Saturday, 30 April 2016

John Laws - 1972 - Rocks In M' Pocket And Dirt In M' Shoes

Flashback Blues/Daddy What If/Big Willie Broke The Jail Tonight/Stay Away From Lonely Places/Sing The Blues To Big Daddy/My Next Impersonation/A Woman Indeed/You've Let Yourself Go/Sinful Valley/Hey Joe/Aunt Maudie's Fun Garden/If You Were Mine

Richard John Sinclair Laws, CBE (born 8 August 1935), an Australian radio presenter, sometimes known as Lawsie, was from the 1970s until his retirement in 2007, the host of a hugely successful morning radio program, which mixed music with interviews, opinion, live advertising readings and listener talkback. His distinctive voice earned him the nickname the Golden Tonsils.

Laws' radio show was syndicated throughout Australia for many years and was consistently one of the most popular and influential programs in the Australian media. Laws is also a familiar voice for generations of Australians through his large and varied body of work as a voice-over artist for commercials, and as a celebrity endorser of commercial products, notably Valvoline motor oil, with his popular catchphrase "Valvoline, you know what I mean" and Oral-B toothbrushes (the slogan "Oral-B, the toothbrush more dentists use.")

 Laws was on Australian talk radio longer than any other broadcaster and as a result of his popularity, for many years he has been cited as Australia's highest-paid radio personality. Although he commented regularly on topical news, Laws did not consider himself a journalist, saying he considered himself foremost to be an entertainer and salesman. Laws had become one of the most influential media personalities in Australia over the last three decades, and one of the few commercial radio personalities whose interviews with state and federal political leaders are considered to have a significant influence of the course of politics in New South Wales especially, and Australia in general.

John Laws was fairly successful as a recording artist from the Fifties through to the Seventies releasing numerous singles, EP's and albums his seventies output was mainly Country and Trucking material.

Monday, 25 April 2016

U-Turn - 1977 - Living In The City

Sidewalk Teaser/I Am So Lucky/Living In The City/Small Talk/Motor Machine/One Day Love Affair/All Night Long/U-Turn Me On/I Like It/Lady Of Light

After posting the single had a request for the album so here it is.

U-Turns' only album it was released on 'Lazer Records' and as it is produced by Sherbet producer Richard Lush (which suggests that someone was prepared to throw some money behind them) and the hairstyles were fashioned by a Faces fan. Also special mention is made of Cold Chisel and Angels producer Mark Opitz for 'all his help'.
 Musically U-Turn remind me of 70s UK good-time rock bands and the album does have some catchy tunes such as 'I Like It' and 'Lady of Light'.
 Other than guitarist Shane Pacey, who composed or co-composed the album with other band members, the rest of the band do not seem to have gone on to any band of note. Pacey did re-emerged a decade later in the blues band Bondi Cigars.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

U-Turn - 1977 - Traffic Lights

Traffic Lights/Long Lost Years

U-Turn were a Sydney bad formed in 1977 The band members were Chris Fitzgibbon vocals. Shane Pacey guitar, George Steffe guitar, Shane Rogers bass and Geoff Full drums.

They released 3 singles "Traffic Lights" "Living In The City" and "One Day Love Affair" plus one album Living In The City.

Ward 13 - 1981 - See Venice And Die

See Venice And Die/Cold Hearted Lover

Sydney band Ward 13 started out as a brash, 1960s influenced, hard rock'n'roll band. Later on, the band eschewed the raunchy rock stylings of its onstage sound for a more textured, varied approach on record. Of the original Ward 13 line-up, only Leigh Johnston had any amount of experience, having been a member of the nascent Rose Tattoo. Original line-up: John Arthurs (lead vocals), Ron Roberts (lead guitar, keyboards), Leigh Hamilton Johnston (rhythm guitar, vocals; ex-Rose Tattoo), Peter Mullens (bass), Stephen Walls (drums)

