Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: April 11, 2016
Format: Audio CD
Label: Aztec Music
Aztec Music continues the CD reissue programme of landmark Australian albums with Big Red Rock by AYERS ROCK. In 1974, five musicians – guitarists Chris Brown and Jimmy Doyle, sax player Col Loughnan and the master rhythm section of Duncan McGuire (bass) and Mark Kennedy (drums) – forged a brilliant and beguiling sound with Ayers Rock. They were hailed as “musician’s musicians” – the best in their field, commanding respect from all comers.
Recorded in one, live-in-the-studio session in September 1974, Big Red Rock was one of the first albums issued on the mighty Mushroom label. Despite the brief nature of the recording, the band was well prepared and the album stands as a fine example of musical skill and technique combined with song writing brilliance. This is where jazzy pop and blues rock textures meet jazz rock explorations and trippy soundscapes, where the band’s sound coalesced into a cogent whole.
Ayers Rock could move from one style to the next with consummate ease. From the silky, jazzy pop of ‘Lady Montego’ (issued as a single), into the tough blues rock of ‘Nostalgic Blues’ which glides into the Frank Zappa Hot Rats styled jazz rock of ‘Crazy Boys’ and onto the jazz fusion magnificence of their version of Weather Report’s ‘Boogie Woogie Waltz’. The band also explored trippy soundscapes in the evocative title track where treated sax solos and wah-wah guitar emulated the didgeridoo, calling to mind the vast, forbidding landscape of the Red Centre.
The group went on to make a mark on the vast USA touring circuit, playing to massive crowds and paving the way for Little River Band, AC/DC, Air Supply, Men at Work and INXS.
Presented in a Deluxe Digi-Pak, Aztec’s expanded CD edition of Big Red Rock adds the rare 1973 single ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Fight (Going On)’ – featuring the band’s original guitarist Ray Burton – plus other live material from Sunbury 1974 (‘Morning Magic’) and Reefer Cabaret (‘Gimme Shelter’). Remastered sound by Gil Matthews, colour booklet with rare photos by Philip Morris and liner notes by Ian McFarlane.