Extremely Rare

Wretched Child – Better Late Than Never

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Front) LQ

Artist: Wretched Child
Title: Better Late Than Never
Year: 1994
Genre: Hard Rock, Glam/Sleaze, Metal
Category
: Full Length Album
Format
: Compact Disc (Verbatim CD-R)
Label: –
Catalog No: WC01
CD Matrix: –
Comments: –
Collectors Status: Very Rare
Estimated Value: ~$25 – $50 AUD

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (CD) LQ

Track List
01. Now It’s Time
02. Damnation
03. Believe in Me
04. Fantasy Lover
05. Besty Blues
06. Survivor
07. Batter Late Than Never
08. Sweet Lill Sister
09. Nightmares
10. Wretched Child

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Back) LQ

Line-Up & Album Credits
Grazz (v)
Lefty (b)
Besty (d)
Bart (g)
Campbell (g)
(and the “Chanters From Hell!”)

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Band Photo) LQ

Credits
• All songs written & performed by “Wretched Child”
• Recorded at – “Soundtrack 919” Ballarat 93-94
• Produced by – Lyndon Kriss & Wretched Child
• Photography – Thani – Jo Flewers (?) – Deborah Wright
• Other Vocals – Karen Fraser – Simone Calaby
• Keyboards & Ass Sound FX – Lyndon Kriss
• Candid Comments – Lefty & Bart
• Layout A.C.B

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Credits) LQ Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Poem) LQ

Description
Wretched Child are a little known hard rock band from Ballarat, Victoria who formed in the early 90s (?’92) and released this one off CD titled ‘Better Late Than Never‘ in 1994.  At first glance, this album appears to have a real DIY feel to it.  Maybe it’s the hand-written band logo on the front cover, the scrapbook style rear insert photo (complete with flannelette shirts and cans of VB); or the Printable Inkjet Verbatim CD-R.  Actually it’s probably all of these things combined!  Regardless though, the music here is of a high standard – well performed and nicely produced hard rock.  Of the ten tracks featured on this CD, all are studio recordings from ’93 / ’94 with a variety of hard rock styles on display.

Wretched Child - Better Late Than Never (Line-Up)

Final Comment
It might look DIY, but the songs are great and this is an album that I’m pleased to finally have in my collection.

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Outlands – Take it Down

 Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Front - J-Card)

Artist: Outlands
Title: Take it Down
Year: 1989
Genre: Hard Rock, Melodic Metal
Category
: 4 Track Demo
Format
: Cassette
Label: –
Catalog No: –
Comments: J-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$1000 AUD

Track List – Side A
01. Highway to Freedom
02. Good Times (Love For Sale)

Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Cassette - Side A)

Track List – Side B
01. Winter of Our Love
02. Tell Me

Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Cassette - Side B)

Line-Up
Steve Shotton • Lead Vocals
Dave Powell • Guitars, Guitar Synthesizer, Backing Vocals
Glen Purkiss • Guitars, Guitar Synthesizer, Backing Vocals
Gary Synnerdahl • Drums, Backing Vocals (Wrecking Crew, Mother Hubbard)
Neil Brown • Bass, Backing Vocals

Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Credits)

Credits
• Recorded January 1989 at Sound Barrier Studios, Sydney, Australia
• Produced by John Hresc & Outlands
• Engineered by John Hresc
• Photography by Calvin’s Studio
• Layout & Graphics : Introspec
• Management : Hot Rock Management

Outlands - Take it Down (Demo) (Band Photo)

Just before I get back to the CDs, here’s another cassette worth taking a look at.

Outlands are yet another obscure Aussie hard rock band from Sydney, probably most notable for featuring drummer Gary Synnerdahl in the line-up. Synnerdahl was not only a member of the great Aussie hard rock band ‘Wrecking Crew‘ (a personal favourite of mine) but in the mid 90s he was a member of another Sydney band called Mother Hubbard that featured Alex Wasiliev – better known by most Australians as Alex Lloyd.

Though despite this somewhat famous connection, little else is known about Outlands or this obscure demo tape.  It is apparent however that this demo was recorded at the same Sydney studio as the Wicked ‘Out on Bail‘ demo tape that I posted here on the blog recently.  These two demos were also produced / engineered by the same person – John Hresc.  This does make me wonder how many other Aussie hard rock bands recorded demos at Sound Barrier Studios and if John Hresc was involved with those as well.  According to a google search, in the mid 80s John Hresc worked in many of Australia’s most iconic recording studios and has engineered almost 100 albums and singles.

Musically I was a little surprised by this one as I had expected to hear some typical late 80s hard rock but instead this is a touch heavier than some, bordering on melodic metal at times.  Great songs nonetheless!

As always, any more information would be greatly appreciated.

