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



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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Saturday, October 15, 2016

INXS.....INXS (1980) and Underneath the Colours (1981) of a legendary band


INXS formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney.They began playing covers in Western Australian pubs and clubs, occasionally playing some of their original music. Mainstays were main composer and keyboardist Andrew Farriss, drummer Jon Farriss, guitarists Tim Farriss and Kirk Pengilly, bassist Garry Gary Beers and main lyricist and vocalist Michael Hutchence. For twenty years, INXS was fronted by Hutchence, whose "sultry good looks" and magnetic stage presence made him the focal point of the band. Initially known for their new wave/pop style, the band later developed a harder pub rock style that included funk and dance elements.

The origins of the band began with Andrew Farriss convincing his fellow Davidson High School classmate, Michael Hutchence, to join his band, Doctor Dolphin. The band contained two other classmates, Kent Kerny and Neil Sanders and a bass player, Garry Beers and Geoff Kennely, from a nearby high school, Forest High School. In 1977, Tim Farriss, Andrew's older brother, invited Andrew, Hutchence and Beers to join him and his schoolmate Kirk Pengilly. Tim and Pengilly had been playing together since 1971 as either an acoustic duo, Kirk and Tim, or as a four-piece band called Guinness (named after their bass player's dog). Together with younger brother Jon Farriss they formed the Farriss Brothers, who consisted of Garry Beers on bass guitar, Andrew Farriss on keyboards, Jon Farriss on drums, Tim Farriss on lead guitar, Geoff Kennelly on drums, Michael Hutchence on lead vocals and Kirk Pengilly on guitar and saxophone.The band made their debut on 16 August 1977 at Whale Beach,40 km north of Sydney.

Underneath the Colours

Monday, October 3, 2016

Split Enz...Second Thoughts (1976) and Dizrythmia (1977)

Second Thoughts, released in 1976, was Split Enz' second album. It was recorded in London with Roxy Music's guitarist Phil Manzanera producing the album. Four of the songs on the album were reworked versions of songs from their 1975 debut album Mental Notes. Two other songs on the album had been first recorded during the Mental Notes sessions, but left off and re-recorded for Second Thoughts. There were two new songs, both written by Phil Judd, and a re-recording of an early Judd/Finn composition ("129"), which for the Second Thoughts version, was renamed "Matinee Idyll".

Dizrythmia, Split Enz' third album, released in 1977, was the first Split Enz album without co-founding members Phil Judd and Mike Chunn. Neil Finn and Nigel Griggs, the first being the younger brother of band leader Tim Finn, replaced them respectively. Meanwhile, Nigel's old friend and former band mate Malcolm Green took the place of Emlyn Crowther who also left around this time. The album was released domestically by Mushroom Records, and overseas by Chrysalis Records.

The single "My Mistake" was a hit in New Zealand and Australia, but failed to make much impact overseas. "Bold as Brass" was the second single. The album is regarded as the start of the band's breakthrough, and marked a shift from art rock to more pop-oriented songs.

The album's title comes from circadian dysrhythmia, more commonly known as jet lag. The back cover was originally intended as the front cover. Both were designed by Noel Crombie, who also designed the band's costumes.

Tim Finn coughs forty-four seconds into "Nice To Know", a feature erroneously left in the final mix. Both Tim Finn and Eddie Rayner were disappointed with the final mix of "Charlie" feeling that the vocals sounded very flat. Geoff Emerick, the engineer for the album thought it was a beautiful vocal however, so it stayed.

see previous post on Mental Notes
Split Enz on Wikipedia


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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cold Chisel...You're Thirteen EP 1977 and Live in Sydney 1978

Originally named Orange, Cold Chisel formed in Adelaide in 1973 as a heavy-metal cover-band comprising bassist Les Kaczmarek, keyboard player Don Walker, guitarist Ian Moss and drummer Steve Prestwich. Seventeen-year-old singer Jimmy Barnes joined in December 1973, taking leave from the band in 1975 for a brief stint as Bon Scott's replacement in Fraternity.

The group changed its name several times before settling on Cold Chisel in 1974 after writing a song with that title. Barnes' relationship with other band members was volatile; as a Scot he often came to blows with Liverpool-born Prestwich and he left the band several times. During these periods Moss would handle vocals until Barnes returned. Walker soon emerged as Cold Chisel's primary songwriter. Walker spent 1974 in Armidale, completing his studies, and in 1975 Kaczmarek left the band and was replaced by Phil Small. Barnes' older brother John Swan was a member of Cold Chisel around this time, providing backing vocals and percussion but after several violent incidents he was fired.

