Thursday, 31 March 2016

Beathoven - 1978 - Sky Girl

Shy Girl/Does It Matter As Much To You

Beathoven are a power pop band formed in Hobart, Tasmania in 1975. Featuring singer/songwriters David Minchin, Charles Touber, Greg Cracknell, and drummer Brent "Beep" Jeffrey, Beathoven (as The Innocents) are one of only two Tasmanian bands to ever have Australian chart success (the other being MEO 245)

David Minchin (guitar/vocals), Charles Touber (guitar/vocals), Greg Cracknell (bass/vocals), Brent "Beep" Jeffrey (drums 1975-1979). Renowned for their popularity in Hobart in the late 1970s, their first record release was "Do You Remember The Time/Darlin'" on the Candle label. There was a local equivalent of Beatlemania about the Beathoven early years (sometimes referred to as "Tasmania") and ensured that when they took their touring technique of focusing on school dances and lunchtime concerts to Melbourne in 1977, success and press cynicism followed. Shortly following the move the band began touring the East coast of Australia. Such was their popularity after several months, ambulances were a regular fixture outside their shows, and the band were offered their own signature ice cream line.

Eventually signing a much heralded international contract with EMI which resulted in the release of "Shy Girl/Does it Matter as Much to You" and "Shy Girl/Does It Matter As Much To You" under their original name Beathoven. The band were then released from their label, (despite being the favored nominees for Best New Group of 1978 Award from amongst Cold Chisel, Models and The Sports). When Kim Fowley discovered them in his Australian search for "the new Abba or Beatles" they were forced to change their name to The Innocents, as EMI still owned the name under their contractual agreement.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Saints - 1977 - This Perfect Day 12 inch

This Perfect Day/L-I-E-S/Do The Robot

The Saints are a rock band, originating in Brisbane, Australia founded by Chris Bailey (singer-songwriter, later guitarist), Ivor Hay (drummer), and Ed Kuepper (guitarist-songwriter) in 1974. Alongside mainstay Bailey, the group has had numerous line-ups. In 1975, contemporaneously with American punk rock band the Ramones, The Saints were employing the fast tempos, raucous vocals and "buzz saw" guitar that characterised early punk rock. With their debut single, "(I'm) Stranded", in September 1976, they became the first "punk" band outside the US to release a record, ahead of better-known acts including the Sex Pistols and The Clash. They are one of the first and most influential groups of the genre.

In early 1979, the Saints had imploded, leaving Bailey to continue the band, with a variable line-up. All Fools Day peaked in the Top 30 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart in April 1986. Bailey also has a solo career and had relocated to Sweden by 1994. The band was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2001.
A limited edition pressing  12" record of The Saints’ This Perfect Day. Released in 1977, this 12 inch pressing features an additional track, “Do the Robot”, not available on the 7 inch pressing.

Rumour - 1973 - Play Mama Play

Play Mama Play/Sunshine Lady

In the small Waikato town of Huntly, twin brothers John (Shade) and Gerard Smith teamed up with their schoolmates and neighbours Jacques Koolen and Ross Hindman and formed a singing group which won a talent quest at Huntly College in 1962. Not long after, they became a Shadows-emulating band called The Sapphires and began performing at local and district functions, frequently in Hamilton at the Starlight Ballroom, the Waikato's entertainment mecca. Changing their name to the Surfires and moving to Auckland they recorded 3 singles on the Zodiac label at Stebbing's Recording Studio during 1966/67 "I Can't Wait For Summertime"/"Flying Saucers", "Friction"/"A True Gentleman"  and "Notice Me"/"When Will The Seasons Bring". All songs were written by lead guitarist John Smith with Gerard Smith taking care of the vocals and rhythm guitar, Hindman on bass and Koolen on drums.

The move to Auckland coincided with Hindman leaving to go to Otago University so the band changed tack and brought in Colleen Ralph to strengthen the vocal line-up. The band quickly came to the attention of artist manager Ray Columbus who changed the name to The Rumour at the suggestion of Dunedin radio presenter Neil Collins, and signed the group to the Polygram label. Their first single "What Have You Done With That Day God Gave You"/"Darling Kathy Baby" came out in 1970 and was followed by "We've Got To Learn To Live Together"/"Teach Your Children". At this point Ralph left the band and Hindman, having completed his pharmacy degree at university, rejoined.

