Hunters and Collectors Album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Epilogue
    This track has some record crackle and the sounds of a party winding up, with chatting and clinking bottles with an organ back in the distance.
     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    The Jaws of Life
    [​IMG]
    Studio album by Hunters & Collectors
    Released
    6 August 1984
    Recorded 10 March–10 April 1984
    Can's Studio, Weilerswist, Germany
    Genre Rock
    Length 59:49
    Label White/Mushroom (AUS/NZ)
    Epic (UK/Europe)
    Slash (US/Canada)
    Producer Konrad Plank, Hunters & Collectors
    Hunters & Collectors chronology
    The Fireman's Curse
    (1983) The Jaws of Life
    (1984) The Way To Go Out
    (1985)
    Singles from Hunters & Collectors
    1. "The Slab"
      Released: August 1984
    2. "Carry Me"
      Released: 1984
    The Jaws of Life
    [​IMG]
    1991 version (White Label/Mushroom)
    The Jaws of Life is the third studio album by Australian rock band, Hunters & Collectors, which was released on 6 August 1984. It was co-produced by Konrad Plank and the band in Weilerswist, Germany. The album peaked at No. 89 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart and No. 37 on the New Zealand Albums Chart. The only Australian single from the album, "The Slab" ("Betty's Worry")/"Carry Me", was released as a Double A sided single, in August but failed to chart on the Australian or New Zealand singles charts.

    Late in 1983, Hunters & Collectors had briefly disbanded, but soon reformed without Martin Lubran and Greg Perano.[1][2]Mark Seymour (guitar and lead vocals) explained to The Canberra Times' Neil Lade why the group had reconvened "[we] have something valuable to offer the Australian music scene".[3] According to Doug Falconer, the group's drummer, the album "was written in about a month and a half after the band returned to Australia" in the previous December.[4] He recalled that they had wanted "to have a bit of a change of style, a change of atmosphere, it (the writing) was getting too heavy handed".[4] He felt the band were "a much happier unit".[4]

    The 1984 line-up now featured greater use of keyboards by Geoff Crosby, as well as more emphasis on their horn section of Jack Howard on trumpet and backing vocals, Jeremy Smith on French horn and Michael Waters on trombone.[1] The band began to pare back their art rock pretensions of their earliest albums, although they retained a muscular, bass-driven sound, rounded off by the band's distinctive horn section. Seymour's lyrics became less abstruse and focused on the twin themes of the fraught personal relationships and the politics of the day.[5]

    The Jaws of Life, their third studio album, was issued on 6 August 1984 on White Label/Mushroom Records.[1][2] Like their previous album, The Fireman's Curse (1983), it was co-produced with Konrad Plank (Can, Cluster, Kraftwerk),[2] but this time it was recorded at Can's Studio with René Tinner engineering. The title, cover art and opening track, "42 Wheels", all refer to the murder of five people by an intoxicated, outback trucker, Douglas Crabbe.[3][6][7]

    The album reached No. 89 on the Australia Album charts and No. 37 on the New Zealand charts.[8][9] The first single from the album, "The Slab", having being renamed from its original title of "Betty's Worry or The Slab", was also released in August, as a Double A-sided single, with "Carry Me" but failed to chart.[1][8] "Carry Me" was released in the UK as a separate single (both in a 7" and 12" format). Nevertheless, as a result of relentless touring, airplay on radio station Triple J plus their music videos screening on Countdown and other music video shows, the group fostered a devoted following on the pub rock scene.

    In the UK the album was released on the Epic Records label, where according to Michael Waters, "it got favorable reviews, but it just didn't sell."[10] In North America it was released by Slash Records.[11]

    In July 1991 The Jaws of Life was re-issued on CD by White Label Records/Mushroom Records, with the inclusion of a further four tracks from an earlier extended play, Payload (November 1982). The album was subsequently re-issued on CD by Phantom Records in the United Kingdom on 26 November 2002 and was re-mastered and re-released by Liberation Music on 11 August 2003.

    Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described The Jaws of Life as having "a stripped-down rock sound, a driving rhythm, more concise arrangements and stronger songs".[1] While Toby Creswell writing for Rolling Stone felt its "aesthetic push ranged from the barrenness and isolation of outback Australia to the beer-swilling machismo of the suburbs".[1]

    Neil Lade of The Canberra Times noted that the "music is abrasive but creative. Full of raw energy and power. Not particularly pretty but incredibly satisfying. Be warned: if you're heavily committed, to the gentle and conventional, you'd best veer away".[3] Allmusic's Bill Cassel felt "their more ambitious artistic impulses were harnessed to melodic, concise, and structured songs" which delivered "a superior and highly recommended record".[12]

    Michael Witheford of TimeOut Melbourne describes the album as being "almost a concept record; the soundscape of a drive over the West Gate Bridge towards the refineries and container docks and far beyond. Always sweat, heavy lifting, beer and the cleansing offered by the temporary deliverance of sex and the support of a woman to wipe the steaming brow and carry home the hopeless barfly", making for "a taut and emotionally explosive tour de force of an album."
    ----------------------------------------------
    This album is a little more accessible than the previous with a few notable early Hunnas songs, some of which were played on a classic live session called " The Way To Go Out" that I saw on an Australian show called Rock Arena, and was my first exposure to the band.
    Tomorrow we'll start this album.
    Let us know how this album came to you? Let us know the hows, whys and wherefores of this album for you.
     
