Aztec members, from left, Col Baigent (drums), Harry Young (vocals and producer of the album), Vince Maloney (guitar), and John ‘Bluey’ Watson (bass) at Harry Young’s Pump Room Studio in Kyogle.
Aztec members, from left, Col Baigent (drums), Harry Young (vocals and producer of the album), Vince Maloney (guitar), and John ‘Bluey’ Watson (bass) at Harry Young’s Pump Room Studio in Kyogle. Doug Eaton

Album in memory of Thorpie

FORTY years on from their last recording The Aztecs have released At The End Of The Rainbow.

Recorded and mixed in Harry Young's Pump Room Studio in Kyogle, the album is dedicated to the memory of late frontman Billy Thorpe.

The band first went into the studio in March with the hope of having it all wrapped up in three months.

"It just became more and more of a project," Vince Malouney, the band's guitarist said.

"We started on more songs and we wanted the album to be something we were happy with."

Maloney said it was Young, who had his own success in bands in the '70s, that came up with the idea to re-record The Aztecs work.

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The band shot to fame as Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs in the '60s, but the original line-up only lasted three years.

Tony Barber, Col Baigent, John 'Bluey' Watson and Maloney, all original members of the rock group, were involved in the recording process with Harry Young picking up lead vocal and producer roles.

The album features new tracks and re-worked songs including Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Poison Ivy, originally released in 1964.

Sunshine Friends, a song written by Billy Thorpe and Tony Barber is the only previously unrecorded work of the late singer featured on the album.

Maloney, who went on to play with The Bee Gees after leaving The Aztecs, said recording the album was an emotional experience.

"After The Aztecs broke up we didn't see each other for 40 years," he said.

"Three months before he (Thorpe) died I did a gig with him.

"Recording the songs brought back some of the things I'd forgotten about and reminded me how great the songs were.

"We didn't have the technology back then but we did have the emotion."

The title track, written by Young, is about the late singer.

Maloney said there are no plans to tour as yet, though he wouldn't say no if someone was willing to fund it.

"If somebody had paid the dough it would have been amazing," Maloney said.

"I'm not ruling it out ifsomeone comes along and puts the money into it.

"But my reputation is on the line so if it's not great then I'm not interested."

Harry Young and The Original Aztecs, At The End Of The Rainbow is out now through MGM.


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