|Also known as||The Chain, Matt Taylor's Chain|
|Years active||1968–1974, 1982, 1983–1986, 1988, 1991–1992, 1995–current|
Dirk Du Bois
|Past members||see personnel list below|
Chain are an Australian blues band formed in Melbourne as The Chain in late 1968 with a lineup including guitarist, vocalist Phil Manning; they are sometimes known as Matt Taylor's Chain after lead singer-songwriter and harmonica player, Matt Taylor. Their January 1971 single "Black and Blue", which became their only top twenty hit, was recorded by Chain line-up of Manning, Taylor, drummer Barry Harvey and bass guitarist Barry Sullivan. The related album, Toward the Blues followed in September and peaked in the top ten albums chart.
Chain had various line-ups until July 1974, they separated for several years then reformed in 1982 for a one-off concert and more permanently from 1983–1986. Further line-up changes occurred with some forms called Matt Taylor's Chain, from 1998 Chain members are Harvey, Manning, Taylor and Dirk Du Bois on bass guitar. Both Manning and Taylor have also had separate solo careers. In 2005 Chain released, Sweet Honey and continued touring irregularly; on 3 May 2009, they performed at the Cairns Blues Festival.
1968–1970: Formation to Live Chain
The Beaten Tracks were a pop / blues / R&B band formed in Perth, Western Australia in early 1967; which included, Ace Follington on drums, Dave Hole on guitar, Warren Morgan on keyboards/vocals, Ross Partington on lead vocals and Murray Wilkins on bass guitar. They played covers of The Beatles, Paul Butterfield, Motown and Vanilla Fudge material. Hole left in early 1968 to be replaced by guitarist, vocalist Phil Manning (ex-Bay City Union, Laurie Allen Revue) and Partington departed later that year. The Beaten Tracks had relocated to Melbourne and when vocalist, Wendy Saddington (ex-James Taylor Move) joined in December, she provided a new name for the band, The Chain, after the Aretha Franklin song "Chain of Fools".
Saddington left the band in May 1969 to write for teen pop newspaper Go-Set and to join the band Copperwine; she later had a solo career. Saddington was replaced by New Zealander Glyn Mason (ex-Larry's Rebels), Wilkins left in August and was replaced by Tim Piper (ex-Electric Heap) on bass guitar, and Morgan, who left to join Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, was replaced by Claude Papesch on organ (also ex-Electric Heap). The Chain's first single, "Show Me Home", was released by Festival Records in October, but Follington, Piper and Papesch had all left. Barry Harvey on drums and Barry Sullivan on bass guitar (both ex-Wild Cherries) joined and the name was shortened to Chain. The band's first album Live Chain was recorded in 1970 at Caesar's Palace discothèque, Sydney; by the time it was released in October, Mason had left to travel overseas, he was later in Ariel.
1970–1971: Classic line-up to Toward the Blues
In September 1970, Manning asked Matt Taylor to become their full-time front man. Taylor had moved to Melbourne from Brisbane with his band the Bay City Union (which had briefly included Manning), although that band had subsequently broken up. At this point, Chain were Manning, Taylor, Harvey (Little Goose, LG or Albert Goose) and Sullivan (Big Goose or BG), referred to by fans as the classic line-up. "Black and Blue" was released by this line-up as a single in March 1971 on Festival's Infinity label, which peaked at #12 on the national singles charts in May. The second single, "Judgement" released in July reached the top 40 nationally and was followed in September by their first studio album Toward the Blues, on the Infinity Records label (a subsidiary of Festival records). The Album was Produced by John L Sayers and recorded at TCS Studios. This included an extended version of their signature track, "Black and Blue", and continued to sell steadily, eventually going gold over twenty years after its original release. A further single "Gonna Miss you Babe" was recorded with this lineup at Festival Studios Sydney. also produced by John L Sayers.The classic line-up of Chain only lasted about eleven months (August 1970 to July 1971) at that time, when Harvey, Manning and Sullivan all left. Harvey joined King Harvest, Manning formed a duo Pilgrimage with ex-The Chain bandmate Morgan, and Sullivan joined Carson.
Other 1970s line-ups
In July 1971, Taylor briefly enlisted Kevin Murphy on drums (ex-Wild Cherries, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, King Harvest), Charlie Tumahai on bass guitar and Lindsay Wells on lead guitar (both ex-Healing Force). Murphy left in September and Taylor continued for another month with Laurie Pryor on drums (ex-Healing Force) but then Taylor commenced his solo career. Taylor's best known solo works are his singles, "I Remember when I Was Young" and "Fair Dinkum Aussie Blues" and his albums, Straight as a Die and Music. Chain reformed in November 1971 with Harvey, Manning, Mason, Morgan and Sullivan to record, Live Again, which was not released until October 1972. A three piece line-up of Morgan, Pryor and Sullivan performed at the inaugural 1972 Sunbury Pop Festival. In February 1973, Manning changed the name of his then group Mighty Mouse to Chain with: Mal Capewell on saxophone, flute (ex-Company Caine), Ian Clyne on organ (ex-The Loved Ones), Sullivan on bass guitar and Harvey on drums. Chain's band manager, Michael Gudinski had signed the band to his newly formed label, Mushroom Records which released two non-charting singles and then an album, Two of a Kind in December 1973 with contributions from James Madison on guitar and George Beauford on vocals and harmonica. Both were members of touring mate Muddy Waters' band. Forming in February 1974, the next Chain line-up were Manning, Sullivan and Mal Logan on keyboards (ex-Healing Force, Carson) and Tony Lunt on drums (ex-Carson); they broke up in July and Mushroom released the compilation album, History of Chain, in October.
