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Oldies 10/12/2022

Little River Band Announces Definitive Compilations 'Ultimate Hits' & 'Masterpieces'

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Little River Band Announces Definitive Compilations 'Ultimate Hits' & 'Masterpieces'
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Over the course of the Mid 1970s through the 1980's, Little River Band were one of the biggest artists in the world, delivering an enviable string of perfectly constructed pop masterpieces, performed by a band of accomplished songwriters and musicians - achieving global sales of over 30 million records.

Ultimate Hits celebrates the Little River Band's long list of chart-topping singles, including 'Reminiscing', 'Help Is On Its Way', 'Lady', 'Playing To Win' and many more. It is available as a 3LP - 180 gram vinyl in full color sleeves, alongside 2CD and digital.

Masterpieces celebrates the songs not released as singles throughout the band's catalog which stand as firm fan favorites around the world, bringing them to the front and giving fans the chance to dive even deeper into the band's history. It is available as a 3LP - 180 gram vinyl in full color sleeves, alongside 2CD and digital.

Touring the globe to adoring audiences, the band issued 12 albums and along the way collected an enduring, worldwide fanbase - with their hits echoing through the decades as timeless classics.

In addition to the hits collections, Little River Band's studio albums from 1975 to 1986 have also been digitally reissued in remastered form as of October 14th, 2022.

The extensive Little River Band catalog is renowned worldwide to this very day, perpetuated by their inclusion in film & TV, being named-checked in radio-most-played milestone charts and inclusion in playlists across the globe.

Meticulously curated over many years with members of the Original Little River Band and completely remastered for 2022, these projects are enhanced with extensive liner notes detailing the history of the band - alongside a treasure trove of imagery.

The 'Ultimate Hits' and 'Masterpieces' collections truly and proudly celebrate the rich and enduring legacy of the Little River Band, marking the first such retrospective celebration in two decades.

ULTIMATE HITS & MASTERPIECES:

ULTIMATE HITS - tracklist (2CD, 3LP and Digital)
It's A Long Way There (8:39)
Curiosity (Killed The Cat) (3:40)
I'll Always Call Your Name (4:48)
Emma (3:29)
Everyday Of My Life (3:52)
Help Is On Its Way (4:09)
Witchery (2:54)
Home On Monday (3:57)
Happy Anniversary (4:08)
Shut Down, Turn Off (3:54)
Reminiscing (4:16)
Lady (4:58)
Lonesome Loser (4:00)
Cool Change (5:15)
It's Not A Wonder (3:58)
I'm Coming Home (3:45)
The Night Owls (5:20)
Take It Easy On Me (3:47)
Man On Your Mind (4:18)
Down On The Border (2:59)
The Other Guy (2:49)
We Two (4:32)
You're Driving Me Out Of My Mind (5:15)
Playing To Win (3:01)
Forever Blue (5:09)

MASTERPIECES - tracklist (2CD, 3LP and Digital)
My Lady And Me (5:16)
Days On The Road (5:23)
Broke Again (3:28)
Seine City (3:47)
Another Runway (6:32)
Raelene, Raelene (4:32)
Fall From Paradise (5:06)
Light Of Day (8:04)
By My Side (4:28)
Hard Life (Prelude) (2:46)
Hard Life (4:50)
Middle Man (4:29)
Mistress Of Mine (5:16)
Just Say That You Love Me (4:02)
Don't Let The Needle Win (3:39)
Mr. Socialite (5:26)
Sleepless Nights (5:17)
Easy Money (4:01)
I Know It (3:22)
Love Letters (3:08)
Blind Eyes (5:02)
No Reins On Me (4:41)
How Many Nights? (4:38)
When The War Is Over (5:13)
Face In The Crowd (4:48)
Full Circle (1:58)

Little River Band is the first Australian band to achieve significant international success by conquering the American music charts, and paving the way for Australian bands like AC/DC, Men At Work, Air Supply and INXS to follow in their footsteps. With over 30 million record sales and their catalog featuring some of the most radio-played songs in history, Little River Band is one of Australia's most successful bands.

Prior to LRB, the members of Little River Band were no strangers to success having been members of some of Australia's most seminal rock/pop acts. Glenn Shorrock previously fronted The Twilights and Axiom; Beeb Birtles had been a teenage heartthrob playing bass in Zoot, whilst Graeham Goble was honing his songwriting and vocal arranging skills in Travis Wellington Hedge and Allison Gros.

