• Always my go to page late at night when bored with the usual meanderings posted on fb,many a great memory from this era and highly informative 👍 Feb 18, 2020

    Always my go to page late at night when bored with the usual meanderings posted on fb,many a great memory from this era and highly informative 👍

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    On this date in 1977, THE SAINTS released their debut album, (I’M) STRANDED, (February 18th, 1977).

    Apart from being one of the all-time great-rock 'n' roll albums, I’M STRANDED has one of rock 'n' roll's all-time great album covers. Bathed in tarnished ochre (the narcotic glow of an Australian sunset), the band are slouched against a burnt-out fireplace over hewn-out floorboards and a mess of rubble.

    It's a beautiful composition of hopeless youth — the leering eyes of Ed Kuepper and Ivor Hay, the wiped-out ones of Chris Bailey, the dark glasses of blond longhair bassist Kym Bradshaw.

    As to the album, a simpler, more honest testament to the joys of rock 'n' roll it would be hard to conceive. From the opening burst of Ed Kuepper's Gibson SG on 'Stranded', one realises this is a return to the primal guitar sound of Ron Asheton on The Stooges’ ‘Fun House’, a massive yet distant sound which fills the whole studio.

    THE SAINTS, originating in Brisbane, Australia, were one of the greatest punk groups of the late 70s yet, to this day, remain one of the least talked about: they had it all – melodies, anger, pace, worldview and tension.

    Ed Kuepper was perhaps the wildest guitar player borne in the ’77 rush, Ivor Hay was a deft drummer, and Chris Bailey had the most snarling, angst-ridden of voices, closer to The Seeds’ Sky Saxon than to Iggy Pop.

    Hear the chorus of 'No Time', the last half-minute of 'Demolition Girl', the sublime countdown climax of 'Erotic Neurotic', and all six minutes of the definitive Saints statement, the heartrending 'Nights In Venice' to understand what this band had to offer and how the world never really acknowledged the huge influence of The Saints.

    Here they are with ‘Nights in Venice', final track on the album - one of the greatest rock n’ roll songs of all time and a 1977 performance in Paddington Town Hall, Sydney to match. Incendiary stuff.

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  • SPLIT ENZ - I GOT YOU Feb 18, 2020

    SPLIT ENZ performing I GOT YOU on Australian Countdown in 1980.

    SPLIT ENZ managed to make themselves comfortable in everything from beautiful cabaret melodies ('I Hope I Never') to the heavy armour of 'Shark Attack' without ever sounding as if they were reaching beyond their means.

    Theirs was a world of avant-garde rhythms and sprightly, sardonic pop with penny-whistle slides, tambourines, cowbells and marimbas thrown in for good measure. Anti-fashion in the extreme - no to leather, Spandex and chrome wrap-around shades but a big yes to sky-high pyramids of multi-coloured hair, Fellini clown suits and gobs of death-white makeup - the band were beyond pretension and condescension.

    Hit single I GOT YOU stood well alongside the burgeoning New Romantic scene with its icy synth background, but it also threw in some tense off-kilter organ fills and vocal harmonies.

    But most memorable of all was its unusual transition from monotone verse to big catchy chorus: the real big turnaround coming when Neil Finn breaks the confident stride of the verse that sings the praises of a new-found love to say, "Sometimes I get frightened." It was the hint of reality in this romantic vision that made the song special.

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