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Friday, June 6, 2014

The Angels...first 2 albums self-titled 1977 and Face to Face 1978

As a tribute to the late Doc Neeson, here are the first 2 albums by The Angels with the now iconic and classic tracks "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again", "Comin' Down", "Take A Long Line" and "After the Rain". 

The Angels originally formed in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1974. The band later relocated to Sydney and enjoyed huge local success, clocking up hit singles across four decades, including "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again", "Take a Long Line", "Marseilles", "Shadow Boxer", "No Secrets", "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", "Let The Night Roll On", "Dogs Are Talking", and "Caught In The Night". The Angels were cited by Guns N' Roses and a number of Seattle grunge bands, including Pearl Jam and Nirvana, as having influenced their music.

In November 1970, brothers Rick and John Brewster formed The Moonshine Jug and String Band. In 1971, the band was joined by Belfast-born Bernard Neeson, an arts student and former Army sergeant and already a prominent figure on the Adelaide music scene. In 1974 they changed their name to The Keystone Angels, switched to electric instruments and began playing 1950s rock and roll on the pub circuit. In 1975, the band supported AC/DC during a South Australian tour, and later performed as the backing band for Chuck Berry.

In 1975, on the recommendation of Bon Scott and Malcolm Young from AC/DC, the band was offered a recording deal with the Albert label. They dropped "Keystone" from their name and became simply "The Angels". At this point the band had four members: Neeson on bass guitar, Charlie King (Peter Christopolous) on drums, Rick Brewster on lead guitars and John Brewster on lead vocals and rhythm guitar.

The Angels' first single, "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again", was released in April 1976. They made their TV debut appearance on Countdown. Later in the year, Charlie King, at the time AWL from the army, was replaced by Graham "Buzz Throckman" Bidstrup on the drums. This was the first of three different versions of the song the band released as singles throughout their career.

The band's second single, "You're A Lady Now", was released in July 1977, followed a month later by their self-titled debut LP, The Angels. By now Chris Bailey had joined the band on bass, allowing Neeson to concentrate on vocals. Bailey had been a member of Mount Lofty Rangers with Bon Scott in 1974. Neeson's move to specialist frontman allowed the band to develop an energetic and theatrical live presence. Neeson typically appeared on stage as a wild extrovert, dressed in a Dinner suit and shaking maracas. As a foil, Rick Brewster remained motionless and wore sunglasses for every performance. He has stated that Beethoven convinced him not to move on stage.

1978's Face to Face album reached No. 16 in November and stayed on the Australian charts for 79 weeks. Mark Opitz engineered, and along with The Angels, co-produced the album. Peter Ledger, who designed the cover, won Best Australian Album Cover Design Award. Face to Face contained the band's first hit single, "Take a Long Line", which has become one of the Angels' most-recognised songs. In November, the band supported David Bowie on his first Australian tour, resulting in The Tour EP 7" single.

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