These reviews are provided to help maintain a connection with various genres of popular music extending from the 1940’s through to present time.
This is album review number 206 in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl LP’s and Cd’s, in my collection.
The series is called “Cream of The Crate” and each review represents an album from my collection that I believe is of significant musical value, either because of it’s rarity, because it represents the best of a style or styles of music or because there is something unique about the group or the music.
Links to the previous 200+ reviews can be found at the bottom of this review.
One of the great, but short lived Australian groups that transitioned from the late 1960’s into the 1970’s was – Tamam Shud.
This is two albums on one CD – Titled 2 on 1: Evolution & Goolutionites and the
Real People. It was released on CD format on the Free Records label in 2001.
There is one problem with this CD, and I will discuss that later, because it is a major one!
My recollections (through a period of much dope haze) of Tamam Shud from shows at the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne. The audience who were largely on a variety of mood enhancing or experientially altering substances, were blown away by what was best described at that time as ‘acid-rock” or “cosmically enhancing” music.
We all had a ball!
There are quite a few historical accounts of the groups formation and i have decided to use the information provided by the “Shud” on their website.
“Tamam Shud played a very important part as pioneers of acid-rock and progressive music in the late sixties and early seventies. For many years after their 1972 split from full time recording and performing, they were something of a cult, and original recordings are rare and collectable.
The members of the band have stayed in touch quite regularly in the almost five decades since that early 70’s disbandment from live touring. This has led to some memorable recordings and select live performances over the years.
In 1994 the band recorded the album Permanent Culture, and the driving, bluesy single Stay, generated a significant revival of interest in this outstanding and original group. It also sparked interest in this classic band with younger listeners as well.
The evolution of Tamam Shud was typical of many groups of the era, beginning as an instrumental band, through ‘beat’ pop group and psychedelia, to progressive rock.
The lingering “surf band” tag linked them with Sydney’s northern beaches surf culture. In reality, they established their major fan base on Sydney’s university and college dance circuit, and with the ‘hippy’ audiences at inner city underground venues like the Mandala Theatre in Darlinghurst, The Arts Factory and the Beacon Theatre in Newtown.“
Tamam Shud continued to tour solidly during 1971, playing the Melbourne club and dance circuit and touring Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane over the last four months of the year.
The group folded in August of 1972 [Wikipedia]
To the delight of fans old and new, Tamam Shud reformed in 1994 with the 4-piece line-up of Lindsay Bjerre, Tim Gaze, Peter Barron and Nigel Macara.
In 2002 Tamam Shud performed in the original “Long Way to the Top” national concert tour and “Live in Concert” recording. This recording achieved double platinum sales on DVD, platinum sales on video and gold sales for CD.
The 2016 Tamam Shud band members performing on the recording Eight years of Moonlight” and were the same core personnel that originally came together in the early seventies.”
There is no doubt, that the two albums presented on this CD are the albums that most Tamam Shud fans will remember fondly, and are indeed fantastic examples of the music of this most innovative group.
