Monday, May 11, 2020

"Primitive Love Rights" by Mondo Rock

Song#:  3130
Date:  05/23/1987
Debut:  84
Peak:  71
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  This Australian band was headed up by lead vocalist/songwriter Ross Wilson. After a couple of singles in the late 70s, the band signed with EMI and released their 1979 debut album Primal Park. It didn't make much of an impression and the band then moved over to Atlantic for 1981's Chemistry. It proved to be their breakthrough at home reaching #2 and going double platinum thanks to a pair of Top 10 hits. Over the next few years the band would continue to do well with two more Top 10 albums and what would be their biggest hit, "Come Said the Boy" (#2, 1983). While Mondo Rock became big in Australia, they were virtually unknown in the rest of the world including the US. In 1986, the band signed on with Polydor Records and made a plan to expand beyond their home borders. They recorded their fifth studio LP, Boom Baby Boom, but the effort fizzled a bit at home stalling at #27. However, this single from the album, which got to #34 in Australia, was issued in the US and it made the Rock chart at #31. It then crossed over to the Pop chart for a few weeks. A second single failed to chart and those results made the album come and go quickly. The band would record one more album in 1990 before calling it a day.

ReduxReview:  With this song, Mondo Rock kind of reminds me of an Australian version of Oingo Boingo. It's a quirky new wave-ish rock track with a bit of a party edge. There's a bit of INXS in there as well. The charging track is a fun listen with production that was top-notch for the time period. It may not have been the right track to use as a potential breakthrough in the States, but it was still a good song that probably should have gained them a bigger audience on the alt-rock scene.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This was not Mondo Rock's first attempt to break into the US market. They tried with their 1981 album Chemistry, which would end up being their biggest album at home. The LP's first single, "State of the Heart," would be a #6 hit in Australia, but it failed to chart in the US and therefore the album was a non-starter. However, the song would end up being a bit of a hit later on in the US by another artist. Rick Springfield would pick up the tune (written by Mondo Rock member Eric McCusker), make some revisions, and record it for his 1985 album Tao. It would be the LP's second single and it would reach #22 on the Pop chart.  2) Lead singer Ross Wilson had already experienced success in Australia with his previous band Daddy Cool. That band began in 1970 and the following year their first single, "Eagle Rock," would become a #1 hit in Australia. Their debut album Daddy Who? Daddy Cool would also get to #1. Another Top 10 hit would follow along with a few other chart singles and two more albums, but by 1975, they were done. Ross would then move on to form Mondo Rock.


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