Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Blackfeather - Find Somebody to Love Copperwine - Golden Angels
Phil Manning - Walk In The Light
Sherbet - Back Home
Billy Thorpe - Good Mornin' Little School Girl
Stafford Bridge - Song For A Blind Man
Country Radio - Last Time Around
Warren Morgan - Just For You
Jeff St. John & Copperwine - Keep On Growing
Glenn Cardier - I Am The Day
Wendy Saddington & Copperwine - Backlash Blues
Chain - 32／20
Blackfeather are an Australian rock group which formed in April 1970. The band has had numerous line-ups, mostly fronted by founding lead singer, Neale Johns. An early heavy rock version recorded their debut album, At the Mountains of Madness (April 1971), which peaked at number seven on the Go-Set Top 20 Albums chart. It provided the single, "Seasons of Change" (May 1971), which was co-written by Johns with lead guitarist, John Robinson. In July 1972 a piano-based line-up led by Johns issued an Australian number-one single, "Boppin' the Blues"/"Find Somebody To Love", which is a cover version of the Carl Perkins' 1956 single.
Blackfeather formed in April 1970 in Sydney by Leith Corbett on bass guitar, Mike McCormack on drums, and John Robinson on lead guitar (all from the Dave Miller Set), plus lead vocalist, Neale Johns. Robinson recalled meeting Johns, "a small guy with a huge voice, Neale was very taciturn. He was into the blues and had excellent range." Their name was derived from two found suggested in a book, "Whitefeather" and "Heavyfeather". Corbett and McCormack left soon after, replaced by Robert Fortesque on bass guitar and Alexander Kash on drums. Corbett subsequently reunited with singer Dave Miller to record a duo album, Reflections of a Pioneer. Johns and Robinson wrote or co-wrote the band's original material.
Philip John "Phil" Manning (born 1948) is an Australian blues singer-songwriter and guitarist. Manning has been a member of various groups including Chain and has had a solo career. As a member of Chain, Manning co-wrote their January 1971 single "Black and Blue" which became number one on the Melbourne charts and also Judgement, which reached number two in Sydney. The related album, Toward the Blues followed in September and peaked in the top 10 albums chart. Manning left Chain in July 1971 to work with Warren Morgan (ex-Chain, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs) on keyboards in a band called Pilgrimage. They issued a single, "Just For You/Walk In The Light" in November 1971.
Sherbet were Australia's most popular pop group of the 70s with 20 consecutive hit records and 17 album, accounting for 10 platinum and 14 gold disc awards. In 1969 the Sydney entertainment scene was almost totally geared towards satisfying the money-rich comfort-starved American Vietnam troops who came for official Rest And Recreation. Sydney's nightclubs gave them what they wanted - r&b, soul, funk, good-time rock - and these influences spilled over into the pop group Sherbet, formed without singer Daryl Braithwaite, but completed by his falsetto-capable vocals. They were the archetypical 70s girl fodder pop band - groomed hair, colorful satin stage outfits. "You're All Woman" b/w "Back Home" Charting at #13 was a single taken from their debut 1972 album Time Change... A Natural Progression which also charted reaching #66.
With the "classic" line-up of Quill, Tolhurst, Bird, Bois, Bolton and Blanchflower, Country Radio recorded their second and most successful single, "Gyspy Queen", with producer John French, in Melbourne in April 1972. It was co-written by Quill and Tolhurst, and featured a string arrangement by session musician, Peter Jones (who later worked on Quill's solo album, The Outlaw's Reply). Released in August, the single spent 13 weeks in the Go-Set National Top 40 and peaked at No. 12.
Warren Morgan was a bit of a journeyman spending a lot of his early years moving between 2 bands Chain and the Aztecs he started out in his first band the Beat 'n' Tracks along with future Chain member Phil Manning. Beat 'n' Tracks eventually morphed into Chain who recorded "Chain Live"(1970) from there Warren would be asked by Billy Thorpe to join the Aztecs he wold feature on the ground breaking "The Hoax Is Over" (1970) album.
After a falling out with Billy, Warren moved on to form Pilgramage which he formed with Phil Manning they released "Just For You/Walk In The Light" after not making much money they decided to split Phil going on to Band of Talabene and Warren reforming Chain and recording "Chain Live Again" (1971). After the Aztecs played Sunbury Warren was again asked to join them and accepted. In 1973 he and Billy would record "Thump'n Pig and Puff'n Billy" a guest on the album would be Chain alumnus Phil Manning. He would later go on to be a member of Gerry and The Joy Band and also a member of the All Stars who backed Stevie Wright and then later John Paul Young.
