Hunters & Collectors
|This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (May 2010)|
|Hunters & Collectors|
|Years active||1981–1998, 2013-present|
|Labels||White, Mushroom, Festival, I.R.S., Liberation, Sony, Virgin, A&M, Epic|
|Associated acts||The Schnorts, The Jetsonnes, Deadstar|
|Past members||Nigel Crocker
Hunters & Collectors are an Australian rock music band formed in Melbourne in 1981. Fronted by singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Seymour, they developed a blend of pub rock and art-funk. Other mainstays were John Archer on electric bass, Doug Falconer on drums and percussion, Jack Howard on trumpet and keyboards, Jeremy Smith on French horn, guitars and keyboards, and Michael Waters on trombone and keyboards. Also acknowledged as a mainstay member was engineer and art designer Robert Miles. Joining in 1988, Barry Palmer, on lead guitar, remained until they disbanded in 1998. Their hit singles were "Throw Your Arms Around Me", "Talking to a Stranger", "Imaginary Girl", "Holy Grail", "True Tears of Joy" and "Say Goodbye", and they became one of the best live acts in Australia.
Originally Hunters and Collectors were influenced by the Krautrock genre and the productions of Conny Plank, featuring strong percussive influences, noisy guitar, and driving bass lines. The sound was in the vein of Remain in Light, the Talking Heads album of 1980. The band's name is from "Hunters and Collectors", a track by German group Can, on the 1975 album Landed. Hunters & Collectors utilised Plank to produce two of their early albums, The Fireman's Curse and The Jaws of Life, but neither charted into the Top 50 of the Australian albums chart on the Kent Music Report. Their Top 10 albums started with Human Frailty in 1986, which first featured their distinctive logo, a H & C symbol, where the "&" was twin snakes entwined around a hunting knife, a variation of the Caduceus. Other Top 10 studio albums were Ghost Nation in 1989, Cut in 1992 and Demon Flower in 1994.
- 1 History
- 2 Australian discography
- 3 Personnel
- 4 Band member timeline
- 5 Notes
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
John Archer (electric bass), Doug Falconer (drums) and Mark Seymour (guitar & vocals) met as residential students of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne in the late 1970s. With Robert Miles (sound engineer), in 1978, they formed a casual band called The Schnorts, named for a Belgian tennis racket, and played cover versions of 1960s songs including "To Sir, with Love"  with lead singer Margot O'Neill (then a journalist on radio 3RRR program Talking Headlines and later award-winning ABC journalist and author),. A more ambitious band The Jetsonnes, followed in September 1979, with the addition of Ray Tosti-Guerra on guitar and backing vocals. The Jetsonnes had a clever post-punk style. Their only recorded track is "Newspaper" which was one side of a gig giveaway single in June 1980 with "Miniskirts in Moscow" by International Exiles as the other. By September 1980, The Jetsonnes had disbanded but Archer, Falconer, Miles, Seymour and Tosti-Guerra decided to continue on with new members, Geoff Crosby on keyboards and Greg Perano on percussion to form a new band.
1981–1983: World of Stone to The Fireman's Curse
John Archer (electric bass; ex-Jetsonnes), Geoff Crosby (keyboards), Doug Falconer (drums; ex-Jetsonnes), Robert Miles (live sound, art director; ex-Jetsonnes), Greg Perano (percussion; ex-True Wheels), Mark Seymour (guitar, vocals; ex-Jetsonnes) and Ray Tosti-Guerra (guitar, vocals; ex-Jetsonnes) formed Hunters & Collectors in early 1981. Miles was credited as an equal part of the band's output and stayed throughout their career. Perano provided the band's name from "Hunters and Collectors", a track on 1975's Landed by German group Can. Originally Hunters & Collectors were influenced by the Krautrock genre and the productions of Conny Plank, featuring strong percussive influences, noisy guitar, and driving bass lines. The core of Hunters & Collectors was expanded by a horn section, later dubbed Horns of Contempt, consisting of Nigel Crocker (trombone), Jack Howard (trumpet), Andy Lynn (trumpet), Chris Malherbe (trumpet), Jeremy Smith (French horn) and Michael Waters (trombone).
