Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: February 25, 2021
Format: Audio CD
Label: Aztec Music
Aztec Records continues the Remastered and Expanded CD reissue programme of landmark Australian albums with the classic 1971 LP from the country’s original Kings of Sunbury – BILLY THORPE AND THE AZTECS. The Hoax Is Over presented the Aztecs at work in the studio, alive and raw.
In its expanded form, this Double CD collection, The Hoax Is Over Expanded Edition, not only features fully restored audio – no BEEPS! – it also adds a multitude of rare single cuts, bonus live tracks and a selection of Thorpie’s previously unreleased lounge room demos (circa 1972-75). The whole package singles out the heavy duty Aztecs as one of the great jamming bands of the Australian early 1970s blues rock scene.
Lead by the commanding Billy Thorpe, the band also featured the dynamic guitar maestro Lobby Loyde, pianist extraordinaire Warren ‘Pig’ Morgan, powerhouse drummer Gil ‘Rats’ Matthews, master bass player Paul ‘Sheepdog’ Wheeler... plus Kevin Murphy (drums), Bruce Howard (electric piano) and Teddy Toi (bass).
Originally issued on Festival Record’s in-house progressive label Infinity in January 1971, The Hoax Is Over saw the band stretching out in the studio on the 19 minute epic ‘Mississippi’ and the 24-minute guitar monster ‘Gangster Of Love’. One of the contentious issues of the day saw Festival beep out Thorpie’s use of a supposedly offending word – “screwed” – in Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s tale of sexual braggadocio. Mastering engineer Gil Matthews has now restored the full audio. The briefer ‘Goodbye Baby’ and ‘Truth’ continue the heavy blues rock high jinks. Of some significance are the bonus single cuts such as the rip-roarin’ covers of ‘Good Mornin’ Little School Girl’ and ‘Rock Me Baby’, plus the Thorpie-penned ‘Natural Man’ featuring Ronnie Charles on vocals backed by the Aztecs.
Of course, all Aztecs fans want to hear the band in their favoured element – on stage! The Aztecs were renowned in the day for their exceptionally loud, over-driven live performances. This time you get a song from Sunbury 1975 (‘You Can’t Go Round Saying Fuck On Stage’) and a trio of rockers captured at Sydney’s rock ’n’ roll hotspot the Bondi Lifesaver. Thorpie’s lounge room demos are of great historical significance. The rare 1976 single by Morgan & Matthews and a previously unreleased 1975 recording from Bruce Howard round out this exceptionally great value Double CD.
Featured in a Limited Deluxe Double Digit-Pak with Colour booklet with detailed liner notes, Digitally Remastered by Gil Matthews. Aztecs’ classic 1971 album, Remastered and Expanded!, fully restored audio – No BEEPS!, with rare single and live cuts added, plus 2nd disc packed with bonus live tracks and Thorpie’s previously unreleased lounge room demos, featuring Thorpie, Lobby, Rats, Pig, Sheepdog... and more.