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Little River Band

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When Little River Band formed in 1975, Australia immediately took notice. The key bandmembers were already well known to Australians. Lead singer Glenn Shorrock had made his name in mid-'60s group the Twilights, a Beatles-sounding pop group that scored a national number one record with its version of the Velvelettes' "Needle in a Haystack." When the group broke up in 1969, Shorrock became lead singer of Axiom, whose "A Little Ray of Sunshine" is still an Australian classic rock staple. LRB's Beeb Birtles had been the bass player for a popular Twilights-era pop group called Zoot (Rick Springfield was a later member). When that group broke up, in search of musical credibility, Birtles auditioned as the bass player, but was instantly elevated to a front-line position alongside Graham Goble. Even LRB's manager was well-known. Glenn Wheatley had been the bassist with another of Australia's bands, and possibly its most legendary, the Masters Apprentices. Given all that background, when Shorrock and Birtles revealed they were forming a group with Goble, managed by Wheatley, it was major event in Australian music. They had all had a shot at international stardom via England, without success. Little River Band were formed to conquer the world from Australia via America. With that in mind, they almost immediately went into the studio, even before the rest of the band had been consolidated. They were retaining Mississippi drummer Derek Pellicci and were on the lookout for a guitarist and a bass player. A very early version of the group recorded the Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved" as a single, a recording that was shelved when Linda Ronstadt also happened to choose that song as a single. The blueprint for Little River Band was country-rock as practiced by exponents like the Eagles. Their self-titled first album was released in November 1975. The following May they released a second album, After Hours, and in September of that year set off on their first trip overseas to support Queen at Hyde Park and the Average White Band in the U.S. to promote the release of the first album. Its eight-and-a-half-minute epic "It's a Long Way There" had been edited down for release as a single and was starting to make quite an impact. Graham Goble had written the song about the long trip taking his laundry back to his mother in Adelaide from Melbourne. To an America in shock after the Nixon presidency, the song took on a whole other dimension. LRB had made a big breakthrough. Their American record company decided that the second album, After Hours, was too dark, and put the band straight into the studio to record the next album, resolving to use some of the After Hours tracks and the best of what was being recorded for the band's third Australian album. In both forms the result was called Diamantina Cocktail, produced by John Boylan (Linda Ronstadt). To date, LRB's success in Australia had been modestly in keeping with the band's place in Australian music history -- respected but not totally embraced. The single from the new album, Glenn Shorrock's "Help Is on Its Way," changed that. Another important hit in America, in Australia it went all the way to number one. The album sold gold in America, the first time an Australian act had achieved such a feat. It was followed by Sleeper Catcher, again produced by Boylan, the first album recorded in Australia to sell over a million copies in the U.S. This time, LRB's greater success was in America, with the single "Reminiscing" becoming a number three hit. This was the song John Lennon confessed he made love to during his "long weekend" separation from Yoko Ono. For the next four years, LRB kept straddling the two continents, with the band renowned for its impeccable live performances. Internally, relationships were not as happy. From the first album on, front-liners Shorrock, Birtles, and Goble recorded separately. On the road they traveled separately. Only on-stage were they "together." Regular changes in the back line only contributed to the tensions. During one break between American tours, Goble started writing and producing an album for Australian pop legend John Farnham. He then agitated the band to replace Shorrock with Farnham. Australia pricked up its ears, but America was in shock, as this still successful band moved toward replacing the singer of all its big hits with an unknown. Nevertheless, the change was made and Farnham walked straight into the recording studio to record The Net. More lineup changes followed, including the departure of Beeb Birtles. In all, John Farnham recorded three albums with LRB over four years. The experiment never worked. Whatever Farnham's talents, America longed for Glenn Shorrock. At the end of 1985, while LRB were seriously contemplating their future, Farnham took the initiative of leaving to start work on another solo album, Whispering Jack, an album that completely rehabilitated Farnham as the biggest-selling artist in Australia. LRB regrouped in 1988 with new management and a new record label. Glenn Shorrock and Derek Pellicci rejoined Goble, with "new boys" Wayne Nelson and John Housden added, to record the Monsoon album and its single, "Love Is a Bridge." In 1990, Goble left Little River Band as a touring member, and the band as fans had known it finally called it a day in 1991. And yet the story continued. For a while, drummer Derek Pellicci mounted Little River Band tours with a lineup including Glenn Shorrock. When Shorrock didn't want to meet one particular schedule due to other commitments, he was sacked, resulting in unpleasant legal action. Then Pellicci also departed, but an LRB lineup continued living and working in America, still featuring those latecomers Wayne Nelson and Steve Housden. In spite -- or maybe because -- of all this, the holiday album We Call It Christmas appeared in 2008. ~ Ed Nimmervoll
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Albums by
Little River Band

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    14 songs

    On Air

    Introducing Little River Band (Live)

    11 songs

    On Air

    Cuts Like a Diamond

    13 songs

    On Air

    A Little River Band Christmas

    11 songs

    On Air

    Little River Band (2010 Remaster)

    10 songs

    On Air

    The Net (2010 Remaster)

    12 songs

    On Air

    Too Late To Load (2010 Version)

    16 songs

    On Air

    Some Other River: Best Of The Little River Band

    12 songs

    On Air

    No Reins

    12 songs

    On Air

    Playing to Win

    11 songs

    On Air

    Sleeper Catcher

    11 songs

    On Air

    First Under the Wire

    12 songs

    On Air

    Time Exposure

    11 songs

    On Air

    Monsoon

    9 songs

    On Air

    After Hours (2010 Remaster)

    9 songs

    On Air

    Diamantina Cocktail

    18 songs

    On Air

    Greatest Hits

    1 song

    On Air

    The Lost and the Lonely

    15 songs

    On Air

    Re-Arranged

    19 songs

    On Air

    Definitive Collection

    17 songs

    On Air

    The Very Best Little River Band Album Ever

    18 songs

    On Air

    Greatest Hits [Expanded Edition]

    12 songs

    On Air

    Greatest Hits

    14 songs

    On Air

    One Night In Mississippi

    10 songs

    On Air

    Monsoon

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Little River Band

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Reminiscing
  3.   Lady
  4.   Lonesome Loser
  5.   Happy Anniversary
  6.   Cool Change
  7.   It's a Long Way There
  8.   Take It Easy on Me
  9.   Man on Your Mind
  10.   Reminiscing, song
  11.   The Night Owls
  12.   The Other Guy
  13.   Reminscing
  14.   Sanity's Side
  15.   Help Is on Its Way
  16.   Face in the Crowd
  17.   Lyin' Eyes/Take It Easy by Glenn Frey
  18.   Baby Come Back
  19.   Time To Fly
  20.   Broke Again
  21.   Red-Headed Wild Flower
  22.   Man on the Run
  23.   Mistress of Mine
  24.   Hard Life
  25.   How Many Nights?
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Little River Band

    On Air

    Reba McEntire: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Kip Moore: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Yacht Rock

    On Air

    '70s Hits

    On Air

    Fleetwood Mac: DNA

    On Air

    Eagles: DNA

    On Air

    Nothing But Love Songs

    On Air

    '70s Deep Dive

    On Air

    Tim McGraw: DNA

    On Air

    Great Songs You Forgot

    On Air

    Classic Hits

    On Air

    Classic Soft Hits


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