Chocolate Starfish

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Chocolate Starfish
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Rock
Years active 1992 (1992)–1998 (1998), 2010 (2010)–present
Labels EMI, Virgin
Associated acts Roxus, Pseudo Echo
Website chocolatestarfish.com.au
Members Norman Falvo
Adam Thompson
John "Stone" Nixon
Darren Danielson
Past members Craig Harnath
Bruce Pawsey
Zoran Romic
Tim Rosewarne

Chocolate Starfish are an Australian rock music group formed in 1992 before disbanding in 1998. By March 1993 the line-up was Zoran Romic on lead guitar, Adam Thompson on lead vocals, Darren Danielson on drums, Norman Falvo on keyboards and backing vocals and John "Stone" Nixon on bass guitar. Their self-titled debut album was issued in April 1994, which peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It was followed in October 1995 by their second album, Box, which reached No. 6. Their highest charting single, "You're So Vain", was a cover version of Carly Simon's 1972 hit. It appeared at No. 11 on the ARIA Singles Chart in September 1993. They had another hit with "Mountain" in March 1994, which reached No. 12. The group reformed in 2010, but on 31 March 2012 Romic died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma after remission from an earlier bout. The group continued and from January to March 2013 performed on the Red Hot Summer Tour alongside Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss and Dragon.

History[edit]

Chocolate Starfish were founded in Melbourne in early 1992 with Norman Falvo on keyboards and vocals; Craig Harnath on bass guitar (ex-Kids in the Kitchen, Gravity); Bruce Pawsey (Battle Happy, Kate Ceberano and the Ministry of Fun) on drums; Zoran Romic on guitar and vocals (Gravity); and Adam Thompson on lead vocals (Show of Hands, Gravity). Chocolate Starfish was a great collaboration in music writing by Romic/Thompson with input from other band members towards all songs from the Albums and EP. The band also played a limited number of shows with a comical country based theme under the name of "The Hodads" at the Station Hotel. [1] Thompson had moved to Melbourne from Tallygaroopna, and remained the only original member until the band's demise. Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, described him as an "entertaining frontman who lent the music an air of much-needed theatricality and melodrama".[1] Other early members were Brett Kingman (James Reyne) on guitar and John Justin.[2]

In March 1993 Chocolate Starfish issued an extended play, Seafood.[1][2] By that time ex-Roxus members John "Stone" Nixon and Darren Danielson replaced Harnath on bass guitar and Pawsey on drums, respectively.[1][2] In August they released their debut single – a cover version of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" – which reached No. 11 on the ARIA Singles Chart.[3] Their second single, "All Over Me" (October), reached the Top 40; while their third single, "Mountain", peaked at No. 12 in March 1994.[3] A translated cover version of the song, "Brane srušit ću sve" by "Prljavo kazalište", reached top 10 in Croatia.[citation needed]

Their debut album, Chocolate Starfish, was released in April 1994, which reached No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified platinum.[1][3] It was produced by Pseudo Echo front man, Brian Canham, for EMI Music Australia.[1][2] The album appeared in the top 40 on the ARIA End of Year Charts.[4] McFarlane felt the album "showcased the band's confident and punchy, if overwrought, delivery".[1] Falvo left the group at the end of 1994 and Tim Rosewarne replaced him on keyboards for the second album, Box (October 1995), which reached No. 6.[2][3] This was mixed by Thom Panunzio (U2, Soundgarden) and produced by Canham for Virgin Records.[1][2] McFarlane felt it was similar to their debut album and "mixed strong vocals with grungy riffs, anthemic choruses with moody ballads, and accessible 1970s-influenced rock with tight 1990s production values".[1] In 1997 Danielson left and the group relocated to Paris for six months;[5] they disbanded by 1998. In 1997 Danielson and Canham formed a band, Brill, which released one self-titled album independently.[1][6] In 1998 Romic joined Brill.[6] When Canham re-formed Pseudo Echo in 1999, he recruited Danielson to play drums. In the following years, Romic and Danielson formed The Fur Group and Fur Records in Melbourne with successful bands such as Skybombers.

