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Little River Band

When Little River Band formed in 1975, Australia immediately took notice. The key bandmembers were already well known to Australians. Lead singer Glenn Shorrock had made his name in mid-'60s group the Twilights, a Beatles-sounding pop group that scored a national number one record with its version of the Velvelettes' "Needle in a Haystack." When the group broke up in 1969, Shorrock became lead singer of Axiom, whose "A Little Ray of Sunshine" is still an Australian classic rock staple. LRB's Beeb Birtles had been the bass player for a popular Twilights-era pop group called Zoot (Rick Springfield was a later member). When that group broke up, in search of musical credibility, Birtles auditioned as the bass player, but was instantly elevated to a front-line position alongside Graham Goble. Even LRB's manager was well-known. Glenn Wheatley had been the bassist with another of Australia's bands, and possibly its most legendary, the Masters Apprentices. Given all that background, when Shorrock and Birtles revealed they were forming a group with Goble, managed by Wheatley, it was major event in Australian music.

They had all had a shot at international stardom via England, without success. Little River Band were formed to conquer the world from Australia via America. With that in mind, they almost immediately went into the studio, even before the rest of the band had been consolidated. They were retaining Mississippi drummer Derek Pellicci and were on the lookout for a guitarist and a bass player. A very early version of the group recorded the Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved" as a single, a recording that was shelved when Linda Ronstadt also happened to choose that song as a single. The blueprint for Little River Band was country-rock as practiced by exponents like the Eagles.

Their self-titled first album was released in November 1975. The following May they released a second album, After Hours, and in September of that year set off on their first trip overseas to support Queen at Hyde Park and the Average White Band in the U.S. to promote the release of the first album. Its eight-and-a-half-minute epic "It's a Long Way There" had been edited down for release as a single and was starting to make quite an impact. Graham Goble had written the song about the long trip taking his laundry back to his mother in Adelaide from Melbourne. To an America in shock after the Nixon presidency, the song took on a whole other dimension. LRB had made a big breakthrough. Their American record company decided that the second album, After Hours, was too dark, and put the band straight into the studio to record the next album, resolving to use some of the After Hours tracks and the best of what was being recorded for the band's third Australian album. In both forms the result was called Diamantina Cocktail, produced by John Boylan (Linda Ronstadt).

To date, LRB's success in Australia had been modestly in keeping with the band's place in Australian music history -- respected but not totally embraced. The single from the new album, Glenn Shorrock's "Help Is on Its Way," changed that. Another important hit in America, in Australia it went all the way to number one. The album sold gold in America, the first time an Australian act had achieved such a feat. It was followed by Sleeper Catcher, again produced by Boylan, the first album recorded in Australia to sell over a million copies in the U.S. This time, LRB's greater success was in America, with the single "Reminiscing" becoming a number three hit. This was the song John Lennon confessed he made love to during his "long weekend" separation from Yoko Ono.

For the next four years, LRB kept straddling the two continents, with the band renowned for its impeccable live performances. Internally, relationships were not as happy. From the first album on, front-liners Shorrock, Birtles, and Goble recorded separately. On the road they traveled separately. Only on-stage were they "together." Regular changes in the back line only contributed to the tensions. During one break between American tours, Goble started writing and producing an album for Australian pop legend John Farnham. He then agitated the band to replace Shorrock with Farnham. Australia pricked up its ears, but America was in shock, as this still successful band moved toward replacing the singer of all its big hits with an unknown. Nevertheless, the change was made and Farnham walked straight into the recording studio to record The Net. More lineup changes followed, including the departure of Beeb Birtles.

In all, John Farnham recorded three albums with LRB over four years. The experiment never worked. Whatever Farnham's talents, America longed for Glenn Shorrock. At the end of 1985, while LRB were seriously contemplating their future, Farnham took the initiative of leaving to start work on another solo album, Whispering Jack, an album that completely rehabilitated Farnham as the biggest-selling artist in Australia. LRB regrouped in 1988 with new management and a new record label. Glenn Shorrock and Derek Pellicci rejoined Goble, with "new boys" Wayne Nelson and John Housden added, to record the Monsoon album and its single, "Love Is a Bridge." In 1990, Goble left Little River Band as a touring member, and the band as fans had known it finally called it a day in 1991.

