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Shane’s Rock Challenge: THE EASYBEATS – 1996 – The Definitive Anthology

| 2 May 2014 | Reply

Shane’s Rock Challenge: THE EASYBEATS – 1996 – The Definitive Anthology

Easybeats - The Definitive Anthology cover

It shouldn’t be such a shock that it took five immigrants to virtually create the fabled Australian Pub Rock Sound, but that’s pretty much The Easybeat’s primary claim to fame. After all – most of Australia’s early pop stars were immigrants from one corner of the globe or another.

Forming at the Villawood detention centre in 1964, Dutch lads Harry Vanda and Dick Diamonde, Englishmen Gordon ‘Snowy’ Fleet (now resident in Perth) and Stevie Wright, and Scotsman George Young started off playing Beatles-inspired pop music, and over the next five years lived at a furious pace, evolved dramatically as musicians, songwriters (especially Vanda & Young) and icons, before breaking up in debt and pissed off at a music industry who had chewed them up and spat them out unfairly.

Nowadays most people will remember The Easybeats for Friday On My Mind, voted in 2001 by APRA as the Best Australian Song Of All Time. It’s an accolade wholly deserved when you consider the effect the song had. Just two years after forming, Vanda & Young were writing songs which still stand up almost fifty years later, and Friday On My Mind’s guitar riffs, lead and insistent vocals over a propulsive rhythm section pretty much made it Ground Zero for pub rock in this country.

There is, however, a LOT more to The Easybeats which is overlooked by radio and music fans alike.

There’s Sorry, The Music Goes Round My Head, St Louis and Heaven And Hell. What about the riotous Good Times, Made My Bed Now I’m Gonna Lie In It and She’s So Fine?

It doesn’t stop there: Women (Make You Feel Alright), I’ll make You Happy, a blazingly soulful take on Wedding Ring and River Deep Mountain High, the trippy Peculiar Hole In The Sky or Come In You’ll Get Pneumonia, just scratch the surface of this killer, 56 track double album which covers all of the bases you need to make a decent first immersion into the world of Australia’s first true international pop rock band.

After the band broke up, Snowy moved to Perth and still runs a rehearsal studio in the southern suburbs, Stevie Wright had a successful solo career for a while before descending into addiction and poverty, and Vanda & Young became the most influential songwriters, producers and performers the country has ever seen through there work with (or as) Flash & The Pan, John Paul young, AC/DC and, errr, William Shakespeare…

By Shane Pinnegar

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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