By 1972, Allison Gros evolved into Mississippi and released their self-titled LP. Produced by Peter Jones and Ern Rose, it reached #21 nationally. 'Kings Of The World', written by Graeham Goble, reached #7 and charted for 23 weeks in Australia. The album won 'Best Group Album' and 'Best Group Single' at the Australian Record Awards in 1972. The Mississippi album cover showed just the three singers: Graeham Goble, Russ Johnson and John Mower, but after achieving a hit single, Graeham realized Mississippi could not continue as a three-piece; he needed to form a touring band.

Graeham Goble: "The only bass player I could think of was Beeb Birtles."

Graeham called the Australian Management and Booking Organisation (AMBO) and asked the voice answering the phone whether he knew how to find the former Zoot bass player. The person answered, "you're speaking to him." Beeb had taken a few weeks' work at the agency to keep himself busy in between gigs.

Beeb Birtles: "I had to tell Graeham that I didn't play bass anymore. I'd recently switched to playing guitar, and I really didn't want to go back to bass, but I told him I'd like to have a listen to the album anyway. I loved the songs so much I wanted to be part of that music. We had a vocal rehearsal, and Graeham's voice and mine blended so well together. Graeham took a stand with the two other guys about accepting me in the group as a third guitarist."

Mississippi still needed a drummer. Derek Pellicci had moved between Sydney and Melbourne with various groups eventually joining New Zealand band Highway, and gaining stability by working a day job. Derek was very reluctant to give up his job as a window dresser, and as a result, Highway disbanded. He heard that Mississippi was looking for a drummer and was impressed with the group's originality. "We had a real tough time talking Derek into giving up his day job," remembers Beeb.

Colin Deluca joined on bass, and Mississippi began touring Australia, supporting many international acts including The Jackson 5, and also appearing at the 1973 Sunbury Pop Festival backed by members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Mississippi's final lineup settled with guitarist, Harvey James, and bassist, Charlie Tumahai. America was growing interested in Mississippi after the release of their LP on the Fantasy label, and a single, 'Feel Alone', written by Graeham Goble. On the advice of their manager, Barry Earl, Mississippi opted to head for England instead, doomed to break up just three weeks after their arrival.

Beeb Birtles: "Before the band all went their separate ways, Graeham, Derek and I had already made a commitment to re-form the group. We decided that what was missing was a really good frontman. I said to the guys, "Well, the best person I can think of is Glenn Shorrock." We contacted Glenn Wheatley to get his opinion." Glenn Wheatley knew the struggles of England's music scene for Australian bands, remaining there after the demise of his band, The Masters Apprentices. Wheatley had just quit the Gem-Toby Organisation where he was assisting with managing Procession and The New Seekers. Wheatley expressed interest in managing Mississippi, and agreed with the band to attempt at breaking into the United States. Wheatley also suggested New Seeker, Peter Doyle, as Mississippi's new lead singer. Two try-out rehearsals were held, one with Doyle and the other with Shorrock. The latter was described as "sheer magic."

Glenn Shorrock: "I was struck by how easy it was to blend with Graeham and Beeb's voices, and the songs sounded very promising, one of which was 'It's A Long Way There', that I really liked. We determined that if we were going to perform together on stage, then the harmonies had to be strong and strident rather than soft and pretty. As soon as we sang the opening line, 'Hey everybody…' we knew we had something special."

Graeham Goble: "I wrote 'It's A Long Way There' in 1972. I was in my twenties and had just left my hometown of Adelaide to pursue a music career in Melbourne. I didn't want to leave Adelaide, but I knew it was something I had to do. I was very anxious, and missed my home enormously. For the first few months I used to travel back to Adelaide (nine hours by car) every three weeks to see my family, and eat home cooked food. It took me a long time to let go. The idea for 'It's A Long Way There' emerged during one of those nine-hour road trips. I realized much later that there was something deeper within the words, and looking back on it now it was a premonition of where my life would take me."

Returning from England in early 1975, the band returned to Melbourne and recruited Italian-born, Canadian guitarist, Ric Formosa, and New Zealand bassist Roger McLachlan who had migrated to Australia in 1974 to join the stage musical, Godspell.

