THE POWER OF THE PRESS – 1976 STYLE

Relying on the info on wiki to introduce this particular story.

The Saints are an Australian rock band formed in Brisbane in 1973. The band was founded by Chris Bailey (singer-songwriter, later guitarist), Ivor Hay (drummer), and Ed Kuepper (guitarist-songwriter) and began life as Kid Galahad and before taking the name The Saints in 1974. Jeffrey Wegener joined on drums and Hay switched to bass guitar. Wegener had left by 1975, Hay moved to drums and Kym Bradshaw joined on bass guitar.

Contemporaneous with Ramones, the group were employing the fast tempos, raucous vocals and “buzz saw” guitar that characterised early punk rock. Kuepper explained that they played faster and faster as they were nervous in front of audiences. The police would often break up their gigs, and arrests were frequent. Unable to obtain bookings, Bailey and Hay converted the Petrie Terrace house they shared into the 76 Club so they had a venue to play in.

In June 1976, the Saints recorded two tracks, “(I’m) Stranded” and “No Time” with Mark Moffatt producing. Unable to find any interested label, they formed Fatal Records and independently released their debut single in September.Their self-owned Eternal Promotions sent discs to radio stations and magazines both in Australia – with little local interest – and United Kingdom.

In the UK, a small label, Power Exchange, issued the single. Sounds magazine’s reviewer, Jonh Ingham, declared it, “Single of this and every week”.

mp3 : The Saints – (I’m Stranded)
mp3 : The Saints – No Time

It was this review that led to EMI in London contacting EMi in Sydney with instructions that The Saints be signed to a three-album contract. In December 1976, the group recorded their first LP, (I’m) Stranded which was released in February 1977 by which time they had also been give a support slot on an Australian tour undertaken by AC/DC.

Despite this, The Saints continued to be ignored at home. The band moved to the UK in mid-1977 but soon ran into problems with EMI who wanted to promote them as a punk band – complete with ripped clothes and spiky hair – while the group just wanted to be themselves.

In due course, they would enjoy minor chart success with the This Perfect Day hitting the Top 40 in July 1977 but the relationship with EMI soured beyond repair when the second album was full of tunes leaning heavily towards RnB and the third under the contract was more or less a jazz/blue effort. In due course, the band would disintegrate and by 1979, just Chris Bailey remained from the original members.

mp3 : The Saints – This Perfect Day

I don’t think anyone would have imagined, 40 years on, that The Saints would still be rockin’n’rollin; but sure enough they continue to tour and record, having ammassed thirteen studio albums, seventeen singles, six EPs, two live albums and ten compilation albums.  And just about every Australian musician of note has lsted them as being a key influence for one reason or another

JC

2 thoughts on “THE POWER OF THE PRESS – 1976 STYLE

  1. The great Ed Kuepper, integral co-founder of The Saints, is one of my all-time musical heroes and continues to release essential music to this day.

  2. Kuepper’s later band The Laughing Clowns were a formative influence on The Blow Monkeys as well. Dr. Robert grew up in Oz before heading back to England in 1981 and he wanted to investigate that post-punk jazz sound in a band of his own.

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