cream of the crate – record #45: decade volume 1
Decade Vol 1

“Home grown excellence(Liner notes)


This is number forty five in the series of albums I have featured in the past on the Toorak Times as part of an on-going retrospective of vinyl albums in my personal collection. The series is called, “Cream of The Crate”, and they represent vinyl albums that I believe are of significant musical value, either because of their rarity, because they represent the best of a style or styles of music or because their is something unique about the group or the music.

This Australian album probably could not be considered as a “heavy weight” as far as albums go, but it’s pretty rare and hard to find. Now it IS pop – but it’s damn good pop!

This is “Decade Volume 1“, and was released in 1978 on the EMI Label (EME 1026). It has 12 very good Aussie tracks from eight iconic Aussie artists.

The cover in particular is very interesting as the figure on it is not identified anywhere, but I think I’m spot on when I declare it is Mark Barnes (an iconic figure in his own right, for all sorts of reasons in Melbourne). I believe it is a picture of him when he was in Campact.

However, Campact do not feature on this album but I’ll let you in on who does.

Track Listing:
Side 1.

1. La De Das
Gonna See My Baby Tonight
2. Masters Apprentices Turn Up Your Radio
3. Carson Boogie (Part 1)
4. Flying Circus Hayride
5. La De Das Morning Good Morning
6. Zoot Eleanor Rigby

Side 2.

1. Somebodies Image/
Russell Morris

The Real Thing
2. The Twilights What’s Wrong With The Way
I live
3. Somebody’s Image Hide and Seek
4. Flying Circus La La
5. The Twilights Needle In A Haystack
6. Master’s Apprentices Because I Love You

Now Australian music particularly from the late 1960’s through to the late 1970’s began to take on a quality that was beginning to rival the best in the world. This quality was manifested in the level of musicianship, composition, delivery and production.

While it continued to remain difficult for even the best acts to break into the ‘International Scene’ (a situation that has only marginally improved over the years), what that effort did was to continue to raise the bar domestically

The variety of styles on this album is particularly delightful, from Carson’s difficult to ignore boogie rhythms, through to Masters Apprentices power sound, the La De Das fantastic rock sound and the Flying Circus‘ bubblegum sound, while not to everyone’s taste was as fantastic as anything being produced overseas. Then there is Zoot’s quality musicianship, Russell Morris‘ exciting performances, both live and recorded, and finally, the superb all round brilliance of The Twilights.

And that’s why I value this album so much, it’s a fantastic ‘taster’ of the incredible variety and quality of music we were producing.

Here’s a brief run down on each group.

La De Das – Peter Roberts (Bass), Keith Barber (Drums), Phil Key (Guitar & Vocals), Kevin Borich (Lead Guitar & Vocals). The La De Das sound won them fantastic acclaim on the Australian music scene in in the period being discussed.

Morning Good Morning

Masters Apprentices – Twelve musicians can lay claim to having been part of the Masters Apprentices but in my mind the best lineup included Doug Ford (Guitar), Jim Keays (Lead Vocals), Glenn Wheatley (Bass) & Colin Burgess (Drums). The Track “Turn Up Your Radio” surely deserves to be considered among the most iconic Oz rock tracks ever recorded and was written by Ford & Keays. You know, maybe its that tad of flower child that still lies deep inside me, but this remains one of my favourite Masters tracks.

Because I Love You

It’s because I love you
not because we’re far apart
It’s because I love you
and because your near my heart
It’s because I miss you
oh how long it seems to be
It’s because I miss you
thoughts of you come back to me

ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah

Once we walked together
from the field up to the hill
promised love forever
I remember that is still
it’s because i love
I’ll come home to you one day
it’s because i love you
in my thoughts you’ll always stay

ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
ooooo!!! do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah
do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeah

Carson – Greg Lawrie (Dobro & Bottle Neck Guitar), Tony Lunt (Drums), Mal Logan (Keyboards, Garry Clarke (Bass), Ian Winter (Guitar) and Broderick Smith (Vocals and Harp). What a line-up! Although the group (as both The Carson County Band and, Carson) – only lasted 3 years, their impact was tremendous and many members onto bigger and better things. Think of Aussie boogie and you MUST think Carson.

Boogie (Part 1)

Flying Circus – Doug Rowe (Lead guitar), James Wayne (Lead vocals), Bob Hughes (Bass & vocals), Colin Walker (Drums) were the original members. However a total of 9 musicians at one stage or another made up the groups membership. Flying Circus was generally considered as ‘light’ because of their predilection toward the ‘bubblegum’ sound, but they had an excellent country/repertoire; largely their fans disliked it demanding the less challenging ‘bubble-gum’ music. They nonetheless made a success of it and eventually relocated to Canada.


Zoot – They had three distinct lineups but Darryl Cotton (Lead Vocals & guitar), Beeb Birtles (Bass & vocals) were in all 3 incarnations. They were joined in the final lineup by Rick Springfield (Vocals & guitar) and Rick Brewer (Drums). The group had a number of hits but will always be remembered for the heavy rock re-arrangement of the Beatles Eleanor Rigby, largely due to the influence of Springfield.

Eleanor Rigby

Somebodies Image/Russell Morris the group actually out as a schoolboy band led by Morris. The group survived from 1966 to 1968, before Russell Morris departed to follow a solo career, strongly encouraged and mentored by ‘music guru’, Molly Meldrum. While Russell Morris went onto a very successful career he will most likely always be remembered (or cursed) with the mega-hit, The Real Thing.

The Real Thing

The TwilightsIf there is a cream that rises to the top, then even among such an array of talent as there is on this album, this group should be considered as that Cream! The group (post 1965) consisted of Glenn Shorrock (Lead Vocals), Laurie Pryor (Drums), Clem ‘Paddy’ McCartney (Lead Vocals), John Bywaters (Bass), Terry Britten (Lead Guitar & vocals) & Peter Brideoke (Rhythm Guitar & vocals). Seriously infected with talent and personality, the group could just about be considered as our first group to seriously challenge the British to their own sound.

Shorrock & Cadd in particular went onto bigger, and bigger things and today are among the most highly respected of musicians/composers from that period, who have successfully traversed the intervening years.

Needle In A Haystack

It seems as though the album pops up on the market from time to time, a copy sold as cheaply as $10.00 on Ebay recently, but a search further on line brings up prices of between $25.00 and $30.00 (plus postage).

It must be considered as a necessity for the serious collector because of the selection of groups and tracks, and it must be highly desirable for anyone trying to put together a collection of Aussie music without the expense of purchasing a significant number of albums in order to get these tracks.

VIDEOS By this period of time television performances had become a regular feature for promotion and as such there is a rich source of material. Sadly there is no know video of the complete 6:19 version of “The Real Thing” by Russell Morris, so the audio version is embedded within the article, and a shorter video version is below.

La De Das – Gonna See My Baby Tonight

Masters Apprentices – Turn Up Your Radio

Flying Circus – La La

Russell Morris – The Real Thing

The Twilights – What’s Wrong With The Way I Live