Ward 13 worked the Sydney pub circuit for 18 months before issuing the five-track, 12-inch EP Robot Wizards in mid-1980. Issued on the Survival label (through EMI), the EP consolidated the band's live following. With tracks like `Star System 5' on the EP, Ward 13 was unjustly accused of emulating Mi-Sex, who had just hit with the album Space Race. Undaunted, Ward 13 returned with the album Flash as a Rat (April 1981) and its two punchy singles `See Venice and Die'/`Cold Hearted Lover' (March) reached #31 in Sydney and `News for You'/`Idle Chatter' (July). Ward 13 ended the year with a third single, `Slow Dancer'/`Time We Live' (November). 

In early 1982, Ward 13 signed a new deal with Mercury/PolyGram which resulted in the single `Midnight Caravan'/`Private Eye' (June). By the time the band came to record the mini-album Too Much Talk, only Arthurs, Roberts and Mullens remained from the original line-up. Newcomers Steve Lunn (guitar, sax; ex-Tigers, Think), Andrew Ross (keyboards, sax; ex-Kid Royal, Marcia Hines Band) and Tim Powles (drums; ex-Flight X7) completed the new line-up. Too Much Talk (December 1982) produced the single `Drift Away'/`Can't Say No' (also October). Ward 13 broke up in 1983. Tim Powles joined The Venetians.

The Top Cats - 1966 - Dream Lover

Dream Lover/Lost John

The Top Cats were a Melbourne band formed in 1963. They released 2 singles Dianna and Dream Lover both in 1966.

Band members were Louis Ferruggia bass, Eddie Luka drums, Andy D Scott guitar and Peter Williams guitar vocal.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

R. J. Taylor - 1970 - Can't Shoot Your Brother Down

Can't Shoot Your Brother Down/Ups And Downs

 The second of 3 rare Caesar's singles was "Can't Shoot Your Brother Down" / "Ups and downs" by the R.J. Taylor Band, led by Robert J. Taylor, formerly of James Taylor Move. One of the former members of the group, keyboard player John A. Bird,  reports that they worked extensively for Caesar's disco in Sydney, playing up to ten gigs a week there during 1969-70.  The Band released 2 singles "Can't Shoot Your Brother Down" and "I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts".

Monday, 18 April 2016

The Love Story - 1970 - Neanderthal Man

Neanderthal Man/But Not For Me

In 1970 ,when Australia's commercial radio industry got into a spittin' contest with the record companies over royalties, it led to what became known as the 1970 Record Ban, where Aussie commercial stations refused to play Australian and UK artists from major record labels.
The companies wanted to negotiate a new royalty deal, but the commercial stations refused. In the end, the radio stations won.

For the 6 months that the ban was in place, there was a window of opportunity for new Independent labels to get established. Most notable of these was the Fable label, but, there were others, like Adelaide's Gamba label...and, the AIR label from Melbourne.

 This record was an Australian cover version of the Hotlegs UK was released on an AIR 45 around September 1970, and, in the absence of any commercial radio airplay for the Hotlegs version, it charted in every state...Brisbane # 12, Sydney #21, Melbourne # 30, Adelaide # 6 and Perth # 19.

Band Members were Ian 'Turps' Turpie (Guitar, Vocals)  Buddy England (Guitar, Vocals) and Richard Wright (Drums)

Russell Morris - 1976 - Turn It On

Two Wheeled Flyer/RJSS/Superman/Cloudy Day/So Good To See It/Wolves In White/Get You Where You Where You Want/Everlovin' Woman/Broken Egg Shells/Winter Songs

 Russell Morris is one of Australia's most enduring singers. A major pop star in the late '60s, he went on to become one of the country's first singer/songwriters. Both ends of his career feature predominantly in the soundtrack to the movie The Dish.
 Morris' career started in September 1966 with the formation of the Melbourne group Somebody's Image, which rose to prominence with a local hit version of the Joe South song "Hush." Morris was convinced to leave Somebody's Image for a solo career. His manager/producer, local music identity Ian Meldrum, spent unprecedented hours and money to create a seven-minute production extravaganza around a song called "The Real Thing." Once the result was released to shocked radio programmers who had never been asked to play such a long Australian single before, it was up to Morris' personality, singing, and performing talents to make the record work. It reached Australia's number one spot in June 1969. Without any promotional support from Morris, "The Real Thing" reached number one in Chicago, Houston, and New York.

