From the mid 70’s right through to the early 1990’s the bedrock of the Australian music scene was laid down, not in the cities, but out in the suburbs. The home ground of any Aussie band worth its salt was the suburban sticky-carpeted beer barn.
A combined stench of cigarettes, beer and sweat hung in the air. The overflowing band rooms were full of hundreds of inebriated blokes and ‘birds’. The throng swaying ankle-deep in glasses and cans, chanting “suck more piss” and pithy lyric reworkings like“no way, get f#@ked, f#@k off!” There were large speaker stacks and high decibel counts. These were the houses built by The Aztecs. This was Pub Rock.
The Glory Days of Aussie Pub Rock.
And to celebrate that golden era of Australian rock n roll, a sprawling 4CD compilation has recently been released entitled ‘The Glory Days Of Aussie Pub Rock’.
Covering the who’s who of the Australian pub rock scene over 91 stellar tracks, this is a wonderful snapshot of a really prolific time on the domestic front. Pretty much any band that trod the boards throughout the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s is represented here. You could be critical of a few of the names that have been somehow, left off (Radio Birdman; Beasts Of Bourbon; Died Pretty; Cosmic Psychos, Hoodoo Gurus et al) but that would just be plain picky and pedantic. (Or would it?)
The compilers do acknowledge the fact that they couldn’t get the licensing to have an AC/DC track here, so I’m guessing there could have been other licensing issues as well. As an aside, they do feature a track from The Marcus Hook Roll Band who, for all intents and purposes, was the nucleus of AC/DC. All that said I’m not sure what their ‘live’ reputation was at the time.
And I like the fact that every now and then, they don’t choose the obvious songs by the obvious artists. Cold Chisel’s ‘Goodbye’; Midnight Oil’s ‘Cold Cold Change’; Ted Mulry Gang ‘Heart Of Stone’; The Church ‘Too Fast For You’ being prime examples. On reflection perhaps they could have gone down that lesser-known path a bit more.
But all the main players are here. The aforementioned Cold Chisel, The Oils, The Angels, The Radiators, Swanee, Stevie Wright, Aussie Crawl; The Mentals, Hunters & Collectors, Divinyls, Rose Tattoo, Noiseworks, Screaming Jets and many, many more. And for every Barnsey or Angry, there is a Huxton Creepers, Screaming Tribesmen or The Hitmen.
And they unearth a few lost classics too from the likes of Loaded Dice; Billy Miller & The Great Blokes; The Lonely Hearts and The Cyril B. Bunter Band.
I do have one gripe though. The band that is widely considered the godfathers of Australian Pub Rock, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, are somehow buried on disc 4, track 10. I know they didn’t really plan this with any form of chronology in mind, but surely disc 1, track 1 is Thorpie? Do what you like after that!
And is there really a need for two Paul Kelly songs? (The Coloured Girls and The Dots were two different bands. I get it.)
With extensive liner notes full of details on each band featured, this is quite possibly the best collection of Australian music ever compiled. This set will ignite and sustain any fair dinkum backyard BBQ party.
Play It Loud!
- By the way. If you love this vintage of music – P.P.T (pre Pro Tools) – then drop by the awesome I Like your Old Stuff on Facebook.
- Published by Warner Music Australia. Released 2016.
1. Cold Chisel – Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)
2. Midnight Oil – Cold Cold Change
3. The Angels – Take a Long Line
4. Divinyls – Boys in Town
5. The Radiators – Comin’ Home
6. Flowers – Walls
7. Models – Big on Love
8. Hunters & Collectors – Do You See What I See?
9. Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons – So Young
10. The Sports – Don’t Throw Stones
11. Mental As Anything – If You Leave Me – Can I Come Too?
12. Mondo Rock – Cool World
13. Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls – Dumb Things
14. Australian Crawl – Beautiful People
15. Richard Clapton – Out on the Edge Again
16. Men At Work – Who Can It Be Now?
17. Matt Finish – Mancini Shuffle (demo)
18. Sunnyboys – Show Me Some Discipline
19. Loaded Dice – Mam’selle
20. Ted Mulry Gang (TMG) – Heart of Stone
21. Russell Morris & The Rubes – The Roar of the Wild Torpedoes
22. Wendy & The Rocketts – Tonite
23. Billy Miller & The Great Blokes – Perpetual Motion
24. Dragon – Rain
1. Skyhooks – Women in Uniform
2. The Ferrets – Don’t Fall in Love
3. The Dingoes – Smooth Sailing (original Mushroom single version)
4. Stars – Mighty Rock
5. Renée Geyer – Hot Minutes
6. Stiletto – Goodbye Johnny
7. Texas – I Wanna Dance with You
8. The Elks – Party Girl
9. The Reels – Prefab Heart
10. Boys Next Door – Shivers
11. The Saints – Just Like Fire Would
12. Split Enz – History Never Repeats
13. Goanna – Solid Rock
14. Warumpi Band – Blackfella/Whitefella
15. Ross Wilson – Living in the Land of Oz
16. Ian Moss – Telephone Booth
17. The Badloves – Lost
18. Noiseworks – Take Me Back
19. Choirboys – Run to Paradise
20. Heroes – The Star and the Slaughter
21. Ray Arnott – On the Run
22. Marcus Hook Roll Band – Natural Man
1. Mi-Sex – Computer Games
2. Dave Warner’s From The Suburbs – Suburban Boy
3. Jimmy & The Boys – Products of your Mind
4. The Aliens – Confrontation
5. The Boys – Hurt Me Babe
6. The Hitmen – I Don’t Mind
7. Angry Anderson – Bound for Glory
8. Uncanny X-Men – Everybody Wants to Work
9. James Freud & The Radio Stars – Modern Girl
10. Icehouse – Nothing too Serious
10. V. Spy V. Spy – Don’t Tear It Down
11. XL Capris – World War 3
12. The Numbers – The Modern Song
13. The Church – Too Fast for You
14. The Lime Spiders – Weirdo Libido
15. The Lonely Hearts – The Spell
16. The Johnnys – Bleeding Heart
17. X – Dream Baby
18. Painters & Dockers – Nude School
19. Weddings, Parties, Anything – Away Away
20. The Zimmermen – What Really Hurts
21. Paul Kelly & The Dots – Seeing is Believing
22. GANGgajang – Gimme Some Lovin’
1. Jimmy Barnes – Driving Wheels
2. Baby Animals – One Word
3. The Screaming Tribesmen – Date with a Vampyre
4. Huxton Creepers – I Will Persuade You
5. Boom Crash Opera – The Best Thing
6. The Screaming Jets – Better
7. Heaven – Fantasy
8. Finch – Short Changed Again
9. Rose Tattoo – We Can’t Be Beaten
10. Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs – Movie Queen
11. Stevie Wright – Hard Road
12. Jeff St. John – A Fool In Love
13. The Stockley, See, Mason Band – Endless Love
14. Swanee – If I Were A Carpenter
15. The Cyril B. Bunter Band – Last Chance
16. The Cockroaches – She’s The One
17. Tim Finn – Made My Day
18. The Black Sorrows – Chained To The Wheel
19. Moving Pictures – Bustin’ Loose
20. Broderick Smith’s Big Combo – Faded Roses
21. Ariel – Yeah Tonight
22. The Party Boys – Gonna See My Baby Tonight