And yet the story continued. For a while, drummer Derek Pellicci mounted Little River Band tours with a lineup including Glenn Shorrock. When Shorrock didn't want to meet one particular schedule due to other commitments, he was sacked, resulting in unpleasant legal action. Then Pellicci also departed, but an LRB lineup continued living and working in America, still featuring those latecomers Wayne Nelson and Steve Housden. In spite -- or maybe because -- of all this, the holiday album We Call It Christmas appeared in 2008. ~ Ed Nimmervoll, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Come on, LRB
THIS SONG TAKES ME BACK, ESPECIALLY FRIDAY NIGHTS.
Geraldine I love you
sizzzla2
Reminiscing - Smooth little song!
like better with lyrics...too .
jay748
Like better with the lyrics.....W h a t happened??
i allways liked cool change it just makes me smile.
Always great music from LRB. . .
Love them. Cool Change is one of my many favorites!!! ! It's like s theme song of freedom for me! :-) :-) :-)!
Great!
Good song!
Reminiscing! My favorite song by them!!!!!
Best Band EVER!
Just love it!
Great classic,ther e ' s no way it can ever be topped.
Those were the days!
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorow will be the best day of your life however if you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you started reading this so don't stop . This is so scary put this on at least 5songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works.
We were blessed to see Little river band last September on labor day.My goodness, I thought I would lose my mind.they are still rocking like no other.
Every time I hear It's A Long Way There I'm back in time, driving very fast through San Timeteo Canyon late at night in a Mazda RX7 with a pretty redhead in the passenger seat and an LRB cassette in the stereo and cranked up loud. Hahahaha wish I could go back.
seen them just about a year or so ago the main mans voice is still great!
Everyone take notice - Cuts like a diamond is new. This is a new album by LRB. So - this band is not just playing hits from the past. They are still relevant today and bringing us new stuff. Like so many bands from the 70's they chose to continue on and not live on their past. Still vibrant - still alive and still a great band to hear live.
Little River Band is the BEST GROUP EVER!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
gwink04
LRB was an awesome band-- great memories of my late teenage years!
The Little River Band "ROCKS"alway s . . . . . .
So much good music, back in the 70's and 80's, and no profanity whatsoever, thank you to someone in power for liberating this illiterate and nasty kind, so called art in their projects.
gtbrown213
lost my virginity with this band
Love Little River Band........ . . . .
taniahalaby1 2
Love
All the fun memories I had in the 70s
I still have a crush on Wayne Nelson. Sigh.....
Fond memories of dancing around the house with my mom blaring this song. I do the same thing with my kids
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kisses on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post it this you will die in two days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and you lovers name will appear on the screen this is so scary because it works
The other guys good movie
Reminiscing to this song
beakmanbob
Only recently realized how amazing the Little River Band is. Fantastic harmonies!
dis be dat real spit 5 poppin 6droppin lrb fo life n**gas
Love it
Beautiful song by a great band from down under.
familyparker
always reminds me of listening to albums with my
dad every friday nights... Happy times, Happy memories.
The reviewer wrote: Its eight-and-a- h a l f - m i n u t e epic It's a Long Way There had been edited down for release as a single and was starting to make quite an impact. Graham Goble had written the song about the long trip taking his laundry back to his mother in Adelaide from Melbourne. To an America in shock after the Nixon presidency, the song took on a whole other dimension.
WTF is he talking about ? There is nothing political about that song in any way.


DON'T READ THIS CAUSE IT ACTUALLY WORKS. YOU WILL BE KISSED ON THE NEAREST FRIDAY BY THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE. TOMORROW WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. HOWEVER IF YOU DO NOT POST THIS. YOU WILL DIE IN TWO DAYS BNOW YOU HAVE STARTED Reading so don't stop. THIS IS SO SCARY PUT THIS ON AT LEAST FIVE SONGS IN 143 MINUTES WHEM DONE PRESS f6 AND YOUR LOVERS NAME WILL APPEAR ON THE SCREEN IN BIG LETTERS THIS IS SO SCARY BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY WORK DON'T READ THIS CAUSE IT ACTUALLY WORKS. YOU WILL BE KIS
The other guys anyone?
rodonnell72
just tried that and it did not work! let me show you my shock face!
rodonnell72
Don't read this because it actually works. you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f16 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works.

I saw LRB open up for the Marshall Tucker Band in the summer of '78. Both bands were fantastic but fate soon took it's toll on both. What a shame, they were all very talented and put out some memorable music.
kimjo727
This is the last concert that I went to with the Man I should have Married.
You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day ofyour life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary. Put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters. This is scary cause it really works

Peter Beckett (Player) who wrote and sang Baby Come Back, toured with LRB for 9 years.
love this
I have this one on I tunes. Love LRB!
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