Tunes From Oz and Beyond – Part 15 (Early 80’s)

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.

Flash And The Pan ‎– Media Man (US Promo 12″)

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 761media

A1 Media Man (Club Version)
A2 Media Man
B1 Welcome To The Universe
B2 Restless

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 13128folder

A Jumping The Gap (Extended Mix) 5:00
B1 Jumping The Gap (Dub Mix) 4:10
B2 Average Inadequacy (Club Mix) 5:20

Skyhooks ‎– Women In Uniform (Aussie LTD 12″)

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 11810folder

A Women In Uniform 4:21
B1 Don’t Take Your Lurex To The Laundromat 3:19
B2 Do The Hook 2:17

The Dugites ‎– Cut The Talking (Aussie 12″)

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.

The band’s name refers to the brown venomous snake, the dugite, common to Western Australia.
Plenty of funk influence on this making it sound like early Madonna via ABC, produced and mixed by Carey Taylor.
B-side is more drum heavy but has some nice guitar, it was from their final album “Cut The Talking”

Mercury ‎– 814 690-1folder

A Cut The Talking (Extended Play)
B1 Michael And Rodney Go Boating
B2 Cut The Talking

Men At Work ‎– It’s A Mistake (US 12″)

Good old Men At Work , opened many Western eye’s to the fact that Oz had a music scene. Here with a 1983 track from “Cargo” and not extended but re-mastered!!

“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 ‎– 44-03977folder

A It’s A Mistake 4:33
B1 Who Can It Be Now? 3:21
B2 F 19 3:49

Icehouse ‎– Hey Little Girl (US 12″)

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 42731folder

A Hey Little Girl 6:11
B Hey Little Girl (Dub Version) 6:14

12 thoughts on “Tunes From Oz and Beyond – Part 15 (Early 80’s)”

  1. That US 12″ of “Hey Little Girl” was a real buried treasure, back in the day! I listened to “Primitive Man” even more than I had “Icehouse!”

  2. Hi there! May I ask you to upload the F-19 instrumental from Men at Work in lossless please? I really love the tune but all versions from CD reissues are horribly compressed. Would be happy to hear the original sound, if possible! 🙂

      1. Sure just me a bit of time here. The 12” For this I know where it is,I’ll re rip it and The Korgis I’ll have to track down and remember where it is, then re-do this – no problem at all BTW.
        The actual project files were saved but when I open them they were coming up in with different tracks – WEIRD!! I would have had them to you yesterday. Hang in there…!!

      1. Great! Thank you so much for effort!

        Wonder if you have the MAW single that had another instrumental called “Anyone for tennis” on B-side. Perhaps it was “ho can it be now”… Would love to have this one too, if possible 🙂

  3. Yes! I have the US 7″ and a great B-side!! Men At Work do have some B-sides I do not believe they are all released. I’ll send over in the next Oz bundle in MP3 & FLAC.
    Looks like I’ll have to pick up more MAW 7″s!👌👍😃.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.