 The band's single "Garden Of Your Smile"/"We Can't Know The Reason Why" began to get airplay in early 1971. In mid 1971 their first album Garden Of Smiles was released. It wasn't until they entered the 1971 New Zealand Television songwriting contest "Studio One" and became winners, that they rose to prominence. "L'Amour est l'enfant de la Liberte (Love is the child of Freedom)" written by John Smith established the band nationwide and they frequently toured with and/or supported overseas acts such as Cilla Black, The Beach Boys, Robin Gibb, Neil Sedaka and Lobo amongst others. "L'Amour" went on to achieve double gold for sales in excess of 125,000, remarkable by NZ standards of the time. The second album Land Of New Vigour and Zeal came out in 1972 and produced two more singles, "Holy Morning"/"Two Ways To Look" and "No Money On Our Trees"/"When Will The Seasons Bring". These two songs reaching numbers 3 and 21 respectively on the national charts.

 A third album Holy Morning was also released in 1972. It contained songs from the first two albums, plus a few new songs. Two more singles came out in 1973, "Like Children Do"/"The Fish and the Alley Of Destruction" and "Beautiful To Me"/"Play Mama Play" before the release of the fourth album An Evening At Home - The Best Of The Rumour. By this time John "Shade" Smith was in demand as a songwriter and, despite the band's growing popularity he subsequently left the group to work as a solo artist. Gerard Smith and Koolen continued the Rumour as a duo recording several singles and the album entitled An Evening At Home. At the behest of the record company, the band went to Australia to record a single "Play Mama Play" for release in Australia and NZ but the song didn't gain traction, either in NZ or Australia but it did chart in Sydney #20 and Brisbane #11. The band had reached the end of the road and decided to call it quits in 1974.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

No Nonsense - 1984 - A Round Tuit

Changes Must Be Made/Next Time/Hawaii Five-O/Changes Must Be Made (Extended Party Mix)/Hawaii Five-O (Extended Party Mix)

  No Nonsense a is Melbourne (Australian) band that played the local pubs and clubs throughout the 1980's. Classified as Ska by some and nutty by others, the fact remains there sound was totally infectious. They borrowed styles from international acts like Bad Manners and Madness, but still had a very unique sound, that ensured a large and loyal following.

Before they were known as No Nonsense they were Dicky Moron and the Rude Boys. Formed in April 1981 the band members included Rod McQueen (Guitar) Richard Bruce (Vocals) Morry (Bass) Rob Drinkwater (drums) Pete (keyboards).

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Dave Allenby - 1969 - Where Has All The Love Gone

Where Has All The Love Gone/Somewhere In This World

Dave Allenby was a popular Sydney TV and club performer of the late '60s /early '70s who made several interesting crossovers into the pop arena. In April-May 1970 he supported The Beach Boys on their Australasian tour, performing on all the New Zealand and Australian shows except for the band's concluding 10-day residency at Sydney's Chevron Hotel.

Allenby also had a brief burst of pop success in 1971 when he released a single on the independent Chart label. Backed by popular Sydney band Autumn, he recorded the catchy single "She Works In A Woman's Way", backed by a raucous version of the Leadbelly standard "Midnight Special", arranged by Barrie McAskill, lead singer of Levi Smith's Clefs, The single was quite successful in Sydney, where Allenby and Autumn were both popular, and it also managed to briefly scrape into the bottom spot on the national Top 40 in February 1971. The two tracks were included on Autumn's debut album Song For Raymondo, and "Midnight Special" was also included on the Chart EP The Best of Whisky A-Go-Go, which comprised two tracks by Autumn ("Midnight Special" and "Day Tripper") and two tracks by Levi Smith's Clefs. This EP is highly sought after and now fetches around $200 on the collector's market.

The Cicadas - 1964 - That's What I Want

That's What I Want/Hey Wha D'ya Say

Single on RCA by Beatles-influenced Sydney band, produced by Johnny Devlin. It was also released as a single on RCA in the USA in '64 it reached #16 in Sydney and #2 Brisbane in 1964.

The Cicadas started out as a middle-of-the-road band called the The Hi-Fi's until they caught the Merseybeat bug. They later moved to the UK where they released a number of singles, notably The Magic Book (1966), using the name The Gibsons.

The Cicadas were one of the first of Australia's bands to be influenced by The Beatles. Other early Beatle bands were Melbourne's Flies (which gave the world Ronnie Burns), Sydney's Rajahs, who had transformed themselves from 50s rocker Dig Richard's backing band, The R'jays, by putting on Beatle wigs and turbans, and The D-Men, whose main claims to fame were that they were the first resident band at Sydney's first disco, Beatle Village, and came from the Sydney suburb of Liverpool (their lead singer Freddie Cooke later migrated to Melbourne, joined The Vibrants and changed his name to Marc Leon).

