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The Angels

Delivering raucous hard rock in the tradition of contemporaries like AC/DC and Rose Tattoo, the Angels are among the longest-lasting and most beloved bands ever to emerge from the Australian pub circuit. Their roots date back to 1973, when singer Doc Neeson and guitarist Rick Brewster first teamed up at university in an eccentric acoustic covers group dubbed the Moonshine Jug and String Band; by the following year they had begun adopting a more straightforward and electric approach, rechristening themselves the Keystone Angels in the process. Soon abbreviated to simply the Angels, their original lineup consisted of Neeson (nicknamed the "Mad Irishman" in honor of his crazed behavior on- and off-stage) and Brewster, along with the latter's brother John on guitar and drummer Graham "Buzz Throckman" Bidstrup.

In 1976, the Angels were discovered by AC/DC's Angus Young and Bon Scott, and soon entered the studio to record their debut single, "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again," a major hit. With the addition of bassist Chris Bailey (not to be confused with the Saints' frontman), a tour opening for AC/DC followed, and in 1977, the Angels' eponymously titled debut LP appeared to enormous success. A second album, Face to Face, appeared in 1978 and preceded a national headlining tour; after 1979's No Exit became an even bigger hit, the group toured the U.S. and Canada; they renamed themselves Angel City in the Northern Hemisphere to avoid confusion with the glam band Angel. (To further complicate matters, a handful of releases later appeared credited to "the Angels from Angel City," the constant fluctuations no doubt contributing to their lack of success overseas.)

After just three LPs, the Angels issued their first Greatest Hits collection in 1979; with their next studio album, 1980's moody Darkroom, they scored their first Australian number one hit, "No Secrets." The record also featured the track "Face the Day," later covered by Great White. At the end of the year, the Angels headlined a free concert at the Sydney Opera House that ended in rioting, prompting a government ban on outdoor concerts. Undaunted, the Angels opened in America for the Kinks, then returned home to begin work on their next album, Night Attack, their first outing with new drummer Brent Eccles. A subsequent tour exchanged Bailey for bassist Jim Hilbun, and was followed in 1983 by the odd, experimental Watch the Red. Two Minute Warning -- a concept record exploring nuclear devastation -- recorded in Los Angeles and issued a year later.

Upon returning to Australia, founding member John Brewster exited, and was replaced by ex-Skyhooks guitarist Bob Spencer. Howling followed in 1986, launching the hit singles "Don't Waste My Time" and "Nature of the Beast." In support of the record, the Angels mounted a 16-month tour that yielded the double-concert LP Liveline in 1988. With new bassist James Morley, they next traveled to Memphis to record 1990's chart-topping Beyond Salvation, which notched four Top Ten singles: "Let the Night Roll On," "Back Street Pick-Up," "Rhythm Rude Girl," and "Dogs Are Talking." After 1991's Red Back Fever, both Spencer and Morley departed for solo careers late the next year, opening the door for the return of Hilbun and John Brewster. However, record company problems kept the Angels from recording new material for several years; finally, in 1996, they issued their comeback single, "Call That Living," which returned them to the Top Ten. Skin & Bone followed in 1998. The group disbanded at the close of the '90s following Doc Neeson's injury in a car accident; however, Neeson joined a re-formed Angels in the spring of 2008, and the reunited group played a series of shows during the summer of that year. Neeson left the band again in 2011 to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Dave Gleeson, former lead singer of the Screaming Jets, a group who had toured with the Angels in 1991. His debut album with the group came in 2012 when Take It to the Streets arrived featuring the single "Waiting for the Sun." The band marked their 40th anniversary by releasing the album Talk the Talk in 2014. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Golden Hits Forever, Vol. 5

Comments

One of the truly great Aussie bands but where is No Exit my favourite album of all time.
Revisiting my youth
A sad day. I heard a story..... (please verify ) Doc performed with a plastered broken leg. He climbed speaker stack, jumped and broke the leg in another spot. He kept going.
RIP Doc
My memories of my teenage years will be remembered fondly listening to the rocking grooves of the Angels
one of the best bands in OZ have seen them many times blew all away at NARARA festival but my fav gig was at the Lake Jindabyne hotel in 88 Doc put the mic in frount of me and I sang no Secrets in his style ( reckon I was one of the few who knew the words to every songat that gig)
AC/DC got to much attention . The Angels, to little.
maudieqarhxd c 9 8
I want to see them live. I'd pay 1 mil.
Saw them in a bar in Alpine Valley, Wi. In late late 1980, awesome. Forgot about the name business until reading the posts here.
darrin.page
The Angles playing march 2013 @ v8 Supercars race in Adelaide along with Kiss
I saw them in Anchorage, Alaska, probably 80' or 81'... to this day one of the best live shows I've ever see.... Was Doc gacked or were those his real pupils and was or is Rick Brewster blind with dark shades and nothing moving but his left and right hand on the guitar?!!! And the chubby girl Doc had on his knee for a down low interlude?! Still satisfied after all these years I'm sure.....!!!
I saw then a number of times, fantastic energy and rocking songs. The darkroom album is one of my favorites of all time.
vcbluzman
This is great stuff! I feel like I just woke up from a coma. Why haven't I heard of them?
dunn_carey5
One of the best Aussie pub circuit bands ever. If you like the Angels, check out Rose Tattoo and Cold Chisel too.
the band angel----now there was a very good underated band never heard of these guys---kinda vanilla
The original release in America was under the band name of "Angel City", there was another band called "Angel" in L.A. at the time that was threatining to sue unless they changed thier name. It was an amazing album, songs like "Can't Shake It" and "Marseilles" were on it. Funny, I can't find any record of it here.
I rolled my older brother's Dark room album,played it on his old single speaker Tape/Recorde r - maybe 2 watts(upwind ) t i l l it broke in multiple places. Carefully/su r g i c a l l y repaired with my older sis's nail polish. Try that on an Ipod Steve11
jvmech193
Saw the at the Parmount Theater in Seattle, WA in 1980. Been a big fan ever since!
ebodiddley
Never seen them live, but sure would like to! Great, driving, rock AND roll!
dlchambers4
US release of Angel City's "Face To Face" album was on the same day as Def Leppard's 1st album (their best one by far), late '79 or early '80. A great day at Tower Records!
had Face to Face and Two Minute Warning. 2 great albums.
First band i ever saw. what a great band. great songs. thats them playing a couple of songs in the movie holly smoke with Kate Winslet and Harvey Kitel.
ericedietz
have sevral angel city lps would love to find oe aussie THe Angels copys
Check out their Oz website - it has a few more gems, excellent stuff
I'm liking it. Sing along BAR MUSIC
Their original name was The Angels. Their record company forced them to change it to Angel City so as to not be confused with the american hard rock band Angel. They are also known as The Angels from Angel City, but they're from Australia. a great great band. The punk Ac/Dc!
leesa2liza3
sounds like the Psychedelic Furs!Love it!
Torirobert should run the world, he thinks! It's strange that an ignoramus dons the attitude of a bully when he doesn't know what he's talking about. Oh, and THEIR name is explained well in the article. Learning to read and write effectively should be your primary activity, not spewing ignorance. Read, listen and learn from Pandora.
tracykitn
The Angels are a 60s girl group known for their hit "My Boyfriend's Back." This was a bit of a surprise when I was looking for girls....
I have Dark Room at home, and I am sorry to report that the band's name is not The Angels. It is Angel City. I even saw them in concert in Seattle. There name is Angel City. I don't know where you got The Angels.

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