Roger McLachlan: "The song that started it all for me, and broke the band in the USA was 'It's A Long Way There'. I vividly remember playing this song at my audition for the band in 1975. I remember being blown away by the vocal blend, and the opening guitar rhythm played by Beeb. I immediately started playing the bass riff you hear on the recording today. It just came to me. Recording this song live in the studio was no mean feat, as it was difficult remembering the arrangement, and all the dynamics of the song. There were no charts, no click track. It was all in our heads."

Riccardo Formosa: "Over the years 'It's A Long Way There' has become Graeham Goble's archetypal Australian anthemic rock ballad - dark, brooding, but also with light and hope. It remains a fairly representative slice of "me" back then, one that I hold dear in hindsight with a tinge of nostalgia for that long-ago goofy kid. Ultimately, what is even more astonishing and particularly heartwarming is that fans from around the world still love that guitar solo, and hail it as one of their favorites. The song also holds special significance for me due to the fact that it was captured in one take with everyone playing live in the studio. I was running a high temperature because I had come down with a cold that day. I was shivering, and all I could think of was my warm bed at home. There was no way I could have suffered through more takes of an eight-minute plus song."

On March 20th 1975, the new lineup of Mississippi played their first gig at Martini's Hotel in Carlton, a suburb of Melbourne.

Glenn Shorrock: "I was never comfortable with the band being named after an American river. Mississippi? Was that what we wanted to be called?"

Glenn Wheatley: "I booked the band at the Golf View Hotel in Geelong on March 25, 1975, somewhere out of the way, and without any fanfare."

Beeb Birtles: "Glenn Shorrock and I were sitting in the back seat of a car driving down the Princess Highway As we passed the Little River township exit sign. Glenn said, "Little River, that'd be a good song title", but within a second he said, "Hey, what about Little River Band?" We ran the idea past the other guys and Glenn Wheatley, and we all agreed it was the perfect name for us."

"A generation of Australia's best singers, songwriters, musicians came together and are proud to call themselves Little River Band" - Gavin Wood, Countdown ABC (1979). No time was wasted in the search for a record deal. Stephen Shrimpton, the head of EMI Australia, was keen to sign the supergroup, and by June 1975, Little River Band had secured an EMI recording contract with a budget of $15,000 dollars to record the band's début album. The Everly Brothers song, 'When Will I Be Loved', was to be Little River Band's first single, but plans were kiboshed when Linda Ronstadt released her version of the song. EMI picked the Beeb Birtles' penned, 'Curiosity (Killed The Cat)', to be the band's first single, and it was released in September 1975.

Beeb Birtles: "Whilst living in London we had a cat named 'Sparky' who sparked the idea for 'Curiosity (Killed The Cat)' when she was scampering around in our living room."

Riccardo Formosa: "A great bass line from Roger, and the clavinet part is pure 70s cool and funky! We tried a few guitar sounds, and I think our engineer, Ross Cockle, suggested I play straight into the console through DI with lots of compression and using my new MXR Phase 90 pedal. We may not have been the first, but it was a pretty radical guitar sound for the time, which didn't become popular until much later in the 80s. That super clean, glassy, spanky guitar sound!"

Roger McLachlan: "Initially, I struggled to find the right bass groove for this song. Little did I know at the time it was a sixteenth shuffle groove even though Derek played a straight eighth groove. The clue comes from Beeb's rhythm guitar, and the funky clavinet. I ended up recording the bass part in the control room as a live overdub. I wanted to capture a live performance so I was standing up playing, and dancing around the control room with the big monitors cranked up. I'm really happy with the end result as it's quite funky for LRB."

'Curiosity (Killed The Cat)' proved to be a hit in Australia reaching #15 in September, and remaining on the charts for 21 weeks. In the meantime Little River Band's American label, Harvest, released 'I'll Always Call Your Name' which reached #62 on the Billboard charts.

Beeb Birtles: "The song is basically about leaving Australia. 'I'll Always Call Your Name' is I'll always call Australia's name. It's about my home country. When I first played it for Graeham he loved it."

Riccardo Formosa: "I always found this song particularly emotional. The melody, lyrics, chord changes, and most of all, Beeb, Glenn and Graeham's harmonies are emotionally charged with something that I have always found moving. The first time I heard Beeb sing this song with those harmonies joining in I really got goosebumps!

"Roger McLachlan: "A beautiful sweet song from Beeb with a surprising half time edgy middle eight. A melodic descending bass line appears halfway through the first verse which then falls into a beautiful country rock groove. I suspect Graeham may have had something to do with that. I follow the changing chord structure in the verse but then pedal the G note in the chorus. I think that works well."

