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Mondo Rock


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Mondo Rock were an 80s institution in popular Australian rock, a big draw on the live circuit who charted numerous hits. The band was formed in late 1976 by frontman Ross Wilson and went through various line-up changes to start with. They reform from time to time to play (including in April 2007).

The most famous line-up consisted of prolific songwriters Ross Wilson (ex Daddy Cool) and guitarist Eric McCusker (who luckily pestered Wilson to let him join, doing three auditions, after the initial outing of Mondo Rock had lost momentum) as well as Paul Christie on bass (ex-Kevin Borich Express, who later formed The Party Boys), John James “J. J.” Hackett, ex-Stars, on drums, and the versatile James Black (now leading the RocKwiz TV show house band on SBS) on keyboards and guitar. This line-up recorded the second LP Chemistry, out July 1981. The first LP was Primal Park (1979).

The group had numerous successes on the Australian charts. Early hits included Fugitive Kind, Chemistry, State Of The Heart, and Cool World - the latter three collected on their award-winning second album Chemistry. 1980s teen-idol Rick Springfield recorded a version of McCusker’s State Of The Heart some years later, making the U.S Top 40.

Further success followed in 1982 with the release of their third LP Nuovo Mondo, spawning the Top 10 single No Time, as well as the Top 40 hits The Queen And Me and the haunting In Another Love. John Farnham recorded a version of A Touch Of Paradise contained on this album, which became a Top 20 single from his 1986 Whispering Jack album.


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