As lead singer, guitarist and principal lyricist, Seymour, who is the older brother of Nick Seymour bassist for Crowded House, was the linchpin of the group. In the mid-1980s, he was romantically involved for a time with Do-Re-Mi lead singer Deborah Conway. Archer and Falconer are widely regarded as one of the best rhythm sections ever to emerge from the Australian rock scene.
Mushroom Records specifically formed a new 'alternative' label, White Label Records, when they signed Hunters & Collectors. Their first release was World of Stone, a three-track EP in January 1982. A self-titled debut LP, Hunters & Collectors, followed in July and was produced by Sydney-based engineer-producer Tony Cohen. The album peaked at No. 21 on the Kent Music Report for Australian albums charts. Their first single, "Talking to a Stranger" also released in July, was accompanied by an influential music video directed by film maker Richard Lowenstein, but it did not peak into the Top 50 singles chart. By this time, Tosti-Guerra was replaced by Martin Lubran on guitar and the Horns of Contempt were reduced to three, Howard, Smith and Waters. Another EP, Payload, produced by Mike Howlett (ex-Gong), was released in November. In 1983, the band toured the UK for six months and signed with Virgin Records which recompiled the Australian version of Hunters & Collectors and the Payload EP into the international version of Hunters & Collectors released in April. The band then decamped to Conny's Studio in Germany, where they recorded their second album The Fireman's Curse, produced by Conny Plank (Can, Cluster, Kraftwerk), with Dave Hutchins engineering, released on Virgin Records in September. A three-record deal with Virgin was broken after some members of Hunters & Collectors insulted their executive, Simon Draper, by describing him as "a poncy little blueblood" with no faith in their band. After November's single, "Sway" failed to chart, they disbanded briefly.
1984–1991: The Jaws of Life to Collected Works
Late in 1983, Hunters & Collectors had briefly disbanded, but soon reformed without Lubran, (who left the band) and Perano (later formed The Deadly Hume). The 1984 line-up of Archer, Crosby, Falconer, Howard, Miles, Seymour, Smith and Waters now featured greater use of keyboards from Crosby and the reduced three-piece Horns of Contempt. The band began to pare back their art-rock pretensions of their earliest albums, although they retained a muscular, bass-driven sound, rounded off by the band's distinctive horn section. Mark Seymour's lyrics became less abstruse and more focused on the twin themes of the fraught personal relationships and the politics of the day.
The first album featuring the new line up was The Jaws of Life (July 1984). The title, cover art and opening track, "42 Wheels" all refer to the murder of five people by an intoxicated, outback trucker, Douglas Crabbe. Again produced by Plank, the album was recorded at the old Can studio by René Tinner. Although it spawned a classic underground single, "Betty's Worry or the Slab", The Jaws of Life didn't make much headway for the band on the commercial music scene. However relentless touring, limited but constant airplay on the (then Sydney-only) radio station Triple J plus some video play on Countdown and other music video shows, fostered Hunters & Collectors a devoted following on the Australian pub scene. November saw the first release of "Throw Your Arms Around Me" as a live recorded single-only release, it had no chart success. A live version of "Throw Your Arms Around Me" appeared on their 1985 album The Way to Go Out, the album showcased their powerful and energetic performance style. Crosby left after the album's release and Waters took over on keyboards.
Breakthrough Australian commercial success came in 1986, with the April release of the album Human Frailty, which featured a second version of the single "Throw Your Arms Around Me", as well as other fan favourites such as "Say Goodbye" and "Everything's on Fire". Human Frailty became their first Top Ten chart hit. The band had signed a parallel deal with I.R.S. Records for North America, which released the album there in July 1987. "Throw Your Arms Around Me" peaked at No. 49 on the Australian singles charts in 1986, but it became one of their most popular songs, voted in the Top 5 on the Triple J Hottest 100 for 1989, 1990, and 1991.