In May 1976, Cold Chisel relocated to Melbourne but found little success, moving on to Sydney in November. Six months later, in May 1977, Barnes announced he would quit Cold Chisel in order to join Swan in Feather, a hard-rocking blues band that had evolved from an earlier group called Blackfeather. A farewell performance in Sydney went so well that the singer changed his mind. The following month the Warner Music Group picked up Cold Chisel.

Full biography on Wikipedia HERE

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ted Mulry Gang....Here We Are and Struttin' from 1974/76

Ted Mulry first came to the attention of the music industry when he sent a demo of some of his own compositions to Albert Productions in Sydney. The company persuaded him to become a recording artist and he soon rose to fame as a solo singer/songwriter with his own composition, the pop ballad "Julia", which made the Australian charts in 1970. He followed that with "Falling in Love Again", a song by The Easybeats songwriting team Harry Vanda and George Young, which was a major hit in 1971.

After getting tired of being backed by different backing bands, in 1972 he switched from acoustic guitar to bass and formed his own band, Ted Mulry Gang, with guitarist Les Hall and drummer Herman Kovac.The band signed a recording deal with Albert Productions in 1974 and released their first album Here We Are. When that album didn't do as well as expected, the record company wanted Mulry to go back to singing solo. Ronnie Clayton told them to stick to it and brought in second guitarist Gary Dixon to complete the foursome. With his own band behind him he adopted a more hard rocking style.

Their first major hit, and the biggest of their career was the 1975 single "Jump in My Car" which spent 6 weeks at number one on the Australian singles charts in 1976. It was the second single released from the Here We Are album produced by Ted Albert at Alberts Studios. Over the next few years they achieved a string of hit singles including a rocked up version of the old jazz song, "Darktown Strutters' Ball", "Crazy", "Jamaica Rum" and "My Little Girl". Many of TMG's songs, including "Jump in My Car", were co-written with guitarist Les Hall. Their second album, "Struttin" was released in 1976.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Taste...Tickle Your Fancy and Knights of Love...Glam-Hard Rock from 1976/77

Taste were a glam/hard rock band that formed around 1975. The line-up consisted of Ken Murdoch ( Lead Vocals / Guitar), Joey Amenta (Guitar / Vocals), Michael Tortoni (Bass Guitar) and Virgil Donati (Drums). The boys paid their dues in pubs and "shitholes" until they got their lucky break and released their first album "Tickle Your Fancy" in 1976. They were an instant hit, especially with the younger music fans, and appeared regularly on Countdown and just about every other TV show of the time.

They supported international artists including Queen, on their second Australian tour, Suzi Quatro and The Sweet. They also performed alongside the who's who of Aussie rock including Sherbet, Kevin Borich, TMG, Skyhooks and Hush.

Their songwriting and musicianship were critically acclaimed, and their original 2 albums, "Tickle Your Fancy" and "Knights of Love" have become hard rock classics. Due to some bad management and not so good marketing, Taste never achieved the recognition they deserved, and split around 1977. They reformed in 2007 and released the album "Rock Dead".


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Friday, August 19, 2016

The Boys Next Door...Door, Door...1979 album..the origins of Nick Cave

The Boys Next Door (later changed to The Birthday Party) were an Australian post-punk band, active from 1978 to 1983. Despite limited commercial success their influence has been far-reaching, and they have been called "one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early 80's." The group's "bleak and noisy soundscapes" which drew irreverently on blues, free jazz and rockabilly, provided the setting for vocalist Nick Cave's disturbing tales of violence and perversion. 

The nucleus of the band first met at the private boys school Caulfield Grammar in suburban Melbourne, in the early seventies. A rock group was formed in 1973, with Nick Cave (vocals), Mick Harvey (guitar), and Phill Calvert (drums), with other students John Cocivera, Brett Purcell and Chris Coyne (on guitar, bass and saxophone respectively). The band played under various names at parties and school functions with a mixed repertoire of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, Alice Cooper and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, among others.

After their final school year in 1975 the band decided to continue as a four-piece group, with friend Tracy Pew picking up the bass. Greatly affected by the punk explosion of 1976, The Boys Next Door, as they were now called, began performing punk and proto-punk cover versions, such as "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "Gloria", and a few original songs. The Boys' second guitarist, Rowland S. Howard, joined in 1978, and about this time, the group's sound changed dramatically. The addition of Howard's guitar was certainly a catalyst. 

The Boys Next Door's best known song, "Shivers", written by Howard, and first performed and recorded by his band The Young Charlatans, was banned by radio stations because of a reference to suicide. Their first album Door, Door was released in 1979.

After recordings and moderate success in Australia (including hundreds of live shows) they headed for London in 1980, changed their name to The Birthday Party and launched into a period of innovative and aggressive music-making.

