Ol '55 CD

Time To Rock'n'roll: The Anthology

Regular price $20.00 AUD
Regular price Sale price $20.00 AUD


What could be more '70s than the '50s hey? 'American Graffiti,' 'Happy Days,' 'Grease.' The style and the look of the '50s and early '60s were massive in the '70s, and Australia had its own piece of the action with Sydney's Ol'55, who burst out of the gate with their 1976 debut album 'Take It Greasy.' That album would achieve multi-platinum sales for the band and their label Mushroom and set them up as one of the most popular Australian bands of the late '70s and early '80s. It even took them to the top of the charts in Thailand! And it was the first step in a process that led the band to establish themselves as something more than mere revivalists, with a reputation for powerhouse live performances (blowing away international acts like ELO and tearing local venues to pieces) and a string of perfect pop records to rival any that Australian music has produced.

Festival Records and WMA are proud to present a long overdue 2CD release anthologising this hugely popular group. Timed to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of 'Take It Greasy,' this 56-track collection includes that album in its entirety together with highlights of subsequent albums including 'Fivelivejive,' 'Cruisin' for a Bruisin',' and 'The Vault.' In addition. it includes a handful of non-LP singles and live tracks appearing on cd for the first time ever, and a handful of additional studio recordings and demos appearing anywhere for the first time ever.

'Time To Rock'n'Roll: The Anthology' highlights Ol'55's extraordinary run of hit singles that began with 'On The Prowl' and 'Looking For An Echo' from that first album. Four more hits on Mushroom followed in quick succession - '(I Wanna) Rockin' Christmas' (#1 in Melbourne for 7 weeks, until they stopped playing it - in January!), 'C'mon Let's Do It,' 'Stay (While The Night Is Young)' and '(Feels Like A) Summers Night' – and then a new incarnation of the group came back with one of their biggest hits 'Two Faces Have I' a couple of years later. That middle run of Mushroom singles (most of which have never been on CD before) in particular shows the quality and development of the group, and of songwriter Jimmy Manzie and angel-voiced guitarist Rockpile Jones especially. And there are many who say that 'Rockin' Christmas' is the best rock Christmas single by anyone, ever. It certainly has no rivals here at home.

In the first couple of years of their success in particular, the band was hugely popular with media; they were 'Countdown' regulars, frequent cover stars of 'Spunky' and 'Scream' and poster boys in 'TV Week', and their antics regularly made the news. They even performed on the back of a truck at half-time at the '76 Rugby League Grand Final in Sydney, starting off an annual tradition that's still in play. Of course the band did feature two figures – frontman Frankie J Holden and sax player Wilbur Wilde - who would go onto become multi-media personalities in their own right, and who remain household names in Australia to this day.

With over two and a half hours of music, 'Time To Rock'n'Roll', which takes its title from the shoulda-been hit single from 'Cruisin' for a Bruisin', shows off songwriting, harmonising, performance energy and production values that are up there with those of any great Aussie rock band, of the '70s, '80s or any other era. In addition to the wealth of great music, the 2CD set is lovingly packaged with rare images and new liner notes by the band's mentor and manager Glenn A. Baker, who is something of a multi-media star himself of course.


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