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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Healing Force...short lived but legendary Aussie progressive rock supergroup

The legendary Healing Force were something of a 'supergroup', and its history intersects with several other important bands of the period, notably King Harvest and Friends. They made only one single, but it is still widely regarded as one of the flagship Australian progressive rock releases of the early '70s. All the members had a wealth of experience -- Pryor had been the drummer in the The Twilights; Charlie was from Nova Express; Logan was from The Rebels and Wells had been a member of Perth's prog-rock pioneers Bakery.

Original line-up: 
Laurie Pryor (drums) 
Charlie Tumahai (vocals, bass) 
Mal Logan (organ) 
Lindsay Wells (guitar) 

Other members: 
Lindsay Wells (bass, guitar) 
Ray Findlay (bass) 
John Pugh (guitar) 
Joe Tattersal (drums) 
Mal Capewell (sax, flute) 
Gus Fenwick (bass)

In July 1971, they released their one brilliant single. The 'A' side, "Golden Miles", by Lindsay Wells, is one of the most admired Australian progressive rock recordings of the period and it rates as the best Australian progressive recording of the era. It was deservedly successful and spent nineteen weeks in the Melbourne charts, barely missing out on entering the Top 30. It features rippling Hammond organ by Logan with a beautiful melody line and a dramatic chorus, highlighted by the soaring vocals of the late, great Charlie Tumahai. The flip-side, "The Gully", another Lindsay Wells composition, was heavier but almost as good. Just before the single hit the charts, Charlie quit to join Chain and the group returned to a four piece. Pryor left soon after and was replaced by Joe Tattersall (ex-Barrelhouse), but then Lindsay also left and the band fizzled out.

In November 1972, Healing Force reformed with Logan, Pryor and Pugh, plus newcomers Gus Feniwck (bass) and Mal Capewell (ex-Company Caine) on reeds. This version performed at the Sunbury Pop Festival in January 1973, with Charlie rejoining especially for the show. One track from their set, "Erection", was included on the Mushroom Records Sunbury '73 album. They disbanded shortly afterwards, during preparations for a planned LP, leaving their considerable promise sadly unfulfilled.

This is a four track (unofficial) EP, compiled from their one single and 2 extra live tracks:

1. Golden Miles
2. The Gully
3. My Boogie
4. Poem of Joy (from the GTK tapes)

click here for more information

see also Golden Miles progressive rock compilation on this blog