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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Cheek - 1980 Cheek [ep]
Cheek - 1980 Cheek [ep]

ALBUM: Cheek [ep]
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Lee Emmett - lead vocals, guitars * Bud Mangion- drums * Felix Maslin - bass * Robin Jackson - rhythm guitar

Additional Musicians: Ray Goodwin - lead guitar * Troy Williams - piano * George Young, Harry Vanda - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Do You Have A Soul? * 02 Take Me For What I'm Worth * 03 So Much In Love * 04 Still In Love

It's always amazed me how many good power pop bands came out of Australia in the late 1970s and early '80s and yet so many remain unknown outside a small group of collectors. Here's one going by the name of Cheek and come with a somewhat mysterious history. Under the direction of rock writer and The Easybeats fanatic Glen A. Baker who apparently financed the band, the group recorded five songs and the first single appropriately was produced by former Easybeats Harry Vanda and George Young (Angus Young's older brother) whose track record with AC/ DC, Rose Tattoo and Cheetah speaks for itself. Their second single was produced by Charlie Fisher, best known for his work with INXS, Moving Pictures and Air Supply. Four of these five songs (a cover of a Rubinoos song was left off) were compiled on this EP by power pop guru Greg Shaw from Bomp Records for his Voxx label. Now It's been rumored Cheek were manufactured and not really a band, but that's not true. Cheek were from Sydney and released a few singles in the '70s on the Mushroom label under the name Punkz. And yet it seems none of these guys whoever they were have ever appeared on anything else musically in the years since, so you have to wonder..

The Songs
Three of the four songs are covers and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Opener 'Do You Have A Soul?' was a mid-period Easybeats single and follow-up to the hugely popular 'Friday On My Mind'. Here Cheek sound very much like early primo AC/DC with a raw and infectious guitar sound. Their version of P.F. Sloan's 'Take Me for What I'm Worth' bounces between acoustic and muscular electric guitar riffing with a glam rock back beat complete with hand-claps. Half way through and I like what I'm hearing, but a big change on the flip with the hard rock edginess of the Vanda and Young produced material replaced with a lighter pop sound on the Charlie Fisher produced songs. The Mick Jagger/Keith Richards penned 'So Much In Love' was originally recorded in 1964 by the long forgotten The Mighty Avengers and with the charming 'She's A Rainbow' piano melody, I'm sucked in automatically, not to mention the great chorus and even more hand-claps! Last but not least is the only original tune 'Still In Love' and it's nothing to frown at, offering up a clever piano-led harmony pop vibe that keeps popping up in the brain long after the needle leaves the vinyl.

In Summary
While I can't say this is a 'must have' it's a nice little artifact from a bygone era and copies of Cheek's only recorded output are still easily available from Bomp and other sources.

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