MILESAGO - Recommended Listening

ALL FIRED UP: Lost Treasures of Austraian Music
Various artists

Screensound
released December 2002
AU$19.95 rrp

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All Fired Up is a collection of Australian rock rarities compiled by Paul Conn and released by ScreenSound Australia, the National Screen and Sound Archive, which features "hits, near misses and obscurities" of Australian music. The lineup includes famous Australian acts such as Mondo Rock, Icehouse, Redgum, Richard Clapton, John Paul Young, Ted Mulry and Goanna, and is especially welcome for the inclusion of some long-lost rarities by cult acts like Friends and Mandu.

All Fired Up presents an eclectic sampling of OzRock from the 70s to the 90s, and many tracks, most lifted from the B-sides of rare singles, have never before been released on CD. These include the original Australian version of the Pat Benatar hit All Fired Up (performed by Rattling Sabres), the Franklin Dam protest song Let the Franklin Flow performed by members of bands Goanna and Redgum, and the novelty song How About a Beer for the Horse performed by John Paul Young and the All Stars under the jokey guise of 'Sandshoe Willie and The Worn Out Soul Band'. The tracks were selected by Canberra music historian and radio presenter Paul Conn. author of 2000 Weeks: The First Thirty Years Of Australian Music And Then Some.

This album is a welcome addition to the catalogue and a worthy effort. Inevitably, the tracks represent only a tiny slice of the tens of thousands of recordings released over this period, but we sincerely hope that this will become Volume 1 in a continuing series.

Radio, when it bothers to look back at all, presents predictable and narrow playlists that favour a handful of "usual suspects" from Australia and which are dominated by "golden oldies" from overseas. Only a fraction of the thousands of mainstream and independent music released in these years has been re-released or repackaged. Most now languish unheard in archives and private collections, and any effort to revive interest in this period of Australian music and uncover some of its lesser known artefacts is to be roundly applauded.

Such releases are gaining even greater importance because vinyl copies of these recordings are in some cases now the ONLY copies of this music to have survived. Sadly, even for recordings made as recently as the mid-1980s, we are disovering the lamentable fact that master tapes and multitracks -- even of recordings by prominent bands such as Dugites and Numbers -- have been lost or destroyed. Many singles released in these years were one-off independent efforts which were pressed in small quantities (and which mostly sold in even smaller quantities) and the archiving and re-release of such material is of vital importance. The CD is reasonably priced at $19.95, although it has to be said that 15 tracks is hardly erring on the side of generosity, and there would seem to have been ample scope to include more. But overall this is an important and interesting release and one of undoubted historical value.


TRACK LISTING:

1. All Fired Up - Rattling Sabres
This song is best known from the version recorded by US singer Pat Benatar, which was a Top 20 hit for her in the US and Top 5 in Australia. The original version was written and produced by Rattling Sabres' founder, Kerryn Tolhurst, formerly of The Dingoes. All Fired Up was the A-side of their only single.

2. Power - Sharon O'Neill
Sharon O'Neill was one of scores of successful muscial exports from New Zealand to Australia, where her strong songwriting skills and vocals made her one of the most prominent female artists of the day. She is probably best remembered for her breakthrough hit How Do You Talk To Boys? (written by Steve Kipner) and her superb early '80s single, Maxine. This track was her final single for CBS and was never released on LP or re-released in any form until now. It was co-produced by guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.

3. B. B. Boogie Friends
Formed in 1971, this Melbourne-based outfit was something of a supergroup, comprising leading musicians from several major '60s groups and fronted by the highly regarded New Zealand-born vocalist Leo De Castro. Although one of the most respected groups of the period, this 1972 release, the A-side of their only single, attracted no radio interest.

4. Goodbye Barbara Ann - Richard Clapton
Recorded during the April-May 1984 sessions for the LP Solidarity, Goodbye Barbara Ann was released as a single on the strength of first reactions to the song.

5. I Heard It Through The Grapevine - The Chinless Elite
The Chinless Elite was a short-lived band formed by Jeremy Oxley following the breakup of legendary Sydney power pop band, The Sunnyboys. This unusual version of the Motown classic was the B-side of their only single, released in November 1985.