After Human Frailty the band toured USA twice and released their third EP, Living Daylight produced by Greg Edward and released in Australia in April 1987. It was followed by their next album, What's a Few Men?, also produced by Edward and released in November, it peaked at No. 16. It featured the singles for "Do You See What I See" and "Still Hangin' Round". The latter was deemed to be too "Australian" and cut from the American configuration, it was retitled Fate and released in September 1988, three other songs were recorded for this version, including "Back on the Breadline", which charted at No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. The August 2003 re-issue of What's a Few Men featured all 15 songs from the two versions.
Guitarist Barry Palmer (ex-Harem Scarem) joined the band in 1987. Ghost Nation, produced by Clive Martin and released in November 1989, was their second Australian Top Ten album. It featured the single "When the River Runs Dry", which peaked at No. 23 in Australia and No. 5 on Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 1990. Hunters & Collectors were support to Midnight Oil's North American tour of 1990 and, although the band struggled to find further success in the US and elsewhere, they maintained their status in Australia as local favourites. The compilation Collected Works was released in 1990, and was another Top Ten album. It contained a third version of "Throw Your Arms Around Me" to be released as a single, which peaked at No. 34. Another single, "Where Do You Go", which was produced by Nick Sansano and released in late 1991 also reached the Top 40.
1992–1998: Cut to Under One Roof
In October 1992, Hunters & Collectors released Cut with producers Don Gehman and Nick Sansano, and although the relationship was apparently strained at times, due to Gehman's combative working methods, Cut peaked at No. 6. It retained a balance between the band's artistic core and its commercial ambitions and provided the anthemic single "Holy Grail", inspired by Napoleon's march to Russia in 1812 but also reflecting the band's own flagging attempts to "crack" the American market. The song is often put in context with the Australian Football League (AFL), and was Channel 10's theme song for their AFL coverage from 2002–2006, it was sung by Seymour at the 2002 AFL Grand Final, although he doesn't follow the game. Another single from the album, "True Tears of Joy" peaked at No. 14 to become their highest charting single.
Demon Flower followed in May 1994, produced by Nick Mainsbridge, it peaked at No. 2 and provided "Easy" and three other singles. Demon Flower was dominated by themes relating to the politics in the state of Victoria, particularly the economic rationalist policies of Premier Jeff Kennett. A double live album, Living ... In Large Rooms and Lounges, was released in November 1995, with one disc consisting of an acoustic set at the defunct Continental Cafe in Prahran, Melbourne, and the other being a more typical pub performance. Juggernaut, their last studio album was produced by Kalju Tonuma and Mark Opitz. The album was recorded in 1997 and released in January 1998, it featured the single "True Believers". With its release, Hunters & Collectors announced they would disband after the Juggernaut tour.
Hunters & Collectors embarked on their final tour of Australia in 1998, with a concert performed at Selina's, Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney being recorded and released on CD and DVD as Under One Roof. The group's last public show was on 22 March in Melbourne. According to rock historian, Ian McFarlane, their "great achievement was to lay bare human emotions in the intensely ritualistic milieu of the pub-rock gig".
Subsequent to the group's disbandment in 1998, Mark Seymour and Jack Howard have both pursued solo musical careers. Barry Palmer is now a producer/songwriter and was the subject of the 2005 reality TV series The Hit Game. In the mid-nineties he was a member of the band Deadstar.
"Throw Your Arms Around Me" has been performed by many bands and individuals, including Crowded House, Pearl Jam, Luka Bloom, and Australian musical comedy trio the Doug Anthony All Stars (and subsequently by member Paul McDermott.) In May 2001 it was recognised by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time.
On 14 July 2005, Hunters & Collectors were recognised as icons by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) when inducted into their Hall of Fame at the Plaza Ballroom alongside Split Enz, Renée Geyer, Normie Rowe, Smoky Dawson and The Easybeats. They were inducted into the Hall of Fame by Peter Garrett former lead singer of tour mates Midnight Oil, Hunters & Collectors provided a one-off performance of "Say Goodbye" and "Throw Your Arms Around Me".
