Last series was back in February and Mike B has kindly provided a large batch of Aussie stuff for me to curate and expose to you guys. Starting with early 80’s stuff (up to 1983) – most of the bands have appeared on here already so I’m bracing myself for a load of re–up requests from folk curious to listen to more. They maybe on Spotify (spits) but maybe not.
Harry Vanda and George Young, both former members of The Easybeats, had been putting out stuff since 1978. This was a bit of a break through single from 1980. New Wave theme written all over it, synths v rock. Touches of Roxy Music with some nice keyboard sounds, I better they didn’t know they would be writing about President Trump all those years ago.
As you’d expect the “Club Version” is slightly extended but not too dissimilar to the 7″ version , also included.
Backed by a couple of tracks from the album “Lights In The Night.” “Restless” feels a lot like Blancmange’s “Living On The Ceiling” in its exotic arrangement with the driving bass of Les Karski. There is also an edited, 7″ version of “Welcome To The Universe” with more of the conventional Rock elements with lead piano by Warren Morgan.
Epic – AS 761
|A1||Media Man (Club Version)|
|B1||Welcome To The Universe|
Machinations – Jumping The Gap (Aussie 12″)
Moody synths and a Goth edge start this 1982/3 track before swerving towards Duran Duran / Simple Minds territory in a good way. Getting a Steve Thompson mix gives the mix a polished edge. That great bass from Nick Swan is really brought out in the Dub Mix.
“Average Inadequacy” is a hidden gem B-side, quiet but menacing with a good riff. Less generic than the A-side with some nice synth. It was a previous single from 1980 given an update in a “club version”
White Label Records – X 13128
|A||Jumping The Gap (Extended Mix)||5:00|
|B1||Jumping The Gap (Dub Mix)||4:10|
|B2||Average Inadequacy (Club Mix)||5:20|
Back to 1978 and this punky rock anthem from Melbourne’s Skyhooks. From their ‘Guilty Until Proven Insane’ and covered by Iron Maiden. ‘Shirley’ Strachan on Lead Vocal,Bass – Gregory John Macainsh , Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Fred Strauks, Guitars – Bob Starkie, Guitars – Bob Spencer.
It certainly has a Meatloaf vibe to it with those “high” vocals, great Rock N Roll!
Fun, Country Rock track “Don’t Take Your Lurex To The Laundromat” sits on the B-side with “Do The Hook” a basic bluesy rock and roll, with good interplay between guitars.
Mushroom – X 11810
|A||Women In Uniform||4:21|
|B1||Don’t Take Your Lurex To The Laundromat||3:19|
|B2||Do The Hook||2:17|
All styles catered for in this series. Back to synthpop with HUGE electronic drums mixed in with a sampled brass section. A later release (Nov 1983) from Perth’s female fronted band, Lynda Nutter and the lads.
Mercury – 814 690-1
|A||Cut The Talking (Extended Play)|
|B1||Michael And Rodney Go Boating|
|B2||Cut The Talking|
“It’s A Mistake” is a mid-tempo, anti Cold War song, catchy – and new to me!!!! (schooled by Mike B!)
B-sides are both killer tracks “Who Can It Be Now” (my personal favourite by them) and the New Wave dance track “F-19” an obscure instrumental proving their high musicianship, love the sax solo at the end.
Columbia – 44-03977
|A||It’s A Mistake||4:33|
|B1||Who Can It Be Now?||3:21|
Their breakthrough hit from early 1983 and here in the 2 track US release. One I have definitely heard (and loved) before. Mixed by Nick Martinelli & David Todd it still has that haunting, timeless tone but is different to the version most are familiar with. More space between the instruments, less muddled, solo’s and a different vocal take.
Chrysalis – 4V9 42731
|A||Hey Little Girl||6:11|
|B||Hey Little Girl (Dub Version)||6:14|