Flattery - A Tribute to Radio Birdman
23 March 2009: Volume #3 of the world-renowned Flattery: A Tribute to Radio Birdman is NOW available exclusively through ME and only ME, so get in touch NOW and order this sucker! It's $8 plus shipping, so please send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) ~Jake Starr
Here is the final track listing for Volume 3:
- The Tip Toppers (from Norway) - "Hanging On"
- The M-16s (from Australia) - "Monday Morning Gunk"
- The Sacred Sailors (from Sweden) - "Non-Stop Girls"
- Holy Curse (from France) - "Crying Sun"
- The Sewergrooves (from Sweden) - "Smith & Wesson Blues"
- The Flaming Sideburns (from Finland) - "El Hombre del Casco Dorado (Man With Golden Helmet)"
- The Lucky Punch (from Germany) - "Love Kills"
- Mean Idols (from Finland) - "I-94"
- The Specimens (from Australia) - "Death By The Gun"
- The Doits (from Sweden) - "Snake"
- Mustang (from Australia) - "Anglo Girl Desire"
- The Trassels (from Finland) - "Burned My Eye"
- The Devilrock Four (from Australia) - "Murder City Nights"
- American Ruse (from USA) - "Do the Pop"
- The Mutants (from Finland) - "Alien Skies"
- The Deadbeats (from Sweden) - "Aloha Steve and Danno"
- The Lords of Gravity (from Australia) - "More Fun"
- Bad Machine (from Finland) - "What Gives?"
- "Demons" featuring Nicke Andersson (from Sweden) - "Living Eyes Medley"
January 2000: Volumes #1 and #2 are now for sale and distribution through Get Hip !!!!!!!!!! Contact Get Hip Distribution to order copies now!
Here is the track order for Volume 1:
- Hellride (from Norway) - Non-Stop Girls
- The Candy Snatchers (from Virginia, USA) - Murder City Nights
- The Hellacopters (from Sweden) - Time To Fall
- The A-Bombs (from Sweden) - Crying Sun
- Sheek the Shayk (from Australia) - Love Kills
- Bon Fuhrer (from Pennsylvania, USA) - New Race
- The Dead City Rebels (from Ottawa, Canada) - Breaks My Heart
- Red Shift (from Australia) - Hit Them Again
- Hellenic Zeal (from Australia) - 455 SD
- The Crums (from Virginia, USA) - Hand Of Law
- The Boyettes (from Australia) - Didn't Tell The Man
- The Quadrajets (from Alabama, USA) - Man With Golden Helmet
- Adam West (from Washington D.C., USA) - Burned My Eye
- The Powder Monkeys (from Australia) - Smith & Wesson Blues
- The Onyas (from Australia) - Snake
Here is the track order for Volume 2:
- Gluecifer (from Norway) - Monday Morning Gunk
- Resin Scraper (from Ottawa, Canada) - What Gives?
- The BellRays (from California, USA) - If I Wanted To
- Silver Tongued Devil (from Pennsylvania, USA) - TPBR Combo
- The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs (from California, USA) - Iskender Time
- The Nomads (from Sweden) - Hanging On
- The Yes-Men (from Australia) - Anglo Girl Desire
- Sator (from Sweden) - Alone In The Endzone
- Kike Turmix & No Wonder (from Spain) - Aloha Steve and Danno
- The Failures (from Pennsylvania, USA) - Do The Pop
- The Spoilers (from Australia) - Descent Into The Maelstrom
- The Finkers (from Australia) - I-94
- The Nitwitz (from Holland) - Dark Surprise
- Gorka Secta & The Safety Pins (from Spain) - Snake
- "Demons" (from Sweden) - Radios Appear Medley
Here are reviews from Craig Regan's fabulous I-94 Bar website in Australia:
FLATTERY - A TRIBUTE TO RADIO BIRDMAN (Volume 1)
Various Artists (No-Mango records through Get Hip Distribution)
"Not a bad track on it," was label co-head Dave Champion's read-out on this, the first of two volumes of a long-overdue tribute to the Birdies. And he's right - it rocks from start to finish. Tribute albums are a strange breed; if you want the original, why settle for a cover? Two reasons: Because something's added to the original and as a means of finding interesting new bands, for whom the subject of the tribute is an inspiration. Some work, some don't. You can put the Stooges tribute, Hard to Beat, on Dog Meat about 10 years ago in the former category. Now, this one too.