The Cicadas, formed in 1963, were originally an MOR band doing TV variety shows under the name The Hi-Fi’s until the Merseybeat boom arrived. They signed to RCA and released their first and most successful single, the Carter-Lewis song That's What I Want in 1964. This had been a minor hit for UK band The Marauders in 1963 and, unusually, they covered both sides of the Marauders single, the flipside being Hey Wha' D'Ya Say, for their own single.

They then put out a second single, written by veteran rocker, then RCA's A & R manager, Johnny Devlin, with a similar Beatles title, I Need You. This was a minor hit in Sydney.

After a further, unsuccessful, single, a cover of another Marauders single, Carter-Lewis's Always on My Mind, they relocated to the UK and changed their name to The Gibsons. They released a number of singles on various labels there, including the catchy The Magic Book (rated elsewhere as one of 1966's better singles).

Although they outlasted their Beatle boom contemporaries back in Australia, none of their singles was successful. They put out their last single in 1967.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Jimmy Barnes - 1988 - When A Man Loves A Woman

When A Man Loves A Woman/I'd Die To Be With You Tonight

 James Dixon Swan (born 28 April 1956), better known as Jimmy Barnes, is a Scottish-born Australian rock singer-songwriter. His career both as a solo performer and as the lead vocalist with the rock band Cold Chisel has made him one of the most popular and best-selling Australian music artists of all time. The combination of 14 Australian Top 40 albums for Cold Chisel and 13 charting solo albums, including nine No. 1s, gives Barnes the highest number of hit albums of any Australian artist.

Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes released a live version of "When a Man Loves a Woman" as a single from his 1988 album Barnestorming that was a number 3 hit in Australia.

Kim Hart - 1981 - Young Girl

Young Girl/I Will

 Kim Denise Hart was born in Auckland on 9th May 1960. She was the lead vocalist in the Penrose High School Band, Chalkdust, and with that band, entered the 1976 Battle Of The Bands competition, where they became finalists. Kim appeared in the television musical 'Sing', which lead to numerous appearances on local TV shows.

Signed to EMI for all her releases, Kim was looked after by Mike Harvey, who also wrote all of her New Zealand recordings. Kim's first single in 1977 was "You Don't Need Me"/"Born To Wander". This was followed in 1978 with "You're A Changed Man"/"You Light Up My Light" and "On My Toes Again"/"How Deep Is Your Love". Kim came second in the New Zealand finals of The South Pacific Song Contest with "On My Toes Again" and Mike took her to Tokyo to represent New Zealand at the Yamaha Song Festival in Japan. In 1978 Kim was special guest singer on John Rowles' New Zealand Tour. This was the same year that she released her only album, called "Kim Hart".

A new single followed the album late in 1978 called "Fly Right Away"/"Blame It On The Sun" and another in early 1979, "Running 'Round In Circles"/"Love Too Much", was her only release for that year. 1980 saw her biggest and best known hit, "Love At First Night". Backed with "The Singer and the Song", it reached number 15 on the National charts in June. The song was also released in Australia, where it fared even better. Even though all her future releases were now issued in both countries, she was unable to match the success of "Love At First Night". Three more singles in 1980 were "Feel Like Makin' Love"/"Love's So Deceiving", "It's So Easy", with the same flip as the previous release, and "You're The One"/"Off My Heart". Only one single was issued in 1981, "Young Girl"/"I Will".

Kim had one final release in Australia in 1984 when "Heartbeat"/"Don't Give Up" was released on RCA.

Mondo Rock - 1985 - At The Moment

The Moment/Take Me Away

Mondo Rock was an Australian rock band formed in November 1976 by mainstay singer-songwriter, Ross Wilson (ex-Daddy Cool). Their second album, Chemistry was issued in July 1981, which peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. It was followed by Nuovo Mondo in July 1982 which reached No. 7, The Modern Bop in April 1984 which appeared at No. 2 and a compilation album, Up to the Moment in June 1985, which peaked at No. 5. Mondo Rock reached the top 10 on the related Kent Music Report Singles Chart with "State of the Heart" (October 1980), "Cool World" (April 1981) and "Come Said the Boy" (December 1983). The group disbanded in 1991, although they have periodically undertaken reunion concerts. According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "by way of ceaseless touring and the release of a series of sophisticated pop rock albums, the band was one of the most popular acts in Australia during the early 1980s".

