February 21, 2012
Way back (well, two years) before Bon Scott was a hairy hippy in Fraternity (see yesterday’s post), he was in a bubblegum band called The Valentines. Bon shared co-lead vocal duties with a chap called Vince Lovegrove (that’s a great name for a bubblegum singer). Here’s one of their ditties:
The Valentines – “My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man” (1968) (instrumental)
The reason I chose this particular song over any of the others that The Valentines recorded (they’re all very similar in their bubblegumminess) is that it was written by Australian songwriting stalwarts Vanda and Young, and that means it has some history to it – specifically, Easybeats history.
There are two versions of “My Old Man…” by The Easybeats, and they both have the same backing track, but one has vocals and the other one doesn’t. I think they’re both interesting, but for different reasons (1. I find it fascinating to hear 1960’s tracks without the singing on them; and 2. when The Easybeats did get around to adding vocals to this song – three years later – they decided to add weird vocals):
The Easybeats – “My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man” (1966) (instrumental)
The Easybeats – “My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man” (1969)
May 12, 2011
It just occurred to me that yesterday’s musical apology was from America. That’s not good enough. Here’s an Australian apology:
The Easybeats – “Sorry“ (1966)
“Sorry” is track 1 on The Easybeats’ third album, Volume 3 (1966), which was re-released in 2006 with 11 (!) bonus tracks. That sounds like a bargain to me.
March 8, 2011
What do you get when you mix the best Australian rock band of the 90’s with the best Australian rock band of the 60’s?
You get this:
You Am I – “She’s So Fine” (Live At Wiseold’s) (1996)
Excuse me while I play that again, but louder this time.
Here’s the original:
The Easybeats – “She’s So Fine” (1965)
September 10, 2010
I know, I know: I played you a song by this band only two days ago – but I’ve been listening to their debut album at maximum volume, and I just have to play you their pummelling version of The Easybeats‘ “I’ll Make You Happy”:
A band – “I’ll Make You Happy” (1983)
Here’s the original:
The Easybeats – “I’ll Make You Happy” (1966)
And, because this is an Australian power pop blog, I’m gonna have to play you Rick Springfield‘s version, too:
Rick Springfield – “I’ll Make You Happy” (2004)
April 4, 2010
Here’s Scottish band Marmalade with their version of a not-terribly-well-known Easybeats song:
Marmalade – “Station On Third Avenue” (1968)
And here’s the original:
The Easybeats – “Station On The Third Avenue” (1967)
This may be unpatriotic of me (would it be considered musical treason?), but I prefer the Scottish cover version to the Australian original because it brings out more of the bubblegum flavour that was probably hiding in the original song until the Marmaladers came along and gave it the goody-goody-gumdrops treatment.
Marmalade’s version first appeared on their 1968 debut album, There’s A Lot Of It About, and then on various Marmalade compilations, so it’s been in circulation for quite a while, but the Easybeats original is hardly known. It was recorded at Olympic Studios in England for an album that was never released, and eventually popped up on The Shame Just Drained (1993), an album of Easybeats rarities.
One thing I like in the song (either version) is the little riff (at 0:52 in The Easybeats’ version) that reminds me of the Batman TV theme. And The Easybeats reinforce the Batman reference by singing “Cab man!” straight after the riff (at 0:56). But Marmalade go one better than The Easybeats by playing the little riff not exactly as The Easybeats played it, but much more like the Batman riff (at 0:45 in the Marmalade version).
I love music trivia. It’s so… trivial. And that makes it a whole heap o’ fun.
February 22, 2010
Here’s one of Australia’s most successful bands ever with, er, a jingle for a familiar cola beverage:
The Easybeats – “Coke Jingle #1” (1966)
And if you’re still thirsty, here are two more jingles for the aforementioned concoction:
The Easybeats – “Coke Ads #2 and 3” (1969)
I have just one question:
Those jingly ads appeared on a 1977 album of Easybeats rarities entitled The Shame Just Drained.*
(*Considering that the band seemed to have no compunction about recording jingles for a company, I’m sure it did…)
January 17, 2010
It’s been a while since I played you a song from the unbelievably productive pens of Vanda & Young, so I started thinking about something suitable. For no discernible reason (other than the majority of Vanda & Young songs are never too far away from my subconscious), The Easybeats‘ “St. Louis” popped in my head. And stayed there. All afternoon.
“Yep – that’s suitable” I thought to myself:
The Easybeats – St. Louis” (1969)
As a half-bonus, here’s a version of “St. Louis” by the Little River Band that, as far as I can tell, serves no purpose whatsoever. I think that – partly because of the ’80s production, and partly because it’s the Little River Band playing it – they manage to suck out every last ounce of grit the song originally had:
Little River Band – “St. Louis” (1982)
December 20, 2009
Yesterday’s song was a cover of an Easybeats tune.
Today we have the real article. Here are The Easybeats with the fairly irresistible “You Got It Off Me” (1965):
I reckon “You Got It Off Me” would be a great song for dancing to, but I’m not keen on the song’s name at all – it sounds as if you were dancing the night away with someone who had the ‘flu, and sometime during the evening you ended up with millions of unwelcome microscopic visitors generously donated by the person you were dancing with.
December 19, 2009
If you’ve ever wondered what an Easybeats song would sound like if it was played by AC/DC, then here’s Sydney band Cheek with the answer:
Cheek – “Do You Have A Soul?” (1980)
Because it’s an Easybeats song, and because it’s Australian, it probably won’t surprise you to know who wrote it. Yep, it’s yet another ditty from the free-flowing pens of Vanda and Young. (This may be a slightly rhetorical question, but is there an Australian rock song from the 60’s and 70’s they didn’t write?)
And guess who produced the Cheek track?
Incidentally, there’s something I find odd about the original version. Maybe it’s because it was recorded in 1967, when every single rock band on the planet* was trying to sound like The Beatles circa–Sgt. Pepper’s, but “Do You Have A Soul” is an Easybeats song that doesn’t sound to me like an Easybeats song – it sounds more like psychedelic-era Who or Rolling Stones than The Easybeats. I find this slightly disorienting because The Easybeats have always had an easily identifiable sound. But it’s understandable I suppose, considering the shameless emulation going on at the time even by the most popular bands that had their own easily identifiable sound – like The ‘Oo and The Stones.
Anyway, enough of my pontificating – here’s the original:
The Easybeats – “Do You Have A Soul” (1967)
Update: Cheek’s version of “Do You Have A Soul?” has turned out to be much more popular than I imagined. (I imagined it wasn’t.) Two other blogs have posts about it: Australian Power Pop 1975~1995; and UK blog PUREPOP.
(*That may be an exaggeration.)
November 18, 2009
Here’s Danny Diaz and The Checkmates with their version of The Easybeats‘ “It’s So Easy” (1966):
Danny Diaz and The Checkmates were a band from Hong Kong that was formed by three brothers from The Philippines and their brother-in-law. Their first hit was “It’s So Easy,” a song written and performed by English, Scottish, and Dutch migrants living in Australia.
Now, that’s what I call cosmopolitan.
The thing I love about the cover version is how Danny and co. bring out all the Mersey Beat-ness that wasn’t readily apparent in the original. It makes for a wonderful little piece of sub-Beatles grooviness. Here’s the original:
The Easybeats – “It’s So Easy” (1965)