|The Rockmelons forged funk, soul, and hip-hop into a musical mix that helped
change the traditional Australian rock scene during the late '80s and early
Ray Medhurst recruited brothers Jonathon "Jonno" Jones and Bryon Jones and, with
keyboardist Vinnie Dale and three vocalists - Peter Blakeley, John Kenny and
Sandi Chick - the fledgling band would perform at their own dance parties in
warehouses around Sydney. Guest performers often swelled the band to ten
or more members on stage at any one time. The Rockmelons' debut single,
Time Out (For Serious Fun) featured Sandi Chick on lead
vocals and was released in 1985. Their second single, Sweat It Out"
featured Peter Blakeley on lead vocals, before he left to pursue a solo
career. John Kenny took lead vocals on their next single, a cover of Al
Green's Rhymes while New Groove
featured new vocalist Wendy Matthews Their debut album, Tales Of The City,
was released in May 1988 and peaked at number six on the Australian charts as
well as picking up an ARIA Award for Best Debut Album in 1988.
The Rockmelons re-emerged in 1991
with new vocalist Deni Hines and scored a hit with a cover of Bill Withers'
Ain't No Sunshine. Their next single, That
Word (L.O.V.E.), peaked at number four in June, while their second
album, From 1 Planet, peaked at number two.
After a long break, the Rockmelons
have begun their latest soulful assault on the Australian music industry;
firstly with their warmly-embraced comeback single All I Want Is
You and now with a new chapter in their on-going development as
world-class producers and musicians, simply titled Rockies 3.
As with their earlier albums,
Rockies 3 is a diverse collection of irresistible grooves, soul-drenched
melodies and infectious vocal hooks and performances.
Over the years the Rockmelons have
become renowned for kick-starting solo careers for a series of vocalists who've
featured on their records. Their innate ability to recognise talent and
provide an avenue for development is hard to beat. On Rockies 3 they
continue this trend by using eight different vocalists to add spice to their
already bubbling productions. The use of new talent provides a raw and
refreshing result that is synonymous with the essence of the Rockmelons.
Despite their success,
the Rockmelons took a long break in between albums. Instead of churning
out new material like most acts, they took time to work on a number of other
projects including production work for some of Australia's most successful new
and established acts. In their absence, the music industry has gone
through some big changes, especially in Australia, where trends have turned
around from rock-driven sounds to a more rhythmic approach. It therefore sounds
like a perfect time for the Rockies to re-emerge and remind audiences that they
were at the forefront of this wave of acceptance for groove-based and melodic
sounds in Australia.