Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: Dec 14, 2018
Format: Audio CD
Label: Aztec Music
AZTEC RECORDS continues the Digitally Remastered legacy of the legendary LOBBY LOYDE with another piece of the puzzle now in place. Lobby’s Last... Summer Jam combines Loyde and the Coloured Balls’ first live recordings from 1973 with the guitarist’s previously unreleased, final studio sessions from the early 1990s.
Summer Jam was recorded at the second annual Sunbury Festival, at 3.30am on a barmy summer’s night in January 1973. By that time Coloured Balls had established an identity as one of the best bands on the Melbourne rock scene. The redoubtable Lobby Loyde (who died in 2007) was already a 10-year veteran of high esteem, having come up through the ranks of The Purple Hearts, The Wild Cherries and Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs. He’d formed Coloured Balls in March 1972, essentially as a reaction against all that was staid in local pop music. The Balls’ combination of seething, hard driving, loud rock music and proto-punk attitude had already marked out their stall as a force of barely restrained energy and motivation.
Taking the Sunbury stage at such an ungodly hour proved no hindrance to the Balls, with the whole jam captured by location recording engineer John French from TCS Sound Studios. Fellow legends Billy Thorpe and Leo de Castro joined the band for ragged versions of blues rock staples ‘Help Me’ / ‘Rock Me Baby’ and ‘Going Down’.
The centrepiece of the jam was ‘God’, Loyde’s spiralling, faster-louder, heavy cosmic epic which had already become something of an anthem for the band’s fans. This was 16 minutes of towering riffs, pulverizing drums and scorching guitar feedback. It remains a defining moment in the history of live Australian rock music. Loyde said “I loved playing that song for the audiences who got it and I had very little regard for anyone who didn’t get it. ‘God’ is a very special piece of music.” Another track recorded at Sunbury – but never included on a Coloured Balls’ album before – a ferocious, buzz-saw rendition of Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’ has been added here as an extra track. The original Summer Jam album appeared in December 1973, at the same time as the Balls’ classic, studio debut Ball Power. Australian rock had well and truly come of age.
Fast forward to the early 1990s when, after many other musical adventures, Loyde entered the studio with fellow musician Barney G. The objective was to record a fresh, modern sounding batch of the kind of heavy guitar rock that Loyde had pioneered in the early 1970s, now released for the first time as Lobby’s Last. With Loyde taking up bass, guitar and keyboard duties and Barney G on guitar and vocals, aided by Karlis Miglans (guitar, vocals), Alan Johnson (bass) and drummers Simon Smith and Danny Simcic they laid down the likes of ‘Terra Vision’, ‘Only Know I’ve Got the Feeling’, ‘Revolution’ and unhinged versions of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ (New World Mix) and John Lennon’s ‘Working Class Hero’. These previously unreleased sessions offer a unique glimpse into the fertile mind and musical prowess of one of the true legends of Australian rock’n’roll, Lobby Loyde.
This deluxe CD version is packaged in a 4 panel digi-pak. Digitally remastered audio by Gil Matthews, it sounds better than ever, with a colour booklet, rare photos and liner notes by Ian McFarlane is a must-have for fans of Classic Aussie Rock.