Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Power Pop Classic from 1979: The Sports - Don't Throw Stones (2014 Expanded Remaster) Flac
Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1976, the Sports featured Steve Cummings (lead vocals) Martin Armiger (guitar), Andrew Pendlebury (guitar), Jim Niven (keyboards/vocals), Robert Glover (bass) and Paul Hutchins (drums). Influenced by rock, rockabilly, country and new wave, the band recorded several exquisite pop songs in the new wave style which charted well, particularly in Melbourne. National success followed but as the original members left the band had less impact. After supporting Graham Parker on his tour of Australia during 1978, the Sports were invited to tour with him in Europe and England. Records were released but did not make a big impact in either Europe or the States. They undertook several large tours around Australia, released several more singles and the fourth album, but were no longer progressing. Personnel upheavals during the early 80s, saw Hutchins replaced in turn by Ian McLennan then Freddie Strauks (ex-Skyhooks). The Sports eventually broke-up at the end of 1981. After they disbanded Cummings ventured into a solo career, occasionally collaborating with Pendlebury who has also recorded three instrumental guitar albums. Armiger moved into production in television and stage as well as rock music.
The U.S. version of an Australian hit, Don't Throw Stones took its impetus from the four-song EP released in the U.K. earlier in 1979, a veritable "best-of" digest that opened with what remains the Sports' finest hour, "Who Listens to the Radio?." Two further songs from the EP ("Suspicious Minds" and "So Obvious") reappear on the album, while Arista also chose to cull three songs from the Aussie release, and replace them with numbers from the band's debut, Reckless. The substitutions don't show. The Sports boasted a remarkably consistent sound throughout their career, with their earliest albums in particular snapping seamlessly into the box marked "new wave pop." It is unfair, however, to see them compared to Joe Jackson, when the Sports were sounding like this some time before Jackson really got going. Rather, they draw from the same wellspring of inspiration as he did: a little bit Costello, a little bit Graham Parker, a little bit Tom Petty (from the days when his Heartbreakers were still being marketed as a new wave act in their own right), and so on. But "Who Listens to the Radio" marks out the band's own strengths, with "Wedding Ring" and "Mailed It to Your Sister" both bringing up the rear in fine style. A word, too, for "Big Sleep," the album's closer and positively the most unexpectedly downbeat finale that any so-called pop album has ever employed. [An Australian version of the album was also released.
With ''Don't Throw Stones the australian band caught attention in the US and in the UK. But also other european countries were interested in the band. If you don't know the band and/or the album give it a try, you won't not regret it. This is the expanded edition from 2014 with 37 songs.
I want to say Thanks to Javier, a reader of this blog who contributed the album.
Frank FLAC 1 You need both links! FLAC 2