decades

1980s

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  • From The Archives: Rip It Up – The Mockers/The Man Who Would Be STAR
  •               The Man Who Would Be STAR/Madeleine Sheahan [Transcript] It’s been a long time coming. Six years, four moderately successful singles and several line-up changes on, the Mockers have completed their first album, Swear It’s True. We’re entering familiar territory here. New versions of the three earlier singles are […]

Artist entries...

  • Aotearoa

  • Beat Rhythm Fashion

  • Feel the eel: The “EELman” Records story 1982-1988

    Andrew “Clyde” Clouston,
    John Niland
    Hulamen.
    Pelicans Economic Wizards.
    Tombolas.
    Living Daylights.

    Title: Feel the eel : the “EELman” Records story 1982-1988.
    Publisher: EELman, 1999.

    Contents:
    Barking up the wrong tree ; Beer and skittles ; Working for a living ; Underground / The Hulamen — Down to the river — Banana dominion / The Pelicans — The bag / Andrew “Clyde” Clouston — Krazy legs ; Working / The Pelicans — Pakuranga girl / The Economic Wizards — Glad to gladiate ; Vandalised ; Nova bossa / The Tombolas — Whatcha gonna do ; You’ve got my number / The Living Daylights — From the boatshed / John Niland.

    Note:
    When you click on the link ‘Albums by this artist’ below, you will then need to change the search type under ‘New Search’ to ‘Keyword’ to pull the access this item on our catalogue.

  • Flesh D-Vice

  • Jon Stevens

    jonstevens

    Jon Stevens was born Jon Rangi Stevenson in 1963, and originated from the Upper Hutt, north of Wellington. He is the younger brother by 13 years of Frankie Stevens. After leaving school, Jon had a job, along with his sister at the EMI record plant, pressing vinyl. While working, he used to sing with his sister, and they decided to enter a talent quest. At the Upper Hutt talent quest was an EMI representative and liking what he saw, signed Jon up to a contract.

    In October 1979, Jon entered Marmalade Studios to record his first single. It was “Jezebel”/”Rest Your Love On Me”. When released, “Jezebel” raced up the charts, reaching the number one spot on December 2. It stayed in that spot until January 20, 1980, when it was knocked from that position by his own second single, “Montego Bay”/”Sha La La”. “Montego Bay” was a cover of the Bobby Bloom song.

    These two hits were included on his first album released in 1980, called “Jezebel”.

    jonstevens-jezebel

    In March 1980, Jon teamed up with a very good friend of his, Sharon O’Neill, and they recorded a duet called “Don’t Let Love Go”. This was backed with “Wages Of Love” from the album. The duet reached number 5 on the National Charts.

    sharon20o'neill20-20dontletlovego

    His third solo single, “Loving You (Is A Way Of Life)”/”Honeymoon Is Over”, was only a minor hit, peaking at number 28. This was followed by “Working Class Game”/”In A Stranger’s Arms”, which failed to chart.

    jonstevens-workingclassgame

    In 1981 Jon relocated to Sydney where he signed a deal with the Big Time label. He recorded his second, self-titled album in Los Angeles with American session players. It yielded two singles in 1982, a reworking of “Jezebel” and “Lover My Love”, but neither was successful.

    Jon Stevens then formed The Change with guitarist Stuart Fraser (ex Feather and Smith). They played the occasional Sydney pub gig, and with the help of bass player Steve Balbi (on loan from the Kevin Borich Express), recorded an independent single “Forever Young”/”Out There” in 1984. By 1985, drummer Kevin Nicol (ex Dial X) had joined Stevens and Fraser, and they began to lay plans for a new band. They recruited Balbi as a permanent member, and added newcomer Justin Stanley on keyboards. He had been writing songs with Balbi. This new line-up, completed in 1986, was known as Noiseworks.

    Noiseworks built up a strong following on the Australian pub-rock circuit, and in 1987 were signed by CBS. Their self-titled debut album was released in July 1987 and peaked at number 2 on the Australian Albums chart. From it came 5 singles.

    noiseworks-noiseworks

    The second album “Touch” was released in November 1988 and reached number 4 on the Album Charts. Four singles were released from this album.

    noiseworks-touch

    By the end of 1989, the band had commenced work on its third album. They were now signed to Sony, and when the album was presented to them, they rejected it. The album was reworked and finally made an appearance in July 1991 as “Love Verses Money”. This album debuted at Number 1 on the Album Charts and the single “Hot Chilli Woman” became the band’s biggest hit, reaching number 7 on the Singles Chart. In all, 5 singles came from this album.

    noiseworks-loveversesmoney

    At the start of 1992, Jon Stevens, joined the Australian cast of the revived stage musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the role of Judas. Jon appeared alongside the rest of the cast on a CD and single from the show. The show ran for 84 nights and was performed across Australia to more than a million people, making Jon a household name.

    This stint with the show basically put an end to Noiseworks. The band played its last gig at Selinas in Sydney during March 1992. That gig produced the band’s final single, a cover of the Beatles “Let It Be” (Live). This song appeared on the Greatest Hits CD released in October 1992.

    noiseworks-greatesthits

    When the “Superstar” tour ended, Jon recorded his third solo album, “Are U Satisfied”. Most people were unaware of his previous recording history and believed this to be his debut solo album. This was issued in October 1993 and three singles were released from it.

    jonstevens-areusatisfied

    In 1994, Frankie Stevens was invited to appear in Harry M Miller’s New Zealand’s touring theatre production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the role of the High Priest “Caiaphas”. On the strength of his highly acclaimed performance Miller invited him to do the role again in the ‘94-95’ tour of Australia. Frankie did this to not only raise his profile in Australia, but to take the opportunity of performing with his younger brother Jon Stevens who played the role of Judas.

    frankandjon20-20Caiaphas2020Judas
    Frankie and Jon as Caiaphas and Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Jon once again travelled to Los Angeles in 1996 to record his next solo album. It was called “Circle” and was released in January 1997.

    jonstevens-circle

    In 1997 Jon recorded a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Two Tribes”. It was also the time in Australia when Rugby League was going through a change with the split to “Super League”. Television hosts, Foxtel, decided to use this song as their theme song for the series.

