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Monday, 18 March 2019

Stevie Wright (The Easybeats,AC/DC) "Hard Road" 1974 Australia Classic Rock,Hard Rock


Stevie Wright (The Easybeats,AC/DC) "Hard Road" 1974 Australia Classic Rock,Hard Rock

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Stevie Wright (by Stephen Carlton Wright 's metric ) is a legend of Australian rock, called the "first Australian international pop star" ... Under the name Little Stevie was the vocalist and frontman of the most famous Sydney (and Australian) , and actually - international) rock'n'roll gang of the 60s - The Easybeats (which also included, in particular, the authors and producers of this album, Harry Vanda and George Young) ... Stevie Wright is from England, from Leeds, but at the age of 9, he and his parents moved to Australia. Hard Road - Stevie Wright's debut solo album(No. 2 in the Go-Set Australian Albums Chart). It contains the unconditional hit of Australian rock (Oz Rock) of all time - the song Evie (the first part of the three components of this composition was a hit). About music is Aussie Rock, Australian hard rock or pub rock .....~


Australian musician, vocalist and songwriter Stevie Wright has gained the status of a cult thanks to his participation in the Easy Beats first band. Beginning in 1964, this composition began to stir up the Australian pop scene. The success of the alliance with the country's biggest composers George Young (elder brother of Yang from AC / DC) and Harry Wanda strengthened Steve's reputation as one of the most important idols of Australian teenagers. 
The success of the project provoked such a large-scale sociocultural phenomenon as “Is-Fiver” (a kind of Australian version of Beatlomania). The Easybeats were the first fateful Australian team that tried their luck with touring in Albion, but apart from the hit single “My Fifty I Mind”, which entered the top 10 of the British charts, they did not achieve tangible recognition. 
Wright's solo career was not so successful. The success of Wright was hampered by a long struggle with heroin addiction. However, the influence of his expressive performing style has been appreciably still recognized at the time by such famous Australians as Bon Scott, Nick Cave, and others. After the untimely death of the first Wright, they even predicted the vacant place of vocalist AC / DC.....~



Stevie Wright will no doubt be remembered as one of Australia’s greatest rock and roll singers, a man who gave it his all and then some. As front man of The Easybeats he either wrote, or co-wrote – with Vanda Young – such classic songs as “She’s So Fine”, “Women”, “I’ll Make You Happy” and “Sorry”, tunes which were just as good as anything heard on English or American radio during the mid 1960’s. However when the band disintegrated in 1969, Wright’s career in the music business appeared to come to a halt, unless one counts his time as a cast member of the Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar in the early ‘70s (for which he won great acclaim by the way, even if he did carry out a meat pie on stage one night). 

It was not until 1973 when Stevie, working at Alberts Studios, was reunited with his old band mates Harry Vanda and George Young, both of whom had returned fresh from England with practically a suitcase full of songs, that the seeds were sown for the recording of Wright’s first solo album, what would ultimately become Hard Road. 

Released in 1974, Wright’s debut is without a doubt his finest musical achievement and a defining moment for Oz Rock in general. The LP’s success owed itself predominately to Vanda and Young, whose contributions were considerable, who not only played on the record, but also wrote the title track, along with “Didn’t I Take You Higher”, as well as the epic “Evie”, which was an enormous hit on the charts and the reason why most people would have bought the album in the first place. 

If you love Bon Scott era AC/DC, then you’ll likely enjoy album opener “Hard Road”, whose main riff is more than faintly reminiscent of “Long Way to the Top”. That Malcolm Young was brought in to play guitar is no coincidence, being the brother of Angus and George. It’s a superb track, and one which Stevie was simply put on this earth to sing. Rod Stewart covered it on his Smiler LP, but the original is the best, in my estimation. 

“Life Gets Better” is a bit of decent early ‘70s disco-rock and the first of six songs Wright wrote for the album. On “The Other Side” the band gets to flex some serious funk-blues muscle, while “I Got You Good” is little more than your above average party song. And speaking of parties, “Didn’t I Take You Higher” is guaranteed to get one’s guests dancing round the shag pile carpet in all their flared jeans glory. Even those who are bonging near the lava lamp might get up for a quick strut. But seriously, it’s a great piece, and reveals just how much Vanda and Young had grown as songwriters since the Sixties. 

Change sides and we have the enduring eleven minute three part marathon of “Evie”, the song which relaunched Stevie’s career and put him back at the top of the Australian charts. The first part starts off as a tough, hard as nails rocker, with a riff and chorus that will dominate your thought patterns for at least several days (I’m surprised that Bowie didn’t do a version of his own. Then again, Suzi Quatro probably beat him to it). Basically it’s your typical boy meets girl (part one), boy falls in love (part two); girl leaves boy and breaks his heart (part three) storyline. But isn’t that what rock ballads are supposed to be about – clichéd and accessible? No matter. My father always said that this tune was ahead of its time, and who am I to argue. Sure, it may lack the gravitas of Stairway to Heaven from a few years earlier, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a brilliant song in its own right. 