In 2010 Chocolate Starfish reformed with a line-up of Danielson, Falvo, Nixon, Romic and Thompson.[7][8] They started work on new studio material, however a planned concert tour was cancelled when Romic was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March 2011.[7] A benefit concert was held for Romic in October 2011 – at which he performed with Chocolate Starfish – and on 31 March 2012 he died of the cancer.[7][9] The band continued after Romic's death and from January to March 2013 they played on the Red Hot Summer Tour alongside Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss and Dragon.[10][11] For the tour they used Tim Henwood (The Androids, The Superjesus) on guitar.[11]

In October 2014, the group released a self-produced rock EP titled Primative. Drummer Daniel Danielson said "It's a little from where we left off in the 90s. I'd like to think that we still have that energy that we had back in the day." [12] On 31 October 2014, the group performed a one-off performance of Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album from start to finish.[13] In March 2015, the band released their first new single in almost 20 years, titled "Cinderella". All proceeds from the sale of the song were donated to the Jaime Wild Foundation in support for Jamie, who is a young woman challenged by motor neurone disease. [14]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
AUS
[15]
Chocolate Starfish
  • Released: April 1994
  • Label: EMI (8293542)
  • Formats: CD, cassette
2
Box
  • Released: October 1995
  • Label: Virgin (8146142)
  • Formats: CD, cassette
6
Born Again Versions
  • Released: March 2014
  • Acoustic album
  • Label: Chocolate Starfish
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Seafood
  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Fable/EMI
  • Format: CD
Primitive[17]
  • Released: 24 October 2014
  • Label: Chocolate Starfish
  • Format: Digital download

Singles[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions Certifications Album
AUS
[18][19]
NZ
[20]
1993 "You're So Vain" 11 29
  • AUS: Gold
Chocolate Starfish
"All Over Me" 33
1994 "Mountain" 12
  • AUS: Gold
"Four Letter Word" 41
"Sign of Victory"
1995 "Accidentally Cool" 39 Box
"April the Fool" 45
"Motherless" 67
1996 "Holy Water"
2015 "Cinderella"[21] Non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j McFarlane, 'Chocolate Starfish' entry. Archived from the original on 23 August 2004. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Holmgren, Magnus. "Chocolate Starfish". Australian Rock Database. Passagen (Magnus Holmgren). Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Hung, Steffen. "Discography – Chocoalate Starfish". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 50 Albums 1994". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Chocolate Starfish". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus; McAlister, Karen; Velardi, Porzia. "Brill". Australian Rock Database. Passagen (Magnus Holmgren). Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c "Cancer Takes Chocolate Starfish Guitarist Zoran Romic". Herald Sun. Herald and Weekly Times (News Limited (News Corporation)). 1 April 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bio". Chocoalte Starfish Official Website. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Cashmere, Paul (31 March 2012). "Rest in Peace Zoran Romic of Chocolate Starfish". Noise11. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Young, Kane (7 February 2013). "Hot Chocolate". The Mercury. News Limited (News Corporation). Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Brogden, Cameron (10 January 2013). "Chocolate Starfish". Forte Magazine. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Age no barrier for 90s band Chocolate Starfish". Daily Mercury. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "Chocolate Starfish Make Bat Out of Hell Their Own". noise11. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "The Freak Show & Chocolate Starfish @ Morrisons Winery Moama – Jan 2016". Pretty Little Freak. April 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  15. ^ "Discography Chocolate Starfish". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  16. ^ "1994 ARIA ALBUMS CHART". ARIA. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  17. ^ "Primitive by Chocolate Starfish". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  18. ^ "Chocolate Starfish Discography (Australia)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  19. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  20. ^ "Chocolate Starfish Discography (New Zealand)". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  21. ^ "Cinderella - single". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 

Works cited

External links[edit]