Jon Stevens

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Jon Stevens

Jon Stevens (born 8 October 1962) is a New Zealand-born Australian singer of Māori descent. Stevens is the brother of New Zealand Idol judge, Frankie Stevens. He is best known for his work with Noiseworks and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Biography[edit]

1980-1986: career beginnings and Jezebel[edit]

Stevens was born in Upper Hutt, New Zealand where he used to play rugby league.[1] He formed his first band while at Heretaunga College.[2] Stevens released his debut studio album Jezebel on CBS Records in 1980. It peaked at number 7 on the New Zealand charts and was certified Gold. He moved to Australia in 1981 and subsequently became an Australian citizen.[3] In 1982, a self-titled album was released, but was not successful. In 1983, Stevens formed the band The Change with guitarist Stuart Fraser. Over the next few years, additional members were added before renaming themselves as Noiseworks in 1986.

1986-1992: Noiseworks and Jesus Christ Superstar[edit]

In 1986, Stevens became the lead singer of the of the Sydney band Noiseworks. The band released three platinum studio albums between 1987 and 1991, with a greatest hits released in 1992. The band had three top ten singles across that time, those being "Take Me Back", "Touch" and "Hot Chilli Woman"[4]

In 1992, Stevens played the role of Judas in the Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar. A cast recording album was released in July 1992, which peaked at number 1 and was the highest selling album in Australian in 1992. [5]

1993-1999: Solo work - Are U Satisfied and Circle[edit]

Main article: Are U Satisfied

In 1993, Stevens signed with Columbia Records and released his third solo studio album, Are U Satisfied, which peaked at number 27 on the ARIA Charts. In 1994, Stevens recorded "Don't Knock My Love" with Kate Ceberano for her album Kate Ceberano and Friends.[6] and released "Last One Standing For You" with Black Sorrows and a cover of The Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain" with all proceeds of the song benefitting drought-stricken farmers.[7]

In 1996, Stevens released his fourth studio album, Circle. In 1997 Jon recorded a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Two Tribes". It was also the time in Australia when Rugby League was going through a change with the split to "Super League". Television hosts, Foxtel, decided to use this song as their theme song for the series.[8]

Stevens co-wrote the official song for the Sydney 2000 Olympics Torch Relay, entitled "Carry the Flame", with Barbara Griffin, who arranged the composition.[9]

2000-2003: INXS[edit]

Main article: INXS

From 2000 to 2003, Stevens fronted Australian rock band INXS after the death of their lead singer Michael Hutchence. Stevens toured with the band for a year before he was officially announced as their lead singer in March 2002, prior to a 40-city US tour.[10]

The Stevens-fronted INXS released a song in 2003 called "I Get Up" but he quit the band in October of that year before an album was released.[11][12] Stevens explained in a May 2009 interview that his departure from the band was due to a creative lull:

After 3½ years I'd had enough - the creativity was too slow. I had too much going on with my own stuff and I just said, "No". No need to be going away for months on end, away from home, away from family. It's hard to justify it when you're just playing other people's songs.[13]

2004-2011: Solo work and touring[edit]

In late 2004, Stevens released his fifth studio album, "Ain't No Life For The Faint Hearted", a modern R&B album that features a cover version of The Doors' "Light My Fire".

In 2005, Stevens released "The Works", recorded as part of the Liberation Blue acoustic series, which included tracks from his time in Noiseworks. After a national tour with Ian Moss and Choirboys— "Six Strings & The Works"—he completed a smaller acoustic tour, followed by a short break and an announcement that Noiseworks were preparing to tour again in late September 2007.

After two months on the road across Australia, Stevens took a break. In January 2008, Stevens's management confirmed plans for a massive national tour with Ian Moss, Jack Jones and Tania Doko. The tour was entitled 'Let's Get Together' and was scheduled to begin in Melbourne in April 2008, following Stevens's acoustic tour of regional Victoria with Australian country music singer Adam Brand.

In August 2011, Stevens released a new single "Just a Man" to Australian radio. A seventh solo studio album was released in September 2011 on new record label Universal Music Australia, called Changing Times. On 11 November 2011, a new album of soul music cover versions, called Testify!, was also released.

2012-present: The Dead Daisies and Woman[edit]

Main article: The Dead Daisies

In July 2012, Stevens teamed up with production outfit Silver Sneakerz for a dance remix of Noiseworks' 1988 hit "Touch". It was released on dance label Hussle Recordings (a division of Ministry of Sound).[14] They performed the track live on The X Factor Australia on 30 October 2012. [15]

In 2013, Stevens contributed the song "Fly" for the Planes (film) soundtrack.

Also in 2012, Stevens formed The Dead Daisies with guitarist David Lowy. The two were introduced by David Edwards, ex-manager of INXS[16]

The band's first single was "Lock N Load" featuring Slash, which was released in April 2013. The band's debut album was released in August 2013. In April 2015, the band announced that Stevens was no longer a member of the group. [17]

Stevens signed with Social Family Records and released his ninth studio album titled Woman in September 2015. The album peaked at number 86 on the Australian ARIA Charts.

Causes[edit]

In 2012, Stevens is listed as a supporter of the "Oscar's Law" campaign, together with other publicly known figures. The campaign protests against the factory farming of companion animals and is named after a neglected dog found in central Victoria, Australia. Other notable supporters include Mark McEntee (musician), Mick Molloy (comedian) and the Essendon Football Club (Australian Football League).[18]

Discography[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

Compilations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Cashmere (18 November 2013). "The Dead Daisies". Noise 11. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.sergent.com.au/music/frankiestevens.html
  3. ^ Magazine Editor (28 July 2013). "Jon Stevens & Noiseworks". Awesome Entertainment Magazine. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  4. ^ ABC (27 January 2011). "ABC: Jon Stevens Escorted Off Flight". Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of year Charts top 50 albums 1992". ARIA. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Kate Ceberano – Kate Ceberano & Friends". Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Jon Stevens Band". Saxton. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "Jon Stevens". Sergent. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "2000, English, Printed music edition: Carry the flame / music and lyrics by Barbara Griffin and Jon Stevens. [music] /". National Library of Australia Trove. National Library of Australia. 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Stephanie Marcucci (3 March 2002). "INXS TO TOUR U.S. WITH NEW LEAD SINGER". HOLLYWOOD.COM. HOLLYWOOD.COM, LLC. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "INXS – I Get Up". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Nath Martyn (11 April 2012). "INXS: Keeping It Together". Scene. Eyeball Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "My time with INXS was boring, says singer Jon Stevens". The Daily Telegraph. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Ministry of Sound. "Silver Sneakers Feat. Jon Stevens". Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Top 7 Result Show: Special Guests". The X Factor (Australia). Yahoo!7. Archived from the original on 2012-11-06. 
  16. ^ "INXS, Ex-Managers, Head for Mediation". billboard.com. 20 July 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "The Dead Daisies officially confirm John Corabi as new lead singer". Noise11. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "Home". Oscar's law. Oscar's Law. 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  19. ^ Ryan, Gavin (26 September 2015). "ARIA Albums: Lana Del Rey 'Honeymoon' Tops Australian Chart". Noise11. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 

External links[edit]