Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs : 'More Arse Than Class' (1973)

Your Favourite Featured Album for Tuesday 17th May 2011, 1.30 - 3.30 pm (AEST) was :

"More Arse Than Class", by Australia's one-and-only Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs (1973)

* Where were you when you first heard songs from this album?
* What does this album remind you of?
* Who were you with when you first heard music from this album?
* Why does this albums' music sound special to you?
* What were you doing when you first heard music from this album?
* How does hearing songs from this album make you feel?
  • After the release of "Most People I Know" they released a follow-up single, "Believe It Just Like Me", which attacked local radio's preference for overseas material, but it failed to emulate the success of "Most People", which remains their best-known song.
  • The band repeated their festival success at Sunbury '73, and a record culled from this performance, Summer Jam, was released later in the year. They enjoyed another triumph by selling out the Myer Bowl in Melbourne, in marked contrast to their abortive excursions to the UK earlier in the year. It is said that a major reason that their Marquee Club gigs in London failed was that British audiences could not tolerate the group's punishing volume.
  • During 1973 Thorpe collaborated on a duo album with his long-time friend and colleague Warren "Pig" Morgan, the LP Thumpin' Pig and Puffin' Billy. Morgan and Thorpe also co-wrote and produced, with the Aztecs backing, a highly regarded single, "Looking Through a Window", for soul-blues singer Wendy Saddington.
  • In August, Thorpe switched record labels from the independent Havoc to the newly-opened local arm of Atlantic Records, releasing "Movie Queen" and "Don't You Know You're Changing?" as solo singles of singles, although they featured most of the Aztecs line-up. Late in 1973 the group mounted a band's farewell concert at the newly-opened Sydney Opera House, becoming the first rock band to perform there. The concert was recorded and released as a double album, Steaming at the Opera House. The show consisted of three one-hour sets, the first acoustic, the second, an elaborately-staged concept suite called "No More War". The third set was an all-in all-star jam, reuniting Thorpe with former bandmates Lobby Loyde, Kevin Murphy and Johnny Dick.
  • Before disbanding, the Aztecs recorded one more album for Atlantic, the provocatively titled More Arse Than Class, after which Thorpe embarked on a solo career. (Source)
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