In June 1985 Polydor Records released Mondo Rock's compilation album, Up to the Moment, which peaked at No. 5. It provided two new singles, "Good Advice" (November 1984) and "The Moment" (May 1985).

Chris Morrow - 1987- Just What I Needed

Just What I Needed/Big Money

In the early 1980s, Australia was home to a host of excellent pop and new wave bands such as The Reels, The Dugites, Eurogliders, and Flaming Hands, and Sydney’s The Numbers were no doubt one of the finest. The band went through many lineup changes in their existence from 1978 to 1984, but the one constant was brother and sister duo Chris and Annalisse Morrow. Throughout the group’s existence, Chris shined as a talented songwriter and guitarist, while Annalisse was a strong bassist and gave the material a distinct personality with her hard-edged, commanding vocals.

After two albums and years of hard work on the road and in the studio with little commercial success to show for it, The Numbers soon called it quits. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that Chris and Annalisse released more music together, this time as Maybe Dolls. While this incarnation of the band gave the duo their biggest success to date in the form of the catchy pop singles “Nervous Kid” and “Cool Jesus,” the band once again faced record label difficulties, grew disillusioned, and a recorded second album was never released.

This solo single was released in 1987 by Chris.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Ray Rivamonte - 1976 - Birth Of The Sun

Only A Crazy Man Knows /Birth Of The Sun/Five Miles/Aborigine Gyn/Hello Sundown/ Lassiter's Ride/Whirly Whirly/In A Pidgery Dreamtime/Birth Of The Sun Reprise

Birth of the Sun is the name given to both a dreamtime story and a wonderful, but forgotten album by singer songwriter Ray Rivamonte.

In the dreamtime story a Brolga and an Emu fight over an egg and the result is the creation of the sun.

Ray Rivamonte’s story tells how he spent the first half of the 70s in Hollywood writing and perfecting the sounds that eventually found their way on to his debut LP.

When Ray Rivamonte was sixteen he travelled to Central Australia looking for fresh Australian folk songs that he could add to his repertoire. Believing that the Aboriginal music was the true folk music of the country, he visited places like Alice Springs, Hermansberg and Uluru asking the locals he met about their lives and their music. In the end he didn’t learn any old material he could use but the stories he heard influenced new songs that he wrote upon his return to Melbourne. The first of these songs was 'Jimmy My Boy'.

In the late 60s Rivamonte moved to California to try his hand in the bustling music scene. He auditioned for several major labels without success but the songs that seemed to impress most were the ones that drew on his experiences in Central Australia. In 1971 he got the chance to record the first of the songs that would later appear on Birth Of The Sun.

In 1973 he spent time in the studios of Paul Beaver, one half of pioneering electronic music duo Beaver & Krause. He was experimenting with synthesizers and soundscapes in an attempt to create a soundtrack to the dreamtime story about the creation of the sun.  Later in his career he would continue building music like this for library production music and films like The Chant Of Jimmy Blacksmith.

The Birth Of The Sun was finally finished in 1976 and launched in Melbourne. It features many crack session musicians Rivamonte had got to know while working in Hollywood including Johnny Almond and Jim Keltner. Initial sales were very strong but the record struggled to get radio airplay and there were difficulties with getting more copies pressed after only 2000 were done initially.


Thursday, 10 March 2016

Jon English - 1977 - Minutes To Midnight

Lay It All Down/Hey Moonshine/Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood/Whole Lot More/A Long Way To Go/Behind Blue Eyes/Everytime I Sing a Love Song/Break Another Dawn/Lady L/Midnight Suite

Jon English (26 March 1949 – 9 March 2016)
Australian performer Jon English has died, aged 66, due to complications from surgery.

English was well known for his work in music, television and on the stage, most notably his roles as Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar in the 1970s and later as Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance.

A statement from his talent representatives, Ambition Entertainment, said at the time of his passing he was surrounded by family members, including his four children, wife Carmen, sister Janet and brother Jeremy, as well as other close family members. Late last month he was hospitalised due to "unexpected ill health". His management postponed a number of shows in Tamworth and Dubbo that conflicted with his scheduled surgery.

His former manager Peter Rix said he died after what was supposed to be a routine operation. "They discovered problems with aorta valves, a lot of bleeding was involved," Rix said.
Robert Rigby, the manager of English's record label, said the sudden death had shocked everyone. "Jon was truly an Aussie rock legend," he said.

"This news has come as a very big shock to family and friends and of course the industry as a whole.

"Jon was not expecting anything more than a routine operation but due to complications unfortunately he passed away at almost midnight."