Just like Beeb and Graeham, Glenn Shorrock also had a back catalog of songs from his time in previous bands. He had previously written and recorded 'Emma' during his time in Esperanto Rock Orchestra. The song was re-arranged and added to the début album. 'Emma' reached #20 in Australia.

Roger McLachlan: "I had fun recording 'Emma' in the style of a 50s doo-wop rock 'n' roll bass line. Strangely, the one thing I remember about this song is Graeham slowing the tape down to half speed to record the acoustic guitars, which sound like mandolins when you return the tape to normal speed. I thought that was really cool."

With a backlog of songs not chosen for the début album, Little River Band immediately embarked on their second, After Hours. The album charted higher than its predecessor, peaking at #5. Although the LP proved a chart success, the single, 'Everyday Of My Life', was the only charting song, peaking at #29 in Australia. 'Everyday Of My Life' was written out of frustration by Beeb, who felt he was being ignored at band meetings.

Beeb Birtles: "It seemed to me that Wheatley wasn't interested in listening to what I had to say. I got so frustrated with mentioning the need for a stage backdrop time and time again with nothing being done about it that I wrote 'Everyday Of My Life'. I was really pleased with the way it turned out, especially the synthesizer parts and the brass section. Ric Formosa arranged and conducted the brass. It was selected as the first single off After Hours, and became a hit for the band. We eventually commissioned a backdrop with the band's logo."

Three weeks prior to Little River Band flying to London on September 17th, 1976 for their first international tour, lead guitarist David Briggs replaced Ric Formosa, and bassist George McArdle replaced Roger McLachlan. This was the beginning of LRB's international career with the lineup who recorded the majority of the band's hits. It is this lineup known fondly today by fans as "the Classic Lineup". Their first international dates were supporting The Hollies in Germany and Holland for an eleven-date tour, receiving encore calls every show. Arriving back in London the band was greeted with the news that they were getting airplay on the BBC. Little River Band performed at the Marquee Club and Salford University Manchester. In November 1976, they supported the Average White Band on the east coast of the United States. From New York to Los Angeles, the long grind had begun. Their first Australian album, the self-produced Little River Band, reached #80 on the Billboard chart before the end of 1976, and an edited version of 'It's A Long Way There' reached #28. It was also a major hit in Holland.

Little River Band recorded their third album, Diamantina Cocktail, with American producer, John Boylan, who had massive success with the band, Boston. Capitol Records was not happy with After Hours as an album, and suggested combining the best songs from After Hours and Diamantina Cocktail to make up the American version of Diamantina Cocktail. Five tracks from After Hours were incorporated into the American version of Diamantina Cocktail.

In January 1977, the Sydney Morning Herald declared Little River Band "Australia's most successful export to America. The Little River Band LP has sold almost 200,000 copies in America, and is still selling about 10,000 a week. In some areas the record hit No.1, holding out even the likes of Stevie Wonder." In 1977, Little River Band was the first Australian band to sell in excess of one million units internationally.

Glenn Shorrock's' Help Is On Its Way' soon stormed to #1 in Australia, becoming Song of the Year, and reaching #14 on Billboard. The follow-up Australian single, 'Witchery', reached #33.

George McArdle: "'Help Is On Its Way' was always going to be great, and it deserved a great bass line. One night at a gig Glenn started playing 'Help Is On Its Way' on a backstage piano, and I just joined in with this spontaneous bass line. I had started experimenting with the percussive style of bass playing made popular by Larry Graham and Stanley Clarke, and my Fender Precision Bass was the perfect instrument for this sound. It all came together and was meant to be."

Glenn Shorrock: "'Witchery' began life as a commercial which we recorded for a chain of stores called Witchery. Beeb and Graeham expanded it into a song."

Beeb Birtles: "We were all disappointed with the way the Witchery chain of shops had not used the jingle to its fullest advantage so we resurrected it. Graeham and I wrote another verse to turn it into a three-minute song."

Little River Band returned to America in May 1977 as support to the likes of The Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, Heart, Foreigner, Supertramp, Poco, America, Boz Scaggs, John Mayall, REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, and Jimmy Buffett. It was a giant learning curve for a band of serious musicians, and very soon led to headlining their own shows.

