The Radiators (Australian band)

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The Radiators
Also known as The Rads
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Pub rock
Years active 1978 (1978)–present
Labels WEA, Powderworks, EMI, Mercury
Associated acts Big Swifty
Website theradiators.com
Members Brian Nichol
Stephen "Fess" Parker
Geoff Turner
Mark Lucas
Past members Brendan Callinan
Chris Tagg
Mick Buckley
Brad Heaney

The Radiators are an Australian pub rock band formed in September 1978. Mainstay members are Brian Nichol on lead vocals and guitar, Stephen "Fess" Parker on lead guitar and Geoff Turner on bass guitar. In 1987 they were joined by Mark Lucas on drums. Their most popular albums are Feel the Heat (March 1980) and Scream of the Real (May 1983), which both peaked in the top 25 of the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. Their best known songs are "Coming Home", "No Tragedy" and "Gimme Head". Rock music historian, Ian McFarlane described the group as "an archetypal, hard-working pub-rock band capable of delivering tightly crafted, well-executed, hard-hitting metal-pop anthems backed by a playful sense of humour. The band toured constantly, racking up over 2500 gigs by the early 1990s".

History[edit]

The Radiators were formed in Western Sydney in September 1978 as a pub rock band with Brendan Callinan on keyboards and vocals, Brian Nichol on lead vocals and guitar, Stephen "Fess" Parker on lead guitar, Chris Tagg on drums and Geoff Turner on bass guitar.[1] Nichol and Parker grew up in Bega where they attended the local high school. They formed a local group, Undecided, and in 1969 they relocated to Sydney.[2] Callinan, Nichol, Parker and Tagg were all ex-members of hard rockers, Big Swifty which had formed in 1975.[1] Turner had been in Twister which had issued two singles in 1977 prior to disbanding.[1] The Radiators signed with WEA Records and issued their debut single, "Comin' Home" in September 1979.[1] It peaked at No. 33 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[3] A second single, "Gimme Head", appeared in February 1980.[1] In March 1980 the group released their first album, Feel the Heat, which was produced by Charles Fisher (Radio Birdman, Ol' 55).[4] They supported the Australian leg of a tour by United Kingdom rock group, The Police.[1]

In 1981 Powderworks Records released "Up for Grabs" in October, which reached the top 40.[1][3] They followed with "Nothing's Changed" in December.[1] The Radiators signed with EMI Records and, in May 1983, issued the album, Scream of the Real, which peaked at No. 15 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart.[1][3] That month its lead single, "No Tragedy" reached the top 30.[1][3] In 1984 they released Life's a Gamble, which became their third platinum album.[1] In June Tagg was replaced on drums by Mick Buckley.[1][4] The group toured constantly, averaging 200 gigs a year and by 1985 had performed an estimated 1500 times, Turner explained, "Your fingers and throat start hurting ... It's a bit of a grind and it seems never-ending... [but] there's nothing else we'd rather do than play rock and roll. I can't imagine life without the Rads".[5]

In late 1986, they signed with Mercury Records and released Nasty Habits in Nice Children in March 1987, which was produced by Peter Blyton (Chain).[1][4] That June, Buckley was replaced on drums by Brad Heaney.[1][4] Heaney was replaced in turn by Mark Lucas and then in 1988 Callinan left without being replaced.[1][4] In January 1989 Heaney was a founding member of hard rock group, The Screaming Jets.[6]

By the early 1990s, the band's "boogie rock" style was outmoded and Turner noted that media referred to their fans as "mindless yobbos from the west".[1][5] However, rock music author, James Cockington, felt "[p]art of their appeal is their refusal to change their style, so that a 1978 gig and a 1998 gig are strangely similar experiences".[5] Further albums include Radiators (October 1993), Stone (September 1995), In the Roar (1997) and Smoke and Mirrors (2000).[1][4] In 2001 veteran Australian guitarist Ted Mulry was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and a series of tribute concerts, Gimme Ted, were organised. The Radiators' performance on 10 March was recorded with seven-tracks issued on a 2× DVD as Gimme Ted – The Ted Mulry Benefit Concerts by Various Artists (2003).[7]

The Radiators appeared in the Countdown Spectacular 2 concert series in Australia between late-August and early-September 2007.[8] They sang two songs including "Comin' Home", which was issued on the associated 3× CD set, Countdown Spectacular Live – Volume Two (2007).