Wicked – Out on Bail

 Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Front - J-Card)

Artist: Wicked
Title: Out on Bail
Year: 1989
Genre: Hard Rock, Glam-Sleaze
Category
: 5 Track Demo / EP
Format
: Cassette
Label: –
Catalog No: –
Comments: J-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$1000 AUD

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Sticker)
Track List – Side A
01. Sweet Talk
02. Animal

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Cassette - Side A)

Track List – Side B
01. Young & Crazy
02. Love Poison
03. Dining at the Y

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Cassette - Side B)

Line-Up
Darren (Ace) Jonson • Lead Vocals
Tris Black • Lead Guitar
Brian (Grunt) McLean • Bass Guitar
Lindsay Jones • Drums

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Credits)

 

Credits
• Recorded May 1989 at Sound Barrier Studio, Sydney, Australia
• Produced by John Hresc & Wicked
• Engineered by John Hresc
• Photography & Sleeve Layout: Calvin’s Studio, Sydney
• Management: Hot Rock Management

Wicked - Out on Bail (Demo - EP) (Further Information)

While I’ve got the cassette case out, here’s another obscure Aussie hard rock gem. This time from Wicked – a four piece band from Sydney who released this five track demo / EP titled ‘Out on Bail’ in 1989.

As with many of the independent Aussie hard rock tapes of this era, details are minimal and apart from those listed on the J-Card there seems to be little else out there.

Musically (if the band photo hasn’t given it away) this is hard rock, typical of that which was being produced out of L.A. in 1989.  ‘Sweet Talk’ is my pick of the bunch though all tracks here are quite strong and really make you wonder why Wicked didn’t leave us with more.

As always, any more information about the band would be greatly appreciated.

SURRENDER – DEMO 1990/91

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Front)

Artist: Surrender
Title: –
Year: 1990/91
Genre: Hard Rock, Melodic Hard Rock
Category
: 3 Track Demo
Format
: Cassette
Label: –
Catalog No: –
Comments: O-Card Packaging
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$1000 AUD

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Cassette)

Track List
01. Love it Loose
02. Just Like Love
03. Time Will Tell

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Back)

Line-Up & Album Credits
Unknown band line-up
Recorded at JMC Studios
Engineered / Produced by Steve Pomfrey
All songs written by Surrender © 90/91

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Front - Standing)

Now this one is a real mystery!  I stumbled upon it recently while looking for something else and decided to pick it up based on the cover art, year of release and the fact that it was advertised as being an Aussie band.

Apart from the minimal details listed on the packaging, there is absolutely no information out there about this band, not even a mention in Chris Spencer’s ‘Who’s Who of Australian Rock‘.  I can only assume from the phone number that the band is from NSW.

Despite its demo like production qualities, the three tracks featured on this cassette are really good examples of everything I love about late 80s / early 90s hard rock.  In particular ‘Time Will Tell’ is an absolute gem of a track and one that easily ranks among my all time favourite obscure Aussie hard rock songs – pure melodic hard rock bliss!

Note that this band has no connection to Aussie metal band Surrender that featured Dave Compton and released a self titled LP in 1984.  I did check with Dave about this and he seemed to recall another Aussie band of this name from around 1989-93.

Any more information about Surrender would be really appreciated.

Surrender - Demo 1990-91 (Front & Cassette - Standing)

 

 

Black Rose – Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP)

Black Rose - Fast Times At Black Rose High (EP) (Front)

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Logo)

Artist: Black Rose
Title: Fast Times at Black Rose High
Year: 1996
Genre: Hard Rock, Glam/Sleaze, Punk
Category
: 6 Track EP
Format
: Compact Disc
Label: Stark Raven Records
Catalog No: SRR 001
CD Matrix: IFPI L282 – MADE BY PMI * DCD0818 * #01
Comments: –
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$250 AUD

Black Rose - Fast Times At Black Rose High (EP) (CD)

Track List
01. Fast Times at Black Rose High
02. Fuck Off Back to Byron Bay
03. Tell the Chicks I do Surf
04. Sweet and Sour
05. I Drive a Holden (My Ones a Brown One)
06. Rosso Live at the Dubbo RSL

Black Rose - Fast Times At Black Rose High (EP) (Back)

Line-Up & Album Credits
Rosso (v)
Hursto (d)
Carpsy (g)
Killer (b)
Lordo (t, h)

Black Rose - Fast Times At Black Rose High (EP) (Inlay)

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Line-Up)

Description
Not to be confused with a Sydney band of the same name, Melbourne hard rockers Black Rose released an EP titled ‘Fast Times at Black Rose High‘ in 1996. According to details on the CD inserts, the band “formed as a joke” in 1994 and were lucky enough to record this EP in an L.A. studio with the help of producers Daryl Hall & John Oates (!).  I strongly suspect those last few pieces of information are also a joke and are characteristic of the jovial lyrics and attitudes of the band members on this EP – including comedian Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross, best known for his role as a radio host on Nova 96.9 FM.

