Sunday, 25 November 2012

News - Dirty Secrets 7"+flexi 1979

Bruce Milne and Clinton Walker published 3 issues of their fanzine Pulp through 1977 (the third was a double issue numbered 3/4). For issue 5 Milne planned to include a flexidisc by our good friends News. Milne had had a relationship with the members of News pre-dating their days as Babeez, having been in various party bands with them in the nascent Melbourne punk scene. Around March 1978 the band thus recorded two of their songs at the Faraday St house they used as band base and recording studio. As recorded at the excellent News pages, they used "the same gear as for the Babeez EP. It was all one take, straight down." The flexis were then pressed at Sydney manufacturer Ambassador Records.

Then things went cold. In April, while putting together their first actual release - the Dirty Lies 7", Milne told them the zine wouldn't be published. Clinton Walker elaborated:
...a fifth was almost completed when the concept folded early in 1978. Roadrunner magazine had been started in Adelaide, and we got involved doing what we could for them in Melbourne. But we both harboured an ambition to put out Pulp 5 somehow, sooner or later. It was a matter of finding a couple of hundred dollars which, of course, we couldn't.
News put together a Pulp benefit at Bernhardt's on 30th April, "a six hour spectacular including News (natch), Young Charlatans, Boys Next Door, Two Way Garden, Fiction, and Spivs. An epic show, but for some reason or other, it didn't resuscitate the ailing Pulp". Eventually Pulp 5 became a Best Of Pulp which eventually saw light as the book we all know and love, Inner City Sound.

The flexi also eventually surfaced in 1979 as part of the Dirty Secrets (a.k.a. The History Of News) pack put together by Bruce Milne, coupled with a one sided vinyl 7" containing one side of the Babeez EP (with Dowannalove and Hate). Nobody Wants Me wasn't included as it was earmarked for a Missing Link compilation, Inner Sanctum.
Dirty Secrets was an excellent package and it sold well, at least partly due to the fact that while many in Melbourne were aware that Babeez / News had pioneered local Punk, few knew how or why. This was down to many factors, but especially their practice of avoiding the 'above ground' live circuit and their patchy press coverage. The package also indicated Bruce Milne's continued interest in News, although it marked the end of his 'professional' involvement.
The two songs, by the John From-The-Suburbs, Joy Relentless, Adam Five and Jaryl Circus line-up, are both excellent examples of News' poppy but dirty punk. Both have excellent 1-2-3-4 count-ins, reminiscent of the Babeez' Dowannalove. All in all the sound reflects Five's reaction to The Ramones:
The big changeover was when we heard the Ramones, we incorporated that style into what we were already doing; stopped using 5/4 feels, which we'd been experimenting with, we'd been kidding ourselves (it wasn't necessarily more expressive or musical); and we didn't want it to be as undynamic as the Ramones; if you look at their music through a level-meter you'll find it's flat we wanted more dynamics. We actively made sure there were no spaces in the music; that was one of the definitions.
Sweet Dancer Au Go-Go [Download]

Tell Me Why [Download]

More reading (click to enlarge):

Rear of sleeve
Low numbered sleeve


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is such a killer band/record/post. Thanks so much!