The Easybeats


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1963-67)

- Gordon 'Snowy' Fleet -- drums, percussion

- Harry Vanda -- lead guitar

- Little Stevie Wright -- vocals 

- George Young -- guitar

 

  line up 2 (1967-68)

- Dick Diamonde -- bass

NEW - Freddie Smith -- drums, percussion (replaced Gordon Fleet)

- Harry Vanda -- lead guitar 

- Little Stevie Wright -- vocals 

- George Young -- guitar 

 

  line up 3 (1968-70)

NEW - Tony Cahill - drums, percussion (replaced Freddie Smith) 

- Dick Diamonde - bass 

- Harry Vanda - lead guitar 

- Little Stevie Wright - vocals 

- George Young - guitar 


 

 

- Black Train  (Stevie Wright)

- Flash In the Pan  (Stevie Wright)

- Hard Rain  (Stevie Wright)

- Likefun  (Stevie Wright)

- Marcus Hook Rock and Roll Band

- The Purple Hearts

- Python Lee Jackson (Tony Cahill)

- Rachette  (Stevie Wright)

- Steve Wright (solo efforts)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Falling Off the Edge of the World

Company: United Artists

Catalog: UAS-6667

Year: 1968

Country/State: Australia

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: US pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4584

Price: $30.00

Cost: $66.00

 

I guess it's nice to know things get messed up in Australia as well.   

 

On the heels of their international success with 1967's "Friday On Your Mind" The Easybeats began recording sessions for their follow-on album.   Originally titled  "Good Times" the project fell victim to a nasty legal dispute between the band and their label Albert Productions.   When the dust settled the project had been shelved with the band salvaging a couple of tunes for what became their fifth studio release - 1968's "Vigil".   Making the situation even more confusing, United Artists chose to re-title and repackage it for US audiences.  As if "Falling Off the Edge of the World" were any more commercial from a marketing standpoint.  In addition to different artwork, the US released featured a significantly different track listing.  Three of the songs found on the original release were missing from the US pressing; while the 'Good Times' was given a modified title ('Gonna Have a Good Time')  and 'Falling Off the Edge of the World' reflected a different version of the tune:

 

- Good Times

- Sha, La, La, La, Leah

- Bring a Little Lovin'

- We All Live Happily

 

The US release replaced those six tracks with four new numbers and a remixed version of the title track:

 

-  I Can't Take My Eyes Off You

-  Hit the Road Jack   

-  I Can't Take It  

-  Falling Off the Edge of the World

 

Having head the original "Vigil", United Artists should have stuck with that track listing.

 

 

Parlophone/Albert catalog number PMCO-7551

 

In spite of it's tortured release, produced by Mike Vaughan and the band, the album offered up a prime collection of Easybeats material.  Largely written by Harry Vanda and George Young, the album featured a great mix of tight garage rockers ('Gonna Have a Good Time' and the blistering 'Fancy Seeing You Here'), surprisingly accomplished blue-eyed soul ('What In the World' and 'See Saw'),  and more commercial pop (the title track, 'What In the World' and 'Hello, How Are You').  Lead vocalist Little Stevie Wright seldom sounded as good, while  Dick Diamonde and Freddie Smith remained a devastating rhythm section.  Among the few disappointments, the slightly psychedelic title track sounded like a Bee Gees outtake, while their cover of The Four Seasons' 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' was simply pathetic.  Yeah, it may have been cobbled together without a lot of artistic consideration, but song-for-song the results were a blast.  Largely unknown outside Australia which is ashamed since it's a wonderful album.

 

"Falling Off the Edge of the World" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Gonna Have a Good Time (Good Times)   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young) - 3:25

And you didn't think bands were still playing hardcore garage tunes in the late-'60s?  Well The Easybeats were doing it and doing it with style. One of the tunes salvaged from the previous recording sessions, this one had also previously appeared as the flip side on the Australian 'Land of Make-Believe' 45.  Interesting how Steve Wright's growl of a voice has always reminded me a bit of the late Bon Scott.  For anyone curious to see what all the excitement was about, YouTube has an enthusiastic black and white clip taken from a 1968 performance on the German Beat club show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBg6cos3LVI   rating: **** stars

2.) What In the World   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young) - 2:15

Geez, who would have expected a bunch of Australians to turn in such a stunning slice of blue-eyed soul ?   Propelled by Dick Diamonde's classic bass line, it was easily one of the album highlights.  The  addictive refrain actually managed to make heartbreak sound dance-ready.     rating: **** stars

3.) Falling Off the Edge of the World   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young) - 2:55

Personally I wouldn't have expected them to be capable of pulling off a slice of Bee Gees-styled Baroque pop.  While it wasn't my favorite tune, it was far better than you would have expected and could have given the Gibbs a run for the charts.     rating: *** stars

4.) The Music Goes Round My Head   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young) - 2:45

