, low-slung club odyssey, styled with the tight rhythms and eclectic synths that have come to define the Kojak sound.


Listen to BONES and TOGETHER here

The release is the follow up to his debut 'Alone' EP released earlier this year, and featured the single 'Feel My Pain' which received high airplay rotation across Triple J and Australian FM radio. The record catapulted the young musician from bedroom producer to the main stage. Nationally touring alongside heavy hitters A-Track, What So Not and Hayden James, as well as outdoor festival slots at Splendour in the Grass and Groovin' the Moo, and racking up close to a million online streams on his ‘Alone' EP as well as a rinsing from Triple J.

'Bones' & 'Together' also mark a turning point in his work, having established himself as front man to his side-project The Tapes, Mickey brings his newly found skill set back to the mic on this release and we literally feel it in our bones on this A-side. Flip the record over and set your living room to strobe, ‘Together’ is a 7 minute rave, taking you on a historic journey through electronic music’s past and future.




See previous post about The Tapes on this blog HERE

..and investigate further below





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Birthday Party...Prayers On Fire and Junkyard...1981/82 albums


The Birthday Party, an Australian post-punk band, began under various names in Melbourne in 1973; formed by vocalist Nick Cave, guitarist Mick Harvey, drummer Phill Calvert, guitarist John Cocivera, bassist Brett Purcell, and saxophonist Chris Coyne —all of whom were students at Caulfield Grammar School. By 1978, following several membership changes, the band consisted of Cave, Harvey and Calvert with bassist Tracy Pew and guitarist Rowland S Howard. Under the name The Boys Next Door, the band released several singles and two studio albums, Door, Door in 1979 on Mushroom Records and The Birthday Party in 1980 on Missing Link Records.

Despite moderate success in Australia, The Boys Next Door relocated to London, England in 1980 and changed their name to The Birthday Party. In London, the band experienced underground critical success with a series of singles and two further studio albums, Prayers on Fire (1981) and Junkyard (1982); Junkyard was also a minor commercial success, peaking at number 72 on the UK Albums Chart upon its release.





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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Midnight Oil....Midnight Oil (1978) and Head Injuries (1979)

Midnight Oil


Midnight Oil (also known informally as "The Oils" to fans) originally performed as Farm from 1972 with drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie. While vocalist Peter Garrett was studying at Australian National University in Canberra, he answered an advertisement for a spot in Farm,and by 1975 the band was touring the east coast. By late 1976, Garrett moved to Sydney to complete his law degree,and Farm changed its name to Midnight Oil by drawing the name out of a hat.




Important to their development was manager Gary Morris who was able to negotiate favorable contracts with tour promoters and record companies and frustrate rock journalists. Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977 and Midnight Oil, with Morris, established their own record label Powderworks, which released their debut eponymous album in November 1978, and their first single "Run by Night" followed in December. Founding bass guitarist James, forced to leave due to illness in 1980, was replaced by Peter Gifford. Gifford was himself replaced by Bones Hillman in 1987.Through a long and distinguished career, the band became known for its driving hard-rock sound, intense live performances and political activism, particularly in aid of anti-nuclear, environmentalist and indigenous causes.


Head Injuries









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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Gwyn Ashton, ex Adelaide (UK based) high-energy, blues performer, new album release



Gwyn Ashton, Chris Finnen and Peter Buelke's new album "Ragas, Jugs and Mojo Hands" is a beautifully crafted exotic blend of acoustic blues and world music, infused with an unmistakable Australian flavour.

Recorded in Noarlunga, South Australia, this foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ celebration of roots music will draw the listener in on a mesmerizing cross-continental sonic journey.

album sampler promo video

Ashton and Finnen, two kindred-spirit musicians, both inductees of the South Australian Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and friends for 35 years, join together for the first time on record. With Melbourne musician Peter Beulke on upright bass, they form a formidable partnership, evoking a tapestry of varied cultural influences, weaving the sounds of Indian, Arabic and African in traditions into the album. Recorded live, first or second take, this spontaneous session involved no rehearsal or pre-production.

Ashton has spent the past 30 years touring Australia and Europe, recording with some of the biggest names in blues and rock including musicians from Deep Purple, Robert Plant’s and Rory Gallagher’s bands and touring with artists such as Buddy Guy, Mick Taylor, Peter Green and many more. His contribution to this album includes material written on the road through Poland, the Czech Republic and the UK.


Find out more on WEBSITE HERE 

jamming with Kevin Borich

download FREE 6 minute album sampler HERE

December tour dates:

11 - Vic, St Kilda, Elwood Blues Club (solo)

12 - Vic, Frankston, Bar 12 (solo)

15 - NSW, Sydney, Frankie's Pizza (solo)

17 - NSW, Wollongong, Beaches (solo)

18 - NSW, Sydney, Lazybones (solo)

22 - Vic, St Kilda, Dog's Bar (solo)


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