The country-rock of “Movin’ On Up” is another strong Wright composition, as is “Commando Line”, a predominately acoustic-gospel number, where obviously he’d learnt a thing or two when playing the role of Simon Zealotes in Jesus Christ. 

Wright would go on to record one more near-classic album, the appropriately titled Black Eyed Bruiser, which contained not only the title song, but also “Guitar Band”. However the LP failed to repeat the success of the first, regardless of how good it was, and soon Stevie began to spiral downward into an ever worsening dependency on drugs and alcohol, combined with mental illness. Sadly Wright passed away in December 2015. 

Whether he ever managed to overcome his many demons during his final years is anybody’s guess. All I can say is that for every purported shortcoming as a person, at least he will be remembered for his musical achievements, and the contribution he made to an industry and audience that was clearly crying out for a pop star of its own. As a young man, Wright’s dreams came true. How unfortunate it would quickly become a nightmare......Moon Under Water.....~



In January 1986, a curious advertisement appeared in the personal column of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper:"Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Stevie Wright, once lead singer of THE EASYBEATS, please contact Terry Hunter at the Bexley North Hotel".Within 48 hours, a weary and suspicious Stevie Wright appeared at the bar of the Bexley North Hotel, curious to find out who wanted to know, and what it was all about. The hotel publican, Terry Hunter, was a sixties music lover and wanted to promote a sixties night in his pub and thought Stevie Wright would be a great drawcard for his show.The Stevie Wright who answered the ad was a far cry from the international pop star of the 1960s and 70s. He arrived with scant belongings, no money and nursing a heroin addiction. No one at the time, least of all Stevie himself, would have predicted the events that would follow. Before the end ot the year, he would kick heroin, return to the stage touring Australia with his own 8- piece band and finally achieve the impossible- a reunion with the legendary Easybeats.This is a story of one of Australia's legendary music stars as told by himself and the people who have known him, worked with him and looked after him. It winds through the exhiliration of superstardom and travels down the hard road to hell- from heroin addiction, alcoholism and mental illness to rehabilitation and survival.....~



Glenn Goldsmith's 2004 book, Hard Road: The Life and Times of Stevie Wright , tells the star-crossed story of the Australian musician that first earned fame with The Easybeats. A rough ride through drug and alcohol abuse punctuated Wright's hard life in the fast lane. Prior to undergoing methadone treatment in 1976, Wright recorded a pair of albums, with Hard Road being the first of his mid-'70s releases. 

Issued in North America by Atco Records (SD 36-09), Hard Road rolls with swagger from the off with the loose title track leading the charge. Keyboard fills accent the striding opener that was penned by the tight tag-team of George Young and Harry Vanda, and subsequently covered by Rod Stewart for his Smiler LP, a few months following Wright's take. 

Young and Vanda held down the production work on the 1974 recording, while earning writing credits for the three-part "Evie" and "Didn't I take You Higher". The eleven-minute-plus "Evie" was issued as the first single from Hard Road, with the driving "Let Your Hair Down" (Part 1) holding down the A-side, while the mellow "Evie" (Part 2) and the rockin' "I'm Losing You" (Part 3) filling out the B-side. AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young guests on Part 1 of the track, which topped the Aussie singles chart in 1974. 

Hard Road adds the accessible "Life Gets Better", the quick-hitting "The Other Side", the down-home "I Got You Good", the building "Movin' On Up", the closing "Command Line", and the rollicking "Dancing in the Limelight". "Dancin' in the Limelight" alone serves as proof regarding Stevie Wright being considered as a replacement for the late, great Bon Scott, to front the high-voltage AC/DC back in 1980.....by....JonFox ....~ 

Easybeats band members Snowy Fleet (rear), (left to right) Stevie Wright, George Young, Harry Vanda, Snowy Fleet and Dick Diamonde.















Stevie Wright (top) whamming his tambourine during an Easybeats performance in 1967.

Stevie Wright in 2012. Photo Kirk Gilmour

The Easybeats in 1966 Guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young, singer Stevie Wright, bassist Dick Dimonde and drummer Gordon Fleet

Band Members 

Stevie Wright (Vocals) 
Time Gaze (Guitar) 
Ken Firth (Bass) 
Warren 'Pig' Morgan (Piano) 
Johnny Dick (Drums)

The Easybeats posed circa 1968. The line up includes (from left to right) Gordon Fleet, Dick Diamonde, Stevie Wright, Dick Diamonde, Harry Vanda and George Young

Tracklist 

A1 Hard Road
A2 Life Gets Better
A3 The Other Side
A4 I Got You Good
A5 Dancing In The Limelight
A6 Didn't I Take You Higher
B1 Evie:
B1a Part I (Let Your Hair Hang Down)
B1b Part II (Evie)
B1c Part III (I'm Losing You) 
Drums – Tony Currenti 
B2 Movin' On Up
B3 Commando Line 






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