MAKES A SPLASH FOR A LONG HOT SUMMER
Just in time for summer, Australia’s quintessential party band, Mental As Anything, celebrates the 40th anniversary of its debut album, Get Wet, with a new greatest hits anthology titled Surf & Mull & Sex & Fun – The Classic Recordings of Mental As Anything. The release on [DATE] coincides with a tour of NSW, QLD and Victoria, leading up to the ultimate party night of New Years Eve and into 2020.
Surf & Mull & Sex & Fun is being released especially on vinyl to bring back a true retro vibe, showcasing some of the biggest and best loved songs in Australian popular music from the seventies and eighties.
Since the release of Get Wet in November 1979, Mental As Anything has had 25 singles in the Australian Top 40, a record for an Australian act that the Mentals held until the mid-nineties. They also had chart success in Europe, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, and their iconic single “Live It Up” still has constant radio rotation in the UK and Europe more than 30 years after it charted at number 4 in the UK, number 3 in Germany and number 1 in Scandinavia.
Mental As Anything was the first signing for Regular Records, who released the band’s first single, “The Nips Are Getting Bigger”, in August 1979 ahead of the Get Wet release. Through more than a dozen studio albums the songs included “Come Around”, “If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?”, “Too Many Times”, “Berserk Warriors”, “Spirit Got Lost”, “You’re So Strong” and “Live It Up”, which was released in 1984 and was guaranteed its international longevity by being featured in the 1986 movie Crocodile Dundee.
Mentals songs also turned up on the soundtracks of other films including Young Einstein, Animal Kingdom, and most recently in this year’s British indie hit Blinded By The Light.
Since their first gig in 1977 – on the same momentous August date that both INXS and The Boys Next Door made their public debuts, also the date that Elvis Presley died – membership of Mental As
Anything has varied, but the mainstays of the band have always been Greedy Smith and Martin Plaza, and in those hit making years Reg Mombassa and Peter Mombassa were equally pivotal tunesmiths.
“Having four songwriters in the band kept the competition for next single release pretty fierce” says Greedy. “It feels like we were putting out a new song every three months during the eighties.”
While there was never a conscious decision to stick to a particular style, musically or thematically, Mentals songs always reflected the band’s collectively quirky personality. Visual artists as well as musicians, the Mentals filled their songs with musical colour and lyrics that were awash with humour. Their easy-going, self-deprecating natures and fondness for a good time ensured that hits poured from their pens like beer on tap. Drinking, partying, cars and girls were often the subjects but while their art school intellects pervaded their creativity, the Mentals were proud to be dags. They made it cool to be daggy and to be as mental as anything.
Their collaborations over the years included working with Elvis Costello, who produced their 1982 single “I Didn’t Mean to Be Mean”, and legendary songwriter and producer Richard Gottehrer, founder of Sire Records and The Orchard and renowned for his work with Blondie and The Go-Go’s, who produced the 1985 Fundamental As Anything album that included “Live It Up”, “You’re So Strong”, “Date With Destiny” and “Surf & Mull & Sex & Fun”, which decades on earns the distinction of being the title of this 40th Anniversary collection.
As Ian McFarlane wrote in his definitive The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop, Mental As Anything “made its greatest mark by elevating the ordinary in life to the extraordinary in art.” This definitive greatest hits album showcases that achievement – and is just great fun to party to.
The songs included in Surf & Mull & Sex & Fun – The Classic Recordings of Mental As Anything all come from the original 20th century line-up of
MARTIN PLAZA – Guitar / Vocals
REG MOMBASSA – Guitar/Vocals
GREEDY SMITH – Keyboards/Vocals
PETER O’DOHERTY – Bass/Vocals
WAYNE SEABIRD DE LISLE – Drums