Tunes From Oz and Beyond Part 12 (Still the early 80’s)

This weeks obscure offerings, thanks to Mike B.

Mondo Rock ‎– The Modern Bop (New York Remix) (UK 12″)

More New-Wave-ish sounds from Oz and from the Melbourne band, Mondo Rock. From the ’84 album and off the album of the same name. This gets a Jellybean Benitez remix which funks up the original production by John Sayers. Cowbells, synths and a groove a bit like Hall and Oates. Not sure about the lyrics, deliberately cheesy and the scatting.

“The Cost Of Living”, from the LP, mixes it up with some synth in the background.

Sneaky bonus track is the instrumental “Winds – Light To Variable”, groovy and psychedelic.


Polydor ‎– POSPX 748modern

A The Modern Bop (New York Remix) 6:53
B1 Cost Of Living 3:40
B2 Winds – Light To Variable 4:14

Mental As Anything ‎– Working For The Man (Aussie 7″)

From 1983 and from the LP, “Creatures Of Leisure”, it was produced by the duo of Mark Moffatt and Ricky Fataar. A faithful cover of the Roy Orbison song from 1962.

Quality B-side with the catchy groove of “Seems Alright To Me,” reminds me a little of Madness and was also off the album and written by Martin Plaza. Gentle reggae vibes and pedal steel.

Regular Records ‎– RRSP 730sam_5797

A Working For The Man 3:31
B Seems Alright To Me 3:29

Jo Jo Zep ‎– Cha (US Vinyl LP)

Dripping with New Wave and Disco beats this has a classic ’83 sound. Fretless bass, synth washes and unusual percussion via the drum machines (Linn Drum). Self produced with some help by Split Enz member Eddie Rayner (who also played keyboards.) The line-up includes ; Producer, Keyboards – Peter Solley (Procol Harum), Vocals [Additional] – Jane Clifton (from Prisoner Cell Block H), Vocals, Saxophone, Clarinet, Organ – Joe Camilleri, (Jo Jo Zep himself)Bass – Simon Gyllies (Mondo Rock) and Guitar, Mandolin – Jeff Burstin

So the album keeps in that early 80’s synthpop vibe, a weird cover of Baccharach’s “Walk On By” Lots of Latin based tempo’s, almost Yello-like (Taxi Mary) and crooning (Slave For Love)

A&M Records ‎– SP-4968jozep

A1 Losing Game 4:12
A2 Walk On By 3:52
A3 King Kong 4:01
A4 Taxi Mary 4:15
A5 Flexible 1:59
B1 Sherri 3:54
B2 Man Is Just A Boy 4:13
B3 Spirit Of The Land 4:27
B4 Competition 4:20
B5 Slave For Love 4:20
B6 Can’t Decide 3:54

Dance Exponents ‎– Sex And Agriculture (Aussie 12″)

This very rare 12″ from New Zealand band, Dance Exponents and released in 1984. The line-up included; Bass – Dave Gent, Drums – Michael Harralambi,  Guitars – Brian Jones, Chris Sheehan and vocals – Jordan Luck.

Rocky New Wave with some loud guitars! Julien Mendelsohn provides some powerful production. The extended version really improves the track, plenty of overdubs on the drums.


Mushroom ‎– X-13162agri

A Sex And Agriculture (Extended Mix) 5:57
B1 Sex And Agriculture (7″ Mix) 3:41
B2 Sex And Agriculture (Instrumental) 3:54

The Expression – The Expression (US Vinyl LP)

Sydney New Romantic band dazzles us with their debut LP from 1983.

Comprising of ; Bass – Stephen Manassah, Drums – Steve Hopes, Guitar, Synthesizer – Andrew Wong Yen , Vocals, Guitar [Acoustic], Percussion – Tom Haran and Vocals, Keyboards – Neville Dowling and production by Charles Fisher.

Similarities to Icehouse are valid but it’s a great album and worth a detailed listen.

A&M Records ‎– SP-6-4975sam_0565

A1 Present Communication 4:50
A2 With Closed Eyes 3:35
A3 Total Eclipse 5:32
A4 Keep Appointments 3:43
A5 Right To A Slice 3:16
B1 Dawn, Day And Sleep 4:46
B2 Decisions 3:30
B3 You And Me 5:03
B4 Nothing Changes 4:28
B5 Satisfied Strangers 4:02

Machinations ‎– Esteem (US Vinyl LP)

Sydney New Wavers, Machinations, released this debut , mini-LP back in 1983. A little bit Duran Duran, a little bit China Crisis.Bass – Nick Swan, Guitar – Tim Doyle, Keyboards – Tony Starr, Percussion – Henry Downes, Voice – Fred Loneragan.


A&M Records ‎– SP-12505esteem

A1 Pressure Sway 3:53
A2 Jump The Gap 4:12
A3 Average Inadequacy 3:45
B1 Esteem 6:38
B2 Jack 3:27
B3 Transient 6:58

6 thoughts on “Tunes From Oz and Beyond Part 12 (Still the early 80’s)”

  1. Taxi Mary is one of the greatest songs of all time (OF ALL TIME!) (thanks, Kanye), so I’m looking forward to delving into the album it came from.

    And the word-play of Machinations and their “Precious Way”.

    Nice selection!

  2. Hi djjedredy
    Thanks for the blog, could you possibly reup Dance Exponents ‎– Sex And Agriculture (Aussie 12″)?

    I remember it well from back in the day and preferred it to some of their more “poppy” output.

    I saw them a number of time here in CHCH NZ in the early to mid 80s.


  3. Can you share the Dance Exponents ‎– Sex And Agriculture 12″ again when you get a chance. I just heard the album and they’re pretty good. Thanks.

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