Darryl Cotton reviewed Little River Band's appearance at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California, August of 1977. He echoed the sentiment that Little River Band was representing Australia on the world stage, paving the way for other Australian acts to follow in their success: "Four years ago when I first arrived in the US, people knew very little about Oz talent. Right now nearly everyone wants to know about Australian bands and singers. More importantly, they are taking a great deal of notice of the standard of talent coming out of the country. It's a fact that this is because of Little River Band. They are responsible for bringing an awareness and interest in Australian music to the States."

During a brief visit to England Little River Band also appeared at the 1977 Reading Rock Festival with Thin Lizzy and Aerosmith, performing to a crowd of 30,000. After touring Japan, Little River Band joined Fleetwood Mac and Santana at the 1977 Rock Arena tour of Australia with over 60,000 rock fans attending Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne. The band drew inspiration from their seven-month long journey on the road away from home, recording 'Home On Monday', which reached #73 in Australia and #12 in New Zealand. It has since become one of Little River Band's classic songs.

Glenn Shorrock: "'Home On Monday' was written while I was sharing a room with David Briggs. I was on the phone to my lady, Jo, back home, and the lyric came almost verbatim from the phone conversation, 'Can you guess where I'm calling from, the Las Vegas Hilton', which I knew would impress her. The phone line had an echo to the voice 'It's just the echo on the line'. Virtually the whole song is about that. The lyric was done first and I had a chord progression to fit it, and it all fell into place. I finished it off with some help from Beeb in Warburton, Victoria. We spent four days there after we got back from America."

In America, the Birtles/Briggs song, 'Happy Anniversary', reached #16. Beeb Birtles: "At a rehearsal David was playing some jazzy chords and I said to him, "I really like the sound of those chords. How do you play them?" He showed me the two chords, and I took them away with me and wrote the bulk of 'Happy Anniversary'. When I needed a middle eight for the song I went back to David, and we finished the song together. I love the middle eight in that song. I remember triple tracking my falsetto vocals to get that sound you hear on the record."

George McArdle: "I always wanted my contribution to a song to be special, and with 'Happy Anniversary' I saw an opportunity to present to the band a different, and new approach to bass playing. I am delighted that bass part featured so heavily on 'Happy Anniversary' and contributed to the song becoming such a big hit."

For Diamantina Cocktail, Little River Band received a congratulatory telegram from Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, and was handed accolade after accolade at the Annual TV Week 'King of Pop' awards, including 'Album of the Year.' In early 1978, Diamantina Cocktail became the first Australian LP to be declared 'Gold' in America. Meanwhile, the LP had reached double platinum in Australia. On February 12th 1978, Little River Band performed to a huge crowd of 80,000 people outside the Sydney Opera House. In March, Channel 9 also aired the first prime-time commercial television concert special on an Australian band, Little River Band: Live at the Rainbow Theatre. 

With no time wasted celebrating their immense success, Little River Band delivered their fourth (third American) album, Sleeper Catcher, which was the first LP to achieve platinum status on its release in Australia, and yielded some of the most successful Australian songs of all time.

Glenn Shorrock: "My song, 'Shut Down Turn Off', was the highest charting of the four singles off the album in Australia (#16) and is typical of the music of the era with a distinctive synth drum beat. In the US, however, the big hit was Graeham Goble's 'Reminiscing', which peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart in June 1978."

In 1993 Graeham accepted one of only 56 Three Million-Air awards ever handed out by BMI, and the very first to an Australian-based songwriter. 'Reminiscing' has now achieved well over 5 million plays on American radio. 'Reminiscing' was also recorded and released as 'Recordando' with Spanish vocals from Shorrock. The song has gone on to be covered by artists such as Barry Manilow and k.d. Lang.

Graeham Goble: "I never thought 'Reminiscing' would have such a destiny. The song's inspiration was romantic Hollywood cinema of the 1930s and 1940s. You know the kind of thing, a guy walking hand-in hand with his girl past white picket fences and street lamps."

John Lennon hailed 'Reminiscing' as one of his favorite radio songs, and Frank Sinatra declared it to be "the best 70s song in the world." Every year it now receives as much American airplay as it did at the time of its release. Its timelessness can be attributed in part to the contribution of one Peter Jones, who had been the pianist and string arranger on the band's first album.

