Boogie! Australian Blues, R&B and Heavy Rock From The ‘70s

Boogie! Australian Blues, R&B and Heavy Rock From The ‘70s




To celebrate the limited edition release for Record Store Day of five recent Festival Records compilations, Festival’s own Dave Laing offers up his fave tracks and some thoughts on the collection of ‘70s Australian blues – ‘Boogie! Australian blues, R&B and Heavy Rock from the ‘70s’

And while you’re here enjoy the cover art by iconic Australian album cover and poster artist of the ‘70s , Ian McCausland.

Boogie looks at the distinctively Australian brand of blues that developed out of the ‘60s R&B scene and came into its own at festivals like Sunbury and in the nascent pub rock scene of the ‘70s. This music was massive at the time – bands like Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs and Daddy Cool were genuine social phenomena, and  directly inspired to the biggest bands of the late 70s, Cold Chisel and the Angels. And of course AC/DC were a direct product of this scene too. Here’s six of my favourite tracks…

Chain – Black & Blue

THE definitive Aussie blues, and a pretty cool expression of our convict roots. While perhaps not quite as deft as Canned Heat at their best, it’s a similar vibe. Phil Manning kicking in with the killer riff is an all-time great moment, and Matt Taylor’s vocal is as raw as it gets. Hard to beat this one.

Stevie Wright – Guitar Band

The roots of AC/DC can be found in big brother George Young’s work with the Easybeats, and his and Harry Vanda’s production work in the early and mid-70s. Their work with fellow ex-Easy, young Stevie, is sensational, and you should also check out the forthcoming reissue of the Marcus Hook Roll Band’s  ‘Tales of Old Grand – Daddy’ album, featuring the first recordings of both Malcolm and  Angus.

Band of Light – The Destiny Song

Great, uplifting and maybe even spiritual boogie featuring ex-La-De-Da Phil Key on vocal and Rhythms guitar, great sidle player Norm Roue, and future Rose Tattoo and X bassplayer Ian Rilen.

Indelible Murtceps – Esmeralda

The Murtceps were the alter-ego of  Mike Rudd and Bill Putt’s fantastic band Spectrum (whose #1 hit ‘I’ll Be Gone’ is also on our comp). The Murtceps were more of a stripped back proposition, and this modest little number is an absolute delight. Mike and Bill were wonderfully helpful in our publicity campaign for the cd release of ‘Boogie!’; Bill sadly passed in August last year.

Daddy Cool – Hi Honey Ho (Live at Sunbury ’74)

(note this live version is not the same one that appears on Boogie but it’s also bloody great!)

Perhaps my favourite Australian band of the era, recorded live and absolutely rocking! A pretty rough recording, this version of their second most famous tune is up there with ‘Ya Yas’ Stones for me. As popular as they were, Daddy Cool remain completely under-rated, and their record company should be absolutely ashamed of the shoddy way they’ve handed the band’s catalogue!

Cold Chisel – Goodbye (Astrid, Goodbye)

Whilst the Dingoes are considered by some to be the pinnacle of Ausrock in the ‘70s because of their great songs and Brod Smith’s amazing voice, Chisel, who obviously had much more commercial success, are often derided as bogan pub rockers. Which is a great injustice; early Chisel were everything that the Dingoes were and then some, and in Don Walker they had one of Australia’s all-time great songwriters. Even this throwaway track is an absolute ripper , with every line is a winner. It’s begging for a  Jerry Lee Lewis cover actually.

Written by Dave Laing

Keen to delve into some country-rock? Take a look at Boogie! Presents Silver Roads – Australian Country-Rock & Singer-Songwriters of the ‘70s

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