Sunday 19 February 2012

It Never Ends: The Innocents - Sooner Or Later 7" RCA 103591, 1980

Kim Fowley visited Australia and New Zealand in 1979, via "British" Samoa: "All I found was a two track studio and someone reciting poetry in Polynesian, no hit records." That was in Samoa, not Auckland. He set up shop in the Melbourne Hilton and took out a full page ad in the local rock press announcing his arrival and calling on local unsigned bands to kneel before him. One of two bands he most took under his wing was Beathoven. Formerly Tasmania's top pop group, they had moved to Melbourne and had made hay on the high school lunchtime concert circuit. They had in fact broken up and only returned from Tasmania when summonsed by Fowley. He "ran out of adjectives describing them," Glenn Baker later reported. Two of the demos he recorded with them appear on the Here We Come LP (Raven, 1984). Princess In Disguise is pretty dull, but Rock'n'Roll Tonight is much better, even allowing for the cringeworthy ocker to-and-froing between band members; "Hey Wombat, where's the sheilas?" Unfortunately Fowley couldn't convince the local labels of his their genius - (Hilton) bummer.

Nonetheless in 1980, after a name change to The Innocents, this single lobbed up on Australian RCA. Theoretically there's a lot to dislike on this record: a disco bassline, a debt to the Beatles, an even bigger debt to the Four Seasons (thanks to the i-94 reviewer for picking that up). However the glorious chorus lifts it above and by the end you've forgotten the inauspicious opening verse. A good record, for sure, but you have to think Fowley would have shat his leather trews had Branded not already moved from Melbourne to Sydney.

The Raven LP is kinda tough to find these days but you should be able to pick up the comprehensive double CD No Hit Wonders From Down-Under fairly easily. Between the band's website and various other bloggings there's hours of reading for anyone who wants to delve further. Which brings us to our little addition to the story - the formerly apocryphal Japanese pressing.

A 1990s article on the band in an Australian collectors magazine mentioned a rumoured Japanese issue but was quite sure it didn't exist. The precursor to the band's website linked to above used to have a discography which wasn't certain either. Rest assured it exists, and rest even more assured we have it for you. Still on RCA, it's a 1982 release, making it two years later than the Australian issue. We first pulled it from the fertile stacks at Sydney store Ashwoods some time in the '90s. Since then we've only seen two other copies show up, and we have been looking. Which, when put in our equations, and factoring in the rise of the internet, makes it "quite rare". Despite the handsome seaside skateboarder sleeve (is that Shogo Kubo?), it seems Inosentsu were even less successful up there than down here.

Read all about them.

March 2020 update But wait.... somebody noticed. A local variety show performed a song and dance number to a version of the song.

Sooner Or Later [Download]

The "B" Side [Download]

We had variety shows too.


Anonymous said...

It's certainly catchy pop. The B Side reminds me of The Twilites, but maybe that is just the Beatles influence coming through. I remember Beathoven won some sort of TV talent contest, didn't they?


Anonymous said...

Twilights. This one in particular.