Strange toytown tune that sounded very out of place in The Easybeats catalog.   Cute, but very different and took awhile to get acclimated to.  rating: *** stars

5.) Can't Take My Eyes Off You   (Bob Crewe - Bob Gaudio) - 3:28

It's hard to imagine the band would have come up with the idea to record this lounge act pop number ...   rating: ** stars  

6.) Come In, You'll get Pneumonia   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young - Tony Cahill) - 3:45

It started out sounding like it was going to offer up another slice of Bee Gees-styled drama, but then it turned into a totally unexpected slice of pounding, pseudo-Gospel with a lyric that must have raised eyebrows at the time.   Killer tune.   rating: **** stars 

 

(side 2)
1.) See Saw   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young) - 2:28

Back to blue-eyed soul, delivered with equally impressive and funky results. Would shame most American bands.   rating: **** stars

2.) Land of Make Believe   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young) - 3:10

Another survivor from the "Good Times" recording sessions, 'Land of Make Believe' was a heavily orchestrated Byrds-styled folk-rocker.   Very nice and again, totally unexpected musical direction.   rating: **** stars

3.) Fancy Seeing You Here   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young) - 2:28

Imagine a cross between Mitch Ryder, Big Star, and Flash In the Pan (check out the way Wright flattened his voice on this one) ...   one of those bouncy songs that's simply hard to sit still through.  Spotting an old lover Wright sounded like he was about to have an aneurysm.   Snarling cynacism at its best.  rating: **** stars

4.) Hello, How Are You?   (Harry Vanda - Steve Young) - 3:03

'Hello, How Are You?' was a heavily orchestrated, radio-friendly ballad that was clearly intended to give the Gibbs a run for their money.  Pretty, but saccharine and forgettable.  YouTube has a black and white clip taken from a 1968 performance on the German Beat club show.  Judging by the sound and the fact none of the guitars were plugged in, they were apparently lip-synching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sp1oXx14io     rating: *** stars

5.) Hit the Road Jack   (Percy Mayfield) - 2:47

Why did they let their label convince them to record this ?   rating: ** stars

6.) I Can't Stand It   (Williams - McPherson) - 2:39

Maybe it's just my beat ears, but the closer 'I Can't Stand It' has always reminded me of a less psychedelic version of  Rare Earth's '(I Know) I'm Losing You'.  Doesn't lessen my enjoyment in the least.  rating: **** stars

 

 

As mentioned, the album included a host of Australian and international singles:

  Australian 45s:

- 1967's 'The Music Goes Round My Head' b/w 'Come In, You'll Get Pneumonia' (Parlophone/Albert catalog number A-8277)

- 1968's 'Land of Make Believe' b/w 'We All Live Happily Together' (Parlophone/Albert catalog number A-8406)

- 1968's 'Good Times' b/w 'Lay Me Down and Die' (Parlophone/Albert catalog number A-8406)

 

  overseas 45s:

- 1968's 'Hello, How Are You' b/w 'Falling Off the Edge of the World' 

- 1969's 'I Can't Stand It' b/w 'Come in You'll Get Pneumonia' 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Friends

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 2482 010

Year: 1969

Country/State: Australia

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: initials in yellow on back cover

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 4583

Price: SOLD $30.00

Cost: $66.00

 

1969's "Friends" proved to be the band's final studio set - though that's subject to some debate since tracks like the lame ballads 'I Love Marie', 'What Becomes of You My Love' and the ragged 'Tell Your Mother' sounded like they were little more than hastily completed demos.  Regardless of whether it should be considered a full-fledge album, much of set sounded like the band had run out of energy and enthusiasm.  That's not to say the set wasn't without it's moments.  The Vanda and Young penned opener 'St. Louis' and 'Rock & Roll Boogie' were easily among the best rockers they ever recorded.  On the former Wright's 'choking on his own vomit' vocals actually sounded like something out of AC/DC's catalog.  No idea what the story behind it was, but in the States the album was released by Motown's Rare Earth subsidiary.  Released as a single 'St. Louis' b/w 'Can't Find Love' (Rare Earth catalog number 5009) actually made it to # 100 on the US pop charts.

"Friends" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) St. Louis   (Harry Vanda - George Young) - 3:09

2.) Who Are My Friends   (Russell) - 3:40

3.) Watching the World Go By   (Russell)  - 2:33

4.) Can't Find Love   (Harry Vanda - George Young) - 3:25

5.) Holding On   (Russell)  - 3:35

6.) I Love Marie   (Russell)  - 2:37

 

(side 2)
1.) Rock & Roll Boogie   (Russell)  - 2:26

2.) Tell Your Mother   (Russell)  - 5:20

3.) The Train Song   (Russell)  - 3:29

4.) What Becomes of You My Love   (Russell) - 3:15

5.) Woman You're On My Mind   (Russell) - 4:31

 

 

 

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