 The second single -- "Part Three Into Paper Walls" ("The Real Thing" revisited) and "The Girl That I Love" (a pop ballad more indicative of what was to come) -- became a double-sided number one hit, the first time an Australian artist had scored consecutive number ones with their first two singles. Morris, in the meantime, had traveled to the U.K. to help promote the release of "The Real Thing."
 Morris had now decided to concentrate on his own songwriting and with the cream of Australian musicians, spent almost a year painstakingly recording and re-recording what became the Bloodstone album. It was one of the first Australian albums of its kind, the first from an Australian singer/songwriter, and a whole world away from the extravagant "The Real Thing." The hit single from Bloodstone was the resonant, romantic "Sweet Sweet Love." The following year, in 1972, Morris delivered the equally beautiful "Wings of an Eagle."

  In 1973, Morris moved to London to record an album only to discover there was no record contract waiting for him. He relocated to New York and set to work on an album there, including new versions of both "Sweet Sweet Love" and "Wings of an Eagle" and the single "Let's Do It." A second American album appeared in 1976. It was two more years before Morris was granted his green card, enabling him to tour America. But by then, any chance of an American career had bolted. Instead, Morris returned to a very different Australia than the one he had left behind five years earlier.
 During his solo career, Morris had done limited live performances without a band of his own. He then formed the Russell Morris Band and threw himself into a busy round of live performances, writing songs designed to be played live rather than chasing radio airplay, but scoring a couple of minor hits on the way. Eventually, the band played and recorded as Russell Morris & the Rubes.

 In 1991, Morris released another solo album, A Thousand Suns, and he spent the subsequent years as part of a highly successful performing trio with fellow '60s heroes Ronnie Burns and Darryl Cotton of the Zoot, with a repertoire made up of their individual hits from yesterday, as well as new songs. In 2001, Jim Keays of the Masters Apprentices replaced Burns. Also in 2001, Morris' "The Real Thing" and "Wings of an Eagle" featured prominently in the Australian-made movie The Dish (centered around man's landing on the moon) and Midnight Oil released their version of "The Real Thing" as a one-off single, the first time this highly regarded band had chosen to record a cover.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Lime Spiders - 1987 - Weirdo Libido 12" EP

Weirdo Libido/Here With My Love/I Was Alone/Mr Soul/Time Of Day/My Flash On You 

Lime Spiders were an Australian post-punk unit resurrecting the trashier elements of '60s garage and psychedelic rock with willful abandon. Vocalist Mick Blood formed the band in the early '80s with guitarist Gerald Corben, bassist Tony Bambach and drummer Ricky Lawson. The band recorded two singles during 1983 (released on the Slave Girl EP two years later) and signed to Virgin Records. Lime Spiders' first album was the excellent The Cave Comes Alive!, but the following year's Volatile was a bit of disappointment, veering closer to stultifying hard rock. The group broke up after 1990's Beethoven's Fist.

Not only could they cut it live with the best of them, but the Spiders built a wonderful legacy of melodic, energetic, rock tracks that connected with fans worldwide.From the early days of the 25th Hour EP, through the Cave Comes Album, Volatile and the under-rated Beethoven's Fist albums, the Spiders created some incredible rock music. In later years the band released a best of (Nine Miles High), and the powerful 'Live at the Espy' album.

