Isolated geographically in the southern Pacific Ocean, Australian rock musicians may as well have been plying their trade on another planet as far as North American, British and European audiences were concerned. Indeed, in terms of rock music per se, only the Bee Gees (who were primarily pop) and the Easybeats made any headway internationally, and only then once they’d relocated to the mother country.
Yet despite its vast distance from the all-important American and British markets, Australia gave birth to vibrant music scenes that delved deep into beat, R&B, punk and psychedelia. Many of the recordings from this period have found their way on to compilations over the years, most notably Raven Records’ superb Ugly Things and the noteworthy Sixties Downunder series.
Thanks to the dedicated and exhaustive work of respected Australian music archivist Glenn A Baker, mastermind behind Raven Records, these priceless gems have provided a handy introduction to Oz legends like the Missing Links, the Purple Hearts and the Master’s Apprentices. Less celebrated than many of their Australian contemporaries but arguably more significant in the creative stakes was Melbourne’s Wild Cherries.