The boys and myself are excited to be honoured in this way by the Australian music industry. This is a unique gesture of recognition for the work that Hunters and Collectors did, and it will be a rare opportunity for the band to be re-united under very auspicious circumstances.—Mark Seymour, July 2005
Hunters & Collectors played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 14 March 2009 for Sound Relief, which was a multi-venue rock music concert in support of relief for the Victorian Bushfire Crisis. The event was held simultaneously with a concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground. All the proceeds from the Melbourne Concert went to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire relief. Appearing with Hunters & Collectors in Melbourne were, Augie March, Bliss N Eso with Paris Wells, Gabriella Cilmi, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Troy Cassar-Daley, Jack Johnson, Jet, Kings Of Leon, Liam Finn (joined on stage with Crowded House), Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Split Enz and Wolfmother. The Band performed a selection of their most popular songs over a 40 minute set, including an encore performance of The Slab. The Sound Relief concert, including the Hunters & Collectors set, was broadcast on Australian cable TV and FM radio, and available on DVD.
A tribute album, Crucible - The Songs of Hunters & Collectors, was released in September 2013, including contributions by Birds of Tokyo, Eddie Vedder and Neil Finn, Cloud Control, Something For Kate, and The Rubens, as well as a remix of the original "Talking To A Stranger" by The Avalanches. The band itself reunited in their 1998 line-up at the 2013 AFL Grand Final playing "Do You See What I See" and "The Holy Grail"., and headlined a number of A Day On The Green outdoor concerts in early 2014, as well as supporting Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band during their tour of Australia on 15 and 16 February 2014 at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. The band were to perform their last concerts for this reunion at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney and the Palais Theatre in Melbourne in April 2014.
- Hunters and Collectors (White Label L42002, 26 July 1982) AUS No. 21, NZ No. 14
- The Fireman's Curse (White Label L38066, 6 September 1983) AUS No. 77, NZ No. 46
- The Jaws of Life (White Label L38222, 6 August 1984) AUS No. 89, NZ No. 37
- Human Frailty (White Label RML53205, 7 April 1986) AUS No. 10, NZ No. 5
- What's a Few Men? (White Label RML53253, 16 November 1987) AUS No. 16, NZ No. 9
- Fate (White Label D30455, 1988) [international version of What's a Few Men?]
- Ghost Nation (White Label TVD93314, November 1989) AUS No. 10, NZ No. 29
- Cut (White Label TVD93364, 6 October 1992) AUS No. 6, NZ No. 17
- Demon Flower (White Label TVD93401, 16 May 1994) AUS No. 2, NZ No. 9
- Juggernaut (White Label MUSH33081.2, 26 January 1998) AUS No. 36, NZ No. 48
- World of Stone (January 1982) AUS No. 50
- Payload (White Label X14002, December 1982) NZ No. 31
- Living Daylight (April 1987) AUS No. 41, NZ No. 25
- The Way to Go Out (CD, video, DVD) (White Label L27148, 6 May 1985) AUS No. 76, NZ No. 21
- Living ... In Large Rooms and Lounges (White Label D98017, 27 November 1995) AUS No. 45
- Under One Roof (live) (White Label MUSH33176.2, 11 November 1998)
- Hunters & Collectors - Greatest Hits Live (live) (Liberation Music 0401047, 3 June 2011)
- Collected Works (CD, video) (White Label TVD93338, 19 November 1990) AUS No. 6, NZ No. 26
- Natural Selection (CD, 2CD, DVD) (Liberation BLUE034.5, 13 October 2003) AUS No. 40
- Mutations (CD) (Liberation BLUE027.2, 2005) [B-Sides and Rarities album]
- Horn Of Plenty ltd. ed. box set (14 CDs + 2 DVDs) (Liberation HUNTERSBOX, 2008)
|Year||Title||Chart peak positions||Album|
|1982||"World of Stone"||50||—||World of Stone EP|
|"Talking to a Stranger"||59||—||Hunters & Collectors|
|"Lumps of Lead"||—||—||Payload EP|
|1983||"Judas Sheep"||—||35||The Fireman's Curse|
|1984||"Betty's Worry or the Slab"||—||—||The Jaws of Life|
|"Throw Your Arms Around Me"||—||28||single-only release[nb 1]|
|1986||"Say Goodbye"||24||20||—||Human Frailty[nb 2]|
|"Throw Your Arms Around Me"[nb 1]||49||—||—|
|"Everything's on Fire"||78||44||—|
|"Is There Anybody in There?"||—||41||—|
|1987||"Inside a Fireball"||41||—||—||Living Daylight EP|
|"Do You See What I See?"||33||13||—||What's a Few Men?[nb 3]|
|1988||"Still Hangin' 'Round"||—||48||—|
|"Back on the Breadline"||41||—||6|
|1989||"When the River Runs Dry"||23||41||5||Ghost Nation|
|"The Way You Live"||75||—||—|
|"Love All Over Again"||—||—||—|
|"Throw Your Arms Around Me"[nb 1]||34||—||—||Collected Works|
|1991||"Where Do You Go?"||33||49||—||Cut|
|1992||"Head Above Water"||64||—||—|
|"We the People"||70||36||—|
|"True Tears of Joy"||14||47||—|
|"Back in the Hole"||—||—||—|
|"Drop in the Ocean"||—||—||—|
|1995||"The One and Only You"||—||—||—|
|1998||"Suit Your Style"||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.|
Band member timeline
- "Throw Your Arms Around Me" was recorded in several different versions, the first was a 1984 live recording released as a single-only, the next single version was released in 1986 from Human Frailty and the third single version was released in 1990 from Collected Works.