See also:


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stiletto...Licence to Rage...1978 album

Stiletto formed in early 1976 and quickly gained a reputation of being a strong feminist band. At that point, their line-up included singer/songwriter JANIE CONWAY on guitar and vocals and Marney Sheehan on bass. Shortly after Chris Worrall joined the band", Janie left. 

They first appeared on vinyl in July 1977 when they provided the B-side, 'Nights In Parlour', to Red Symon's single "Only A Flipside'. Later in the year, they gained prominence with the release of the Oz Records compilation album, Debutantes, to which they contributed three songs. Their first wholly Stiletto single, 'Bluebirds', written by Andrew, was followed in August '78 by their debut album, 'Licence to Rage' — unfortunately to become their only LP. Two tracks from the album, 'Goodbye Johnny' and 'Woman In A Man's World' were released as a single (Oz label) in the same month.

In November it was announced that one of their songs, 'Women In Trouble', was to be used on a film soundtrack (other tracks by the band had been used previously on movies). This news was accompanied by some not so good tidings — they were dropped by their record company, EMI. Regrettably, this seemed to precipitate their dissolution. Chris Worrall left to join Paul Kelly and the Dots. He was replaced by CHRIS DYSON (ex-High Rise Bombers) and briefly the band seemed to rejuvenate, and even appeared as special guests on Elvis Costello's Melbourne show; but early in 1979 the final decision to split was made.

ANDREW BELL (guitar); 
JANE CLIFTON (vocals); 
CELESTE HOWDEN (bass, vocals); 
EDDIE VAN ROSENDAAL (drums, vocals); 
CHRIS WORRALL (guitar, vocals). 

(Chris had previously worked with Pelaco Bros, Captain Matchbox and Bleeding Hearts; Eddie, Jane and Andrew with Toads.)

"Half man, half woman! C'est Stiletto, one of Melbourne's few truly underground bands, burrowing upwards toward the light of wider recognition. Stiletto, whilst pretending to a certain cool, are closet flamboyant. Lots of colour and imagery, scrambled genders, and a sort of shivering toughness which has definite appeal. Constant revolving in the club 'n' pub circuit has polished this sharp little gem of a band until crikey they can really rock. There's been the odd line-up casualty, but always the replacements have been well selected, eventually beefing up the band." taken from...Pub Bands - An Ocassional Guide (Article by Jenny Brown, 'Bottom Line' Newspaper - March / April 1978, p12)

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Buffalo....Volcanic Rock....second album from 1973

The origins of BUFFALO began in Brisbane, Queensland in 1966 when mates, Dave Tice (vocals) & Pete Wells (bass) played in a band called THE ODD COLOURS.  When this band dissolved, Dave & Pete had a brief stint in STRANGE BREW (66/67) and then formed THE CAPITOL SHOW BAND later in ’67 which became highly successful in the local market. 

The band's major recording break came in March 1972 with BUFFALO signing to the prestigious UK label, Vertigo.  This was very significant at the time because BUFFALO were the first band to sign with the label outside of the UK.  Their ’stablemates’ included BLACK SABBATH and URIAH HEEP. The band immediately went into the United Sounds studios to record their first album with producer, Spencer Lee. The album, "Dead Forever", was released in 1972. See original blog post HERE.

Their second album, "Volcanic Rock", was released in 1973.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Radio Birdman...Burn My Eye EP plus Radios Appear LP...1977

Radio Birdman were one of the first Australian punk bands, along with The Saints. They were formed by Deniz Tek and Rob Younger in 1974. The group influenced the work of many successful, mainstream bands, and are now considered one of the most crucial bands to Australia's musical growth, but their main legacy was their towering influence over Australian indie rock in the 1980's.

Deniz Tek and Rob Younger formed Radio Birdman in mid-1974 in Sydney, having recently left their bands 'TV Jones' and 'The Rats' respectively. The pair sought to begin a band that would have no commercial interest and break the norm at the time, so they recruited classical keyboard player Philip 'Pip' Hoyle, drummer Ron Keeley and bassist Carl Rorke . The band took their name from a misheard lyric from the Iggy and The Stooges' song "1970" (the actual lyric is "radio burnin'").

They recorded an EP, Burn My Eye,and their first album, Radios Appear, produced by John L Sayers and Charles Fisher at Trafalgar Studios in Annandale. Trafalgar Studios financed the recordings. Radios Appear was critically acclaimed, getting 5 stars in the Australian Rolling Stone edition. The album owed much of its style to Detroit bands of the late 1960's, such as The MC5 and The Stooges. The title of the album comes from a Blue Öyster Cult song "Dominance and Submission" from their 1974 Secret Treaties album, influences from which can also be seen in Birdman's creative output.