Lindsay Bjerre (guitar, vocals)
Alex ‘Zac’ Zytnic (lead guitar)
Peter Barron (bass)
Dannie Davidson (drums)
1970-72 & present
Lindsay Bjerre (guitar, vocals) 1965–1972, 1993–1995, 2002, 2006, 2008–present
Tim Gaze (lead guitar, vocals) 1969–6/1970, 12/1970–1972, 1993–1995, 2002, 2006, 2008–present
Peter Barron (bass) 1967–1972, 1993–1995, 2002, 2006, 2008–present)
Nigel Macara (drums) 1971–1972, 1993–1995, 2002, 2006, 2008–present
Larry Duryea (aka Larry Taylor) (congas) 1970-72
Bobby Gebert (keyboards) 1971
Kevin Sinott (drums) 1970
Kevin Stevenson (reeds) 1970
Richard Lockwood (sax, flute, clarinet) 1972 John Cobbin – guitar (2016–present) Paul ‘DC’ DiGiacomo – keyboards (2016–present)
▸ 1 a. Music Train
▸ 2 I’m No One
▸ 3 Mr. Strange
▸ 4 Lady Sunshine
▸ 5 Falling Up
▸ 6 Feel Free
▸ 7 It’s a Beautiful Day
▸ 8 Jesus Guide Me
▸ 9 Rock on Top
▸ 10 The Slow One and the Fast One
▸ 11 Too Many Life
*All tracks written by Lindsay Bjerre
Goolutionites and the Real People
▸ 12 The Goolutionites (And the Real People)
▸ 13 They’ll Take You Down on the Lot
▸ 14 I Love You All
▸ 15 Heaven in Closed
▸ 16 A Plague
▸ 17 Stand in the Sunlight
▸ 18 Take a Walk on a Foggy Morn
▸ 19 Goolutionites Theme Part 1
▸ 20 Goolutionites Theme Part 2
So, that all seems straight forward. However, it isn’t!
While this is how the tracks are numbered on the cover, on the CD they are not numbered quite like this.
When you open the CD up the playlist is shorter with only 19 tracks.
On Evolution – Track 2 [I’m No One) comes up as track 3 because Track 1b on the label comes up as Track 2 on the CD. To try and make it clear, the final track on Evolution is Too Many Life – Track 11 on the label, is in fact track 12 on the CD.
So, when you get to The Goolutionites album, track 12 – The Goolutionites, on the label is in fact, track 13.
Then, the CD assemblers have total screwed up, and simply failed to put the track They’ll Take You Down On The Lot, onto the CD, but to totally confuse us have labelled it as track 13 – and continued on and made track 14 on the label, I Love You All. then line up with track 14 on the CD.
Hooray, except wait a minute, the CD label has 20 tracks, with the final two tracks (19 & 20) being the Goolies theme parts 1 & 2 – but on the CD they are a single track.
Confused? No wonder. It took me a devil of a time to work it all out.
So, to the album, or in this case, albums.
Let’s deal with Evolution, first.
Line-Up: – Lindsay Bjerre – vocals & guitar; Alex Zytnik – lead guitar; Peter Barron – bass &, Daniel Davidson – Drums
Track 1a – Music Train
I do like to start with the first track pf most albums as I see it as the “calling card”, the track that introduces the listener to the band and the particular album.
We commence with the panned sound of a train bell and a “steam loco” before we get into the music, which has a nice bass introduction with the group inviting us to join them on the “music train”.
The track is heavily dominated by fuzz guitar, which at the time was the processing device of choice by many “head bands” of the day. Whilst a little distracting during the track, Alex Zytnik’s use of it during his guitar solo is excellent.
Track 4 – Lady Sunshine
This track has a beautiful opening and sets a delightful scene.
Climb through my window
No one will hear you coming in
Soft as the wind blows
Everything’s warm there where you’ve been
Let that sun shine on me
Beam it down
Gotta make me brown
Gotta shine on baby
I feel your warm hand
Drifting slowly ‘pon my cheek
You tell the whole world
Of happiness though you never speak
It really is quite a beautiful track, although the constant use of the fuzz guitar gets a bit wearing but when it is dropped, the guitar work becomes quite stunning. It is a great track for showcasing Lindsay Bjerre’s vocals.
I just couldn’t go past track 8 – Jesus Guide Me.
After all, just what does a ‘surf-head” band do with Jesus? Well to start they kick off with a magic piece of duel guitars featuring Alex and Lindsay.
Then we are taken on a trip, that played live would have been amazing, but looses little as a recording. It certainly features the voice of Lindsay Bjerre, who sings and ‘screams’ his way through the track. It has just the right amount of taking “us” to a climax, bringing us down, taking us back up before a gentle landing at the end.
The track at time is very reminiscent of the style of Country Joe and the Fish.
What of Jesus? Oh, he gets a mention!
