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Mental As Anything

Formed on a whim by a group of bored art students in search of free drinks, Australia's prankish Mental as Anything went on to forge a career spanning several decades, their tongues remaining planted firmly in cheek throughout the duration of their existence. Debuting in 1978, the Sydney-based group included singer/guitarist Reg Mombasa (born Chris O'Doherty), his bassist brother Peter O'Doherty, lead guitarist Martin Plaza, keyboardist Andrew "Greedy" Smith, and drummer Wayne Delisle; their first gig was held at a nearby hotel, with a pool table serving as a makeshift stage. Their early shows proved surprisingly successful, and soon Mental as Anything had earned enough of a cult following to record a single, 1979's "The Nips Are Getting Bigger"; it was a Top 20 hit down under, and when their debut LP, Get Wet, achieved similar success, the group was off and running.

Mental as Anything resurfaced in 1980 with Espresso Bongo, which generated two more hit singles, "Come Around" and "(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet." After 1982's Cats and Dogs achieved platinum status on the strength of the smashes "If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?" and "Too Many Times," Mental as Anything began attracting worldwide notice, and in 1982 they mounted their first tour of the United States. Fan Elvis Costello produced the single "I Didn't Mean to Be Mean," issued later that same year, and in 1983 the group issued its fourth LP, Creatures of Leisure, another Aussie Top Ten hit. Also in 1983, Mental as Anything launched their first group art exhibition, featuring works from each of the bandmembers; among the buyers was Elton John. In 1985 they returned with Fundamental as Anything, their biggest hit to date; the single "Live It Up" was a smash throughout much of the globe, reaching the Top Five in the U.K. and Germany.

After their 1986 collection Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 fell just shy of topping the Australian charts, Mental as Anything returned the following year with Mouth to Mouth; after 1989's Cyclone Raymond, they mounted a touring art exhibition that traveled across the country, but for the most part, the quintet was out of the limelight for the early part of the next decade, instead focusing on personal lives and the occasional side project (including the O'Doherty brothers' collaboration Dog Trumpet). A Mental as Anything B-sides collection, Chemical Travel, appeared in 1993, and in 1995 the band's first new studio LP in six years, Liar Liar Pants on Fire, returned them to the Top 40 on the strength of the hit "Mr. Natural." In 1997, Mental as Anything celebrated their 20-year anniversary with the original lineup still intact; the LP Garage appeared the following year. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Best Of Mental As Anything

1. The Nips Are Getting Bigger

2. Egypt

3. Come Around

4. (Just Like) Romeo And Juliet

5. If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?

6. Too Many Times

7. Berserk Warriors

8. Let's Cook

9. I Didn't Mean To Be Mean

10. Spirit Got Lost

11. Brain Brain

12. Working For The Man

13. Apocalypso

14. You're So Strong

15. Live It Up

16. Date With Destiny

17. Surf & Mull & Sex & Fun

18. Let's Go To Paradise

19. He's Just No Good For You

20. Rock 'N' Roll Music

21. The World Seems Difficult

22. Mr. Natural

23. Nigel

x

Track List: Mouth To Mouth

1. Don't Tell Me Now

2. My Door Is Always Open To You

3. Put Me Back

4. Let's Go To Paradise

5. Love Me Tender

6. The Mad King

7. He's Just No Good For You

8. Thinking Out Loud

9. Stay At Home Girl

10. Mouth To Mouth

11. I'm Glad

12. Wandering Through Heaven

x

Track List: Fundamental As Anything

1. You're So Strong

2. Big Wheel

3. Live It Up

4. Surf & Mull & Sex & Fun

5. Good Friday

6. Date With Destiny

7. Hold On

8. Stones Of The Heart

9. I Just Wanna Be Happy

10. Splashing

11. Bus Ride

x

Track List: Creatures Of Leisure

1. Spirit Got Lost

2. Float Away

3. Brain, Brain

4. Bitter To Swallow

5. Close Again

6. Space To Let

7. Not Enough

8. Drinking Of Her Lips

9. Fiona

10. Nothing's Going Right Today

11. Red To Green

12. Country In The Concrete

13. Let's Not Get Sentimental

x

Track List: Get Wet

1. The Nips Are Getting Bigger

2. Spanish Gardener

3. Business And Pleasure

4. Sheilah

5. Possible Theme For A Future Tv Drama Series

6. Talk To Baby Jesus

7. Egypt

8. Another Man's (Sitting In My Kitchen)

9. Can I Come Home?

10. Fringe Benefits

11. Insurance Man

12. Empty Hearts/Open Wounds

13. Love Is Not A Gift

14. Wolf At Your Door

Comments

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only oz band I like, some great songs!
Report as inappropriate
CORRECTION: Reg Mombasa (Chris O'Doherty) was the lead guitarist and Martin Plaza singer/guita r i s t in the original lineup.
Report as inappropriate
love the mentals!
Report as inappropriate
Way to go beathappymus i c !
Report as inappropriate
I have been a big fan of this band for the longest time. I actually have a copy of Espresso Bongo signed by all the band.

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