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Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group was built on rock – and vinyl.

And now, appropriately, they are reissuing some iconic rock records on vinyl. Many of the albums – including Baby Animals’ self-titled debut and The Angels’ Dark Room – have been unavailable on vinyl for years.

These releases reflect the bloodlines of the Mushroom Group,” Michael Gudinski says. “From Barnesy’s For The Working Class Man and Soul Deep through to the Hunnas’ breakthrough album, Human Frailty these are all timeless albums given the deluxe vinyl treatment.”

The vinyl revival starts with these nine classic albums:

JIMMY BARNES – The Soul Series:

Soul DeepSoul DeeperThe Rhythm And The Blues and Soul Searchin’
This is the biggest-selling series of albums in the history of Australian music, a compelling soul and R&B history lesson. 1991’s Soul Deep remains the Mushroom Group’s highest-selling album, going nine times platinum, spending three weeks at number one and winning two ARIA Awards. It also featured two Top 10 hits – Barnesy’s take on Joe Tex’s “I Gotcha”, and an unforgettable duet with John Farnham, “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby”Soul Deeper … Songs From The Deep South followed nine years later, debuting at number three and featuring the singles “Chain of Fools” and “Land of 1000 Dances”/“To Love Somebody”. Barnesy went even deeper for 2009’s The Rhythm And The Blues, covering gems from the late 1940s to the early ’60s. The album spent two weeks at number one and was Barnesy’s ninth solo chart-topper – a record for an Australian artist. Soul Searchin’ arrived in 2016. “The idea was to find more obscure soul songs that people may not have heard, the diamonds in the rough,” he explained. It was another number one album – Barnesy’s 11th.

Soul Deep
is available on vinyl here
Soul Deeper is available on vinyl here
The Rhythm And The Blues is available on vinyl here
Soul Searchin’ is available on vinyl here

JIMMY BARNES
 –
 For The Working Class Man (orange vinyl)
Barnesy’s second solo album, released at the end of 1985, spent seven weeks at number one and went seven times platinum. The album features an all-star cast of players, including Mick Fleetwood, Billy Payne (Little Feat), Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan’s band), Waddy Wachtel, Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac), Randy Jackson (American Idol), Kim Carnes, Tony Brock (The Babys), Dave Amato (REO Speedwagon), Chris Stockley (The Dingoes) and Tommy Thayer (Kiss). The record included three hit singles: “I’d Die To Be With You Tonight”, “Ride The Night Away” (written by Steven Van Zandt) and Barnesy’s signature song, “Working Class Man”, which Jonathan Cain wrote about Barnesy’s audience. For The Working Class Man is listed in the book The 100 Best Australian Albums, with the authors stating: “His albums represented the hopes and dreams of middle Australia in a way that no other musician before or since has been able to match. For The Working Class Man defined both him and much of Australia.”
Working Class Man will be the title of Jimmy’s second memoir scheduled for publication by Harper Collins later in the year.For The Working Class Man is available on vinyl here
JIMMY BARNES – Two Fires (purple vinyl)

1990’s Two Fires was the first of seven albums Barnesy has made with producer Don Gehman. And it was his first release for Atlantic Records in the US, after being signed by the legendary Ahmet Ertegun. Two Fires went six times platinum and spent five weeks at number one. Jimmy wrote or co-wrote every song on the record, including the five hit singles – “Lay Down Your Guns”, “Let’s Make It Last All Night”, “When Your Love Is Gone”, “Love Is Enough”, and “Little Darling”, which he wrote for his wife, Jane. The album title referred to Barnesy’s two great musical loves – British rock and American soul.

Two Fires is available on vinyl here

THE ANGELS – Dark Room

1980’s Dark Room, The Angels fourth album, was the last album to feature the classic Angels line-up: Doc Neeson, Rick Brewster, John Brewster, Chris Bailey and Buzz Bidstrup. Produced by the Brewster Brothers with production consultant John Boylan (Boston, Linda Ronstadt, LRB), Dark Room was the band’s highest-charting album in the US, and “musically right up there with our best”, according to John Brewster. Dark Room featured the singles “No Secrets” (The Angels’ first Top 10 hit), “Poor Baby” and “Face The Day”, while three gems from the record – “Night Comes Early”, “Alexander” and “I’m Scared” – recently turned up on the Angels compilation, Brothers, Angels & Demons.

Dark Room is available on vinyl here

BABY ANIMALS – Baby Animals

1991’s Baby Animals is one of the biggest-selling Australian debuts of all time. It went eight times platinum, won three ARIA Awards – Best Album, Best Debut Album and Best Debut Single (“Early Warning”) – and spent six weeks at number one, keeping Nirvana’s Nevermind out of top spot. The record featured five singles: “Early Warning”, “Rush You”, “Painless”, “One Word” and “Ain’t Gonna Get”Baby Animals was declared one of 1992’s Top 25 albums in UK rock bible Kerrang! and it is one of The 100 Best Australian Albums, with the entry stating: “Baby Animals exploded on the Australian music scene with a bracing fusion of heavy metal bravura, a touch of glam dynamics and a look and a swagger … it was all perfectly captured in a great debut album, a crunching melange of primal rhythms, spitfire guitars and vocal sass.”

Baby Animals is available on vinyl here

 
HUNTERS & COLLECTORS – Human Frailty

The Mushroom Group created the White Label for Hunters & Collectors,and the band’s major breakthrough came with their fifth album, 1986’s Human Frailty, their first Top 10 album. Human Frailty featured four singles: the band’s first Top 40 hit “Say Goodbye” (with the classic refrain: “You don’t make me feel like I’m a woman anymore!”), “Throw Your Arms Around Me” (which inexplicably failed to crack the Top 40), “Everything’s On Fire” and “Is There Anybody In There?” The record is filled with songs that are searingly honest, tender and raw. “Things were happening to me emotionally that were turning my world upside down,” singer Mark Seymour recalls. “And the band was providing me with a vehicle to express these feelings.”

Human Frailty is available on vinyl here

So there you have it: nine iconic Aussie albums – including six number one albums – lovingly reissued on vinyl.

“And there’s more to come,” Michael Gudinski promises.