Re-issue Of Sunnyboys’ Debut Album

Read about the re-issue of The Sunnyboys’debut albumimage



There are other Australian albums as great as Sunnyboys’ 1981 debut Sunnyboys.  There aren’t any that are better.  Hearing it again thirty-two years later, it still feels like one of the best rock’n’roll debut albums ever, one of those collisions of bright-eyed youthful energy, lyrical intensity and razor-sharp rock’n’roll instincts that couldn’t have been scripted.   Like singer and chief songwriter Jeremy Oxley’s assured, expressive guitar playing, something about this music hits you in the guts, the heart and the head.  It says all you need to know about being young and alive, with all those doubts, joys, heartache and hopes.  And it rocks. Noel Mengel, The Courier Mail

Recorded in and around a hectic live schedule during the months of May, June and July 1981 Sunnyboys is an undisputed Australian classic.  Featuring the radio staple “Alone With You” and the top ten debut single “Happy Man”,  Sunnyboys reached gold status (35,000 sales) soon after release and platinum sales (70,000) some twenty-five years later.  Today sales hover around the 100,000 mark.  The album has also appeared in every top 100 Australian release list.

If they could cut it live – and few bands could cut it on stage with as much power as Sunnyboys – then it could be captured on tape.  The result is an album free of any affectation or the “fashionable” sounds which can date a record six months after its release.  Sunnyboys is so fresh and timeless it feels like they just recorded it last night.

With this reissue, not only do you get the twelve original album tracks – remastered for the first time since its initial release – but the entire album sessions, including later b-sides “Stop & Think”, “Guts Of Iron” and “Physical Jerk”.  Also included for the first time on CD and download are the live tracks “Thrill” and “Why Do I Cry?”.  The later song is a cover of legendary sixties group The Remains and both previously only available on the cassingle release (an Australian first) of the “Happy Man” single.

While researching this project, the Warner’s archives unearthed a seventeen song demo session recorded at Studio 301 in January 1981.  It’s a first-take trawl through many of the album classics, rare and previously unheard material and later day album tracks.  It’s an incredible insight to the productivity of chief songwriter Jeremy Oxley and a snapshot of just how it felt to be standing front and centre at any number of those early Sunnyboys’ shows.

The old demos were our first foray into a big studio.  We bashed ’em out just like we played them live.  They sound really good!  In some ways they’re closer to how the songs sounded to me than the versions we did later for the first album.  There’s a strength and surety to them that comes from just playing them straight up, with no special effects, or extra instruments.  In that situation you don’t have time to think.  You just play.  That’s why they sound so good.  I am so glad we still have them. – Richard Burgman (Sunnyboys guitarist).

This is an absolute treasure of a release and a joy from start to finish.  The bonus tracks (unlike some collections where they can taken or left) are an essential insight into this great Australian band.

The Sunnyboys eponymous debut album follows the new Sunnyboys’ collection Our Best Of, that was released in December 2013.


Read about the re-issue of The Sunnyboys’debut album




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Author: Rob Dickens

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