Jesus Guide Me
The final track on the Evolution album is Too Many Life.
A far more lay back track, very nice at the time for probably getting stoned too – but we don’t do that any more – do we?? But it is still a very enjoyable track and at 6minutes and 58 seconds it is the longest track on the album.
As we sit back relaxed, suddenly around the 4:43 minute the tempo picks up – and it becomes impossible not to start tapping your feet as the group settles into a faster, but not flat-out groove with another fine guitar solo completing what is a fabulous track to finish with.
Too Many Life
Moving onto the second album featured on this single CD – Goolutionites and the Real People.
Not long after the release Evolution, Alex Zytnik left the group and was placed on lead guitar by Tim Gaze, who at the time was just 16 years of age.
Gaze not only bought a real guitar talent to the group, he also bought an excellent vocal ability. In fact post Tamam Shud he would go on to work with some fabulous bands including Kahvas Jute, Ariel and Rose Tattoo and many individual artists such asJimmy Barnes, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Russell Morris and Keith Urban.
So it is safe to say that he significantly added to the already high quality of Tamam Shud.
In fact the “Goolutionites” album is spoken of as being somewhat quieter and even more psychedelic than the previous album. However as the liner notes say – “… (that) doesn’t mean soft! (The) whole album was dominated by Gaze’s stunning guitar work.”
Let’s share the first track of this album – The Goolutionites (and the Real People)
Track 1 on the Goolutionites album (Track 12) is a good track to start with because it show the “gentler” my psychedelic side of the group as recorded on this album.
OK, so the lyrics seem a little trite today – but this was the time of trips and tripping, but just as you sink into a dream world with some very melodic guitar, we get to 1:04 and . . . off we go on a race through the stratosphere with Time gaze stamping his authority all over the piece.
Right at the end there is a short but good drum solo.
The Goolutionites (and the Real People)
Take a Walk On A Foggy Morn (and you will note I have avoided providing a track number), is not exactly a ballad but it is not as frantic or “psychedelic” as the other tracks.
There is some very fine guitar picking by both guitarists.
Take a Walk On A Foggy Morn
The final track is listed as Goolutionites theme Part 1 and Part 2. Identified as a two part piece on the label the track is presented as a single track. The break between part 1 and part 2 comes at the 3:18 mark of this 7:13 track.
Part 1 is a gentle and melodic piece, sometimes reminiscent of early Floyd without any keyboards and I really took to the track. Now I have avoided talking about who or what Goolutionites are. It’s not mentioned in any articles about them, by them or on the CD label.
But, with this track we get some strong clues.
Come where will you go
When the world explodes
Will you enjoy life
When the Goolutionites,
ripping up trees and grass
replace them with concrete paths
poison the gentle breeze, how will you think about trees
Then it breaks into part 2 – not unexpectedly the pace picks up and we share an orgy of sound as the band brings this “trip” to a climatic end.
Goolutionites theme Part 1 and Part 2
So here we are at the end. The original albums are considered as true collectors items and it is great that the two albums have been rereleased both as individual albums, and, as with this CD where both albums are bought together.
Look, it’s a real “bummer” (sinking back into the lingo of the 70’s), that the album is a mess in regard to track labelling and, having one whole track left off is unforgivable.
But it reminds us that Tamam Shud found a niche and filled it well. The albums have enough similarities yet, enough differences to make them worth having in any collection.
However, when you purchase this CD, it is best to buy local from AZTEC RECORDS – there is no stuff up on their CD.
Evolution [Click to order]
Goolutionites [Click to order]
Some vids taken from Youtube.
Clip with Tim Gaze
Previous Cream of The Crate Albums:
To view/listen the first 50 vinyl album reviews just click the image below –
To view/listen the first 50 Cd album reviews just click the image below –
To view/listen album reviews 101 – 150 just click the image below –
To view/listen album reviews 151 – 200 just click the image below –
Click to open the following reviews covering #’s 201 onward.