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Friday, April 11, 2014

Autumn..Comes Autumn..rare album from 1971...underrated Sydney band that had more talent than was recognized

AUTUMN ...Sydney 1970-72

Tony Romeril (vocals) 
Glenn Beatson (drums) 
Rick Graham (bass) 
Steve McMurray (guitar) 
Greg Jacques (organ) 1969 - Apr 1971 
Allan Magsuball (guitar) Apr. 1971- early 1972 
Charlie Wright (keyboards) late 1971- early 1972

Like their contemporaries The Executives, The Affair, New Dream and Zoot, Sydney band Autumn has been unfairly labelled as a lightweight pop band, mainly on the basis of their early recordings. They've also been tagged as 'one-hit wonders', although in fact they had four hits. Fronted by grievously underrated lead vocalist Tony Romeril, Autumn was a superb band with a strong following in their home city of Sydney, and they could tackle pop, country-rock and heavy/progressive rock with equal ease.

Like their close contemporaries The Flying Circus, Autumn formed at a time when rapid and significant changes were taking place in the music scene and the formerly homogeneous "pop" field was diversifying into several distinct genres. The trends that were drawing 'pop' musicians towards progressive music, "heavy rock" and country rock was counterbalanced by the popularity and commercial success of so-called "bubblegum" pop. This created to a situation where, as Glenn A. Baker has observed, "being identified as a pop band "drew automatic derision and critical dismissal".

Autumn's chart success with straight-ahead pop material has obscured the fact that this was a highly competent group, with tastes and abilities which went well beyond the confines of the three-minute formula pop single. Their true talents were not really showcased on record until their last few recordings for the Warner label and, as Glennn Baker notes "... nobody, save those who caught them live, came to realise what a sturdy, musically adept and diverse unit they were."

During the second half of 1971 Autumn released an EP, A Patch Of Autumn, followed by their hugely underrated second album Comes Autumn. Although it is dismissed by Vernon Joyson as "unremarkable", it in fact contains some outstanding material. As Aussie music archivist "MidozTouch" has noted, "Autumn's second album is so strikingly different in style and sound from their first LP that one could be forgiven for thinking they were recorded by two different groups". This included re-recordings of some of their Chart material, including Allan Magsuball's riff-tastic psych-prog nugget "Get It Down" (one of several fine tracks he contributed), a re-recorded version of "Lady Anne", and the country-styled hits "Falling" and "Miracles". This excellent LP, which has never been reissued, is one of the genuine lost treasures of early 70s Australian rock. Like all the early '70s Australian Warner recordings, the original LP is now quite rare and has become a sought-after collector's item.

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