playback records

  • SteveandtheboardThey were around for only a year and were well short of being a household name in Australia by the time they played their final note in 1967, but Steve & The Board left a handy collection of recordings in the wake. Legacy label Playback has applied love and diligence to this historical release and more power to them for preserving Australia’s musical past.

    Steve & The Board played beat pop, pure and simple. Some of it carries the aroma of a stab at the charts, other songs shows broader love for the hard-edged R&B of the times. Most Australian bands in the mid-‘60s were in the thrall of the British Invasion that had hit the USA and Steve & The Board were no exception. Their recordings aren’t world beaters but have vibrancy and some occasional grit.

  • FestivalNuggets SmallA vinyl fanatic you may be, but owning most of these 26 tracks in their original format would set you back almost as much as a down-payment on a modest piece of real estate in the over-heated Sydney property market. So put aside your collector scum aspirations and focus on the merits of this formidable collection of ‘60s gems on CD instead.

    Australia’s garage and beat history is under-appreciated - despite the best efforts of labels like Raven and others of dubious legal standing - so new imprint Playback is a welcome market entrant. “I Want, Need, Love You” focuses on the output of The 5, Toni McCann, The Black Diamonds and The Pogs, spanning the period 1965-68, with about half the tracks new to CD. As many as possible have been sourced from the original masters.

  • little girlsValley Songs – Little Girls (Playback Records)

    If only all retrospective collections were half as fun - and done as well - as this look back on 1980s Los Angeles surfer girl power-poppers, Little Girls. There are 26 bouncy rave-ups on this CD, it’s accompanied by a booklet full of photos and liner notes, and it took an Australian label to put it out.

    Little Girls were diminutive sisters Caron and Michele Maso, two Coloradoans transplanted to L.A. who turned heads as a duo at a 1980 party by singing alternative lyrics to “Anarchy in the UK”. Now, who hasn’t wanted to do that?

    Things got serious after they met guitarist Kip Brown, freshly late of local punks SHOCK, while hanging out at The Troubadour club. A full band ensued.