Later line-ups to current
After breaking up completely for several years, Chain briefly reformed with the classic line up (Harvey, Manning, Sullivan and Taylor) in January 1982, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Mushroom Records. A couple of songs from their performance appeared on the triple album set Mushroom Evolution Concert. A more permanent reformation occurred from December 1983, which resulted in Child of the Street in October 1985 and two singles. Manning and Sullivan left again in late 1986, Taylor and Harvey continued Chain with John Meyer on guitar (ex-Saracen, Rose Tattoo) and Roy Daniel on bass guitar; they released, Australian Rhythm and Blues in April 1988. Meyer, Taylor and Bob Fortesque on bass guitar (ex-Blackfeather) and Michael Burn on drums released the next Chain album Blue Metal in May 1990. By late 1991, Taylor had formed another version of Chain now called, Matt Taylor's Chain with Dirk Du Bois on bass guitar, Jeff Lang on guitar, Bob Patient on piano and Gus Warburton on drums. This line-up recorded a new album Trouble in the Wind aka Walls 2 McGoo released in 1992. From 1992, varied line-ups of Chain or Matt Taylor's Chain toured Australia irregularly. In 1998, Chain as Matt Taylor, Phil Manning, Barry Harvey and Dirk Du Bois performed at Mushroom's 25th anniversary concert, Mushroom 25 Live and released their own live album, The First 30 Years. Chain toured into 1999 and released a new album, Mix up the Oils in July on Forever Records. In 2005 they released, Sweet Honey and continued touring irregularly; on 3 May 2009, Chain performed at the Cairns Blues Festival.
- Ace Follington — drums (1968–1969)
- Phil Manning — guitar, vocals (1968–1974, 1982, 1983–1986, 1991, 1995–current)
- Warren Morgan — keyboards, vocals (1968–1972)
- Wendy Saddington — vocals (1968–1969)
- Murray Wilkins — bass guitar (1968–1969)
- Glyn Mason — vocals (1970–1972)
- Tim Piper — bass guitar (1969)
- Claude Papesch — organ (1969)
- Barry Harvey — drums (1969–74, 1982, 1983–1986, 1988, 1995–current)
- Barry Sullivan — bass guitar (1969–74, 1982, 1983–1986)
- Matt Taylor — vocals, harmonica (1970–1971, 1982, 1983–1986, 1991–1992, 1995–current)
- Kevin Murphy — drums (1971)
- Charlie Tumahai — bass guitar (1971)
- Lindsay Wells — lead guitar (1971)
- Laurie Pryor — drums (1971–1972)
- Graham Morgan — drums (1972)
- Mal Capewell — saxophone, flute (1973–1974)
- Ian Clyne — organ (1973–1974)
- George Beauford — vocals, harmonica (1973, session musician)
- James Madison — guitar (1973, session musician)
- Mal Logan — keyboards (1974)
- Tony Lunt — drums (1974)
- John Meyer — guitar (1986, 1988, 1991)
- Roy Daniel — bass guitar (1988)
- Bob Fortesque — bass guitar (1991)
- Michael Burn — drums (1991)
- Dirk Du Bois — bass guitar (1991–1992, 1995–current)
- Jeff Lang — guitar (1991–1992)
- Bob Patient — piano (1991–1992)
- Gus Warburton — drums (1991–1992)
- Malcolm Eastick — guitar (1992)
- Live - Festival (October 1970) #15 AUS
- Toward the Blues - Infinity (September 1971) #6 AUS
- Live Again - Festival (October 1972) #51 AUS
- Two of a Kind - Mushroom (December 1973)
- History of Chain - Mushroom (October 1974)
- Best of Chain - Infinity (1978)
- Child of the Street - EMI (October 1985)
- Australian R & B - BMG (1988)
- Blue Metal - Forever (1989)
- Trouble in the Wind - Aim (1992)
- The First 30 Years - Forever (1998)
- Mix up the Oils - Forever (1999)
- Towards the Blues (30th Anniversary Edition) - Festival Mushroom (September 2001)
- Sweet Honey - Forever (2005)
- "Show Me Home" - Festival (October 1969)
- "Black and Blue" - Infinity (March 1971) (#12 AUS
- "Judgement" - Infinity (July 1971) #30 AUS
- "Sunny Day" - Infinity (October 1972) #92 AUS
- "I Thought You Weren't My Friend" - Mushroom (August 1973) #89 AUS
- "I'm Gonna Miss You, Babe" - Mushroom (November 1973) #65 AUS
- "I'm Gonna Miss You Babe" - Infinity (1980)
- "I Don't Want To Be Like Everyone Else" - EMI (1985)
- "(Doin' The) Highway 31 Shuffle" - EMI (1986)
- "Harmonica" - Wheatley 104802
- McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Chain'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
- Culnane, Paul (2007). "CHAIN". MILESAGO: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964-1975. Milesago. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- "Chain". Howlspace. Ed Nimmervoll. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
- "Cairns Blues Festival > Artists". Kanaka Creative. Retrieved 9 May 2009.[dead link]