Various ”Golden Miles” (Australian Progressive Rock 1969-1974) 2 CD Compilation
excellent 2 cd compilation on the Australian prog/rock scene between 1969-1974
some obscure 45s and some great album tracks
including a good informative booklet
If early 70s rock is your thing, get it !!……………
From its inception in 1979 – well ahead of most of the current crop of specialist reissue labels operating throughout the world – Australia’s Raven Records flew the flag for high quality anthologies prepared by collectors for collectors.
Raven’s highly acclaimed releases were sought out internationally by those who understood and appreciated packages compiled and prepared with knowledge, integrity, attention to detail, a period design empathy, a meticulous concern for sound, and an unmistakable affection.
True ‘labours of love’, they filled holes in many collections with flair and a rare comprehensivity, setting aside the record company politics that render so many mass-market compilations inadequate or uninspiring.
Established by Australian writer/broadcaster/music historian Glenn A. Baker, a three-time winner of the BBC’s Rock Brain of the Universe title and compiler and / or annotator of almost 500 albums over the past 25 years (once described by Rolling Stone magazine Music Editor David Fricke as “Australia’s top pop scholar; a world-class rock journalist who writes with the enthusiasm of a true fan”).
Along with fellow enthusiast/collector friends Peter Shillito and Kevin Mueller, plus experienced Sound Engineer and mastering expert Warren Barnett, Raven established its reputation compiling vinyl albums and EPs of otherwise unobtainable classic Australian rock / pop, by the likes of The Easybeats, The Missing Links, Bobby & Laurie, The Purple Hearts, The Twilights, The Loved Ones and The Master’s Apprentices.
Its Ugly Things series of downunder garage punk became an international sensation, its title becoming an almost generic term for the music.
Raven’s strength, right from the beginning, was its ability to bring together a number of sources in the creation of a package, thus being able to prepare thorough career anthologies. Raven – a wholly legitimate concern – has, from its earliest days, licensed material from multi-nationals, small independent labels and, in some cases, direct from the artist.
It was with the advent of the CD era that Raven evolved into one of the world’s leading labels of its kind. Using, as a matter of policy, all 78 minutes available to it on a compact disc, and seeking out rarities and curios, it began issuing anthologies that were hailed as the absolute, definitive word on an artist’s career.
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Over the past 10 years Australian progressive/alternative/underground rock of the early 1970s has taken on a huge cult collector following throughout the world; particularly in Europe, where vast sums are paid for scarce original vinyl albums by such bands as Kahvas Jute, Galadriel, Master’s Apprentices, Fraternity, Blackfeather, Company Caine, Tamam Shud, Pirana, and New Zealand’s Dragon -outfits which forged a distinctive Oz Rock sound that would eventually be embraced by an international mass audience.
To meet the growing demand for material, often only ever pressed up on a mere handful of overlooked albums, Raven has assembled,with its customary intuitive understanding and attention for detail, a definitive 30-track double CD bringing together the most desirable, acclaimed and important examples of Australia Progressive Rock.
A brief history lesson: In the mid-1960s,the leading downunder scream sensations formed an almost unbroken pilgrimage conga line to London, even though only a few managed to secure a foothold. But by the end of the decade there was no pot of gold left at the end of the rainbow. England was no longer swinging and the yellow brick road wasn’t really worth the journey any more. At home, the affection for homegrown heroes that existed at radio had evaporated.
So, with nowhere to go and no hits likely to happen, Oz Rock bands bunkered down and playedto their small but usually loyal home audiences, crafting music to fit onto album sides rather than pop playlists.
It was a challenging and confusing era for Australian musicians, who were trying to assimilate and in many cases emulate the waves of extraordinarily diverse progressive and underground rock from the top half of the world.
For these brave riders of a new frontier, teenybopper and bubblegum bands were beneath contempt. The only music that mattered was innovative, adventurous and pushing atthe edges of the envelope - cosmic wonderchild outpourings which terrified radio.
This era lived and died in tandem with outdoor rock festivals. It spanned from the Ourimbah Pop Pilgrimage early in 1970 (Australia’s answer to Woodstock) through Wallacia, Mulwalla, Myponga and others, to the four Sunburys (1972-75), and was best appreciated when camping rough on fire-studded hills.