A few covers are a touch too close to the originals, but most put a different spin on what went before. Leading the pack is the Quadrajets (hailing from Alabama, USA) and their psychoid "Man With Golden Helmet" (Deniz Tek's fave from this comp, no less), the
Boyettes' appealingly amateurish "Didn't Tell the Man" (said to have found favour with Warwick Gilbert), the quirky Sheek the Shayk take on "Love Kills" and Bon Führer's down home Pennsylvania version of "New Race" (complete with vacuum cleaner bass - and I bet the irony of THAT band's name won't be lost on the Birdmen!) Special mention also for Adam West's no-nonsense "Burned My Eye" and the A-Bombs' spin on "Cryin' Sun." Bring on volume two!
- The Barman
FLATTERY: A TRIBUTE TO RADIO BIRDMAN, VOLUME 2 -- Various Artists (No-Mango)
For those of you who still haven't removed the scorch marks Volume One put in your CD player,
forget it! It's finally here -- Jake Starr and Dave Champion's second helping of modern-day bands' takes on 15 Birdman classics. Dunno how the ex-Birdmen themselves feel about this project, but from a fan's perspective, anything that evokes the spirit and feeling of the Birdmen is welcome.
There's nothing here as unique as the Bon Führer or Boyettes tracks on the previous installment, but there's still plenty to appreciate here. Gluecifer turns in a credible "Monday Morning Gunk," hewing pretty close to the original -- as many of the bands tend to do; variation usually takes the form of turning up the intensity, losing some of the subtleties of light and shade that the originals had, but hey, call it the price of a fan's enthusiasm.
Among the more original approaches is the BellRays' "If I Wanted To," in which this L.A. band, whom I've heard compared to "the MC5 fronted by Janis Joplin," comes across more like Black Sabbath fronted by Aretha Franklin -- which is not a bad thing (and makes me all the more anxious to seek out their self-released full-length CD, which the Barman was unable to unearth on his recent Stateside jaunt, even in their hometown!).
Other highlights: Silver Tongued Devil's "TPBR Combo," the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs' quick 'n' dirty "Iskender Time," the Nomads' "Hanging On" (which these veteran Swedes -- my main men of the moment -- don't quite make their own the way they have other material they've covered), and the Yes-Men's "Anglo Girl Desire" (with guitar/saxophone interplay that captures the feel of the wild Tek-Masuak break on the "Ritualism" version). Spain's Kike Turmix showcases his, uh, idiosyncratic vocal approach to "Aloha Steve and Danno," while the Spoilers win the Land Speed Record Award for the fastest version of "Descent Into the Maelstrom" ever clocked in North America OR Australasia, and Amsterdam's Nitwitz (including Hydromatics stalwart Tony Slug) turn in a solid "Dark Surprise." Oh, and memo to the "Demons" -- it's cheating to bogart more disc time than anybody else by doing a medley!
Radio Birdman were like a gang that created their own universe and invited the world inside it...like the early Who and MC5. Rock'n'roll doesn't get any better. These volumes are just a hint of how widespread their influence remains, 20 years plus since they crashed and burned. Kudos to Jake 'n' Dave for making this happen. Me? I'm ready for another volume, starting off with, say Holy Curse's great version of "Cryin' Sun"...but in the meantime, this'll more than suffice. Grab these while you can -- they'll make you wanna do the Pop AND the Moving Change!
- Ken Shimamoto
Not much to add to Cranberry Ken's comments so I was going to hold my peace but - stuff it - I'll have a rant too. Like Volume One, this has been playing around-the-clock in the Bar these last two weeks. It's true that most of the participants stick to the original plotlines, but who cares? When you're covering songs as great as there, why re-build them unless you're going to add something (like Bon Führer on Volume One)? Most have added just enough of their own elements, and the proof is in the delivery. Flattery, yes, but reverence? Nope. The bottom line is there's nary a track here that doesn't kick the living shit out of your sound system and set you up for a dive or a slide.