St John unveiled his new band, Copperwine (aka Jeff St John's Copperwine), in early 1969 with low-key dates in Perth, before returning to Sydney. Copperwine soon commanded a rabid following in that city's fast-developing 'head' scene. Around the time of the new band's formation, guitarist Ross East was also invited to join the revised Masters Apprentices line-up by Jim Keays, but he turned it down, opting to stay with Jeff. Aided by East and Peter Figures, plus Alan Ingram on bass and keyboardist Barry Kelly (from Marty Rhone's Soul Agents), St John wowed punters at the Ourimbah "Pilgrimage For Pop", Australia's first major outdoor rock festival, hedl at Ourimbah, NSW at the end of January 1970. The band's dynamic repertoire mixed quality prog-flavoured group originals with powerful renditions of Sly & the Family Stone's funk classic "Sing A Simple Song" (a stage fave for many Australian acts of the time including Southern Comfort and The Affair), a storming version of The Temptations' psych-soul masterpiece "Cloud Nine" and Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home."
Sydney singer/songwriter Glenn Cardier was a popular solo performer on the early 1970s scene. In much the same vein as James Taylor, Doug Ashdown and Ross Ryan, Cardier played a brand of gentle and reflective acoustic folk and soft rock that gained him a strong cult following. Cardier actually started out playing lead guitar in Brisbane acid-rock band The Revolution before taking to the road as a folkie. He signed to Festival's progressive Infinity label, with which he issued two albums and four singles: `Every Wounded Bird'/`The Juggler' (July 1972), `Ulysses'/`Minstrel' (February 1973), `Oh Dear Saint Peter'/`I Am the Day' (July 1973) and `I See a Comedy'/`Lovers Alias Fools' (June 1974). Never content to be seen as just a sensitive folkie, Cardier toured with rock bands like La De Das, Country Radio, Sherbet and Daddy Cool.
On his return to Australia in late 1978, Cardier recorded `Establishment Blues' under the psuedonym of Sydney Hill. The song appeared as the B-side to the Mojo Singers' #1 hit `C'mon Aussie C'mon'. Cardier's 1979 band, the Bel-Aires, comprised Brad Alick (lead guitar), Eddie Parise (bass, who later joined Baby Animals) and Vince Crae (drums). Cardier issued the single `Expectations'/`I Saved Annette from Drowning' in February 1980. He has also recorded the Christmas track `Reindeers on the Rooftops' under the alias Riff Raff.
Wendy Saddington was one of Australia's premier soul/blues singers of the late 1960s/early 1970s (in the Etta James/Aretha Franklin mould). Because she was under-recorded, however, Saddington can only claim one single and one album to her credit. Saddington first came to prominence in soul/psychedelic bands like The Revolution and the James Taylor Move, and the original version of blues band Chain. In May 1969, she joined pop paper Go-Set as a staff writer and later joined Copperwine as co-vocalist with Jeff St John. Her stay of ten months (March 1970–February 1971) motivated many changes in Copperwine's musical direction, with much of the soul-copying being replaced by a more purist blues-oriented sound. That change was heard on the album Wendy Saddington and the Copperwine Live which had been recorded at the Wallacia Festival during January 1971. Saddington scored her only hit single when the Warren Morgan-penned and Billy Thorpe/ Morgan-produced `Looking Through a Window'/ `We Need a Song' reached #22 in September 1971. In 1972, Festival reissued the live album, retitled it Looking Through a Window and simply added the track `Looking Through a Window'. The single was reissued in 1977 but was not successful.
In March 1973, Saddington appeared as the Nurse in the local stage production of The Who's rock opera Tommy. Other cast members included Billy Thorpe, Daryl Braithwaite, Colleen Hewett, Broderick Smith, Doug Parkinson, Jim Keays, Ross Wilson and Keith Moon. Saddington worked with a variety of bands during the mid-1970s, including Shango and Blues Assembly. She worked with the Jeffrey Crozier Band in New York during the late 1970s. In 1983, she formed the Wendy Saddington Band which initially comprised jazz pianist Bobby Gebert, Harvey James (guitar; ex-Ariel, Sherbet, Swanee), Billy Rylands (bass) and Chris Sweeney (drums). The 1987 line-up comprised Rose Bygrave (keyboards; ex-Goanna), Mick Liber (guitar; ex-Python Lee Jackson), Angelica Booth (bass) and Des McKenna (drums).
Toward The Blues was recorded at Melbourne's TCS Studios with engineer/producer John Sayers, the album announced, upon its release in late '71, the matured essence of Chain in its acknowledged classic configuration of Phil, Matt and the two Goose-Barrys (aarrgh! – Ed.). The album made the number 6 position on the national album charts and remained a strong Top 40 seller for four months (it still sells in respectable quantities to this day!). It was supported by significant and valuable airplay, mainly on "alternative" radio programs like future Double-J presenter Chris Winter's seminal national ABC radio show, Room To Move. It was the sort of record that seemed to already be on the turntable whenever you stepped into a Saturday night party in those days. In short, it was one of those albums, along with Spectrum's Milesago or Tamam Shud's first, or maybe Co. Caine's debut opus, that any self-respecting aficionado of quality OzRock; (like your reporter, at the time, about 18 or 19, and avid!) would consider essential for a well-rounded record collection!