“Rock music in the Seventies was changed by three bands: the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Saints,” according to Sir Bob Geldof. Nick Cave goes further and calls it “the most important Australian record ever made.” Although initially independent, the Saints “I’m Stranded” went on to be the first recording by Mark to be released on a major label. The record predated the Sex Pistols “God Save The Queen” and has ensured the band’s reputation as punk pioneers. The sessions came about after the band casually booked three hours at Brisbane’s Window Studio where Mark had begun engineering after returning from London. He had brought with him a collection of loud and angry guitars amps, one of which he convinced Ed Keupper to use that night. The rest truly is history.
Mondo Rock was the brainchild of Australian rock legend Ross Wilson.
Seeking new blood, he called Mark who, although was by then house producer at Festival Records in Sydney, was still awed to get a call from Ross the Boss. The collaboration yielded the album “Chemistry,” becoming an all time Australian classic, giving the band double platinum success and a string of hits like State of the Heart, Chemistry, Summer of ‘81, and Cool World. The album and its widespread commercial acceptance was Mark’s breakthrough project and the beginning of a long and creative career as a record producer.
With the release of their second album, “Tribal Voice,” Yothu Yindi secured their place in Australian music history. “Tribal Voice” dominated the national charts and won the band recognition as the first Aboriginal act to chart and gain widespread local and international media attention. Billboard hailed Yothu Yindi as “the true flagship of Australian music.” The album featured the bands first single “Treaty,” which topped the charts for 22 weeks. Not only was this the first song by an Aboriginal artist to achieve chart success, it became the cultural catalyst which fuelled the first effective public debate on the long overlooked problem of the lack of a treaty between the Australian government and the Aboriginal people.
Still Tim Finn’s most successful solo record, achieving double platinum sales and several hit singles including “Fraction Too Much Friction” and “Made My Day,” Escapade came about after Mark had worked with Tim on the Starstruck sound track album. Shortly after that project, Mark began working with the recently arrived Ricky Fataar (Beach Boys, the Rutles). Tim must have liked what he heard as he called them to discuss a solo album. Tim landed in Sydney with a notepad of lyrics, hastily threw down thirty or so piano/vocal tracks and everyone voted on their favourites. Recording of the fifteen songs that made the cut began next day, and most of those tracks became Escapade.
Anne Kirkpatrick – Out of the Blue
Hailed as the first “new country” album in Australia. It didn’t seem like that to me at the time because I’d produced the Saltbush album which Anne and her Dad Slim Dusty regarded as holding that title. In an era when no one cared too much about country in the Australian industry, Out of the Blue was an amazing accomplishment all round.