Friday 5 June 2015

Lobby Loyde Part 3 or 4 or 5

My Lobby Loyde posts have been a bit all over the shop. They've featured his stints in 60s bands The Purple Hearts and The Wild Cherries and his short stints with The Aztecs at the end of the 60s and Rose Tattoo at the end of 79 into 80. I've covered The Coloured Balls Ball Power a couple of times and his great production jobs for X and The Sunnyboys. The above tune, Devil's Disciple, I saw on Rage once and thought what the fuck is that? It later turned up on the Ball Power deluxe reissue from Aztec Music. It turns out that it was a B-side to their inferior version of Mess Of The Blues the 7" A-side that originally came out in 1973. Devil's Disciple is a Lobby original and, let's face it, a blueprint for his successors AC/DC. Lobby was on the (coloured) ball and saw them coming and left them a gift. Funnily enough AC/DC had supported the Coloured Balls a few times. Before joining AC/DC Bon Scott would sometimes get up and jam with Coloured Balls when they played in Adelaide as he was a friend of Lobby's from the old days. Bon Scott had been in Perth mod/bubblegum unit The Valentines in the late 60s and Adelaide's Fraternity in the early 70s before joining AC/DC in 1974. Devil's Disciple, along with a handful of other 7"s, was a bridge between the first and second Coloured Balls LPs.

Heavy Metal Kid their 2nd album was released in October of 1974 and just isn't held in the same esteem as Ball Power. It isn't a bad LP by any means. Heavy Metal Kid just isn't as singular as its predecessor. Still it has classic tunes like the opening title track and the existential Just Because that's like a counterpart to Ball Power's Human Being. Other tunes look back to Rock'n'Roll roots like Do It and Leiber & Stoller's Baby I Don't Care. Private Eye is the band at its most pop with a glammed up Peter Gunn riff and lyrics about being a spy. If it was released as a 7" it would surely have been a hit. EMI didn't see the potential for Private Eye to be hit worthy, huh!? The record company didn't release any singles off Heavy Metal Kid and subsequently failed to promote it much as they saw it as commercially unviable.

See What I Mean is a Trevor Young (drums, vocals & keys) composition which takes them into 70s power ballad territory complete with synths sounding like strings before just deciding to sound like synths along with absurd drum fills but it stays on the good side of such zones. Dance To The Music is a strange one where you think its gonna be all good time Rock'n'Roll but turns out to be a muted melancholy tune, like they couldn't actually be bothered getting off the couch to do what they're singing about. Yes and No 's 50 seconds of psych noodling is followed by Back To You, a classic guitar driven Coloured Balls tune with reverbed to the max vocals and keyboards that give it a strange edge. The best bits though are when Lobby gets going and does a little shredding before ending up in space/stadium/lighters in the air rock territory. Need Your Love is almost comic like a Ringo Starr throwback. Sitting Bull is a bit wrong with its faux Native American chants and a little bit awesome because it sounds soo good with its 70s west coast vibe. This tune is reminiscent of similar themed tunes by Silver Apples and JD Loudermilk. The vocals are then over with and the last four tunes are a panoply of instrumentals starting with the boogie Custer's Last Stand then Metal Feathers which is a mellow acoustic and keyboard jam ending with ticking and gonging clock, nice. Space rock enters the fray again on Tin Tango with what could be an early computer game soundtrack which gets all plinky plonky early electronics stylee at the end. The LP closes with 27 seconds of musique concrete. These last four tracks give an indication of where Loyde was to go a couple of years later with his concept cosmic rock sci-fi concept record Beyond Morgia.

I've never really analysed Heavy Metal Kid before as I just took at face value, it is what it is. Now thinking about it it's quite a bizarre LP. Maybe they were trying to shed some of their fans here. Who knows? How a spelling era got through on the cover is totally mystifying too. Anyway this eccentric little journey is pretty good though. The Coloured Balls were ahead of their time with their atemporality.

Oh we're missing a u.
*Next Time: The final Part Of My Lobby Loyde Obsession including Beyond Morgia, Obsecration, Hall Of Fame, Retromania Concerts and whatever else.

**Special thanks to Ian McFarlane (Legendary Oz Rock Historian) whose Heavy Metal Kid liner notes I only just read after writing this (new spex), so I added on those AC/DC connections. 

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