  3. OptimisticGoat

    OptimisticGoat Forum Resident

    I have a very general knowledge of the Hunters. I remember Human Frailty as an impactful album. From what I have heard they are an absolutely unique band. More so than any other. I will watch with interest... and no doubt be moved to expand my GH collection on CD in the process....
     
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  4. fRa

    fRa Forum Resident

    My fav!
    Perfect!
     
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  5. Mylene

    Mylene Forum Resident

    If you've got the original Jaws of Life on vinyl it contains the single version of The Slab. Later Mark Seymour recorded a new vocal and the backing track was remixed. This version was first issued on a 3RRR compilation and was later included on Collective Works. When JOL was issued on CD the remixed/new vocal replaced the original version. Confused? Well it gets worse. On the US version of The Living Daylights there's yet another remix of The Slab.


    Here's the response I got from the Vault Keeper

    Hi Mylene,

    Finally got a minute to check a couple of things.

    Firstly, I thought the vocal on the Living Daylight remixes of Carry Me and The Slab appear different to *all* other studio versions of the songs. This is clearer in the case of The Slab, which I will post next time we do something from the Jaws era.

    From the liner notes of a CD version of Jaws:
    “The Slab and Carry Me remixed by Greg Edward at A.A.V., Melbourne, Australia. 1987.”

    OK!

    I’ve just pulled out my copy of the US Living Daylight EP and may have solved it.

    The source for the “Living Daylight” mixes of The Slab and Carry Me are different.
    The Slab: “Recorded at Can’s Studio with Renee Tinner, Weilerswist, West Germany, March 1984.”
    Carry Me: “Remixed by Greg Edward at AAV Studio 1, Melbourne, Australia, February, 1987.”

    So this would suggest that the “Living Daylight” mix of Carry Me, as posted here, is indeed the same as on CD versions of Jaws and, if previous investigations are correct, Collected Works. However, the “Living Daylight” mix of The Slab is completely different to the original and remix versions of The Slab – a third studio version.

    Well, I’ve got some corrections to make…

    Much respect; fellow trainspotter! This is the first correction we’ve had in years!

    Cheers

    Stuart
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Cheers mate, you're a constant source of information and it's appreciated
     
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  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

  9. Geee!

    Geee! Forum Resident

    The Jaws of Life was my introduction to the band. They toured western Canada with some frequency with Jaws & Human Frailty. Always a terrific show & always a sell out! In the late 80s, for some reason, their tours never brought them to town & I lost track of them.
    Still one of the best live acts I have ever seen.
     
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  10. bloodisthin

    bloodisthin Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Australia

    This is one is a favourite of mine. The band themselves are obviously also fond of it, since they included it on the Collected Works compilation in 1990.

    Love the Hunnas, one of my very favourite Australian bands along with Died Pretty. The Jaws of Life is one of my favourite albums of all time.
     
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  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    42 Wheels
    Starting with an old truck starting up this song moves in a more stripped back rock sound than the previous album. Solid drums and bass underpin the guitars that are playing counter point. A few little keyboard interludes work to break the song up. I think for the most part this song already worked better than the cluttered arrangements on the previous album.


    Lyrics
    I got a heavy little number
    I got 42 wheels of pleasure and pain
    I got a heavy little number
    I'm gonna head it on down upon the Alice again

    Widda a paraliddic weapon I can 'ardly miss
    Gonna gidda bricks anudder everlasting kiss
    Widda a paraliddic weapon I can 'ardly miss
    Gonna gidda bricks anudder everlasting kiss

    Hadda spit the dummy do a Jaws of Life job
    Hadda leave a big impression onna paraliddic mob
    Hadda spit the dummy do a Jaws of Life job
    Hadda leave a big impression onna paraliddic mob

    Make it a Jaws of Life job
    Make it a Jaws of Life job
     
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  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Holding Down A D
    Another more stripped back tune that uses some synth/keyboard sounds swirling in over the top to flesh it out a little more.