Not too long ago the thought of someone reeling off a tribute disc to the Birdmen would have been unheard of. Too uncool...the originals had too much mystique. Those terms aren't mutually exclusive and neither are "tribute" and "fun". And that's what you have here. So loosen up and listen up. Tributes are like a good brew; they should give you a taste of what's cooking and set you up to find some more of the self-same label's product. I'm already surfing some of these bands' sites and making a beeline for the nearest online shop, checking out a few of the more obscure items here.
So who's hot? Aforementioned BellRays from California have graced the I-94 CD player with a credible split-single (with the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs) and earn more airtime with "If I Wanted To" (a Rockfield outtake finally given legitimate release on the-mastered "Living Eyes".) Canadians Resin Scraper do a fine line in "What Gives?", The Nitwitz shine with "Dark Surprise" and Gluecifier put some heavy duty action on "Monday Morning Gunk". Kike Turmix and No Wonder deliver a hilarious version of "Aloha" that should earn their singer an APB, and you can't fault the Yes-Men, a dual city combo from Australia whose album is in the pipeline as you read this.
Don't like tributes? That's your call, but you won't find many better than this and its companion. Play 'em back to back some day, soak up some ripping versions of some great songs. Go find the originals (if your life has been lacking so) and these latter day perpetrators. You'll have a good time.
- The Barman
Here's a review from Vicious Kitten Records' "Cat Scratch Fever" fanzine in Australia:
FLATTERY A TRIBUTE TO RADIO BIRDMAN (VOL 1)
A joint collaboration between Fandango and Nomad Records, and a joint love for the much revered Radio Birdman, has resulted in a two volume tribute with bands gathered from all over the planet, further emphasis of Birdman's influence and legacy outside of Australia. Why they just don't put their differences and whatever else aside, and get their shit together
and tour Europe and the US is beyond me. They'd make a fucking killing! Overall, this is a very solid effort and you'd be pretty hard to please if you don't find several tracks to your liking. Parochial maybe, but I love the Powdermonkeys rockin' offensive on 'Smith & Wesson Blues', and the Onyas workman like version of 'Snake' also appeals. Melbourne's Red Shift deliver an as expected full tilt 'Hit Them Again', whilst the femme collective from Melbourne known as the Boyettes offer up a likeable 'Didn¹t Tell The Man', engaging to hear Younger's vocals given the female touch for a change. Sheek The Shayk's interpretation of 'Love Kills' is wild! Heavy on the fuzz and compelling listening. There's also great renditions of other Birdman standards by the Hellacopters, A-Bombs, Candy Snatchers and the Dead City Rebels to name but a few. Essential.
V/A "Flattery- A Tribute to Radio Birdman" Vol. 1 & 2 CD
Finally! A tribute album with a very appropriate title. Flattery. When you boil it down to the meat and potatoes, isn't that what ALL tribute records are really about? I'm glad someone has the gall to come out and put it in print. I'm also glad that Fandango and Nomad Records joined together to released this fine 2 CD set of Radio Birdman covers.
For those not familiar with Radio Birdman, they are considered by most to be the Australian version of the Stooges. Deniz Tek, the man behind Radio Birdman, went from Ann Arbor, MI to Australia in the late 70s, and took what he learned at home overseas. Radio Birdman has influenced many current bands, who are also influenced by Michigan bands like the Stooges and the MC5. Thus I didn't find it too surprising to find bands like the Candy Snatchers, the Bellrays, and the Hellacopters present. Each band on here does a cover of a Radio Birdman song that is equally as good, and in some cases almost better, than the original versions. I think that is a rare thing to find. Who is performing these cool covers? We have an all star cast of many current popular artists present. Aside from the bands just mentioned, there is also the Quadrajets, Gluecifer, the Nomads, the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, the Powder Monkeys, and many up and coming bands.
