Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Twilights Young Girl b/w Time and Study Motion Man

I've noticed that since starting this blog I've failed to recognise any homegrown music, and I'm the first to admit that in my youth I regarded our contribution to music history to be rather second rate. By doing so I missed a treasure trove of great music that I'm only now starting to listen to and recognise for its quality and inventiveness. Unfortunately the tyranny of distance and lack of record company support prevented a lot of great Australian bands from achieving recognition overseas, and a number of these bands were so much more than copyists of what was happening in the U.S and the U.K.

One band that came through the Beatlemania era and were able to eventually stamp themselves as a class band in their own right were The Twilights, who in my mind along with The Easybeats were one of the best Australian bands of the 1960's. They were a group blessed with individual musical and songwriting talent, Terry Brittain their main songwriter would go on to write such songs as What's Love Got To Do With It etc, lead vocalist Glenn Shorrock would later be a mainstay of the Little River Band, drummer Laurie Pryor was a young prodigy and would later enjoy a fruitful session career.

Their musical highlight for me was their 1967 single Young Girl b/w Time and Study Motion Man. The record was recorded in London in 1967 and was produced by Norman Hurricane Smith, who had engineered most of the Beatles records recorded between 1962 and 1966, he also produced the debut album for Pink Floyd and the classic S.F Sorrow album for the Pretty Things. It's a rough and ready recording with a loose jangling guitar sound, Brittain who was the lead guitarist also experiments with the volume of his guitar between the chorus and the second verse. The group which employed two lead vocalists was also well adept at harmonies as they float over the top of Shorrocks ad libs. Another interesting fact about this record is that it was written by drummer Pryor who apparently didn't submit a lot of songs to the band, but he certainly contributed a classic to not only their recorded legacy but to Australian music.

The B side Time and Study Motion Man is a stab at psychedelia that doesn't quite come off for me, it employs all the tricks with the sitar and it has an interesting middle eight, and some tight vocal harmonies but I think they would have been better off having a harder more driving R&B styled rocker.

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