The Spiders have the honor of their music video for Weirdo Libido being the first video ever played on ABC TV's Rage program, and the single spent a number of weeks in the Australian Top 50 charts.The Lime Spiders catalogue is now being prepared for digital release and is expected to be available in late April/early May 2016. Until then, check out the music video for 'The Other Side Of You' of the Volatile album.

Jon English - 1989 - Always The Busker

Always The Busker/Love Goes On

Jon English has been around it seems forever from his early days with Sebastian Hardie then onto Jesus Christ Superstar which he owned then onto his solo career. Hits galore an acting career the mini series Against the Wind being the high point, stage musicals he's done it all.

This single released 1989 is a song from the album "Busking" .  Sadly since first posting this single Jon has passed on due to complications during an operation.   March 26, 1949 - March 9, 2016

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Matt Flinders - 1972 - Matt Flinders On Television

Long Live Love/Home/Everything A Man Could Ever Need/All Of A Sudden My Heart Sings/Pieces Of Dreams/Blowin' In The Wind/You Can Have Her/Somewhere My Love/Oh My Child/Fools Rush In/At Last, At Last/This Is My Life

 Sylvan Louis Bonett was born in Egypt of mixed (French, English, Italian) parentage. His family moved to England in 1950, then to Australia in 1951. Bonett performed his National Service with the Royal Australian Air Force at Point Cook, Victoria in the mid-fifties, after which he began singing and playing guitar in Melbourne (during this time he performed under the name Louis Bonett). He began playing double bass with some musical groups, touring Japan and Australia. In the early 1960s he returned to England, formed a musical group, and worked in London for four years.

When he returned to Australia, he led the band (as well as singing and playing the double bass) at the Chevron Hotel in Melbourne. During that time he performed several singing commercials that were used on Australian radio and television stations; they came to the attention of Ron Tudor of Astor Records, who offered him a recording contract. Tudor suggested a name change to something which DJs would more easily remember and pronounce correctly. Flinders' first recording for Astor was Something Is Happening, which peaked at #14 on the charts. The following year his song Picking Up Pebbles was released, it rose to the top of the chart. After that time his songs were released on Tudor's own record label, "Fable". He also began working with ABC to present shows on both radio and television. One year his television program won an award.

 Flinders had two top ten singles in Australia: Picking up Pebbles (1969) which reached No.1 in Melbourne and Butterfly (1971). He has received several recording awards and professional accolades for his talent, both as a performer and professional musician.

Flinders appeared on his own television show, Matt Flinders and Friends (1972–1973), as well as his own radio show, both for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Flinders is currently retired from the entertainment industry and now works as a civil celebrant with his wife, Coralie. His music can be found on his site

Finch - 1976 - Thunderbird

Stay/Pink Spiders/Hey Spunky/Poser/Crystal Country Gorge/Sail Away/Valley Of Fears/One Nighter/Mushroom

Finch were an Australian hard and pub rock band, initially forming as Stillwater in 1972 and by the following year had changed their name to Finch. The line-up of Finch was Peter McFarlane on drums, Owen Orford on lead vocals, Bob Spencer on lead guitar, and Tony Strain on bass guitar. They won a 2SM/Pepsi Pop Poll, earning a contract with Picture Records. The group released their first single, "And She Sings", in January 1974 while Spencer was still in high school. Finch contributed to the soundtrack album for the surfing film, Drouyn (August 1974), which featured world champion, Peter Drouyn. Finch's tracks, "Sail Away", "Lady of Truth" and "Roses" were used in contrast to "jazzy incidental material". The Canberra Times' Michael Foster noted the "sound is no less compelling, and perhaps is more evocative because it is less insistent on the one beat and theme".

The band worked in the pub rock circuit and released a self-financed album, Thunderbird, in May 1976 on Eagle Records. It was produced by John Zulaikha (Buffalo), Brian Todd (their manager) and the band. Tony Catterall of The Canberra Times felt it was "not without its merits" as the group "are always at least exuberant", however "it suffers sadly from a lack of originality (Free, Status Quo and Black Sabbath influences abound), naivety in the lyrics and poor production". Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, noted the group "had a good deal of English-flavoured blues and hard rock buzzing around in their systems". In December they released a single, "Short Changed Again", which peaked at number 29 on the Sydney chart. As the single gained notice their distribution company foundered.