    The year 2000 saw the Olympic Games in Sydney and Jon worked with INXS’s Jon Farriss to record and release the single “Carry The Flame”, which became the official theme for the Olympic Torch relay. It was through this work with Jon Farriss and previous backing vocal sessions with INXS that led to Jon joining INXS as a replacement singer for frontman Michael Hutchence. He toured with them for three years as their lead singer and in 2003 he quit the band, without recording a new album. There was only one song, “I Get Up” that was ever recorded with Jon and INXS.

    jonstevensinxs-igetup

    jonstevenswithInxs
    Jon Stevens (front centre) with INXS

    In 2004 Jon released another solo album, “Ain’t No Life For The Faint Hearted”.

    jonstevens-aintnolife

    Recently in September 2005, Jon joined his brother Frankie, who is now on the judging panel of NZ Idol, as a guest judge.

    frankieandjonstevens
    Frankie and Jon

    In November 2005, Jon released his much anticipated acoustic album titled. “The Works”. The album comprises of an eclectic mix of Noiseworks favourites and some of his more recent releases.

    jonstevens-works

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • No peace for the wicked: Three points of metal

    No peace for the wicked; Three points of metal / Various Artists
    Jayrem, 2011.

    Notes: A 15-track compilation featuring the best from New Zealand’s 80’s heavy rock and heavy metal scene, plus a 1984 live recording from Newtown, Wellington, also filmed for a Radio With Pictures special.

    Contents: Knightshade — Confessor — Strikemaster — Lionheart — Stormbringer — Stonehenge — Tokyo — Blitz.

    A Jayrem compilation of the Heavy Metal scene in the 1980s. ‘Knightshade’ & ‘Stonehenge’ were from Hamilton & ‘Confessor’ were from Auckland, but all the other artists on this compilation were Wellington bands.

    Note:
    When you click on the link ‘Albums by this artist’ below, you will then need to change the search type under ‘New Search’ to ‘Keyword’ to pull the access this item on our catalogue.

  • Shoes This High

  • Six Volts

    Part of the Braille Records collective that came out of Wellington in the 1980s, that pushed the boundaries and created genre-less music on the margins of rock, classical, jazz and free-form improv. Steve Roche and David Donaldson and Janet Roddick have been part of the eclectic Wellington music scene for over twenty five years. Their first collaboration was as members of the electric this 1980s band.

    3 songs by ‘6 Volts’. From 1989 and 1990. The first 2 songs including a setting of The Magpies by Dennis Glover was a live performance on a children’s TV show. The song Darling Town was from a ‘Rock The Quota’ gig.

  • Smokeshop

    One of the hardest working bands of the early 90’s pulling huge crowds where ever they went, ‘Chicago Smoke Shop’ (later just ‘Smokeshop’) played a stonking mix of Blues , R’n’B and Stax based dance music .

    Emerging from Lower Hutt, they went on to support everyone from George Thorogood to Robert Cray (who personally requested them), and over the years delivered 3 great albums containing the hits ‘Another Man’ and ‘I Can’t Live Without Your Love’. The 3rd album was a Best of compilation called ‘Fusion at Room Temperature’.

    Cover image

     

     

     

     

     

    Chicago Smoke Shop – (You Want) Another Man
    The 7″ single version of Smoke Shop’s Another Man from 1989. Synced to a live performance a few months later on live TV.

    Chicago Smoke Shop – Mind On My Sleeve (Original Music Video), 1989

    Cover/text sourced from Amplifier. Used with permission.

  • Sticks and Shanty

    Sticks & Shanty were a nine-piece, whanau based, reggae band that released two albums; 1987’s ‘Jah Magic’ and ‘Philistines’ from 1988.

    Of “Jah Magic” the NZ Herald said “The title track and “Row Papa Row” are warm catchy songs …..
    fine vehicles for the band’s strong vocals”. The Daily Telegraph’s music writer described “Jah Magic” as “Optimistic and catchy reggae …. the title track oozes instant appeal and the album carries the trademark of large reggae bands -great harmonies”

    ‘Rip It Up’ reported in 1988 that “The message is clear and the music is good with many tracks (on “Philistines”) deserving radio airplay. The songs are well written and the production is of good quality.

    Sticks

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Live in 1987…

    Cover sourced from Amplifier. Used with permission.

  • The Mockers

  • The Warratahs

  • Trasch

  • Unrestful Movements

    Formed in 1981 and lasting for two years, Unrestful Movements was originally a three-piece band playing in the Rotorua area. Two of the founder members, Glen Wilson and Pam Curreen created considerable interest as Unrestful Movements In The Vegetable Patch, performing at Sweetwaters 1982.

    Shortly after they moved to Wellington and joined with drummer Tim Hunt and Grenville Main on guitar. This lineup released two 12″ EPs on Jayrem Records -First Movement In Eb and Q:Are You A Fireman?