• Cream of The Crate: The Easybeats - Record #24


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      "Up until that time, songs you heard on the radio came from somewhere mysterious. So we gave it a crack and started doing it ourselves." [Harry Vanda]



      This is
      number twenty four in the series of albums I'm featuring as part of an on-going retrospective of vinyl albums in my personal collection. The series is called, "Cream of The Crate", and they represent vinyl albums that I believe are of significant musical value, either because of their rarity, because they represent the best of a style or styles of music or because their is something unique about the group or the music.


      We were blessed in the 1960's by having so many 'home-grown' groups, that were very talented.

      Album #24 is by the Easybeats and is titled "Absolute Anthology (1965 - 1969)". Immediately we look at the album track listing it becomes obvious that this IS the album to have. It was released on the Albert Promotions Label [ APM-1] in 1980.


      Although Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs were the first to record on the Albert Label (in 1964), the label was very, very pleased to sign up
      The Easybeats not long after
      this time.

      The history of the Easybeats is told many times elsewhere, and on-line at both Wikipedia.





      and at Milesago

      However, it would be remiss in doing an album review not mention that although they formed at what was then called the Villawood Migrant Center (Sydney), in 1964, all of the five members were from post World War 2 migrant families. Yet they turned out to be possibly Australia's greatest commercial band in the 1960's. In fact, they only survived a of around five years, but, they were five magnificent years!

      This album is in fact a true compilation of their hits and notable tracks. It is a 'gate-fold' album with two LP records inside containing a total of 43 tracks including all their Top Ten hits and notable tracks.

      Inside gate-fold Covers

      Now unless you are 'young and foolish' and believe that nothing pre-1990 is worthwhile (Yes Virginia, these people actually exist), there are probably few Easybeat tracks you have never heard and I almost feel silly talking about the 'best' or even 'favourite tracks.

      Unlike many albums I have done a 'retro-review' on in this "Crate" Series, there are a multitude of videos on Youtube, so I will pick out three of the best known and place them at the end of this review
      and pick out four tracks (one from each side) two that may not be so well known and, two better known tracks.


      The track 'Peculiar Hole in the Sky' was actually released in September 1969 against the bands wishes. It had been put together by the band as a demo for the Valentines, who actually did record it. It is certainly quite different to most of their compositions and had a hard psychedelic edge to it.

      Peculiar Hole The Sky

      There are over 12 brilliant tracks on this set, but Friday On My Mind must surely be there most well known, well played track.

      Friday On My Mind (VIDEO BELOW)
      (Harry Vanda - George Young)
      The track was recorded in UK in 1966
      It reached the following heights in these nine countries.
      #6 UK #16 USA #1 Sydney #3 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #2 Adelaide #2 Perth #2 NZ #1 Netherlands #10 West Germany #13 Ireland #16 Belgium #39 Canada
      .

      If you aren't familiar with the track "St. Louis", do have a listen. Not their most popular track, it is a great example of their overall style of vocal delivery and musicianship - and, it rocks!


      St. Louis

      Line-Up

      Tony Cahill (drums) 1967-69
      Dick Diamonde (bs, vcls)
      Gordon "Snowy" Fleet (dr) 1964-67
      Harry Vanda (gtr/vcls)
      Stevie Wright (vcls/perc)
      George Young (gtr/vcls/kybds)




      Album Tracks

      A1

      For My Woman
      3:02
      A2

      Say That You're Mine
      2:40
      A3

      She's So Fine
      2:02
      A4

      Wedding Ring
      1:58
      A5

      Easy As Can Be
      2:28
      A6

      Sad & Lonely & Blue
      2:10
      A7

      You Said That
      2:32
      A8

      You Got It Off Me
      2:22
      A9

      You Can't Do That
      2:22
      A10

      Funny Feelin'
      2:25
      A11

      In My Book
      3:05
      A12

      Women
      2:30
      B1

      Come & See Her
      2:38
      B2

      I'll Make You Happy
      3:07
      B3

      Too Much
      1:45
      B4

      Sorry
      2:30
      B5

      Made My Bed, Gonna Lie In It
      2:17
      B6

      Friday On My Mind
      2:46
      B7

      Pretty Girl
      2:20
      B8

      Remember Sam
      2:32
      B9

      Who'll Be The One
      2:34
      B10

      Do You Have A Soul?
      2:58
      B11

      Heaven & Hell
      2:38
      C1

      Hello How Are You
      3:56
      C2

      Come In You'll Get Pneumonia
      3:23
      C3

      Good Times
      3:23
      C4

      Bring A Little Lovin'
      2:20
      C5

      The Music Goes Round My Head (Fast)
      2:16
      C6

      Falling Off The Edge Of The World
      2:33
      C7

      The Shame Just Drained
      2:40
      C8

      What In The World?
      2:15
      C9

      Land Of Make Believe
      3:10
      C10

      Peculiar Hole In The Sky
      2:48
      D1

      Lisa
      3:10
      D2

      Saturday Night
      3:24
      D3

      Amanda Storey
      2:43
      D4

      Down To The Last 500
      2:38
      D5

      Lay Me Down & Die (Vocal Version)
      2:48
      D6

      Wait A Minute
      2:37
      D7

      I Love Marie
      2:35
      D8

      Rock & Roll Boogie
      2:27
      D9

      Can't Find Love
      3:25
      D10

      St Louis
      3:08


      In addition to the 43 very fine tracks, this album has an inserted (and attached) booklet of 10 pages of densely packed information and photo's. The quality is satisfactory but the paper isn't terrific and they used sepia tones and so as the years go on it isn't as sharp as it may have been had they used gloss paper and even black ink. However, the quality of the information is very high with the well known rock historian Glenn A Baker being responsible for writing the material.


