|Also known as||Rockies|
|Genres||Pop, Electronica, R&B|
|Labels||Phantom, Festival, True Tone, Mushroom|
|Associated acts||Peter Blakeley, GANGgajang, Deni Hines, Wendy Matthews|
|Past members||Vincent Dale
Rockmelons, often referred to as the Rockies, are an Australian Pop/Dance/R&B group formed in 1983 in Sydney. They are based around Byron Jones, his brother Jonathon Jones and Raymond Medhurst. They had two Top Five hit singles in the early 1990s with "Ain't No Sunshine" and "That Word (L.O.V.E.)", both sung by Deni Hines. The associated album, Form I Planet, peaked at number 3 on the albums chart in 1992.
The group concept was formed in 1983 at a warehouse party in Sydney when Raymond Medhurst (keyboards) wanted a band to perform for a private party. He contacted the Jones brothers Byron (keyboards, bass guitar, backing vocals) and Jonathon (keyboards, guitar, drums) (both ex-Les Ukuleles, No Heavy Lifting), they asked Medhurst's schoolmate, Vincent Dale (keyboards) (ex-Ish with Byron Jones) to join.
Tales of the City
Sandi Chick (lead vocals) and Peter Kennard (guitar, percussion) entered in late 1983 and were followed closely by Geoffrey Stapleton (keyboards, guitar, percussion) (later in GANGgajang) in early 1984. Stapleton had worked with the Jones brothers when they were in Les Ukeleles and No Heavy Lifting by recording their songs. Vocalists Peter Blakeley and John Kenny (known to Stapleton in Adelaide) were brought in and with Stephen Allkins (operated turntables at gigs) made them a ten-piece. First single "Time Out (For Serious Fun)" was released on Phantom Records (4 February 1985) and had lead vocals by Chick. The second single "Sweat It Out" had vocals by Blakeley on True Tone (1986). Chick and Stapleton left that year. Third single "Rhymes" (1987) had vocals by John Kenny. Blakeley left in 1987 to go solo and had a #3 hit with "Crying in the Chapel" (not the Elvis Presley song) in 1990.
1987 also saw the arrival of Mary Azzopardi (backing vocals) and Wendy Matthews (vocals). The pattern of using different vocalists continued for their first album, Tales of the City (1988). Matthews left to have chart success with the band Absent Friends: a #4 single "I Don't Want to Be with Nobody but You" (1989) and with her solo career including number 2 in 1992 with "The Day You Went Away".
Rockmelons shared an ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist - Album in 1989 for their debut Tales of the City (with 1927's album ...ish). The album peaked at number 6 on the Australian charts. By 1990 the Rockmelons were down to Medhurst and the Jones brothers after all others including founding member Dale had left.
Form 1 Planet
In 1991, Rockmelons recruited vocalist Deni Hines and recorded their cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" which reached #5 that year. Their follow-up single "That Word (L.O.V.E.)" (written by B. Jones, J. Jones, Medhurst and Robin Smith) reached #4. By 1992, Doug Williams had joined as a vocalist whilet Hines left to have success as a solo artist: number 4 single "It's Alright" (1995). Rockmelons were nominated for ARIA Album of the Year award in 1993 for Form 1 Planet, which debuted at number 3 in August.
On Rockies 3 (2002), Rockmelons used eight different vocalists. Jeremy Gregory's "All I Want Is You" was nominated for 2003 APRA Most Performed Dance Work. Other vocalist were: Roxane LeBrasse, Darren Paul, Doug Williams, Emma Morton, Connie Mitchell, Sydney Bouchaniche, and Evelyn Rubuen.
The song "All I Want is You" was once used on Seven Network idents aired throughout 2002.
Collectively the trio of Medhurst, B. Jones and J. Jones (as Rockmelons) have produced (or co-produced): Tales of the City (with Robin Smith), Form 1 Planet (with Smith and Donovan Germain) and Rockies 3 for their own group. Time of Our Lives for Marcia Hines. "Hook me up" and "Let it Whip" for CDB; No Commandments for Kaylan; two tracks for Disco Montego for Disco Montego (aka Kaylan). Other artists the Rockmelons have produced for include Sophie Monk.
- Tales of the City - True Tone Records (May 1988) #6 AUS
- Form 1 Planet - Mushroom Records (July 1992) #2 or #3AUS, #14 NZ
- Rockies 3 - Festival Records (October 2002)
|Year||Title||Lead vocalist||ARIA chart position||Album|
|1985||"Time Out (For Serious Fun)"||Sandi Chick||N/A||-|
|"Sweat It Out"||Peter Blakeley||N/A||-|
|1987||"Rhymes"||John Kenny||N/A||Tales of the City|
|1988||"What's It Gonna Be"||N/A|
|"Dreams in the Empty City"||John Kenny||N/A|
|1991||"Ain't No Sunshine"||Deni Hines||5||Form 1 Planet|
|1992||"That Word (L.O.V.E.)"||4|
|"It's Not Over"||15|
|"Stronger Together"||Doug Williams||-|
|"Love's Gonna Bring You Home"||-|
|1993||"Form One Planet"||Eric Sebastian||-|
|2002||"All I Want Is You"||Jeremy Gregory||41||Rockies 3|
|"I Ain't Playin'"||Roxane LeBrasse||79|
|"Police Woman 2002" (with Groove Quantize)||N/A||-||-|
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