 Late in 1976 Finch moved to Melbourne and supported a national tour by Supernaut. In March 1977 Spencer left to replace Red Symons on guitar in Skyhooks. Tony Strain left the band at the same time. From April to July the band went through nine different members (including Sam Mallett, Skeeta Pereira, Gary Quince, and Graham Thompson) before Peter McFarlane and Orford were joined by Mark Evans (ex AC/DC) on bass guitar, Graham Kennedy on guitar and vocals, and Chris Jones on guitars. The band signed to CBS / Epic Records and issued the single, "One More Time" in October. They started recording material for their second album, Nothing to Hide, in the following month. Dave Hinds (ex-Marshall Brothers, Rabbit) replaced Chris Jones (who joined Feather) on guitar and vocals in December.

 The band adopted a more hard rock style, and the next single, "Where Were You?" reached number 14 in Melbourne and number 33 in Sydney in February 1978. Nothing to Hide (March) was produced by Peter Dawkins (Dragon) and provided a second single, the title track (May). The Canberra Times' Luis Feliu opined that they continued to provide "punchy rock and roll and a bit of R and B, the British way ... However, Finch's style has now become overworked to the point of being uninteresting". Finch signed with CBS's United States subsidiary label, Portrait Records. Due to a Dutch band also called Finch, the Australian group were renamed as Contraband.

 In October 1978 Portrait issued Contraband's debut single, "That's Your Way" and Barry Cram (ex-Pantha, Avalanche, Russell Morris Band) replaced McFarlane on drums, who joined Swanee. In May the following year an album, Contrabandwas released, which was also produced by Dawkins. Some interest was generated in the US but the album was not successful in Australia. It provided two singles "Rainin' Again" (March 1979) and "Gimme Some Lovin'" (July) – which is a cover of The Spencer Davis Group 1966 single. Earlier Finch material was re-released under the Contraband name. However Portrait dropped them later in the year and they broke up.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Blue Echoes - 1973 - Going To A Party

Going To A Party/Don't You Want Me

For a number of years The Blue Echoes had provided an ongoing party atmosphere at pubs and clubs in Melbourne and then recorded an album of party standards and favourites just before they went their separate ways. The album "Dancing In The Streets" was used as a staple by Mobile DJs in the late 1970s early 1980s. 

They were the resident band at Tottenham Hotel for numerous years. The Blue Echoes are credited as a cabaret act playing covers but had a wealth of experience. Members had been playing and recording with bands such as the Checkmates, Blue Jays, Jigsaw, and Fantasy.

The Blue Echoes one of the longest surviving Australian groups, having stayed together in various line-ups for twenty years spanning early 1964 to late 1983.  The original line up consisted of : Ray Eames, Ray Quon, Ron Chapman, Phil Golotta & Chris Stoddard.

One interesting side fact is that Phil Golotta wrote "Hitch A Ride On A Smile" for Jamie Redfern who had a big hit with it in 1974. This song is is available on CD as of 2009 but is also available for download on this blog - please use search facility to locate the track.

The Blue Echoes had a few local hits in Melbourne one of which was "Going To A Party". The first singles were on the Image label.

Band Members.

Phil Golotta - Vocals
Russell Boyle - bass
Don Mudie - bass
Doug Reece - bass
Chris Studdard - bass
Ron Chapman - drums
Ron Blackway - keyboards
Ray Quon - keyboards
Johnm Rodgers - steel guitar
Ray Harriss - guitar
Joe Paparone - guitar
Andy Doig - guitar
Ray Eames - guitar
Rod Kirkman - Vocals
Robin Jolley - Vocals