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Revised: Tuesday 16th March 2004 at 3:45 pm

P R O G R A M   O N E  -  Sunday 10th November 2002

Electric Light Orchestra
Face the Music
Released January 1976
Vinyl  -  Jet  -  JT 6010

RATING 35%

Electric Light Orchestra formed from the ashes of the sixties psychedelic group, The Move.  During the early seventies they produced a number of albums that featured a punked out Beatle kind of Rock,  with the addition of multi woodwind overdubs, giving the perception of a large orchestra.  As the group produced more material, their rawness developed into a more polished studio sound, which gave them top chart success by the mid seventies.  By 1976, Electric Light Orchestra had released five albums including this one.  This was the groups second commercial success after 1973's "Eldorado".

This album's highlights include "Evil Woman", "Strange Magic", and a song that had great potential as a single, but was never released as such, "Waterfall".  Besides these three selections, I found this album rather boring, as much of the album lacked any sense of direction.  Many of the tracks were more into an experimental phase, as much of the material seemed to be unfinished. 

Released in December 1976, their next album "A new world record" would be their finest accomplishment to date.  Unlike any of their previous works, this release would not have any weak points.  Lynne's production in all the tracks was strong, resulting in a vibrant blend of differently styled tracks.  This album would stand the test of time, as many radio stations today, use tracks off this album as permanent staples for their play-lists.

Foreigner
Records
Released December 1982
Atlantic/WEA  -  809992

RATING 65%

Around 1976, British band members Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Dennis Elliot met New Yorkers Al Greenwood (keyboards), Ed Gagliardi (basis), and Lou Gramm (vocalist), and based on their different countries of residence, named the group Foreigner. 

By 1977 they released their first self titled album, which sold well in Australia, yielding the three hit singles "Feels like the first time' (#41 in July 1977), "Cold as ice" (#32 in Nov 1977), and "Long long way from home" (#70 in Apr 1978).  This album would reach #9 on Australia's national top 100 charts.  The record also made excellent sales in North America. 

Throughout 1978 they would follow this success with "Double vision" and 1979's "Head games".  There fourth album, simply called "4" was released in 1981.  This was the strongest album to date, reaching #3 in the national charts, but it would be 1984's "Agent provocateur", that would be their strongest ozzie seller, reaching #2 in June of 1985 and staying in the album charts for 26 weeks.  Their last album of any real charting significance came in 1988, "Inside information" which scored a reasonable #33 during the earlier part of that year.  This album contained the two top hit singles, "say you will" (#6 in Dec 1987),  and "I don't want to live without you" (#21 in May 1988).   During this time, Gramm starting pursuing a solo career, which created tensions between him and Band founder Mick Jones.  Foreigner went through a number of line up changes throughout the late 80's and early 90's, which contributed to the groups dissolving success.  The band did reform during the later part of the 90's to record a new album, which went pretty much unnoticed.  They continued to record some extra material for greatest hits compilations, and some live gigs with Journey.  Another group who had a similar sound, and had a number of hits around the same era.

In 1982, they released their greatest hits compilation entitled "records", which features all their great radio hits including "waiting for a girl like you", which went top five in January 1982.  Other tracks include the raging "Jukebox hero", and "urgent", "Cold as ice", "Feels like the first time".  The only disappointment was a rather flat version of "Hot Blooded" which was performed live.

The original version of this track could be found on their "Double vision" set, and is also available on the 1985 Movie Soundtrack of "Vision Quest".  This soundtrack was released through Geffen Records.   (Cat No. 924063-2)

Dire Straits
Dire Straits (self titled)
Released November 1978
Vertigo Records  -  800 051-2

RATING 100%

Dire Straits formed out of the pub group "Brewer's Droop".  At this time the line up was brothers Mark and David Knopfler with room-mate John Illsley.  Whilst playing several live gigs through 1977, the group took drummer Pick Withers aboard.  At this time they send a demo of "The sultans of swing" to the BBC, where eventually it was aired by DJ Charlie Gillett.  After it's airing on the BBC program "Honky Tonkin", they scored the supporting act for Talking Heads then Tour.  During this exciting period for the group, they soon landed a deal with Vertigo records, then a subsidiary of PolyGram. Their first album (dire straits) was released in the Winter of 1978, and would reach #1 on the Australian album charts by October that year.

The album opens immediately with the acoustic grabbing "Down on the waterline".  Other songs include "Water of love", "In the gallery", "Six blade knife", and the punchin' hillbilly track "Setting me up".  Many of the tracks have been recorded with minimal instrumentation, giving the record a sense of ambiance.  Most of the tracks have the tones of pub-rock and country, but with Knoflers interpretations of these styles, the result has been nothing short of fantastic.

The Cars
Candy-O
Released July 1979
Electra Records

RATING 35%

After their self-titled album in 1978, The Cars released their second album "Candy-O", which debuted in the Kent Report on Monday 9th July 1979.  This album would contain "Let's go", their only Kent Report top 10 hit, reaching #6 in late September 1979.

