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Encyclopedia entry for 'Glenn Shorrock' LETTER:

 Albums: Villain of The Peace (EMI/Capitol, 1982), The First Twenty Years (compilation with Twilights, Axiom, Little River Band and solo material, EMI, 1985); With Brian Cadd: The Blazing Salads (EMI, 1993).

English-born singer/songwriter Glenn Shorrock (b. 1944) is one of the veterans of the Australian music industry. He got his start during the mid-1960s with The Twilights, before moving on to Axiom, Little River Band and a successful solo career. As a songwriter, Shorrock contributed the likes of `Emma', `Statue of Liberty', `Seine City', `Help is On Its Way', `Cool Change', `Shut Down, Turn Off' and `Long Jumping Jeweller' to LRB's repertoire.

Shorrock arrived in Australia during the mid-1950s with his family as assisted-passage immigrants. The Shorrocks settled in the tough migrant suburb of Elizabeth in Adelaide, South Australia. Smitten by rock'n'roll, Shorrock formed vocal quartet The Checkmates with Mike Sykes, Paddy McCartney and Billy Volraat. In 1964, The Beatles broke in Australia and The Checkmates evolved into The Twilights. In terms of style and songwriting ability (if not success), The Twilights were the closest thing Australia had to overseas role models like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Move, The Who, etc. The Twilights existed between 1964 and 1969, and enjoyed significant chart success with eight consecutive hit singles. With the band's break-up in early 1969, Shorrock spent three months managing Brisbane band The Avengers.

In May 1969, Shorrock joined highly touted `supergroup' Axiom. The band ended up in the UK where the inevitable break-up came in early 1971. With assistance from manager Garry Spry (The Groove), Shorrock signed a UK deal with management/record/publishing company MAM, owned by Gordon Mills (manager of Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck and Gilbert O'Sullivan). Shorrock issued three singles on the MAM label: `Let's Get the Band Together'/`Contemporary Caveman' (October 1971), Mann/Weil's `Rock'n'Roll Lullaby'/`When God Plays His Guitar' (March 1972) and `Purple Umbrella' (credited to Andre L'Escargot and His Society Syncopaters). Twilights producer David MacKay, then based in London, produced the sessions, with backing provided by Quartet, which comprised former Adelaide musicians Terry Britten (ex-Twilights), Kevin Peek, Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer (all ex-James Taylor Move).

In 1972, Shorrock joined ambitious, 12-piece classical rock band Esperanto. Billed as `the world's first international rock orchestra', Esperanto featured members from Hawaii, Belgium, Italy, England, New Zealand and Australia. The other Australian members were Brian Holloway (guitar, piano; ex-Somebody's Image) and Janice Slater (vocals). Slater had enjoyed a mildly successful solo career in Australia during the 1960s with three singles, `Wanting You'/`Summertime' (1965) and `I'm Gonna Live'/`He Really Cares' (1965) for Philips, plus `Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'/`Let the Love Come Through' (1967) for Festival/Spin. She had also been a member of Little Sammy and the In People, which had taken her to the UK in the first place.

In 1973, A&M; issued Esperanto's debut album, Esperanto Rock Orchestra, which included a version of Shorrock's `Statue of Liberty'. Shorrock only contributed some lyrics and backing vocals to the band's second album, Danse Macabre (1974). By the time the band recorded a third album, Last Tango (1974), Shorrock was no longer a member, but had taken over the management role. With the band's lack of success, Shorrock took his leave and began singing back-up vocals for Cliff Richard. In October 1974, Shorrock returned to Australia. In early 1975, he joined ex-Mississippi members Graham Goble and Beeb Birtles in their new venture Little River Band. LRB went on to achieve enormous international success, but Shorrock left in February 1982 to be replaced by John Farnham. Shorrock had already issued a Top 10 solo single, Bobby Darin's `Dream Lover'/`Spin Me Round' (#8 in April 1979).

He recorded his debut solo album, Villain of the Peace, with LRB producer John Boylan in Los Angeles. The credits for the album read like a Who's Who of the American West Coast `session mafia': Bill Payne (Little Feat), Jeff Baxter (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers), Garth Hudson (The Band), Jimmy Fadden (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles), Andrew Gold, David Lindley and Tom Scott. The album produced the singles `Rock'n'Roll Soldier'/`The Duchess is Returning' (#39 in November 1982), `Angry Words'/`Will You Stand with Me?' (December) and `Don't Girls Get Lonely?'/`Do It Anyway' (November 1983). In late 1982, Shorrock toured Australia. He sang on Ren´┐Że Geyer's version of the Goffin/King classic `Going Back' which Mushroom issued as a single (backed with `We've Got the Makings of a Fever') in February 1983. Shorrock recorded a single with The Bushwackers, `We're Coming to Get You'/`We're Coming to Get You' (instrumental), which was the theme song to the feature film of the same name. It reached #6 on the national chart in October 1983. Shorrock's next recording, `Restless', appeared on the soundtrack to the documentary film World Safari II.

In 1986, Shorrock issued his ninth solo single, `American Flyer'/`The Duchess is Returning' (July) and compered the ABC-TV's rock show Rock Arena. He also toured with the stage show One for the Money. Then, in 1988, Shorrock rejoined Little River Band with which he remained for another three years. In 1991, Shorrock was inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. In 1993, he teamed up with Brian Cadd as The Blazing Salads and toured the club circuit. The Blazing Salads signed to EMI and issued the album The Blazing Salads plus the singles `When It All Comes Down', `De-Emphasize' and `Little Ray of Sunshine' (all 1993). The duo's backing band included Rex Goh (guitar; ex-Air Supply), Kirk Lorange (guitar; ex-Richard Clapton Band) and Mark Kennedy (drums; ex-Spectrum, Ayers Rock, Marcia Hines Band).

Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop / Ian McFarlane 1999
under licence from Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd


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