Thursday, June 25, 2020

Hoodoo Gurus: 2 Albums: Mars Needs Guitars 1985 + Blow Your Cool ! 1987


The Hoodoo Gurus followed the excellent Stoneage Romeos with the equally swell Mars Needs Guitars!, a second helping of Dave Faulkner's wonderfully skewed kitsch-pop confections.

While the band's basic m.o. hasn't changed all that much in the interim '60s-era pop, garage rock, and cowpunk remain their key musical reference points Faulkner's skills as a songwriter have grown perceptibly: the opening "Bittersweet" is an absolute gem, with other highlights like "Death Defying" and "Show Some Emotion" trailing not far behind.

Also commendable is the Gurus' sharp wit from the hillbilly freakout of "Hayride to Hell" to the primitive B-movie stomp of the title track, their affection for the guilty pleasures of trash culture is infectious. Irresistible fun.
(By Jason Ankeny)

Hoodoo Gurus: Mars Needs Guitars
Label: Chrysalis 82675-1 S A
Manufactured By: Big Time Records
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Made In: Greece
Released: 29 Jul 1985
Country: Australia
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative

TRAXS (From The LP)


A1. Bittersweet     3:44
A2. Poison Pen             4:09
A3. In The Wild     3:07
A4. Death Defying     3:21
A5. Like Wow-Wipeout     3:09


B1. Hayride To Hell     3:15
B2. Show Some Emotion     2:56
B3. The Other Side Of Paradise     3:31
B4. Mars Needs Guitars!
    (Lead Vocals – Brad ShepherdWritten-By – B. Shepherd, C. Bramley, D.              Faulkner, J. Baker, M. Kingsmill)  2:52
B5. She     3:28


1. Bring The Hoodoo Down 2:54
2. Turkey Dinner     4:14
3. Death Ship (Live)     2:42
4. In The Wild (Live)     3:29
5. Teenage Head (Live)     3:00


Clyde Bramley: Bass, Vocals
Mark Kingsmill: Drums, Cymbal 
Brad Shepherd: Guitar, Vocals, Harp [Mouth Harp] 
David Faulkner: Lead Vocals, Guitar 
Management – Michael McMartin
Mastered By – Don Bartley
Photography By – Rhonda Thwaite
Producer – Charles Fisher
Written-By – D. Faulkner* (tracks: A1 to B3, B5)


For the Hoodoo Gurus' third album, the group's American record label was hoping the band could come up with something a bit easier to market than the witty, '60s-obsessed pop/rock of Stoneage Romeos and Mars Needs Guitars, so they paired the group up with producer Mark Opitz, who had previously twisted the knobs for AC/DC, INXS, and the Divinyls.

Opitz gave the band a smoother, slicker surface and a cracking, radio-friendly drum sound, he also weeded out the band's wackier material (nothing like "Dig It Up" or "Hayride to Hell" this time out) in favor of mega-hooky pop ("Out That Door" and "Good Times," the latter featuring the Bangles on backing vocals) and straight-ahead rock & roll ("Where Nowhere Is" and "Party Machine"). As a result, Blow Your Cool! is the least idiosyncratic album in the Hoodoo Gurus' catalog and doesn't reflect the sneaky wit or goofy charm that won them many of their early fans.

But it also makes them sound like the great rock & roll band they always were and leaves little doubt that these guys didn't need to be funny to get over; Dave Faulkner even seems to enjoy having the opportunity to play it straight on the politically slanted "In the Middle of the Land," and the band rarely rocked as hard as they did on the tunes here where they throw the engine into fifth gear. Blow Your Cool! is in some respects a compromised Hoodoo Gurus album, but it's strong enough to prove that these guys could make a worthwhile album even while playing by someone else's rules.
(By Mark Deming)

1987's Blow Your Cool! found the Hoodoo Gurus adding a considerable amount of polish to their production and toning down their trademark humor in a bid for a wider audience. But in the United States, it didn't pay off. Blow Your Cool! opened few new doors for the Gurus, and they were dropped by Elektra Records.

Label: Elektra ‎– 9 60728-2, Elektra ‎– 60728-2
Format: CD, Album
Made In: US
Released: 1987
Country: Australia
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage, Indie Rock, Alternative


1.  Out That Door (Guitar [Guest] – Mal Eastick)   4:14
2.  What's My Scene     3:49
3.  Good Times (Vocals [Guest] – Debbi Peterson, Michael Steele, Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson)   3:03
4.  I Was The One  (Saxophone [Guest] – James Valentine)   4:11
5.  Hell For Leather     3:28
6.  Where Nowhere Is  (Vocals [Guest] – Geoff Rhoe)   4:02
7.  In The Middle Of The Land  (Vocals [Guest] – Mark Walton (2), Paul Thirkell, Steve Wynn)   4:34
8.  Come On     2:43
9.  Heart Of Darkness     3:04
10. My Caravan  (Saxophone [Guest] – James Valentine)   4:19
11. On My Street     3:16
12. Party Machine  (Vocals [Guest] – Alan Wright, Debbi Peterson, Geoff Rhoe, Mark Opitz, Michael Steele, Mike Kloster, Stevo Glendinning, Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson)  5:09

Recorded At: Rhinoceros Studios
Recorded At: Albert Studios
Recorded At: The Sound Factory
Mixed At: Rhinoceros Studios

Clyde Bramley: Bass 
Mark Kingsmill: Drums [Batterie] 
Brad Shepherd: Guitar, Harmonica
Dave Faulkner: Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Backing Vocals: Hoodoo Gurus
Design [Cover], Art Direction: Richard Allan
Engineer: Alan Wright
Engineer [Assistant]: Heidi Cannavo, Kathy Nauton, Paula Jones, Chad Blake 

Mars Needs Guitars      MP3 @ 320 Size: 106 MB        FLAC  Size: 314 MB 
Blow Your Cool !         MP3 @ 320 Size: 115 MB        FLAC Size: 360 MB


  1. I don't see how ANYONE can not love "Like Wow (Wipeout)." That's one of THE MOST fun songs EVER!