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



Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dragon....Sunshine and Running Free...breakthrough albums from 1977

Dragon formed in Auckland, New Zealand in January 1972 with a line-up that featured Todd Hunter on bass guitar, guitarist Ray Goodwin, drummer Neil Reynolds and singer/pianist Graeme Collins. All had been in various short-lived bands in Auckland, Collins is credited with using I Ching to provide the name. By 1974 several personnel changes had occurred, with Todd Hunter's younger brother Marc Hunter joining on vocals and Neil Storey on drums. They relocated to Sydney in May 1975. Keyboard player Paul Hewson wrote or co-wrote most of the group's 1970' hits: "April Sun in Cuba" peaked at #2 on the 1977 Australian singles chart; "Are You Old Enough?" reached #1 in 1978; and "Still in Love with You" reached #15 also in 1978. 

On the recommendation of fellow NZ expatriate Mike Rudd, CBS house producer Peter Dawkins went to see the group at the Recovery Wine Bar in Camperdown, Sydney in early 1976 and he was so impressed by their performance and Hewson's material that he immediately signed them to a contract with CBS Records.

Between 1977 and 1979, the classic Dragon lineup - the Hunter brothers, Taylor, Hewson and Jacobson - had a string of major hits on the Australian charts with singles "April Sun in Cuba", "Are You Old Enough?" and "Still In Love with You" and albums Sunshine, Running Free and O Zambezi. These releases, and their dynamic concert performances, made them one of Australia's most popular rock acts.

See also previous post: first 2 albums...Universal Radio 1974 and Scented Gardens For the Blind 1975

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1 comment:

  1. I would rank Dragon up with Sherbet and Skyhooks as one of the top Australian "pop" bands of the 70's - great songs with killer riffs and hooks.