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

MY SMALL BUNDLE OF TEN INCHERS (1)

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I’ll begin with an apology.

Sometime towards the end of last year, one of you kind readers dropped me an e-mail in which reference was made to the rare art of the 10″ single.  I’ve misplaced the e-mail (probably deleted it in error if the truth be told) and so I’m unable to give you the credit for inspiring what will be an occasional series – but please feel free to identify yourself in the comments so that I can turn sorry into thank you.

I only have eighteen bits of vinyl that are 10″ in size, with the majority being singles/EPs. I’ll try to get them all on the blog over the course of time, but for now here’s the list:-

Adult Net – Where Were You?
Aloha Hawaii – Towns On The Moon/I’ve Been Bad For Years and Years
Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm
Arctic Monkeys – My Propeller
Arctic Monkeys – Don’t Sit Down Cos I’ve Moved Your Chair
Aztec Camera – The Crying Scene
Breeders – Head To Toe
Curve – Clipped
Dave House/Jenny Owen Youngs – Split EP
Gil Scott-Heron – Winter In America
Joe Jackson – One More Time
Lemonheads – Confetti/My Drug Buddy
Madder Rose – Car Song
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Bring It On
OMD – Messages
Sultans Of Ping FC – Where’s Me Jumper
Tom Robinson – Still Loving You
The Wedding Present ‎– Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peela / Українські Виступи В Івана Піла

First one to feature is this 2003 single, an edited version of a track on the mostly underwhelming LP Nocturama

mp3 : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Bring It On

Bring It On features a co-vocal from Chris Bailey whose most famous song is this punky effort from 1977:-

mp3 : The Saints – (I’m) Stranded

The two b-sides are typical of the sort of ballads and slower-tempo numbers the band was mostly churning out at the time. It was a period of real transition as the sound became ever more reliant on Nick Cave‘s piano/organ playing and the violin contributions from Warren Ellis. It’s not the most fondly remembered period in the band’s long and illustrious history.

mp3 : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Shoot Me Down
mp3 : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Swing Low

Enjoy.