According to the band's website, as of 2008, the line up of Lucas, Nichol, Parker and Turner celebrated the group's 30th anniversary and toured throughout Australia.[9] In June 2009 they performed at the 31st Annual Golden Stave Charity Luncheon at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion.[10] Their best known songs are "Comin' Home", "No Tragedy" and "Gimme Head" (covered in 2004 by Melbourne band, Your Wedding Night). Rock music historian, Ian McFarlane described the group as "an archetypal, hard-working pub-rock band capable of delivering tightly crafted, well-executed, hard-hitting metal-pop anthems backed by a playful sense of humour. The band toured constantly, racking up over 2500 gigs by the early 1990s".[1]

Aside from his work with The Radiators, Lucas has taught drumming since the mid-1980s including students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).[11] As of 2008, Callinan is a sales and marketing manager of Roland Corporation and an executive committee member of Support Act Limited.[12] In May 2008, Buckley was a member of country music group, The Yeehaa Boys – alongside Steve Balbi (Noiseworks) – which issued a self-titled album.[13]

Members[edit]

  • Brendan Callinan – keyboards, vocals (1978–1988)
  • Brian Nichol – lead vocals, guitar (1978–present)
  • Stephen "Fess" Parker – lead guitar (1978–2013)
  • Chris Tagg – drums (1978–1984)
  • Mark Ternan - bass guitar (1978-1986)
  • Geoff Turner – bass guitar (1978–present)
  • Mick Buckley – drums (1984–1987)
  • Brad Heaney – drums (1987)
  • Mark Lucas – drums (1987–present)
  • Brent Dehn - Guitar (2013-present)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album AUS
Peak chart position [3][14]
Certifications
(sales thresholds)[3]
1980 Feel the Heat 22 Platinum
1981 Up for Grabs 29
1983 Scream of the Real 15 Gold
1984 Life's a Gamble 47
1987 Nasty Habits in Nice Children 68
1993 Radiators
1995 Stone
1997 In the Roar
2000 Smoke and Mirrors

Live albums[edit]

Year Album AUS

Peak chart position [3][14]

1988 Gimme... Live 50

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album AUS
Peak chart position
1995 In Their Element
2000 Radiology, the Complete Anthology
2004 25th Anniversary CD

Extended plays[edit]

Year Title AUS
Peak chart position [3][15]
Certifications
(sales thresholds)[3]
1981 You Have the Right to Remain Silent 58 Platinum
1984 Four Grabs
1991 Hard Core
1993 Rock 'n' Roll

Singles[edit]

Year Title AUS
Peak chart position[3][15]
1979 "Comin' Home" 33
1980 "Gimme Head"
Hit And Run/Lonely
1981 "Room Full of Diamonds" 90
"Up for Grabs" 37
"Nothing's Changed"
1983 "No Tragedy" 27
"You" 82
1984 "Revolution" 41
1985 "Life's a Gamble" 47
"A Bit of Pain Never Hurts"
1986 "One Touch" 58
"Bring on the Crazy" 65
1987 "Dreaming" 91
"Love Ain't Love"
1988 "Summer Holiday" (live)
1994 "Ain't That Just Like Me"

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r McFarlane 'The Radiators' entry. Archived from the original on 13 August 2004. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  2. ^ "The boys are back in town". Bega District News (Fairfax Media). 4 January 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0646119176.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Holmgren, Magnus. "The Radiators". Passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Cockington, James (August 2001). "Pub Rock Rules, OK". Long Way to the Top. Sydney, NSW: ABC Books (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). pp. 185–187, 194. ISBN 0-73330-750-7. 
  6. ^ McFarlane 'The Screaming Jets' entry. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  7. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "Gimme Ted – The Ted Mulry Benefit Concerts". Passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Zuel, Bernard (21 August 2007). "Ageing Rockers Show How to Pack a Paunch". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Radiators – 3 Decades of Radiation!". The Radiators Official Website. 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Lunch Day 2009 – The 31st Annual Golden Stave Charity Luncheon!". The Golden Stave. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  11. ^ Taffel, Jacqui (31 August 2006). "Drum Up Support". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Australian Music Association Helps Support Act". Support Act Limited. 30 August 2008. Archived from the original on 12 September 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  13. ^ Jarvis, Susan (May 2008). "The Yeehaa Boys". Capital News (Rural Press Limited. Fairfax Media). Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Ryan (bulion), Gary (8 April 2012). "Albums Pre 1989 Part 2 – Radiators". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Ryan (bulion), Gary (8 April 2012). "Chart Positions Pre 1989 Part 4 – Radiators". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 9 April 2012. 

External links[edit]