mondo rock

mondo rock

Mondo Rock - Summer of '81 (1981)

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Mondo Rock were an Australian rock band formed in November 1976 by founding mainstay singer-songwriter, Ross Wilson (ex-Daddy Cool). Their second album, Chemistry was issued in July 1981, which peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. It was followed by Nuovo Mondo in July 1982 which reached No. 7, The Modern Bop in April 1984 which appeared at No. 2 and a compilation album, Up to the Moment in June 1985, which peaked at No. 5. Mondo Rock reached the top 10 on the related Kent Music Report Singles Chart with "State of the Heart" (October 1980), "Cool World" (April 1981) and "Come Said the Boy" (December 1983). The group disbanded in 1991, although they have periodically undertaken reunion concerts. According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "[b]y way of ceaseless touring and the release of a series of sophisticated pop rock albums, [the band was] one of the most popular acts in Australia during the early 1980s". In February 1980 Wilson launched a new version of Mondo Rock with Matthews, and James Black (ex-Rum Jungle, Russell Morris Band) on keyboards and guitar; Paul Christie (ex-Kevin Borich Express) on bass guitar; and Eric McCusker (ex-The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band) on guitar. This line-up recorded, with Ern Rose producing, their first major hit single, "State of the Heart" (October 1980). It peaked at No. 6 on the Kent Music Report. The track was written by McCusker, who contributed many songs to the band's repertoire, taking some of the pressure off Wilson, who was experiencing temporary writer's block. Matthews left after the single appeared and was replaced by Andy Buchanan (ex-Darryl Cotton Band) and then by John James "J. J." Hackett (ex-Stars, Fabulaires) in March 1981. Their next single, "Cool World", which was written by Wilson, appeared in April and was also successful on the chart, reaching No. 8. In July 1981 the line-up of Wilson, Black, Christie, Hackett, and McCusker, released their second album, Chemistry, which reached No. 2 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart the following month. Other than "State of the Heart", all the tracks were produced by Mark Moffatt. The title track, released as the next single, reached No. 20 and it was followed by "Summer of '81", which peaked at No. 31. The royalties for that single were donated to Amnesty International. "State of the Heart" was also released in the United States and United Kingdom although their US label, Atlantic Records, felt it was too long for radio and edited it for release there, much to the band's chagrin. In 1985 expatriate Australian, Rick Springfield covered "State of the Heart", which reached No. 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100, his version was similar to Mondo Rock's original full-length recording. In July 1982 they issued their third album, Nuovo Mondo, on RCA / WEA with Peter McIan producing, which reached No. 7. According to McCusker the lead single, "No Time", which he wrote, was inspired by The Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down", as a tribute to John Lennon. Also released in June, it peaked at No. 11.Christie left the group in September and subsequently formed an all-star band, The Party Boys; he was replaced on bass guitar by James Gillard. A second single, "The Queen and Me", from the album appeared in November which reached the top 40. Another single, "In Another Love", appeared in February 1983 which reached the top 100. An album track, "Touch of Paradise", co-written by Wilson and Gulliver Smith (aka Kevin Smith, ex-Company Caine). In February 1987 it was covered by Australian pop singer John Farnham (ex-Little River Band), as his third single from his album, Whispering Jack (20 October 1986), which reached the top 30. Concurrent with Mondo Rock's success Wilson scored another hit in August 1983 with the novelty song "Bop Girl", written for his then-wife Pat Wilson as a solo singer, who was backed by Wilson and his former band mate, Hannaford. The single reached No. 2, and its music video featured ...