For all the undeniable excesses of the era there were breathtaking musical highlights; some vital, surging, expansiveand trulyexciting adult rock music moments created by masterful guitarists, chilling singers, driven drummers.
Pretty much all of them are carried in this set, which comes with detailed tracking notes by era expert Ian McFarlane, an essay by Glenn A. Baker,period photographs, graphic cover art and the inclusion of some extremely rare tracks from tiny out-of-business labels.
From the ranks of these pioneering bands came individuals who could distinguish themselves in later international rock campaigns -Fraternity’s Bon Scott in AC/DC, Bulldog’s Mick Rogers in Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Carson’s Broderick Smith in the Dingoes, Buffalo’s Dave Tice in the Count Bishops, Kahvas Jute’s Bob Daisley in Rainbow, the Blizzard of Ozz and Gary Moore Band, and Healing Force’s Charlie Tumahai in Be Bop Deluxe.
This is where they stretched the limits and in doing so learned a little about their music; not only where they could take it but where it could take them………….
An absolutely stunning compilation of Aussie prog. rock, that changed my view of a couple of artists. Dragon’s “Darkness” a track from a New Zealand release prior to their move to Australia, is so removed from the comercial radio fodder of their Australian period, that it’s hard to believe that it’s the same band. As for Doug Parkinson fronting Fanny Adams, “Ain’t No Lovin’ Left” is a forgotten gem, heavy blues/rock at it’ s best. For those wanting to sample what Australia had to offer in this genre this compilation is a brilliant starting point. For those looking futher, many of the releases that these tracks were lifted from have been re-issued on CD although even some of these are becoming hard to find. For those wanting the vinyl, good luck, 'cause the chance of picking up most of this stuff without extremely deep pockets is more than remote……by..ranko1964 ……….
Here is an essential sampler piece of Australasian Prog rock. Though a few of the seminal antipodean artists are not represented like Airlord, Sebastian Hardie or Windchase.This collection is mainly guitar orientated but this nonetheless makes great listening and when you own this you realize you now possess some of the world’s prog rock gems. Owning this will open an the door to finding some of Australia’s best bands of the 70’s.
Like Blackfeather who’s Long Legged Lovely is featured. This track comes from their At The Mountains Of Madness album which will always rate 5 stars with me.Blackfeather’s guitarist John Robinson is arguably the best rock guitarist Oz has produced. The famed Daddy Cool are here with Make The Stash,Spectrum with Superbody,Fraternity with a pre AC-DC Bon Scott on vocals with a version of the aforementioned Blackfeather’s Seasons of Change. Bakery’s No Dying In The Dark can sit alongside anything by Free or Deep Purple. Fanny Addam’s with Doug Parkinson on vocals uncannily sounds like an offshoot of Black Sabbath.
The release gets its it’s name from Healing Force’s classic Golden Miles with Charlie Tumahai on vocals and bass. Charlie who later played with Bill Nelson’s Be-Bop Deluxe has a delivery as good as anyone in rock music. A double CD with some on Australia & New Zealands best musicians and some of their best songs. This is a good as it gets!!…………..
01. No Dying in the Dark - Bakery
02. Travelling South - Carson
03. Lotus 1 - Lotus
04. Golden Miles - Healing Force
05. Inner Spring - Bulldog
06. Melodies of St. Kilda/Southern Cross - The Master’s Apprentices
07. Girl of 17 - Galadriel
08. Lady Sunshine - Tamam Shud
09. You Realise You Realise - Tully
10. I Am the Sea - Wild Cherries
11. Fanciful Flights of Mind - Copperwine, , Jeff St. John
12. Getting Through - Melissa
13. Here It Comes Again - Pirana
14. Wichita Lineman - King Harvest
15. Freedom Train - Friends
16. Seasons of Change - Fraternity
17. Satan’s Woman - Freshwater
18. Ain’t No Loving Left - Fanny Adams
01. Make Your Stash - Daddy Cool
02. Superbody - Spectrum
03. Day Superman Got Busted - Company Caine
04. Free - Kahvas Jute
05. Long Legged Lovely - Blackfeather
06. Shake Off - Tymeplace
07. Make It Begin - Sons of the Vegetal Mother
08. Human Being - Coloured Balls
09. ‘Til My Death - Buffalo
10. 12 Lb Toothbrush - Madder Lake
11. Extra Terrestrial Boogie - Mackenzie Theory
12. Darkness - Dragon