Sunnyboys - 40 - CD/LP
Sunnyboys - 40 - CD/LP
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|n 2020 Sunnyboys will celebrate 40 years since their inception (though a mere 12 years of actual existence) via a new release SUNNYBOYS 40 that brings together the first ever re-release of the band’s much loved 1980 eponymous debut 7” - featuring the original version of the classic Alone With You - alongside four new recordings culled from the archives of chief songwriter Jeremy Oxley.
Recorded over two days in October 1980 and released via independent Sydney label Phantom Records on December 31st the same year, the four songs featured on the EP were essentially the first songs Jeremy Oxley had presented to the band on his arrival in Sydney from Kingscliff just a few months earlier. Alongside Alone With You they included Love to Rule, What You Need & The Seeker.
The debut ‘yellow’ ep was an instant underground smash selling out its initial pressing of 1000 copies in just 2.5 weeks. A further pressing of 1000 would follow but then all further attempts of a repress were quashed when the ep master mysteriously disappeared after band signed to Mushroom Records in February 1981. The tapes having never been recovered these masters have been taken from the cleanest vinyl available and appear here for the first time ever outside the 7” ep format and that limited run of 2000.
Fast forward 40 years (as you do) and Sunnyboys are enjoying a renaissance rarely seen for any band from any era. In truth their popularity now eclipses what it did in 1980-1984 with each successive tour selling more tickets and faster than the tour previous. Why not then give the people new music?
Part 2 of Sunnyboys 40 was recorded between touring commitments in 2018 at Airlock Studios, Brisbane. Overdubs were added over the following twelve months at locations in Sydney & Brisbane and the mixing completed in the summer of 2019 by current in-demand producer Konstantine Kerstin. The idea being to tackle some material Jeremy had written for other projects post-1984 and to complete some unfinished business from back in the band’s original lifespan.
Can’t You Stop is a reworking of a song Jeremy recorded as The Fisherman in 1986. The short-lived trio were Jeremy’s immediate post-Sunnyboys band and the original version was released on the Waterfront label the same year. In this guise Can’t You Stop features an all new arrangement plus those trademark Sunnyboys harmonies.
Lovers (On Another Planet’s Hell) meantime, is a reworking of a track from the Sunnyboys third album Get Some Fun. The original version featuring a 4/4 beat often referred to as the “AC/DC beat” which never sat well with the band. The opportunity to readdress that all these years later proving irresistible. The added keyboards of Alister Spence and brass playing of Eamon Dilworth and young Nico Oxley (Peter’s son) also adding a new dimension to the original.
Strange Cohesion was actually written post-Get Some Fun in 1984 and was performed by the band regularly during their final tour. It would feature on the band’s swansong release, 1984’s Real Live but was never recorded in the studio. 40 gives the track its recorded debut and gives some small hint as to what Sunnyboys album no.4 may have sounded like.
Originally released as a solo recording back in 1991 under the banner Jeremy ‘Ponytail’ Oxley Way After Five shares perhaps the strongest relationship to the ‘40’ concept. Jeremy’s voice at times just a croak - a by-product of the life he has lead for much of last 40 years - adding further poignancy to the songs lyric; and it’s another Oxley classic.
And what better way to celebrate both the new release and the milestone anniversary than by doing what Sunnyboys do best - play live! And so Sunnyboys hit the east coast this February including first time ever shows in Torquay and for Sydney’s Twilights @ Taronga. Special guests Painters & Dockers will join Sunnyboys for the shows in Victoria while garage rockers Rocket Science will join the birthday boys in Sydney.
“We really didn’t think we would ever play again as a band. But wow, we have and we sure are having a bloody great time doing it.” - Peter Oxley
Tracks:01 Love To Rule
02 Alone With You
03 What You Need
04 The Seeker
05 Can?t You Stop
06 Lovers (On Another Planet?s Hell)
07 Strange Cohesion
08 Way After Five