- Human Frailty and its related singles were the first North American releases under I.R.S. Records.
- What's a Few Men? was released in Australia in November 1987 by White Label/Mushroom Records. It was released in North America under I.R.S. Records as Fate in September 1988 with a different track order and included new tracks, such as "Back on the Breadline" which was released as a single. The 2003 version of What's a Few Men? contained all 15 tracks from the two 1980s versions.
- Liner notes from album releases, in particular Mark Seymour's notes on the Natural Selection and Unnatural Selection compilations.
- McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Hunters & Collectors'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 25 November 2008.
- Holmgren, Magnus; Warnqvist, Stefan; Bamford, Alan. "Hunters and Collectors". Australian Rock Database. Passagen.se (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Ed Nimmervoll (ed.). "Hunters and Collectors". HowlSpace – The Living History of Our Music. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
- "Hunters & Collectors discography". Australian Charts Portal. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
- Seymour, Mark (2008). Thirteen Tonne Theory: Life Inside Hunters and Collectors. Melbourne, Vic.: Penguin Group Australia. ISBN 978-0-670-07165-4.
- Webb, Carolyn (1 March 2008). "How one curry might have cost a Melbourne band superstar status". The Age. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
- Clinton Walker, ed. (1 September 2005) . Inner City Sound, Punk and Post-Punk in Australia, 1976-85. Australia: Verse Chorus Press. ISBN 978-0-909331-48-1.
- "1989 Hottest 100". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- "1990 Hottest 100". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- "1991 Hottest 100". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- "Hunters & Collectors > Charts & Awards > Billboard singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- Kruger, Debbie (2 May 2001). "The songs that resonate through the years" (PDF). APRA. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- "ARIA 2008 Hall of Fame inductees listing". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- "Winners by Award: Hall of Fame". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- "2005 19th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- Zuel, Bernard (18 July 2005). "Respect, at last, for yesterday's heroes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
- Roberts, Jo (14 July 2005). "Hunners still on a roll". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
- Pascuzzi, Carmine (July 2005). "The ARIA Icons: Hall of Fame event in Melbourne". Mediasearch. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
- Brumby, John (24 February 2009). "Artists Unite For 'Sound Relief' Bushfire Benefit - Premier of Victoria, Australia". Premier of Victoria. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
- Mitchell, Geraldine (24 February 2009). "Coldplay, Kings of Leon to headline bushfire relief concerts". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd). Retrieved 25 February 2009.[dead link]
- "Latest News". Sound Relief. Retrieved 25 February 2009.[dead link]
- http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/news/36540/Hunters-Collectors-tribute-album-tracklist-revealed Faster Louder. Retrieved 20 August 2013
- http://brucespringsteen.net/news/2013/march-2014-dates-added-in-australianew-zealand The Official Bruce Springsteen Website. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- http://humanfrailty.com.au/?p=2400 True Believers - semi-official fan site. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- "Hunters & Collectors discography". NZ Charts Portal. Retrieved 29 November 2008.