1977 – 1991 (14 years)
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.
They had to wait until 1984's The Modern Bop LP for their biggest success however. It came from the McCusker penned "Come Said the Boy", a provocative tale about the loss of virginity , which was banned at the time of release by many radio stations including Sydney's then top-rated 2SM. This failed to stop the song's momentum though, and it went on to become the band's most successful single, peaking at number 2 on the Australian charts in 1984, and is still played on radio today. The album featured two more minor hits - Baby Wants To Rock, and the title track The Modern Bop. In the same year, Ross Wilson wrote the song Bop Girl which his wife Pat Wilson recorded. The song was a major hit in Australia, cracking the Top 5.
Things were cooling by 1986's new recording Boom Baby Boom, however the group still scored a further two hit singles - Rule Of Threes and Primitive Love Rites - the latter being a minor hit in the U.S.
1990 saw their last recording of new material as Mondo Rock, in the Why Fight It LP. The singles released were Things Are Hotting Up and I Had You In Mind, however the group seemed to be running out of steam.
They still play together from time to time, and more recently starred in the 2006 Countdown Spectacular concerts (which were seen by more than 100,000 people throughout Australia), performing a medley of Cool World and Summer Of '81, and a full version of Come Said The Boy.
Ross Wilson dabbled in a solo career and had success with the single Bed Of Nails. (from Wikipedia)
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