    Lyrics
    They didn't like the way I lugged it
    Didn't like the way I groaned
    Didn't like the way I shook it all up
    Didn't like the way it foamed

    Didn't like the way I crushed it
    Didn't like the way it moaned
    Didn't like the way I threw it all up
    Didn't like the way I foamed

    When you're sinking spit hold it down
    When your stomach is stitched hold it down
    When you ache and sweat hold it down
    When you try to forget

    Didn't like the way I crushed it
    Didn't like the way it moaned
    Didn't like the way I threw it all up
    Didn't like the way I foamed

    When you're sinking spit hold it down
    When your stomach is stitched hold it down
    When you ache and sweat hold it down
    When you try to forget

    They didn't like the way I lugged it
    Didn't like the way I groaned
    Didn't like the way I shook it all up
    Didn't like the way it foamed

    Didn't like the way I crushed it
    Didn't like the way it moaned
    Didn't like the way I threw it all up
    Didn't like the way I foamed

    When you're sinking spit hold it down
    When your stomach is stitched hold it down
    When you ache and sweat hold it down
    When you try to forget, hold it down

    When you ache and sweat, when you try to forget
    In the morning you will see
    You've been holding down a D
    Holding down a D
     
  13. shadow blaster

    shadow blaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scandinavia
    Thanks for starting this. One of my fave bands in the 80s. Will be checking in.
     
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  14. shadow blaster

    shadow blaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scandinavia
    I followed Hunnas in the 80s, but lost them in the early 90s. Still listen to them occasionally, these days I actually prefer their early stuff, ca 82-84. Although their later stuff is great also, up til 1990 where I dropped off, sort of.

    Spring 1983, way up in dark Scandinavia. I was 16 and listening mostly to synth and new wave of the era. On the telly one evening came the video of Talking to a Stranger. Weirdly enough, we had (usually pretty bad) music TV shows that sometimes went outside the chart fodder and showed new left field stuff. Like this one. I was blown away, had never heard anything like this. That heavy bass, funky and dark, and the whole tribal feeling of the track just resonated with me. It is an underground classic. Still trying to track down the 7" single, I have the 12" one.

    A couple of mates had been equally impressed, so one of them got the album that was out. The first one, intl version of course (we had no idea there was an Oz version in those pre-Internet days. Years later I got an import copy of the Oz version.) To this day I must say I prefer the UK Virgin version of the album with the Payload tracks. Towtruck is impressive, I still get goose bumps when I hear it. They had a very unique sound in those early days, a kind of apocalyptic Mad Max tribal kraut funk. John Archer´s bass is really the driving force in the music.

    Wish I could have seen them in the early days, but that had to wait until 1988. They were fantastic live, and by the time they first came to my area, they had built up quite a cult following and the response was ecstatic, I remember.

    Does anyone know, are the mixes on the UK Virgin the same as on the Oz original for the first album? It has been ages since I listened to my vinyls.
     
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  15. shadow blaster

    shadow blaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scandinavia
    Ok, just to keep up. Some thoughts on The Fireman´s Curse, the second album. I am probably in the minority here, but I love this album. I know the band themselves, and maybe Mark Seymour especially, don´t like it.
    Granted, it is their "difficult" album, not many tunes, experimental songs, that bare some resemblance to Birthday Party. So in many ways, a child of the postpunk era. Produced by legendary kraut producer Conny Plank in his Cologne studio. Yet, I find it fascinating, Sway is beautiful, and Blind Snake Sundae mixes postpunk with almost gospel (in my view the closest Hunnas ever got to Nick Cave).
    Judas Sheep is an effective disjointed funk single.

    The album has a haunted, desolate, broken feel, but still redemptive and emotional, which I think characterizes their music throughout their changes as a band.
     
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  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    i wish i had the answer, but that isn't my forte, i am sure someone will know!
    Thanks for the back story, always appreciated, because to me it makes these threads better.
     
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  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Nice, I'm glad I'm not the only one that here's a Birthday Party kind of vibe in there. I wonder if anyone knows if there was any intention or fandom there?
    @Mylene Do you have any idea mate?
     
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  18. fRa

    fRa Forum Resident

    You are not alone! Great album, love it!
     
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  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    As for the band not liking the album, I honestly don't know.
    As a musician myself, I know if I listen to early stuff, I can often hear my short comings and it can be a little painful sometimes.
     
  20. shadow blaster

    shadow blaster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scandinavia
    I read somewhere that Seymour was not too keen on it in later years. But that´s all right with me, like you say, artists listen to their music differently than fans.
     
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  21. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Location:
    perth Australia
    Not only are they unique, but they are even more unique than other unique bands, which makes them uniquely unique!
     
  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    definitely
     
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    yes. I am a big fan and it's pleasing to hear people in other countries like the band as well. I always feel too many Aussie bands are kind of isolated in an Australia and New Zealand fan base.
     
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

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