Graeham Goble: "I wanted him to play the keyboards part but he was out of town, so we recorded the band track on two separate sessions with different keyboard players. After the second session I was still convinced that Peter Jones was the right player for the song. And then miraculously he became available and so, against some opposition, we recorded the band track for the third and final time. We then got Bobby Venier to play that marvelous flugelhorn solo at the end."

Derek Pellicci adds: "Peter Jones was a very important component in a great many of LRB's studio recordings .He was a tremendous source of inspiration."

Graeham Goble: "When we sent the album to Capitol they said that they couldn't hear any singles on the album, and didn't know what to release. Five weeks later someone at Capitol's New York office said, "You're all crazy, 'Reminiscing' is a smash!" Capitol released it, and it immediately caught on fire, and became our highest chart hit."

Graeham also wrote 'Lady', the follow-up to 'Reminiscing', and it became almost as big a hit in America (#10 Billboard chart, 4 million US radio plays). 'Lady' was written whilst Graeham was in his previous band, Mississippi, and submitted the song for the first three LRB albums. It scraped onto Sleeper Catcher as the last track recorded! Sleeper Catcher achieved gold status in Canada on its day of release, and climbed to #4 in Australia. It went platinum in the US in March 1979 becoming the first Australian album to ever sell a million copies anywhere. 'Reminiscing' reached #35 on the Australian charts, and was named Record of the Year at the TV Week Rock Awards, while Sleeper Catcher took the award for Most Popular Australian Album. Following the immense success of Sleeper Catcher in early 1979, John Boylan was back in Melbourne for the recording of the next album, which would feature a number of session bass players to cover the sudden departure of George McArdle. McArdle left to pursue his Christian calling. 

First Under The Wire was Little River Band's first and only Top 10 American album, spawning two Top 10 US hits, the first being David Briggs' 'Lonesome Loser' (#6 Billboard). 

David Briggs: "When we had our first meeting with Capitol personnel on arrival in the USA to promote First Under the Wire, I recall Rupert Perry, who would ultimately become the head of Capitol Records, coming up to me, shaking my hand, and expressing he had no idea that I could write a song like 'Lonesome Loser.' The song was written at the Boston Colonnade Hotel. I used to write ideas on the letterhead of the hotels we stayed at. I still have that song lyric idea on that letterhead. It was the only LRB song to be nominated for a Grammy for the Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus in 1979."

Glenn's song, 'Cool Change', was a personal statement, and would foreshadow his departure from the band.

Glenn Shorrock: "I had always been the lead singer of a rock 'n' roll band ever since I started. I just felt it was time for a cool change. That's the song I wrote, and it says something about me. Most of my songs say something about me. I wanted to say something else about me without compromising myself with a band anymore. It was getting to the stage where I had to fight to get 'Cool Change' on an album."

Although Derek Pellicci sees it a little differently. "We were really bogged down trying to get the right feel for the band track. We even tried it as a reggae song, which was Glenn's usual suggestion at this point in the proceedings. When Glenn disappeared somewhere, David Briggs, Peter Jones, bassist, Mike Clarke, and engineer, Ern Rose, and myself locked into the arrangement that became the keeper.

'It's Not A Wonder' was released as a single and went to #1 in Texas, but did not reach the Billboard chart.

Graeham Goble: "'It's Not A Wonder' was inspired by The Beatles' 'I'm Down'. I enjoyed the challenge of writing an up-tempo rocker for our live set."

In 1979 Little River Band signed a reported US $8 million/8 album deal with an obviously delighted Capitol Records. Glenn Shorrock scored a surprise Australian Top 10 solo hit with a reworking of Bobby Darin's 'Dream Lover'. Birtles and Goble also gained a top 10 duo hit (#6) with 'I'm Coming Home', a track taken from their LP, The Last Romance. It featured all members of Little River Band, bar Glenn Shorrock.

A 1978 concert with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra became the Top 20 Australian album, Backstage Pass, in January 1980. This was followed three months later by another concert album, Live in America. Graeham recruited new American bassist, Wayne Nelson, and the band embarked on a tour of Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and Australia.

The band flew to Montserrat in the West Indies to record their Time Exposure album with Beatles producer, Sir George Martin. In the US the album stopped outside the Top 20 (#21) and (#9) in Australia, achieving gold status. There were, however, three substantial American hit singles. 'The Night Owls' was one of Graeham Goble's most appealing compositions, reaching #6 on Billboard, and has now become Graeham's 5th song to achieve 1 million airplays on commercial radio in the US.