      The pressing itself is surprisingly good with Australian pressings on vinyl traditionally not as good as the UK or USA pressings. However, when I listened back to it (and allowing for the fact that it is 33 years old), I was pleased when I listened through cans to how good it sounded.


      Discography

      Title
      Release date Label AUS Chart
      Easy
      September 1965 Parlaphone
      4
      It's 2 easy
      March 1966 Parlophone 3
      Volume 3
      November 1966 Parlophone 7
      The Best of The Easybeats
      January 1967
      Parlophone 3
      Virgil
      October 1968 Parlophone -
      Friends
      January 1969 Polydor -
      Best of the Easybeats - Vol 2
      October 1969 Albert -
      Easy Ridin'
      August 1970 Rare Earth -
      The Shame Just Drained
      October 1977 Albert -
      Absolute Anthology
      November 1980 Albert 35
      The Easybeats (compilation) September 1981 Hammard 76
      The Definitive Series
      September 1992 Albert -


      Women

      So what became of the Easybeats? Sadly the story of the rise and fall of Stevie Wright is a story all to well known. After the group folded Stevie became a permanent member of the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, but the damage done by the ravages of drugs had already taken its toll. Releasing Evie in 1974 did make it seem like he might have been back, and, he may very well have. However, he was admitted to the (now known) notorious Chelmsford Private Hospital for ‘Deep Sleep Therapy’. Based upon the use of drugs and electro-shock therapy, Stevie along with many patients, suffered some brain damage, adding to his woes. During the 80’s and 90’s further drug use just exacerbated his poor health and he nearly died on two occasions.

      With professional help and a will to be cured, Stevie clawed his way back and greatly improved his health and in 2002 was a hit at the ‘Long way to the Top’ National Tour. More recently he closed the 2009 Legends of Rock Festival at Byron Bay.

      The “Heart & Soul” of the Easybeats was (in my mind) Harry Vanda and George Young. Having worked in the UK after the Easybeats split (to pay off debts incurred by the Easybeats), Harry and George returned to Oz in 1974 and have been responsible for some great hits including, “Love is in the Air”, and “Yesterday’s Hero”. They have also released tracks under their pseudonym name of ‘Flash and Pan’.

      Snowy Fleet, Dick Diamonde and Tony Cahill took a quieter path. Original drummer, Snowy Fleet, became a successful builder in Perth and now runs a recording studio in Jandacot, WA. His replacement, Tony Cahill, remained in the UK for a time, eventually joining the final studio lineup of ‘Python Lee Jackson’, as a bassist before moving to the United States. Bassist, Dick Diamonde, moved to the north coast of NSW and retired from performing, after some years of performing in pubs.


      If you are interested in adding the album to your collection, at the time of writing this review there were five copies on ebay, retailing for between $40.00 and $60.00 including postage. There is a CD version floating around for about $35.00.

      VIDEOS
      There are no shortage of video clips of the Easybeats, here are three that caught my attention.


      Friday On My Mind



      Sorry



      Wedding Ring



      Previous Cream of The Crate Albums

      #1 – Howling Wolf: Real Folk Blues
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/191-The-Cream-of-The-Crate

      #2 – Otis Redding: Otis Blue/ Otis Redding Sings Soul
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/194-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-2

      #3 – Dr John The Night Tripper: Gris Gris
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/196-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-3

      #4 – Spectrum: ROYGBIV
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/208-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-4

      #5 – Son House: The Real Delta Blues
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/212-Cream-of-The-Crate-5

      #6 – Cruisin ‘61
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/220-Cream-of-The-Crate-6

      #7 – Live At The Station Hotel
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/231-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-7

      #8 – Crosby, Stills Nash & Young: Déjà Vu
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/333-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-8

      #9 – Moon Mullican: Rock it to the Moon
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/245-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-9

      #10 – Billy Thorpe: Time Traveller
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/248-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-10

      #11 – Bobby and Laurie: Cum Sum Ambulant (Hitch Hiker)
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/253-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-11

      #12 – Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/262-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-12

      #13 – The Beatles: The Beatles Collection
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/275-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-13

      #14 – Johnny O’Keefe: 20th Anniversary Album
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/291-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-14

      #15 – Jimmy Cliff (and others): The harder They Come (The Soundtrack from the movie by the same name)
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/298-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-15

      #16 – Frank Zappa: Roxy and Elsewhere
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/303-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-16

      #17 – Junior Walker & The All Stars: Roadrunner
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/311-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-17

      #18 - The Moonglows, Flamingos & The Orioles: Jump
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/313-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-18

      #19 - King Federal - Rockabillys: Various Artists
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/326-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-19


      #20 - Max Merritt and The Meteors: Max Merritt & The Meteors
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/332-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-20

      #21 - Planet Gong: Camembert Electrique

      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/339-Cream-Of-The-Crate-Record-21

      # 22 - Earth, Wind & Fire: Head To The Sky
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/345-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-22


      #23 - Ellen McIlwaine: We The People
      tooraktimes.com.au/entry.php/355-The-Cream-of-The-Crate-Record-23