In 1975 Little River Band burst upon the musical landscape-- their style was a laidback country rock that would not have sounded out of place coming from the Eagles or the Doobie Brothers.
Perhaps the only true fault of this auspicious debut is that it opens with its strongest tracks-- probably one of the strongest tracks in the band's entire song catalog. Clocking in at 8 minutes and 46 seconds A Long Way There showcases the best of what this band has to offer. Their catchy country/rock rhythms, their tight vocal harmonies, Glenn Shorrock's distinct lead vocals, and the rock guitar theatrics of both Graeham Goble and Beeb Birtles.
By opening with such a stellar song, the rest of the tracks only serve to suffer by comparison which is quite unfortunate considering that many of the remaining tracks are also quite enjoyable.
Curiousity Killed the Cat straddles the rock/country line with country-esque vocals and vocal harmonies but with meandering yet driving rock guitar lines.
Meanwhile is good old-fashioned roadhouse boogie. It's fun, it's catchy and features some superlative guitar work-- again by Birtles and Goble. Shorrock's vocals help drive this rollicking tune.
Other standout tracks include the Beeb Birtles penned and sung I'll Always Call Your Name a rather stirring ballad that shows Birtles to be quite a tunesmith in his own right and the somewhat elegeiac Statue of Liberty that captures the general pessimism of America following the Nixon resignation and the Vietnam conflict:
Anything can happen in the U. S. of A.
Ain't no use anymore in tryin' harder
Statue of Liberty sinkin' in the harbour
Despite living half a world away in Australia Glenn Shorrock seemed to have a good idea of the general mood of the American people.
On the whole, this is a very respectable debut that shows glimpses of the even better material that was yet to come. While there are no big hits like The Night Owls, Reminiscing, or Lady-- those would all come later, you can clearly hear the potential of the music which would come from this tight Aussie musical unit.
Little River Band (official site)
Birtles Shorrock Goble (official site)
Little River Band (wikipedia)
Birtles Shorrock Goble (wikipedia)
Little River Band (wikipedia album entry)
Glenn Shorrock (wikipedia)
Beeb Birtles (official site)
Beeb Birtles (wikipedia)
Graeham Goble (official site)
Graeham Goble (wikipedia)
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