6. How About A Beer For The Horse? - Sandshoe Willie And The Worn Out Soul Band
In 1979, John Paul Young and The All Stars coming to the end of a hugely successful run as one of the top pop-rock acts of the Seventies. They released this novelty single under a pseudonym, "a rare moment of outright silliness well worth remembering as a novelty song".

7. Rebecca - Mario Millo
Rebecca was an specially recorded instrumental track cut by acclaimed guitarist and composer Mario Millo, (ex Sebastian Hardie) and was released as the single lifted from The Australian Guitar Album in 1979. It's also now included as a bonus track on the CD release of Mario's 1979 solo album Epic III

8. Let The Franklin Flow - Gordon Franklin and The Wilderness Ensemble
Recorded live at the People For Nuclear Disarmament Concert at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne Victoria on 13 February 1983, this impromptu protest song against the proposed damming of the Franklin River in Tasmania reached #15 on the charts in May that year.

9. Il Mondo Cafe - Mondo Rock
The B-side of the first single lifted from Mondo Rock's successful Nuovo Mondo LP. Released in July 1982 to coincide with the LP release, the anthemic, Eric McCusker-penned No Time (backed with this song) went to #11 on the charts and reinforced the more mature style that Ross Wilson brought to the second major phase of his career.

10. Roll It On Robbie - Redgum
Recorded in 1987, this non-LP single was intended as a humorous promotion for the use of condoms. It was Redgum's final single release and it entered the Top 40 Charts, but the now-rare single was regarded more as a novelty song than a serious piece of social advice. Composer John Schuman now reportedly considers the song "an embarrassment".

11. To The Shores Of His Heaven - Mandu
This ultra-rare single was also the title of only the only LP by Melbourne-based singer Mandu, who also recorded with Lobby Loyde's Coloured Balls. The Mandu LP is now very hard to find, and this single is one of the true rarities of 70s OzRock.

12. Arcade - Doug Parkinson
Doug Parkinson became famous as the lead singer of hit Sixties group Doug parkinson In Focus and was well known for his commanding soul vocal style, strong stage presence and versatility. In late 1979, he took some time off from working with the Southern Star Band, to record this one-off single, released as the theme for a shortlived TV soap opera, ARCADE.

13. Two Of A Kind - Split Enz
Two Of A Kind was one of two songs on the B-side of the single Next Exit, released in 1983. It made no impact on the charts at the time and was perhaps the first sign that the Split Enz magic was fading; as it turned out, it was also a signpost of the impending departure of the band's co-founder Tim Finn. This track was never released on a Split Enz album during the life of the band.

14. So Much In Love - Ted Mulry
British born Ted arrived in Australia in 1966. He began his career as a singer- songwriter before reinventing himself as s good-time rocker with the Ted Mulry Gang. Alberts released his first, self-penned solo single. Julia which peaked at #5 on the Sydney charts in early 1970. This song, the B-Side of that single, as another song in the same vein, also written by Ted.

15. Sorry Flowers (Icehouse)
Led by singer-songwriter-guitarist Iva Davies, Flowers formed in Sydney in the late 70s and in their early days the band was well known for its superb cover versions of tracks by Lou Reed, T-Rex, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, The Kinks and Brian Eno. The late 70s and early 80s also saw a resurgence of interest in Australian '60s pop, with Sports cutting a version of The Easys' Wedding Ring, Divinyls doing I'll Make You Happy and INXS covering The Loved Ones' The Loved One. Flowers' version of this Easys hit was recorded live in Sydney in 1980, before the group changed its name to Icehouse in 1981. Sorry is an energetic sample of the early punk rock and power pop cover versions that started the band off. This track was previously only released as a bonus single in 1990 as part of a 10th anniversary pack for Icehouse.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

David Hogan, Screensound
Telephone: (02) 6248 2002
Email: david_hogan@screensound.gov.au

REFERENCES / LINKS
Screensound website
http://www.screensound.gov.au

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