Good Times – Great Vanda & Young Covers - PART 1

Good Times – Great Vanda & Young Covers - PART 1


To further celebrate the life and work of the great George Young, ILYOS presents some of the great Vanda & Young (or Wright & Young – George’s first songwriting partner was Stevie, not Harry) covers that have been recorded over the years. These come not just from Australia but from around the world. George & Harry were international legends and their songs were in high demand in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s especially. Very few of these rival the original recordings (which all featured George in a performance and/or production capacity), but they’re all great fun and certainly worth a listen. Enjoy.

David Bowie – "Friday On My Mind"

The Pin Ups album, which Bowie recorded at the height of his glam period in ‘73, paid tribute to the influence of his favourite records of the ‘60s, and “Friday On My Mind” featured alongside classic tracks by the Who, the Kinks and Pink Floyd.

The Clingers – "Gonna Have a Good Time Tonight"

Nothing to do with the character in M*A*S*H unfortunately, the Clingers were, surprisingly, a group of Mormon sisters out of Utah. Kim Fowley, who knew a good song and obviously liked the idea of all-female rock groups (he put together the Runaways some years later), produced the track but it failed to hit. They got the title wrong too – as you know, it’s called "Good Times” – but it’s a fun version.

Savoy Brown – "Shot in The Head"

Kim Simmonds’ UK blues rockers Savoy Brown were a big deal on the rock circuit in the States, and in ’72 they had the great taste to cover this killer track, originally recorded and released by Vanda &Young under the name Haffy’s Whiskey Sour in ‘71. V&Y re-recorded it when they came to record the Marcus Hook Roll Band Tales of Old Grand Daddy album in ‘73, which was the first record to feature appearances from both Malcolm and Angus Young.

Rod Stewart – "Hard Road"

Originally written for Stevie Wright – it was the title track of his first solo album in ’74 – it could just as easily have been written who recorded it in the same year for his Smiler album.

Shocking Blue – "Good Times"

Another female-fronted version, coming five years after the Clingers rocking version (see above). Shocking Blue were a huge Dutch group, internationally best known for their hit “Venus”.

Bay City Rollers – "Yesterday’s Hero"

Australian audiences didn’t really hear this back in the day because John Paul Young’s version was the hit, but this great version was part of the Rollers’ huge international run of hits and probably one of the best-known tracks on this list.

The Saints – "The Music Goes Round My Head"

The Saints were champions of Australian ‘60s rock from the very beginning; they included a cover of the Missing Links’ “Wild About You” on their (I’m) Stranded album in 1977, and the Chris Bailey-led era covered the Allusions “Gypsy Woman” early on too. At the peak of their commercial success, around the time of hits like “Ghost Ships” and “Just Like Fire Would”, they recorded this sterling late Easybeats tune for the soundtrack of Young Einstein.

Suzi Quatro – "Evie"

Wow, check out this powerhouse love version of "Evie Part One" by Suzi, from ’79. She included it on her If You Knew Suzi.. album of the same year (alongside a similarly cool to hear cover of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “Breakdown”), which was the album that included her hit duet with Chris Norman, "Stumblin' In".

- Dave Laing 

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