The Band formed at the Villawood Migrant Hostel (Now the Villawood Detention Centre) and the band members' families spent their first years in Australia housed at the Villawood Migrant Hostel in the early and mid sixties. Beginning their career in Sydney at the little known teen hangout, Beatle Village, in the basement of a pub at Taylor Square on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, in late 1964, the band was inspired by the "British Invasion" spearheaded by The Beatles. They quickly rose to become one of the most popular groups in the city. By the end of 1965 they were the most popular and successful pop band in Australia, and their concerts and public appearances were regularly marked by intense fan hysteria.
During 1965 and early 1966, they released a string of hit singles, all co-written by Young and Wright, including "For My Woman" (#33), "She's So Fine" (#3), "Wedding Ring" (#7), "Sad and Lonely and Blue" (#21), "Women (Make You Feel Alright)" (#4), "Come and See Her" (#3), "I'll Make You Happy" (#1), and "Sorry" (#1), and all produced by Ted Albert. In addition, the Wright-Young songwriting team wrote a number of hits for other artists,
The group toured Europe and the United States with The Rolling Stones, after a triumphant homecoming tour of Australia in mid-1967, original drummer Snowy Fleet left the band, unhappy at the amount of time he had to spend away from his wife and young children, he was replaced by Tony Cahill. A 1967 album intended as the follow-up the success of "Friday", produced by Glyn Johns, was recorded and prepared for issue but was never released because of the band's complicated financial and contractual problems.
Through late 1968, the formerly tight-knit band began to drift apart. Drugs were a factor, but the growing independence of the Vanda-Young team as a creative unit was also a major catalyst. By this time the duo were working substantially on their own, and between them they could now play almost any instrument needed for recordings and had become skilled in engineering and producing their own recordings. They wrote prolifically, but many of their songs from this period remained unreleased for many years. They were also reluctant to do more than a few gigs per month, and so the band only came together for occasional performances or for 'demo' sessions
In early 1969 Vanda and Young took over a flat in Moscow Road, London, which had previously been used as a jingle studio for pirate radio stations. With modifications, it became a 4-track home studio and Vanda & Young began producing demos, working mostly on their own. The only official recordings they made—which provided the songs for the last Easybeats single—was the rocking "St Louis" (presaging their later work with AC/DC).
In August "St Louis" was released in Australia, along with a new album released on Polydor. Friends was in fact not a real Easybeats album—the only true Easybeats tracks being "St Louis" and "Rock & Roll Boogie". The bulk of the tracks were Vanda-Young Moscow Road recordings, intended as 'demos' for other artists. In September the band undertook a short European tour and then reluctantly accepted the offer of a five-week Australian tour. The group were worn out, disillusioned, and at odds with their management—they reportedly viewed the tour as a last-ditch attempt to bail the group out of its mounting pool of debts. After a final gathering for Dick Diamonde's wedding in early 1970, they went their separate ways.
Vanda and Young remained in the UK for three years, working to pay off debts incurred during the Easybeats years (and recording under various names.They wrote and produced several major hits for John Paul Young including "Love Is in the Air" and "Yesterday's Hero", which was also a cover version hit when recorded by Bay City Rollers, and produced the first six albums for AC/DC (which featured George's younger brothers Angus Young and Malcolm Young).
Vanda and Young also recorded several Australian hit singles under the pseudonym Flash and the Pan, including "Hey St. Peter" and "Down Among the Dead Men". They had even more success in Europe with hits such as "Waiting for a Train", "Midnight Man", "Early Morning Wake Up Call", and "Ayla", from the number 1 albums Early Morning Wake Up Call, Headlines, and Nights in France.
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Today's mystery album was the first album released after the band signed an international recording deal with United Artists Records. The original UK album was released in May 1967. Friday on My Mind, produced by Shel Talmy and recorded in England, captures the group at just about their peak, combining all of the best elements in the evolution of their sound under one cover. It made #1 in Australia, #6 in the UK, #16 in the US, and the Top10 in Germany, Holland, France and Italy, eventually selling over one million copies worldwide, and being awarded a gold disc. The band were still one of the most energetic outfits in rock music, with a raw, highly animated guitar attack, but they were trying (and largely succeeding with) ever more complex vocal harmony parts and some staccato guitar harmony as well that was pretty impressive, and at this stage they were working with a brace of gorgeous Harry Vanda/George Young originals. Friday on My Mind is in excellent company, surrounded by an array of mid- to late-60's British rock treasures: a killer garage punk rendition of "River Deep, Mountain High," with a superb performance by Stevie Wright and what sounds almost like a sitar buried somewhere in the midst of the crisp electric guitars; "Do You Have a Soul," with its abrupt tempo changes, cascading choruses, chiming guitars, and hooks that seem to flow into each other effortless; "Saturday Night," with more sitar-like sounds beneath the radiant choruses and rhythm guitar hooks; the dramatic, angst-ridden "You Me, We Love," on which Vanda's guitar playing becomes as intense as Wright's wrenching vocal performance; "Pretty Girl," with its crunchy rhythm guitar sound and catchy lyric hooks and choruses; and "Made My Bed Gonna Lie in It," a punk anthem nearly as catchy and well-played as "I'm Not Like Everybody Else." The label of "Australia's Beatles" may have proved an overstatement to some, but one can get a good look at its basis on this album -- it's loaded with actual and potential hit singles, yet it doesn't come off as lightweight in any way.
The North American version was re-titled Friday On My Mind and also issued in the same month with a different album cover and running order from the UK release. This here is an extended 92 re release.
Goldy Rhox 176 (flac 331mb)
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