Song of the day: Country Radio – "Gypsy Queen"

July 31, 2009

Here’s Country Radio with “Gypsy Queen” (1972):


I’ve always thought of “Gypsy Queen,” with its melancholy country mood, to be a sort of spiritual cousin to Spectrum‘s “I’ll Be Gone” (1971):


But back to Country Radio. Here’s “Gypsy Queen”‘s B-side, “Radio Rag”:


Musical coincidences # 14

July 30, 2009

OK, so I’m finally getting around to listening to Icecream Hands (there’s still so much Australian power pop I’m not familiar with), and a familiar tune popped up in one of their songs. The song is “Yellow And Blue,” and it appears on their 1999 album, Sweeter Than The Radio, as well as their 2004 best-of, You Can Ride My Bike. A hint of the familiar tune appears 21 seconds into the song, but appears fully at the 42-second mark here:


The melody and chord changes sound extremely similar to a section of the verse (at the 13-second mark) in “Another Nail In My Heart” by Squeeze:


“Another Nail In My Heart” appears on 1980’s Argybargy, my favourite Squeeze album and one of my favourite albums of the 80’s. It’s also one of my all-time favourite power pop albums. Love that album.

Anyway, here are the full versions of each song:

Icecream Hands – “Yellow And Blue” (1999)


Squeeze – “Another Nail In My Heart” (1980)


Icecream Hands official website
Icecream Hands on MySpace

Squeeze official website
Squeeze on MySpace

Song of the day: Blackfeather – "Boppin’ The Blues"

July 30, 2009

Here’s Blackfeather with a bit of boogie woogie from 1972, “Boppin’ The Blues”:


Incidentally, just one year before they became a boogie band, Blackfeather were a psychedelic prog band:

Australian rock music history is weird, man.

Song of the day: Fischer-Z – "So Long"

July 29, 2009

I had completely forgotten about this song:

Fischer-Z* – “So Long” (1980)


It may not look like a power pop song, but it sure sounds like one (or, more accurately, a skinny tie song).

Listening to it again, I was struck by how much that bass line reminds me of the bass line in “Our Lips Are Sealed” (1981) by The Go-Go’s. See what you think:

The Go-Go’s – “Our Lips Are Sealed (1981)


Incidentally, the title “So Long” reminds me of ABBA‘s song of the same name (I wonder how many “So Long”s there are out there…). It’s a great** bit of rockin’ from the Spandex-wearin’, semi-bearded Fab Four in 1974:

ABBA – “So Long (1974)


(*Not to be confused with Fisher-Price.)

(**Well, I would say that because I’m an ABBA nut.)

Great moments on Australian television

July 28, 2009

Norman Gunston – A Salute to ABBA 1976:


Song of the day: The Sinceros – "Worlds Apart"

July 28, 2009

Here’s English band The Sinceros with the unbelievably catchy “Worlds Apart” (1979):


That was the band’s second single.

As a bonus, here’s their first. It’s the almost-as-catchy “Take Me To Your Leader” (1979):


Wikipedia tells me that The Sinceros released six (!) singles in total. I have no idea why, because I thought after “Worlds Apart” had failed to burn up the charts the band disappeared off the face of the Earth. But at least they released two albums: The Sound Of Sunbathing (1979); and Pet Rock (1981).

Incidentally, when The Sinceros split up, their bass player Ron François eventually moved to Australia and joined the Eurogliders. I’m mentioning this because Ron François is an excellent bass player. Here’s a bit of his handiwork in the Eurogliders’ “Heaven (Must Be There)” (1984):


I love Ron’s bass playing, and “Heaven (Must Be There)” is a mighty decent pop song.

Song of the day: A band – "Casual Encounter"

July 27, 2009

Here’s just one reason I adore this particular band – and if I may make a humble request, please turn this up as loud as you possibly can:

This particular band – “Casual Encounter” (1983)


“Casual Encounter” appears on the band’s first album, Desperate (1983), along with a whole heap of heavy, heavy power pop. However, “Casual Encounter” was not included in the US release of Desperate but was put on the US release of their second album, What A Life! (1985), instead. (It’s all very confusing.) I don’t know why record companies do these things.

Nevertheless, I think that the band’s first three albums – Desperate (1983) (Wikipedia), What A Life! (1985) (Wikipedia), and Temperamental (1988) (Wikipedia) – deserve to be in every Australian rock lover’s collection. (Well, if you can’t afford three albums by one artist you can possibly skip the third because it’s not as great as the first two albums – but definitely the first two.)

As a bonus, here’s some live stuff. It’s “Only Loney,” with the lead singer singing some amazing falsetto (my jaw dropped the first time I heard it), starting at 2:46. She hits this incredible note not once, but three times – and it’s deadly accurate every time. Amazing:

This particular band – “Only Lonely” (live)


Incidentally, this particular band is also mentioned on my A History of Power Pop in Australia post.

Song of the day: John Dowler – "Don’t Go To Sydney"

July 26, 2009

Here’s John Dowler with “Don’t Go To Sydney” from his 1993 album, Low Society:


John Dowler was an Adelaide boy who fronted Adelaide band Young Modern (MySpace page) in the late 70’s then moved to Sydney and joined The Zimmermen.

Here’s an earlier version of “Don’t Go To Sydney,” recorded by The Zimmermen for their 1986 debut album, Rivers Of Corn:


The Zimmermen released one more album, 1989’s Way Too Casual, and then split up.

Incidentally, in what must be the longest ever gap between album releases, Young Modern’s first album, Play Faster, was released in 1980 (or 1979, depending on who you consult – but most sources say 1980). Their second album, How Insensitive, was released in 2007. Yep, that’s right: 27 years. (Or 28.)

If you’re interested, here’s an interview with John Dowler about virtually all of the above.

Song of the day: The Numbers – "Big Beat"

July 25, 2009

Here are The Numbers, a skinny-tie band in hair-synth band clothing, with one of their singles, “Big Beat” (1982):


The Numbers were a three-piece band from Sydney who had a degree of success in Australia between 1979 and 1983. The band comprised siblings Annalisse (vocals, bass) and Chris Morrow (guitar, vocals) along with an ever-revolving line-up of drummers.

I really like Annalisse’s squealing in “Big Beat.”

By the way, RetroUniverse has a mighty thorough biography of the band. And so does Vinyl Goldmine.

The Numbers on MySpace

Song of the day: The Rubettes – "Juke Box Jive"

July 24, 2009

Yesterday’s Song of the day was Sailor‘s “A Glass Of Champagne,” a jolly old shanty with a touch of glam, and that got me in the mood for something fully glamtastic (I can’t get enough of glam).

Here are The Rubettes with “Juke Box Jive” (1974), a song I love, love, love (what a chorus!):


As a bonus, here’s their only number one, the magnificent “Sugar Baby Love” (1974):