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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs..More Arse Than Class..1974

"Gonna create a disturbance in your mind..."

Thorpie's message in 1973 was without doubt loud and clear! He and the ever-changing personnel of The Aztecs commanded a pre-eminent position in Aussie rock. While artists such as Ross Wilson, Mike Rudd, Lindsay Bjerre and Gulliver Smith strove to push out and pull down boundaries in their music, Thorpie and friends continued to provide high-octane, no-nonsense rock for the masses.

In August , Billy switched record labels from the independent Havoc to the newly-opened local division of Atlantic Records, which was by then a subsidiary of the Warner group. Atlantic released the singles "Movie Queen" and "Don't You Know You're Changing?" in quick succession. Although the later singles of 1973 were ostensibly solo releases, they nonetheless featured most of the extant Aztecs line-up (with help from Chain pals Phil Manning and Barry Sullivan).

Before disbanding, the Aztecs recorded one more album for Atlantic. Right at the beginning of 1974, the More Arse Than Class LP came out, provoking predictable cries of protest from conservatives about the title and its 'disgusting' gatefold cover, which opened out to show the naked, hairy posteriors of the four band members! The music on the record was where the true arse was though -- and it kicked it!

It remains the Aztecs most successful studio album, and apart from the undiluted power of its music, is a strong testament to the skills of erstwhile Aztec drummer/producer/engineer/archivist Gil Matthews. Also notable was the return on bass duties of Billy's old cohort Teddy Toi. 

1 Boogie Woogie
2 Walking Down The Street
3 Don't You Know You're Changing
4 No More War
5 I Wanna Know
6 Back On The Road Again
7 Slowly Learning How
8 A Little Bit Of Lunacy, Maestro Please
9 I Wanna Know
10 Pig's Blues
11 Mame
12 Movie Queen
13 Kawasaki
14 Kawasaki (Long Version)
15 Slowly Learning How (Demo Instrumental)

Vocals, Bass – Teddy Toi
Vocals, Drums, Percussion – Gil Matthews
Vocals, Guitar – Billy Thorpe
Vocals, Piano, Organ, Harpsichord – Warren Morgan

Tracks 1-7 reissue of 1974 Album
Bonus tracks
8-10 Live At Bill Armstrong Studios, 1973
11-12 Singles 1973
13-14 Ads 1973
15 Demo 1973

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