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Band 1) Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Band 2)

Musically this is tongue-in-cheek hard rock with glam-sleaze and punk influences.  There are links to a number of other Melbourne bands including The Bowers, Rocket Science and The City Lights, all featuring Kit Warhurst; as well as Manic Suede featuring Kit Warhurst and David Lord.  And finally there is Dashboard featuring Andre Warhurst (brother of Kit) and David Lord.  In case you were wondering, Kit and Andre are brothers of former Triple J radio station host / Spicks and Specks team captain, Myf Warhurst.  In fact Kit is also known for his part in the Spicks and Specks touring band – The Specktors.

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 1) Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 2) Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 3)    \

Overall this may not be for everyone – but it’s good fun Aussie rock and you can’t argue with that.   A pretty rare CD that I have only ever come across once.  Any more information regarding Black Rose would be most welcome.

Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 4)Black Rose - Fast Times at Black Rose High (EP) (Live 5)

Devils in Heaven

Devils in Heaven - Say a Prayer (One Departed) (EP) (Front)

Artist: Devils in Heaven
Title: Say A Prayer (One Departed)
Year: 1992
Genre: AOR, Melodic Hard Rock
Category
: EP
Format
: Compact Disc
Label: Columbia
Catalog No: 657910 2
CD Matrix: MADE BY DISCTRONICS B ** 657910.2 ** #02
Comments: Cardboard Sleeve
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$500 AUD

Devils in Heaven - Say a Prayer (One Departed) (EP) (CD)

Track List
01. Say A Prayer (One Departed)
02. The Night is Over

Devils in Heaven - Say a Prayer (One Departed) (EP) (Back)

Line-Up & Album Credits
David Whitney (lg, lv)
Nelson Tabe (k, bv)
Phil Crothers (d, bv)
Matthew Shield (b)

(Produced by Garry Frost)

Devils in Heaven - Liberation (EP) (Front)

Artist: Devils in Heaven
Title: Liberation
Year: 1993
Genre: AOR, Melodic Hard Rock
Category
: EP
Format
: Compact Disc
Label: Possum Music
Catalog No: pdscd529
CD Matrix: PDSCD 529 SM 2248
Comments: Cardboard Sleeve
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$500 AUD

Devils in Heaven - Liberation (EP) (CD)

Track List
01. Liberation
02. Ships in the Night
03. Ain’t it a Wonder

Devils in Heaven - Liberation (EP) (Back)

Line-Up & Album Credits
Matthew
Phil
Nelson
David

(Produced by Sir Arthur Payson)

Devils in Heaven Various Promo Photos

Devils in Heaven - (Australian Band) 1 Devils in Heaven - (Australian Band) 2 Devils in Heaven - (Australian Band) 3 Devils in Heaven - (Australian Band) 4 Devils in Heaven - (Australian Band) 5 Devils in Heaven - (Australian Band) 6 Devils in Heaven - (Australian Band) 7

Description
Devils In Heaven were an Australian group often seen touring around the east coast of Australia during the late 80′s and early 90′s. They had a strong following and in 1992 they were on a talent show called Star Search, they took out the major prize, had a single released called ‘Say a Prayer (One departed)’ and then basically disappeared. They should’ve taken the music scene here by storm as to this day there are still questions asked about the band, what happened to them? What are they doing now? Well, after my quest over many years to track down this man, I was absolutely stoked to be able to talk to Devils front man Dave Whitney about pretty much everything and get these questions answered. No holds barred here and truly some interesting things I never knew about the industry or these talent shows.

© 2011 Troy Culpan @ May the Rock be With You

Visit here to read the full interview with Dave Whitney at May the Rock be With You.

As you can see from the above cover scans, both of my Devils in Heaven EPs are well worn, but the music itself remains pristine.  In fact to my ears Devils in Heaven are one of the finest offerings in Australian music history and are certainly the best Aussie band who never released a full length album.  However, while their recorded output was minimal (just five tracks across two EPs), several years ago the band launched their own website, pleasing fans with the offering of an additional ten unreleased and hard to find Devils in Heaven songs.

Devils in Heaven - Unreleased & Hard to Find Devils in Heaven MP3's (Front)

Image (above): Unreleased & Hard to Find Devils in Heaven MP3’s

If these additional ten songs weren’t enough, fans could track down the rare David Whitney solo album titled ‘Heart, Mind & Soul‘ – a mellower yet equally beautiful collection of melodic rock songs from 1993.  Among the 15 tracks here are different versions of the three songs from the Liberation EP.

Whitney, Dave - Heart Mind and Soul (Front)Whitney, Dave - Heart Mind and Soul (Back)

Image (above): Cover artwork for David Whitney’s solo album: Heart, Mind & Soul

Sadly Phil Crothers passed away following an accident in 2013.

