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| 29 November 2016 | Reply

21 October, 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar


It’s hard to believe in this over-connected world of ours, but it wasn’t too long ago that virtually the only way to find out about new music in this country was via 1 or 2 month-old international magazines, or by tuning into Molly Meldrum on Countdown every Sunday night on ABC TV.

Generations of Aussies cite Countdown as the first time they ever saw or heard ABBA, KISS, Blondie, The Go-Gos, Devo, Kate Bush, Duran Duran, Cheap Trick, Culture Club, The Village People and many more.

Molly may have been a clown-like figure to many – it’s unimaginable that such a dorky, party animal character would be allowed on screen at all now, let alone in a position of such obvious influence and power – but in recent years his autobiography and bio-mini series has brought his legacy sharply into focus. Slightly ridiculous he may have been at times, but no-one did more for the love of music in this country, nor for the love of Australian music here and overseas.

In addition to all the above acts, this triple CD features a dazzling array of local talent, as featured during the TV program’s run from 1974 to 1987: Skyhooks, The Divinyls, The Models, The Angels, Pseudo Echo, Eurogliders, Icehouse, The Reels, Renee Geyer, Goanna, Hunters & Collectors, Australian Crawl, The Sport, Moving Pictures, Sherbert and many more all feature, easily holding their own against the international hits. Many of them would arguably never have broken from obscurity without Molly and Countdown’s support.

Apart from being a simply great selection of tunes from some of the most fertile eras in modern music, this collection flashes us back to those Sunday nights sitting on the floor or the couch with our parents and siblings, watching Molly “umm and errr” his way through his introductions, make embarrassing faux pas’ to all he tried to interview or interact with, and evoke incredible, never-to-be-repeated scenes such as John Paul Young punching him in the face, followed by a slap from Renee Geyer; or a clearly stoned Iggy Pop jumping up and down on his chair and addressing Molly as “dogface”!

That’s what makes this a great compilation not only of music, but also of memories, and essential to all who grew up in that era.

Category: CD Reviews

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