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Hoodoo Gurus

Idioma disponível: inglês
Stars in their native Australia and cult heroes around the world, the Hoodoo Gurus are a band who blend their passion for '60s and '70s rock & roll with a delight for the joys of pop culture -- vintage exploitation cinema, television comedies, dance crazes, and roadside attractions, among other things. Their songs were usually rooted in classic garage rock, surf, and AM Pop formulas, but with the punch of power pop (especially on 1985's Mars Needs Guitars) and the crunchy guitars of hard rock (especially prominent on 1989's Magnum Cum Louder and 2004's Mach Schau), while the lyrics shifted between sincere contemplations of love and heartache and witty celebrations of all that was cool and trashy. The excellence of their material and the joyous ferocity of their performances won them a loyal audience that kept them in the game even after four decades together, when they released 2022's Chariot of the Gods. Singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter Dave Faulkner began putting together the band after he left the Perth proto-punk outfit the Manikins. He soon teamed up with three other musicians on the Perth underground scene -- guitarists Kimble Rendall (formerly of the XL Capris) and Roddy Radalj (who had played with the Scientists) and drummer James Baker (ex-Victims). After comparing notes at a New Year's Eve party, they began working on material and adopted the name Le Hoodoo Gurus. The three-guitar lineup wasted little time, and by October 1982, they had put out their first single, "Leilani," through the Australian indie label Phantom Records. Not long after the record came out, they dropped the "Le" from their name, and the song did well enough to earn the group a few appearances on Australian TV. However, Rendall dropped out and went on to a successful career as a director in film and television. Radalj left in solidarity with Rendall, and to fill out the lineup they brought aboard bassist Clyde Bramley, who played with the Sydney group the Hitmen. Bramley was sharing a flat with Brad Shepherd, the former guitarist with Fun Things, and Bramley soon brought Shepherd into the group. The Hoodoo Gurus had built enough of a buzz that the Australian label Big Time signed them up, and their first album, Stoneage Romeos (named after a Three Stooges short), was issued in March 1984. The LP went gold in Australia on the strength of the singles "I Want You Back" and "My Girl," and A&M Records licensed it for American release the following September, though their re-sequenced edition was given a drab new cover that did little to attract the eye. Within a few months of Stoneage Romeos appearing in shops, drummer James Baker was fired from the Gurus, and Mark Kingsmill took his place behind the kit. August 1985 brought their second album, Mars Needs Guitars! It peaked on the Australian charts at number five, and would go on to earn triple-platinum status there. In America, Elektra took up the group's contract, and thanks to extensive touring (including several dates opening for the Bangles), the album charted at a respectable number 140 in the States. For 1987's Blow Your Cool!, the group opted for a more polished production and a bit less lyrical eccentricity; the LP charted high in Australia (going all the way to number two) and moved more units in America than Mars Needs Guitars!, while members of the Bangles and the Dream Syndicate pitched in on backing vocals. After the touring cycle for Blow Your Cool! was completed, Clyde Bramley left the band, and Rick Grossman became their new bassist. Unhappy with their record contract, the Hoodoo Gurus filed a lawsuit to win their freedom, which kept them off the road for most of 1988, and it wasn't until mid-1989 that their next album appeared as part of an international deal with BMG. Magnum Cum Louder was produced by the band themselves, and boasted a tougher and more straightforward sound than Blow Your Cool! It went platinum at home, and topped out at number 101 in the U.S. The opening tune, "Come Anytime," would later become the theme song for the Australian TV series Thank God You're Here. In 1991, the Hoodoo Gurus delivered the album Kinky, which included the hit singles "Miss Freelove '69" and "1000 Miles Away," and earned them another platinum award in Australia. A pair of compilations were issued in 1992; Electric Soup gathered their biggest hits and went triple platinum, while Gorilla Biscuit was devoted to B-sides and rare tracks. Crank was issued in 1994, and was followed by several rounds of international touring, including a number of dates in Brazil, where they had developed a sizable audience. The Hoodoo Gurus parted ways with BMG and signed with Mushroom Records for 1996's Blue Cave, while Zoo Entertainment released it in the United States. An arm injury suffered by Mark Kingsmill forced the band to postpone their touring in support of the LP, and their run of Australian dates didn't end until December 1996. A month later, Dave Faulkner broke the news that the Hoodoo Gurus were breaking up at the end of 1997. After another successful tour of Brazil, the band booked an extensive number of farewell dates that kept them occupied until January 1998. The final tour coincided with another pair of collections from the Gurus' back catalog: Electric Chair was devoted to their more raucous rock & roll numbers, and Armchair Gurus featured ballads and love songs. After the tour was completed, a live album was released, 1998's Bite the Bullet, that featured material from the final shows. The four members of the group each pursued solo projects, while a career-spanning two disc anthology, Ampology, came out in 2000. By September 2001, Faulkner, Shepherd, Grossman, and Shepherd got the itch to play shows again, and re-formed under the name the Persian Rugs, where they indulged their 1960s rock influences. The Persian Rugs would issue an album in 2003, Turkish Delight, and even contributed a new version of "Be My Guru" to a Hoodoo Gurus tribute album, Stoneage Cameos. The Gurus reunited under their own name in 2003 to record a version of "What's My Scene," rewritten as "What's My Team," for the National Rugby League, with the band's share of the proceeds going to cancer charities. Their eighth studio album, Mach Schau, was released in March 2004; it was produced by Kim Salmon of the Scientists and the Beasts of Bourbon. In 2007, the Australian Recording Industry Association inducted the Hoodoo Gurus into their Hall of Fame, and they did several rounds of international touring, including an Australian "Clash of the Titans" tour where they shared the bill with Radio Birdman and the Stems. In 2009 the Hoodoo Gurus struck a deal with Sony Music Australia, which resulted in their ninth full-length studio album, 2010's Purity of Essence. In 2012, with their 30th anniversary in sight, the Gurus released another career-spanning compilation, Gold Watch: 20 Golden Greats, which combined 19 favorites from their library along with one new tune. 2014's Gravy Train was a four-song EP that presented fresh recordings of three songs that had to be left off Stoneage Romeos in 1984, as well as a remake of "Leilani." The recordings featured all current and former members of the group, each playing on the songs suitable for their time of membership. The Hoodoo Gurus remained active as a live act over the next 18 years, staging major shows in Australia and occasionally touring elsewhere. The band scheduled a rare North American tour for the fall of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to the shows being rescheduled twice before they were postponed indefinitely. However, they chose to use their time off profitably, and completed their first full-length album since 2010. Featuring 14 songs on CD and with three additional tracks on vinyl, Chariot of the Gods was released in March 2022; the Gurus performed the songs in full in a live streamed concert on March 10, with Australian tours planned for later in the year.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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