Happy 40th birthday to the Sports’ classic debut LP Reckless

Happy 40th birthday to the Sports’ classic debut LP Reckless

Posted 25 May 2018

 

This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the release of the wonderful debut album by Stephen Cummings and the wonderful Melbourne band the Sports.

Reckless was originally released on Mushroom Records in 1978 and came at the point when the Sports were a red hot ticket on the burgeoning Melbourne pub scene. They’d formed less than two years previously out of the ashes of popular Carlton band the Pelaco Brothers, which also begat Joe Camilleri of Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons.  Indeed Joe produced the Sports’ LP, and did a great job capturing the band’s unique mix of R’n’B/Soul, Rockabilly, ‘60s beat and quirky Melbourne rock.

The album produced two near-hit singles – “Boys (What Did The Detective’s Say)” and a superb cover of the Searchers’ ‘60s classic “When You Walk In the Room” -  which got the band on Countdown and all over the radio. And it won them the ‘Most Popular New Group’ award at the last ever King of Pop Awards later in the year.

Festival Records released a spectacular expanded edition of Reckless in 2014 (along with a similar edition of the Sports’ second album Don’t Throw Stones) that also included B-sides, rare compilation tracks, the band’s wonderful indie debut EP Fair Game from ’77, a scorching live set recorded by the nascent 3RRR-FM and over an hour of previously unreleased demo and live material. You can check that out on Spotify here once you’ve had a look at these brilliant early Sports film clips and TV appearances.

Buddy Holly’s “Modern Don Juan”, which featured on Reckless, here performed at a Nightmoves Live concert at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda

 

A couple of rare treats recorded for an ABC live rock show in 1977. “Don’t Hold Back That Feeling” was an unreleased song by great Melbourne song-writer Gulliver Smith of Company Caine; “Cruisin’ In A Citroen” was a Sports composition that had previously appeared on the Ross Wilson produced compilation Debutantes. Both these tracks also appear on the Festival Records expanded edition of Reckless.

- Dave Laing

 

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