The beginning of these discs, that being CD 1, track 1 really KICKS the whole thing off well. Hellride, from Oslo, Norway takes off with an incredible version of "Non-Stop Girls". Very fast and very heavy. This kind of sets the mood for things to come on the following tracks. Especially since the Candy Snatchers are second with a wild version of "Murder City Nights". Other notable versions on disc one are Sheek the Shayk doing "Love Kills", Adam West covering "Burned My Eye", and the Powder Monkeys with "Smith and Wesson Blues". Disc 2, shows a little more of the laid back side of Radio Birdman. Gluecifer start us off with a cover of "Monday Morning Gunk". Sator does justice to the song "Alone in the Endzone." A lot of other classics are also present on these 2 discs, like "New Race", "455 SD", "Aloha Steve and Danno", "Descent Into the Maelstrom", "I-94", and plenty more. There is also a "Radio's Appear" medley by Demons, at the end of disc 2 to end up the tribute.
Overall, this is a good 2 disc set to own, especially for completists of this genre of music. This is also a good introduction to Radio Birdman and the new crop of high energy rock bands coming from Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the USA. Also of note is the cool Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth-esque cover art provided by Nicke Hellacopter. Call me a geek, but I get a kick out of hearing far away bands sing about Detroit with probably having never been here.
-- Stefan Peterson, Etch Magazine
VARIOUS ARTISTS "Flattery - A Tribute To Radio Birdman, Pt. 1"
Well, I'm a huge BIRDMAN fan - I even have their logo tattooed on me - and I think it's pretty much impossible to improve on the originals, but there's nothing wrong with trying. For the most part, the bands do a good job and I know that a lot of these bands are influenced by the Aussie legends. That said, standouts include THE CANDY SNATCHERS' "Murder City Nights," THE HELLACOPTERS' "Time To Fall," THE A-BOMBS' "Cryin' Sun," DEAD CITY REBELS' "Breaks My Heart," ADAM WEST's "Burned My Eye," and POWDER MONKEYS' "Smith & Wesson Blues." Oh, and BON FÜHRER, who I'd never even heard of, do a very strange version of "New Race" which incorporates a vacuum cleaner, a severely underappreciated instrument if ya ask me.
--Alan Wright, HITLIST volume one/number six, January/February 2000
Here's another review from Vicious Kitten Records' "Cat Scratch Fever" fanzine in Australia:
FLATTERY: A TRIBUTE TO RADIO BIRDMAN VOLUME 2
The second in the Birdman tribute series brought to you by the clued on folks at Nomad and Fandango. Norway's Gluecifer open proceeding's with "Monday Morning Gunk," the chugging guitars wander with a menacing edge, before the simply awesome BellRays step into the ring and absolutely monster "If I Wanted To," the key of course being the raspy throat of soul songstress Lisa. Raw energy indeed. Imagine Acid Queen Tina fronting the Stooges. Sweden's long serving Nomads meander through "Hangin On" before the Yes-Men wind in any slack with a typically tough rendition of "Anglo Girl Desire." The Failures from outta Philly hit the mark with a raw and gutsy run through the guitar-led hymn otherwise known as "Do The Pop." Melbourne's Finkers add there considerable music muscle with a full bloodied workout of "I-94" that ranks as the albums personal pick for mine, that and the BellRays. Other's who do the Birdman thing on the album include Sator, The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs and the Demons.
"Flattery" not only gives you a taste of plenty of the world's best interpreting the mighty and much revered Birdman, it also emphasises just how many great songs came from the Deniz Tek pen in a relatively short period of time. Considered essential.
Flattery-A Tribute to Radio Birdman, Fandango/Nomad
Jake (Fandango) and Dave (Nomad) have done a really good job this time! Damn cool to release a tribute to Australia's pride, Radio Birdman. The record contains 15 songs with great groups like, for example, Powder Monkeys, Hellacopters, Quadrajets, A*Bombs and Hellride among others. Some of the covers on the record are better than others, in all, it is an OK collection record. There is also a Volume 2. Jacket by Nicke Andersson.
--DenimZine, Number 3, September 2000
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