Graeham Goble: "I wrote 'The Night Owls' after I saw the trailer for Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. I couldn't be further from the character of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever if I tried, but I could imagine what that would be like."

Goble's 'Take It Easy On Me' also hit #10 on Billboard. 'Man On Your Mind' followed, reaching #14 on Billboard.

Graeham Goble: "A lot of my songs were inspired by my 'late teens muse', a girl I met when I was still living in Adelaide. 'Take It Easy On Me' was one of these. The lyric, although not factual, is a representation of an internal longing that I have always experienced in relationships."

Glenn Shorrock: "'Man On Your Mind' was largely written by Kerryn Tolhurst. He had come to me with it partially finished, needing some help with some of the lyrics and the middle eight, which I gladly provided. The song was initially rejected. I wrote a letter to George Martin and the band, putting forward my case, and the song was reconsidered."

By the time 'Man On Your Mind' was on the American charts, guitarist and hit songwriter, David Briggs, had been replaced by little known guitarist, Stephen Housden. Briggs left to pursue his successful producing and recording career, working with Australian Crawl, Russell Morris and many others. Frontman, Glenn Shorrock, had also left the band. The replacement of a lead singer in a major band is a drastic and dangerous move, but the precedents of The Doobie Brothers, AC/DC, and Manfred Mann, amongst others, were evidence that it could be successfully realized. Shorrock was replaced by Australia's former "King of Pop" (1969-1974 consecutively), Johnny Farnham. Graeham Goble was well aware of John Farnham's capacities, having observed and admired his development over the previous 14 years, he became Farnham's writer and producer for the 1980 Uncovered album.

Within hours of being offered to join Little River Band, Farnham was in the recording studio. "I thought about the offer very seriously", he admits, "for about five minutes!" Little River Band débuted their new frontman on The Paul Hogan Show and The Don Lane Show before embarking on a tour of Australia and the United States.

In 1982, EMI Australia released Greatest Hits - Volume 2 which included the singles 'Down On The Border' and 'The Other Guy'. 'Down On The Border' shot into the Australian Top 10, giving the band its biggest Australian hit since 'Help Is On Its Way' in 1977. Greatest Hits - Volume 2 became a platinum album in Australia, and double platinum in New Zealand. Capitol Records in the US released their own Greatest Hits compilation. The single 'The Other Guy' reached #11 on Billboard, and #18 in Australia.

Little River Band is the only act in the world to have a US top 10 single six years in a row from 1977 to 1982. Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles and John Farnham performed an acoustic version of 'Silent Night' at the 1982 annual Australian event, Carols by Candlelight, in Melbourne. Their performance included the only encore ever demanded by the Carols audience. Weeks later the band recorded a television special for HBO at the Melbourne Concert Hall, including songs performed with members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Also in 1982, Little River Band performed at the Royal Gala Performance for Princess Diana and Prince Charles at the Melbourne Concert Hall.

The band's first LP with John Farnham, The Net, was released in May 1983 just in time for the band to tour Europe, and perform at premiere venues such as the London Hammersmith Odeon, after which they embarked on another American tour. Little River Band was in such high demand that they performed twelve concerts over six days at the Sahara Hotel & Casino in Nevada. In America The Net LP stopped at #61. The album's first single, another Goble composition, 'We Two', reached #22.

Graeham Goble: "I wrote 'We Two' while watching the 1977 movie Bobby Deerfield. My lyrics tell the same story as the movie. There's a line in 'We Two', 'Do we know that life is sweeter when we're taking a chance?' that was inspired by the movie's dialogue, plus the Richard Rodgers quote: "Taking chances is the only safe thing to do". 'You're Driving Me Out Of My Mind' was released as the 2nd single in the US, and was heavily featured in the band's television performances on shows such as Solid Gold (US) and Rock Pop In Concert (Germany) on international TV.

Beeb Birtles: "Graeham and I co-wrote 'You're Driving Me Out Of My Mind' which was the opening track on the Net. It was released as a single in the US, and reached #35 on Billboard." The second Farnham-era album, Playing To Win (released September 1984) would only feature one original member, Graeham Goble. 

Beeb Birtles left in October 1983 with Derek Pellicci departing soon after. They were replaced by keyboardist, David Hirschfelder, and Cold Chisel's, Steve Prestwich, on drums. Little River Band fell out of commercial favor. New A&R personnel had turned over at Capitol Records and their musical tastes and priorities were vastly different from previous representatives. Although a cult classic in Australia, and used frequently at sporting events, the single, 'Playing to Win', only achieved #60 on Billboard and #59 in Australia.