Sales of this album were initially limited because they were recording using a private label Trafalgar Records. Shortly after initial release, Trafalgar Records leased the recordings to WEA who took on the album and gave it a wider release. When Sire Records president Seymour Stein came to Australia to sign up fellow punk band The Saints, he saw Radio Birdman play and immediately invited them to join his label. Under this new label, Radio Birdman released a new version of Radios Appear featuring a mixture of re-mixed, re-recorded and some new material. Comparisons between the two versions of the album are disputed, with some feeling that the second version is a more accurate reflection of the band's sound. Most fans however own both versions and simply treat them as two separate and different recordings.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Kush...Presents Snow White and the Eight Straights...1974 album

Kush was formed in 1971 with Jeff Duff on Vocals, John Santos (aka Montesante) and Colin Chapman on trumpet, Ron Anderson on piano and saxophone, Stephen Ball on keyboards, Tom Cowburn on guitar, harmonica and backing vocals, John Ellis on clarinet, flute and saxophone, Rob Matthews on bass guitar, and Graham McDonald on drums. They released covers of "Peter Gunn", "MacArthur Park" and "Walk on the Wild Side" as well as originals such as "(Livin' on) Easy Street".

Their 1974 album release "Presents Snow White and the Eight Straights" is a fusion of jazz meets progressive rock and showcases Jeff Duff's cabaret style tenor vocals. It is one of those forgotten gems of the 1970's that still sounds good today. Kush were together from 1971 to 1975 and are notable for performing to 45000 people at the 1974 Sunbury Pop Festival. 

Geoff "Jeff" Stephen Duff, or Duffo, has used various personae, wardrobe, and satire as features of his performance. Duff's show 'Ziggy' is a portrayal of the music of David Bowie, whom he met while Bowie was a Sydney resident. Duff is a regular performer on Australian television and continues to headline some of Australia's leading Jazz festivals.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Singer-Songwriter Thaylia new single release Wanna Know from forthcoming EP

Ex- Mormon, lesbian, vegan and a lifelong struggle with addictions, Thaylia has had quite the journey in life. After a few detours and wrong turns this singer-songwriter-producer finally finds herself on the right path she was always meant to be on, a new journey of rediscovering who she is spiritually without the constraints of religion and she has a new song to sing about it!

Thaylia is of Greek/Aboriginal heritage and at 23 she discovered her passion for music and picked up an instrument for the very first time. However her true journey in music would begin 10 years later when she got sober, quit her high paying corporate job, sold her house and car and moved to Sydney to pursue her musical passions full time. 

Now after years of perserverance she is finally ready to release her new song that she wrote, composed and produced called Wanna Know which is the first release from her self titled debut EP due out later this year.

The song is a catchy electronic pop fusion delight of a variety of musical influences that Thaylia grew up listening to such as R'n'B, Hip Hop, House, Trance and Folk. It not only highlights Thaylia's craftmanship in songwriting but also her maturing skills in sound manipulation and production. The lyrics were excerpts taken from Thaylia's personal journal about her deepest feelings about herself and the truth of the universe.

The single will be available on the 01 July 2016 from all online media outlets and you can have a listen on Soundcloud. If you dig the song then head to Thaylia's Official Website and subscribe for the latest news and updates on upcoming shows, music and videos!

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Sydney duo The Tapes' debut single "AT ALL" recently released

Introducing: THE TAPES...
.....A collaboration between Sydney musicians Andrew Grant and Mickey Kojak. 

Having cut their teeth in the dance music scene, this new project is a departure from the glitchy, electronic sounds we are used to hearing from these two. 

The world of The Tapes comes to you through your top-down convertible’s FM radio. Cruising along a pristine coastline on a sun-drenched afternoon, Diet Pepsi in hand, they’re there to take you wherever it is you're going. Lo-fi guitars, retro synths and crunchy drums combined with their technological know-how and unique songwriting all come together as one glorious, wholly holy sound. 

Like a tailor-made suit, The Tapes just feel right. 

It is also incredibly exciting to announce their first single AT ALL. Which premiered on "La Belle Musique" recently, quickly clocking 20,000 plays. This first track is but a tasty morsel of the feast that is to come. The boys have a five-track debut EP burning a hole in their back pocket as well as an immense four-piece live show that will be unveiled at some of the year’s latter showcases. The Tapes are here to embrace the weird and wonderful in all kinds of new ways; get tuned in.

Listen to "AT ALL" on soundcloud here.

Download it for free via TripleJUnearthed here.



"A soothing and melodic track that blends two extremely skilled producers to create a blissful musical mid-point." -

"Well worth the hype." -

"Serene, spacey... we foresee some great material from the pair" -

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