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Angels, The (As Angel City) - 1980 Face To Face (US Compilation)

ARTIST: Angels, The (As Angel City)
ALBUM: Face To Face (US Compilation)
SERIAL: JE 36344
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2011, Rock Candy Records, CANDY111
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Doc Neeson - vocals, guitar, bass * Rick Brewster - guitar * John Brewster - vocals, guitar, bass * Graham Bidstrup - drums * Chris Bailey - bass, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Take A Long Line * 02 Marseilles * 03 After The Rain * 04 Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again * 05 Shadow Boxer * 06 Comin' Down * 07 Out Of The Blue * 08 Can't Shake It * 09 Waiting For The World * 10 No Exit


Many Australians growing up through the 70's and 80's will remember fondly the days of beer barns and loud live rock music emanating from these venues. Of course, there was AC/DC before they went globally ballistic, 60's hero and veteran Billy Thorpe who along with his band The Aztecs conquered all before them, including the long forgotten Sudbury Festival held north of Melbourne. Then there was the turbulent indigenous themed rock of Midnight Oil plus the raucous early days of Cold Chisel and Rose Tattoo, and who could forget Dragon, The Skyhooks and Sherbet? Nestled among all these great bands were The Angels (as they were known in Australia, but known as Angel City elsewhere around the world (due to the existence of another famous band held dear to many readers of this website). The trio of Doc Neeson and brothers Rick and John Brewster were the three leading lights of this Adelaide based band, and their razor-edged delivery of jekyll/hyde vocals and cutting guitar saw this band get better and better over the coming years. It's pretty hard to describe them, as they combine sixties rock, pub-rock, punk, boogie and Oz rock into a down-under blender that originally only the Aussies could understand and appreciate, until they became an international band. Their history is pretty unusual; starting off as the Moonshine Jug and String Band in South Australia, then renaming themselves to the Keystone Angels, shortening their name to The Angels upon signing with Sydney based Albert Productions (Vanda and Young), upon recommendation from AC/DC no less!

The Songs
The Angels released their first album in 1977. It was considered by the band to be a learning curve, and Neeson even stated the sound was a little naive, but it was a start nonetheless. Their crucial breakthrough occurred during the 1978 and 1979 years, where they became one of the biggest bands on the local Australian scene, the crown seceded to them (and Cold Chisel) due to the absence of AC/DC who were operating out of the UK at the time. The original versions of 'Face To Face' (1978) and 'No Exit (1979) were recorded and released by Albert during this time. When The Angels joined forces with Epic Records in 1980, a new compilation LP also called 'Face To Face' was released for the international markets. The Rock Candy CD is in fact this compilation version but with a different running order. It's not the original 1978 LP. Four tracks were sourced from the original 'Face To Face' LP: 'Take A Long Line', 'Marseilles', 'After The Rain' and 'Comin' Down'. Five tracks were sourced from 'No Exit': 'Shadow Boxer', 'No Exit', 'Out Of The Blue', 'Can't Shake It' and 'Waiting For The World'. The additional track which makes up this 10 track CD is the band's very first single from 1976: 'Am I Ever Gonna See You Face Again'. As a compilation, this captures the band at their most creative period, and you can hear a lot of AC/DC's influence rubbing off here, particularly on tracks such as 'Marseilles' and 'Can't Shake It' and the classic 'No Exit', but less so on the boogie fest 'Comin' Down'.

In Summary
The band would continue to further their profile all during the 80's and right up until 1991's 'Red Back Fever', and even though they still toured, they only released one further studio album: 1998's 'Skin And Bone' and a couple of EP's. The band reunited for a 30th Anniversary gig in 2008, but more importantly were recently touring throughout Australia during 2011 on the back of the 'Waiting For The Sun' tour. Doc Neeson is no longer in the band, the new singer is former Screaming Jets member Dave Gleeson. Into 2012, The Angels are reactivated, and will have a new studio album later in the year. In the meantime, get this much sought after compilation of their classic older material, and see/hear where it all started..

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#1 | Eric on March 26 2012 17:12:49
They toured the U.S with Foghat and Cheap Trick but kind of fell off the radar after 'Face To Face' which is weird as 'Marseilles' was a big FM hit at the time.
#2 | sabace on March 26 2012 20:59:45
this is excellent - the ac/dc influence is obvious!

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