David Hirschfelder: "I remember working for long hours refining the 'Playing To Win' keyboard part on my brand new Fairlight CMI Series IIx. 'Playing To Win' means a lot to me in so many ways. It represents a career highlight, a special time in my life, when I toured the US in '84-85, performing with this vibrant and musically adventurous incarnation of Little River Band. There was a real spirit in the music, and the cohesion of the ensemble was airtight! I learned so much from that experience and will cherish the memories always."

The band's US tour schedule had reduced in scale and length, whilst in Australia, the band was back to where they started, playing RSL and workers clubs. Little River Band completed a small run of gigs in April 1986, just before the release of No Reins, the last album of the Capitol deal. Graeham Goble believes No Reins is the finest Little River Band record of all, but with no tour or any other promotion, the LP disappeared without a trace. The album garnered no charting hits except for the delayed hit, 'Forever Blue'. Although it was released on No Reins in 1986, it wasn't until 'Forever Blue' was picked up on Netherlands radio in 1995 that it would chart, peaking at #12. Graeham had known the song's co-writer, Stephen Foster, from way back in the Mississippi days. Stephen was a fellow Bootleg label stablemate. They would eventually form a band, Broken Voices, and record together in 1989.

David Hirschfelder: "Love this beautiful hypnotic track, 'Forever Blue'. I do remember the recording process, enjoying the creation of the low flutey organic Prophet V pads layered with soft FM waves gently cascading from the DX-7, then gradually adding more quasi-orchestral synth layers and stabs as the song narrative develops.It's all quite cinematic really, and such a cool chord progression to work with; inspired heartfelt song-writing,a powerful lyric propelled by passionate vocal performances, solo and ensemble. Long live 'Forever Blue'!"

After No Reins, Little River Band ceased to perform. John Farnham embarked on a solo career with manager, Glenn Wheatley, using previous Little River Band members like David Hirschfelder and Roger McLachlan for recording and touring. At the same time Glenn Shorrock was enjoying mixed fortunes with his solo career. His concept stage revues, One For The Money, and Two For The Show, pulled large crowds all over Australia, and he had previously scored a Top 10 hit at home with the America's Cup related song, 'We're Coming To Get You' (1983). However, his John Boylan-produced 1982 album, Villain Of The Peace, had failed to crack the American charts while his single, 'Don't Girls Get Lonely?', had risen no higher than #69 on the Billboard chart. By 1988, when the call to re-join Little River Band was received, he was keeping busy on television and concert stages, but was in serious need of a return to the charts. With the promise of the return of original members Shorrock, Goble and Pellicci to the lineup, MCA records offered Little River Band a two-record deal. The Monsoon LP would be recorded and released in 1988 with an accompanying tour of Australia featuring The Eagles' Glenn Frey, and a televised concert at World Expo '88 in Brisbane at which Glenn Frey described Little River Band as "The best singing band in the world".

In 1990, Little River Band recorded their final studio album, Get Lucky. The album failed to rekindle interest in the US market, and Graeham Goble left the band to form The Graeham Goble Encounter. Shorrock and Pellicci departed several years later.

In 2001, a reunion was attempted with the original band members, Graeham reunited with Glenn Shorrock to record 'Someone's Taken Our History' on the subject of losing the band's name. With the original band unable to reform after a failed court battle, Glenn, Beeb and Graeham decided to tour as Birtles Shorrock Goble.In 2003, they recorded a live album and DVD, Full Circle, at The Forum Theatre in Melbourne, which went gold in Australia.

In 2004, the Classic lineup of Little River Band - Glenn Shorrock, Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles, David Briggs, George McArdle and Derek Pellicci - were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Awards Hall of Fame and performed 'Help Is On Its Way' at that year's ARIA awards. In Australia, in 2020, Glenn Shorrock was awarded Member of the Order (AM), and in 2021, Graeham Goble was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for their services to music.

The songs in this collection are a testament to the talents of Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles, Derek Pellicci, Glenn Shorrock, Ric Formosa, Roger McLachlan, David Briggs, George McArdle, John Farnham, David Hirschfelder and Steve Prestwich, and the world-class session musicians, recording engineers, and producers who came together to create Little River Band ULTIMATE HITS.






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