I recently bought the vinyl version of this album at a market for a few cents.  Benjamin Orr does a excellent job on "It's all I can do".  This track wasn't included on their greatest hits collection CD.   What a bugger!, I didn't really want to by the whole disc for one track, though my mind may change, I played a side the other day, and the album comes across with a catchy "Orr" feel to it. 

My recent playing of side two was a disappointment, as it gave the impression of Ric and the group merging many special effects together, with no real results.  Candy-O and Panorama could have easily been merged into one album.

The Angels
Greatest
Released April 1980
Albert/Sony  -  465238-2

RATING 80%

One Aussie group that knows how to rock the place to pieces…  The Angels.  That great roaring sound we remember the group for, is all together on this one Album.  It includes their first hit single, "Am I ever gonna see your face again", which first charted in May 1976.  Other great cuts include my favourite "Shadow Boxer" and other rock legends like, "Take a long line", "Marseilles", "Who rings the bell", "I ain't the one" and "Save me".  Album does contain a few fill in tracks.  Turn it up and blow the neighbours away. 

Gary Numan
Tubeway Army/Premier Hits
Released 1999
Shock Australia  -  BBL 2007 CD

RATING 65%

New wave started shaping the music charts at the close of the seventies, and trailblazing this movement was the unique musical talent of Gary Numan.  Early Synth tracks from the seventies often sounded cold and clinical.  Premier Hits is a comprehensive showcase, presenting Numan's ability to produce a unique blend of synth pop and rock. 

This compilation contains his biggest hit "Cars" which reached #9 in December 1979.  My personal favourites are "our friends electric" and a  1987 remix of "Cars".  Other tracks include "we are glass", "Down in the park", "that's to bad", "This wreckage" and "Love needs no disguise".

Splitenz
Corroboree
Released March 1981
Mushroom  -  D 19473

RATING 80%

In 1980, Splitenz released their best work to date, "True Colours", which gave them the number 1 single "I got you" in late April 1980.

Their follow up album was "corroboree", which unfortunately lacked some of the punch of "True Colours".  Never the less it still contained a number of great tracks including "One Step Ahead", "History never repeats", "Hard act to follow", "I don't want to dance", and a song I thought Mushroom overlooked at the time as a potential single, "Iris". 

I felt very much after Time and Tide, the enz were starting to fizzle out.  The albums, "Conflicting Emotions" and "See ya 'round" all contained a number of excellent singles, but became rather stale.  I thought the two albums, could have been condensed into one.  This could have been a result of Tim Finns experimentations, and Neil's down to earth rock.  The two different writing styles may have been a contribution to the groups break up in the mid eighties.

Cold Chisel
Circus Animals
Released March 1982
WEA Records  -  600113-2

RATING 50%

Just like Splitenz, Cold Chisel enjoyed their best years in the early 1980's. They reached their peak in 1980 with their album "East", which originally was released in 1979, when their single "Choir girl" reached #14 in December of that year.  "East" became the countdown '80 album of the year, which led to the group performing on stage.   Like many great countdown fans out there, I'll never forget that fiasco on the stage, during the show.  That truly was a classic moment in Television!!!

Circus Animals starts off with the Barnes-grouching "You got nothing I want" (#12 in December 1981).  Other tracks include the radio classic "Forever now", "When the war is over", and that riveting moss/barnes chisel anthem, "Bow River"

Like this one at the time, great album covers were everywhere.  This was certainly one of those vision catchers.   I'd love to blow this one up, and hang it on my huge lounge-room wall.  I've never seen a good album cover since 1992.

Simple Minds
Glittering Prize  -  The best of '81/'92
Released October 1992
Virgin  -  786508-2

RATING 100%+

Simple Minds gave us the soundtrack to the 80's.  With more albums you can poke a stick at, they filled our radios with nothing but, pure rock magic!

Simple minds bounced to life with their first rhythm driving classic "love song", Reaching #17 in January 1982.  They followed through with "Promised you a miracle", "Glittering prize", and "Someone, somewhere in summertime".  And all that in 1982.  With their impact on early eighties pop firmly consolidated, they continued with "Waterfront" in the Spring of 1983.  In 1985 their chart blazing ride continued with "don't you forget about me", and "Alive and kicking". In 1986 they had another three hits, "sanctify yourself", "All the things she said", and "Ghostdancing".  By the end of 1991, they notched up more hits including "Belfast child", "Let there be love", and "See the lights".   That reverberating Synth sound, unique to Simple Minds, gives their music that airy kind of feel. 

I love all these songs, and there all on this one great album.

Van Halen
5150
Released June 1986
Warner Brothers  -  925 394-2

RATING 50%

This albums four strong points are "Why can't this be love", "Dreams", "Best of both worlds", and "love walks in".  The rest became rather repetitive.  It was a marked improvement on 1984.  "Dreams" would have to be the winner on this one.

Heart
Heart
Released June 1977
Epic  -  460174-2

Linda Ronstadt
Get Closer
Released October 1982
Asylum  -  60185-2

ZZ Top
Afterburner
Released April 1986
Warner Brothers  -  25342-2

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