Aussie Legends Skyhooks mid-‘70s Oeuvre Reissued


You don’t hear the name Skyhooks mentioned here in the States that often, and you never see the word “oeuvre” in a music news headline, either!

By Uncle Blurt

Loved ‘em dearly—that would be Melbourne’s flamboyant, glammy, rocking Skyhooks, who for a spell in the mid ‘70s absolutely ruled the Australian airwaves. Their months’-long chart ubiquity, wrought by No. 1 albums Living in the ‘70s and Ego Is Not a Dirty Word, even helped them gain traction here in the U.S., landing them, if not widespread success, still a general awareness among Oz aficionados and underground deejays to such an extent that the band is still remembered fondly among longtime fans such as yours truly.

Festival Records has a sweet collection now set to drop o October 30, the 3CD Don’t You Believe What You’ve Seen or You’ve Heard, subtitled—appropriately enough—“celebrating 40 years of ‘Hooks hysteria.” As the label puts it, “Their success and their cultural impact was unprecedented for an Australian band. And make no mistake, they were a very Australian band – one who sung about Australian places (that weren’t Gundagai) and an Australian life that mainstream society had barely glimpsed, and one who were all of a sudden the biggest and brightest thing in a country that was undergoing some serious changes…. ‘Living In the 70’s’ and ‘Ego Is Not A Dirty Word’ remain together in the nation’s consciousness as the two records that charmed the band into our collective pants. Indeed the albums remain a cohesive pair; together they were the soundtrack to the band’s extended period of mania.”

Skyhooks Don't You Believe cover

The record offers remasters (by the band’s Gred Macainish) of those two records along with pre-album demos and the live ‘74/’75 Skyhooks in Concert, plus the obligatory fat booklet featuring liners by RAM Magazine’s Anthony O’Grady. Needless to say, if you are an Oz nut like me, this is pure collector catnip. Check out the tracklisting, below, along with a couple of choice tracks.

CD1 – ‘Living in the 70’s’ 
1. Living in the Seventies
2. Whatever Happened to the Revolution
3. Balwyn Calling
4. Horror Movie
5. You Just Like Me ‘Cos I’m Good in Bed
6. Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo)
7. Toorak Cowboy
8. Smut
9. Hey What’s the Matter
10. Motorcycle Bitch
Additional tracks:
11. Broken Gin Bottle – B side of  original ‘Living in the Seventies’ Single
12. Don’t Suck it (Demo)
13. Hey Whats The Matter (Demo)
14. Horror Movie (Demo)
15. Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo) (Demo)

CD2  – Ego is Not a Dirty Word
1. Ego is Not a Dirty Word
2. Love on the Radio
3. Saturday Night
4. Love’s Not Good Enough
5. The Other Side
6. Smartarse Songwriters
7. Mercedes Ladies
8. All My Friends Are Getting Married
9. Every Chase a Steeple
10. Private Eye
Additional tracks :
11. Sweet Sister (Demo)
12. The Other Side (Demo)
13. Saturday Night (Demo)
14. Love on the Radio (Demo)
15. Smartarse Songwriters (Demo)

CD3 – Skyhooks In Concert  1974-75
1. Hey What’s the Matter
2. Living in the 70’s
3. Whatever Happened to the Revolution
4. Balwyn Calling
5. Toorak Cowboy
6. Smut
7. All My Friends are Getting Married
8. Ego is Not a Dirty Word
9. Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo)
10. Private Eye
11. You Just Like Me ‘cos I’m Good in Bed
12. Smartarse Songwriters
13. Horror Movie
14. Love on the Radio
Tracks 1-3 recorded at Sydney Opera House September 15 1974 
Tracks 4-9 Sydney State Theatre  April 12 1975
Track 10  Her Majesty’s Theatre Adelaide July 9 1975
Tracks 11-12 Reefer Cabaret, Ormond Hall, Melbourne December 31 1975
Tracks 13-14 Festival Hall Melbourne  July 3 1975

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