YouTube: Devils in Heaven TV Appearances

YouTube: Dave Whitney Originals

Wild Frontier – King of Pentacles

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Front)

Artist: Wild Frontier
Title: King of Pentacles
Year: 1994
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
Category
: Full Length Album
Format
: Compact Disc
Label: CoZee Publishing House
Catalog No: ZEE 333
CD Matrix: MADE BY DISCTRONICS B ** ZEE 333 ** #01
Comments: –
Collectors Status: Extremely Rare
Estimated Value: ~$150 AUD

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (CD)

Track List
01. Demi God
02. Modern Day Woman
03. Screaming Desire
04. Hope You’re Feeling Better
05. Two Worlds Apart
06. Subject ‘No More’
07. Voices in the Storm
08. Psycho Lady
09. Sad Songs
10. Wasted Years

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Back)Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Inlay)

Line-Up & Album Credits
John Zee (v)
David Costabile (k, bv)
David Scott (g, bv)
George Sarris (b)
Mark Mcleod (d)

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Line-Up)

All songs written by David Costablie & John Zee except ‘Sad Songs‘ and ‘Wasted Years‘ co-written by Alex Doukas and ‘Hope You’re Feeling Better‘ written by Gregg Rolie.  Intro and outro to ‘Psycho Lady‘ written by Maurice Jarre ‘Theme to ‘Dr. Zhivago’.

Wild Frontier - King of Pentacles (Booklet)

Description
Wild Frontier are a little known hard rock band from Victoria (Melbourne I think) who released this one off CD titled ‘King of Pentacles‘ in 1994.  One of the first things I noticed when reading the CD booklet was the name “G. Rolie” listed as songwriter for track four ‘Hope You’re Feeling Better‘.

Santana - Hope You're Feeling Better (Single) (Front)

For our Saturday Bubbling Under special, we drift back to 1971 and the third single from Santana’s second album, “Abraxas.” While “Black Magic Woman” charted at #4 and “Oye Como Va” made it to #13, “Hope You’re Feeling Better” failed to make a dent. It didn’t even show on Billboard’s “Bubbling Under” chart; however, Billboard mentioned that some jukebox owners reported that the song was in heavy play in certain markets. “Hope You’re Feeling Better” was the flip side of the first single “Black Magic Woman”; but apparently it was re-released as the third single. I’m not even certain that a commercial issue of the second version ever made it to the stores. Since it performed poorly, the second release was probably only distributed to radio and jukebox stockers.  Written by keyboardist/vocalist Greg Rollie, the song features his characteristic Hammond organ as well as his lead vocals. Carlos Santana’s guitar work is unmistakable. He even employs a wah-wah pedal in places. This song has some great kicks as well. Good stuff from this classic version of the legendary band, Santana.

© 2014 Jim Owston at Reading Between the Grooves

As it turns out this is the same (Gregg) Rolie I had in mind – most famous for his time spent as keyboardist/vocalist/guitarist in the early line-ups of both Santana and Journey but also for his brief tenure as lead vocalist on two of my all-time favourite albums ‘The Storm‘ (1991) and ‘Eye of the Storm‘ (1992) from cult AOR legends The Storm.

Storm, the - The Storm (Front) Storm, the - Eye of the Storm (Front)

Image (above): Front cover artwork for ‘The Storm‘ (1991) and ‘Eye of the Storm‘ (1992)

Gregg Rolie with Santana

Image (above): Gregg Rolie with Santana

Gregg Rolie with Journey 2  

Image (above): Gregg Rolie with Journey

Storm, the (Band Photo 1)

Image (above): Gregg Rolie with The Storm

The Music
Of the ten tracks featured on this CD, the first eight were recorded in 1993 at ‘Jam Tin’ studios in Melbourne while the final two tracks were recorded in 1991 at ‘Platinum Studios’ in Melbourne.  Musically there is a diverse offering of hard rock styles on here, some of which is perhaps a little alternative for my usual tastes, though tracks like ‘Two Worlds Apart’, ‘Voices in the Storm’ and ‘Sad Songs’ showcase what I believe are some of the best melodic hard rock tracks I’ve heard from an Aussie band.  The vocals are strong throughout and they are obviously a talented bunch of musicians.

Final Comment
By taking the Gregg Rolie angle I actually had more to discuss in this post than I had expected.  However I still have little information to share about Wild Frontier so any help from those of you who remember them would be greatly appreciated. As usual I would love to see any promo photos, gig flyers, magazine/newspaper clipping etc.  This one is relatively rare though does show up from time to time if you keep an eye out for it.  I can see a copy for sale online right now for $97 though I picked mine up for $20 if memory serves.  If for no other reason, track it down so you can listen to ‘Voices in the Storm‘ – absolutely stunning!!