Sherbet - Photoplay

Sherbet – Photoplay

88 / 100

‘Photoplay’ was Sherbet’s follow-up Australian release to ‘Howzat’ and was yet another attempt to cash-in on the American market.

Written by: Eric

ARTIST: Sherbet
ALBUM: Photoplay
LABEL: Festival Australia/Interfusion
SERIAL: L36268
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Daryl Braithwaite – vocals, tambourine * Garth Porter – vocals, keyboards * Harvey James – guitars, backing vocals * Tony Mitchell – bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals * Alan Sandow – drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 High Rollin’ * 02 Magazine Madonna * 03 Midsummer Madness * 04 What Do You Do * 05 I Got Love * 06 Still In Love With You * 07 Love Is Fine * 08 Let Me Flow * 09 The Way I Am



Whoa! I almost let the year go by without a Sherbet review! Yes, its time to take another look at this remarkable Australian band that still does not have a web site presence. Very strange, but let’s go back to 1977 when the group seemed ripe for global domination.

Their previous album ‘Howzat’ was a success nearly everywhere but America which I’m sure left everyone, including the band’s management in the dark and while Andy Gibb played a big part in bringing Sherbet to U.S. shores, the band just couldn’t catch a break.

‘Photoplay’ was their follow-up Australian release and in yet another attempt to cash-in on the American market, the group released the album as ‘Magazine’ with an altered cover, half the cuts from ‘Photoplay’ and a clutch of early Australian singles including ‘You’ve Got The Gun’ and ‘Summer Love’.

Now I can partially understand this strategy, they were hits in Oz (‘Summer Love’ went to number 1), but I think ‘Photoplay’, despite a few missteps was a strong enough album to woo FM programmers as ‘Magazine’ was not at all a cohesive record mainly due to the odd sequencing and the inclusion of material going back six years.

The Songs

‘High Rollin’ was the album’s first single and apparently was the theme song to an Aussie movie of the same name. Anyone seen it? Me neither, but all the classic Sherbet ingredients are present and it was, not a big surprise another hit for the band. ‘Magazine Madonna’ went to number three on the charts featuring more catchy hooks and Braithwaite’s classic vocals.

‘Midsummer Madness’ shows some Little River Band influence and ‘Still In Love With You’ is simply one of Sherbet’s best ballads, although what to make of ‘Love Is Fine’? Very Bee Gees influenced with a funky back beat and Braithwaite singing in falsetto. Not their best moment, and although they do better with the Beatles-ish ‘The Way I Am’, the faux country rock of ‘It’s A Game’ leaves me stone cold.

In Summary

From this album forward, things began to change within the group. While focusing on America, Sherbet lost some of its Aussie fan base and with changing musical tastes, never fully recovered. A head scratching moniker change to Highway didn’t help matters.

An early 80’s comeback as The Sherbs reaped rewards, even in the elusive U.S. market. Released on CD in the late 90’s, ‘Photoplay’ is now out of print as is most of the Sherbet catalog leaving just a couple ‘best of’ discs for the melodic rock hungry.

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