lobby - The I-94 Bar
As they were in 1981. Catherine Croll photo
In 2012, a reformed Sunnyboys delivered arguably the most emotional comeback of any Australian band in living memory. More on that soon. Three years later, they’ve given us the most unlikely of resurrected albums, with a stunning re-issue of their second record, “Individuals”.
Originally released in May 1982 when the band was poised to take the Australian charts by the throat, it sold respectably but ultimately foundered under the weight of massive expectations and a curiously subdued mix.
The discovery of a previously lost rough mix among the estate of their late producer and manager (as well as legendary guitarist), Lobby Loyde, cast a new light on a largely overlooked record. The new version sounds as lively and dynamic as the band’s “Sunnyboys” debut from 1980.
Mainstream media’s full of stories about the re-birth of vinyl, but anyone with half a clue knows the format never died. What’s glossed over in all the breathless reportage about black platters is the Art of the Seven-Inch Single. Consider the facts…
Back in rock and roll’s heady days of the ‘60s - long before FM radio and the LP format took hold - singles were the deatyh or glory, one-shot-at-the-prize for many bands. The A side of a 45 was a distillation of a band’s essence. The B side was for experimenting.
Melbourne musician Steve Lucas is a big fan of the 45 and acutely aware of the place in music that the format holds.
Following in the tradition of acclaimed compilations like “Boogie” and “(When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton”, Festival Records and WMA are releasing a new collection of music from Australia’s sharpie subculture of the ‘70s.
“When Sharpies Ruled – A Vicious Collection” is a power-packed 23-track CD packaged with a slipcase, 28-page jewel case booklet with liner notes and a separate 60 page booklet of Sharpie snaps. It’s billed as “the ultimate aural and visual statement on the infamous Australian youth movement and gangs of the ‘70s” and who are we to disagree?
Sharpies were a uniquely Australian, working class phenomenon from the late ‘60s to the late ‘70s. Notorious for causing trouble, they’re remembered for their startling style sense - tight Italian cardigans and razor cut hair were favoured – and outrageous dancing.
The recognition of Lobby Loyde as a pivotal figure in the history of Australian rock and roll has been belated and largely posthumous. Inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, he died soon after. The consolidation of his recording history onto CDs that played a big part in giving him recognition is just about complete with this re-issue of the first recording (1972) by his ace outfit Coloured Balls on heritage label Sandman.