Another 90 Oz Rock songs for 20 bucks. Can’t go wrong, eh?
This is Festival’s second “Glory Days” offering and it’s inevitably subject to some “mainstreaming”. There’s more chart action and a sprinkling of what might be regarded as lesser-known tracks or rarities, although you could argue they’re skewed from a Melbourne perspective. It's the lesser-known cuts that make this collection tolerable.
It’s not every day you see bands from Australian underground rock’s halcyon days (that’d be the ‘80s) rubbing shoulders with mainstream chart-toppers but that’s what’s looming.
“The Golden Days Of Aussie Pub Rock” is the first volume of a series through major label Festival/Warner that boasts four (count ‘em) CDs of Down Under backyard barbecue listening fodder.
Cool lesser lights like Sydney’s suburban pop-rockers The Lonely Hearts (“The Spell”), the unstoppable X (“Dream Baby”), The Numbers (“The Modern Song”), The Hitmen (“I Don’t Mind”), Huxton Creepers (“I Will Persuade You”) and the Screaming Tribesmen (“A Date With a Vampyre”) sit alongside heavyweights like Jimmy Barnes, Mental As Anything, The Angels, Cold Chisel and (gulp) Boom Crash Opera.
But wait, there's more. Boys Next Door, Sunnyboys, The Elks, The Boys and XL Capris fly the flag for independent bands. Stevie Wright, Finch, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Angy Anderson (no, not “Suddenly”, thank fuck) represent the old guard.
The 91-song package includes comprehensive liner notes, with a track-by-track commentary and essay by key ‘70s Australian RAM magazine founding editor Anthony O’Grady. It’s out on April 1.
Only people of a certain age will “get” this review. The term "Guilty Pleasure" will not be used at any point.
Admit it, punk. If you grew up in Australia in the 1970s and ‘80s (OK, you were might have been underage and still growing up, but you could sneak into licensed premises) and lived anywhere outside of Melbourne and Sydney’s inner-city regions, a dose of Pub Rock was unavoidable. A way of life, even.