From Adelaide Australia, Mississippi were the pre-cursor of the Little River Band who would become one of the biggest bands in the nation during the 70’s.
Written by: Eric
LABEL: Bootleg Records
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Graham Goble – lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar * Russ Johnson – lead & backing vocals, acoustic & electric guitar * John Mower – lead & backing vocals * Barry Sullivan, John Gray – bass * Geoff Cox, Tea Van Zyl – drums * Peter Jones, Brian Cadd – piano * Graeme Lyall – flute
TRACK LISTING: 01 Save The Land * 02 Mr Moondog * 03 Three Days * 04 All Through The Day * 05 Sweet World * 06 Feel Alone * 07 Do I * 08 Kings Of The World * 09 City Sunday * 10 When You’re Old * 11 Day Job Song
Seems we’ve been a wee bit neglectful when it comes to covering the Little River Band‘s early albums and hopefully we’ll correct the situation in the coming months. In the meantime, here’s the band that got the LRB ball rolling – Mississippi.
Originally a folk trio from Adelaide calling themselves Alison Gros, Graham Goble, Russ Johnson and John Mower released three singles, before changing their name to Drummond and recording a novelty 45 ‘Daddy Cool’, apparently a piss-take on the sound of The Chipmunks.
Changing their name to Mississippi, the threesome signed to Melbourne’s Bootleg Records and released their first album in 1972. After hiring former Zoot bass player Beeb Birtles, a grueling tour schedule followed including a weird support slot opening for The Jackson 5 across Australia.
Over the course of four years, the band persevered with numerous line-up changes, two appearances at the legendary Sunbury Pop Festivals and a dismal UK tour.
It was during that tour where the band met up with future manager Glen Wheatley who suggested Esperanto vocalist and native Australian Glenn Shorrock join the group. After further gigs in Oz, the revitalized Mississippi eventually changed their name to Little River Band and as they say – the rest is history.
This is an excellent record from start to finish. Fans of the first LRB album, their best in my opinion, will find this album much to their liking.
Opener ‘Save The Land’ is a superb cut with an extended fuzz guitar solo from Russ Johnson and from here the album moves from one memorable tune to another. Comparisons to Crosby, Stills & Nash to Badfinger are easy to pick out with lush vocal harmonies from the trio and at times a very west coast American sound.
I almost want to cry with joy listening to the Badfinger-esque ‘All Through The Day’ with its sweet delicate melody, flute solo and soaring strings. I can’t believe it was only the b-side to the albums second single ‘Mr. Moondog’. No justice there.
The record’s second side is just as tasty with lot’s of CS&N inspired moments, but the highlight has to be ‘Kings Of The World’, a near psychedelic cut, very trippy yet totally melodic and I’m convinced Graham Goble hands down is one of the finest songwriter’s Australia has produced.
Released in the U.S. a year later with an alternate cover, Mississippi was reissued on CD in 2001. A big recommendation from yours truly and I naturally suggest getting hold of a copy of one of the better 1970’s Australian albums to float downstream.
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