The Fireman's Curse

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The Fireman's Curse
Studio album by Hunters & Collectors
Released 5 September 1983 (1983-09-05)
Recorded June–July 1983
Conny’s Studio, Neunkirchen, Germany
Genre Rock
Length 40:04
Label White/Mushroom, Virgin
Producer Konrad Plank, Hunters & Collectors
Hunters & Collectors chronology
Hunters & Collectors
The Fireman's Curse
The Jaws of Life
Singles from Hunters & Collectors
  1. "Judas Sheep"
    Released: August 1983
  2. "Sway"
    Released: November 1983
The Fireman's Curse
1991 version (White Label/Mushroom)

The Fireman's Curse is the second studio album by Australian rock band, Hunters & Collectors, which was released on 5 September 1983. It was co-produced by Konrad Plank and the band in Neunkirchen, Germany. The album peaked at No. 77 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart and No. 46 on the New Zealand Albums Chart. The lead single, "Judas Sheep", was released in August that year but failed to reach the Top 50 on the Australian singles chart, however it peaked into the top 40 in New Zealand.


The Fireman's Curse was prepared in June and July 1983, Hunters & Collectors had decamped from United Kingdom, where they had been based while touring Europe for six months,[1] to Neunkirchen, West Germany. There they recorded their second album, which was co-produced with Konrad 'Conny' Plank (Can, Cluster, Kraftwerk), at Conny’s Studio, with Dave Hutchins engineering. It was released by White Label/Mushroom Records and Virgin Records on 5 September 1983.[2][3]

[Virgin] picked us up because of our commercial potential, because of our image. They saw us as having a groovy tribal funk post-nuclear Mad Max image. In actual reality ... we looked like a football team, like Australian boys. When they heard The Fireman's Curse (the second album), they dropped us because they didn't think it was commercial.

— Mark Seymour (27 April 1986), The Canberra Times[4]

In Seymour's autobiography, Thirteen Tonne Theory: Life Inside Hunters and Collectors (2008), he recalled that their three-record deal with Virgin was broken when he and fellow band members insulted the label's executive, Simon Draper, by telling him that he was "a poncy little blueblood" with no faith in them.[5][6] While in the UK and attempting to enter the local market, the group's members "were doing odd jobs, illegally, to keep afloat and getting steadily more miserable in the process".[7] In the book, Seymour also describes this album as "an unmitigated disaster; an awful collection of tuneless songs full of twisted invective (mine, mostly) and apocalyptic moaning... The whole exercise was excruciatingly juvenile and a tragic waste of what could easily have been an international breakthrough record."[5]

The album did not reach the top 50 in Australia, peaking at No. 77 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart but it did reach No. 46 on the New Zealand Albums Chart.[8][9][10] Its lead single, "Judas Sheep", released in August,[1] reached No. 35 in New Zealand but did not chart in Australia.[8][10] They had supported their releases with an eight-week tour of Australia during August and September.[1] After the second single, "Sway", released in November, failed to chart in both markets,[8][10] the group disbanded briefly.[2][5]

In July 1991 it was re-issued on CD by Mushroom Records and was subsequently re-mastered and re-issued by Liberation Music on 11 August 2003.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[11]

Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, felt The Fireman's Curse was "overly ambitious and cluttered, and generally suffered from a lack of fresh ideas".[2] Fellow music journalist, Mark Dodshon of The Sydney Morning Herald, predicted that it was "a likely winner" with their new material showing "there are no radical departures in musical style".[12]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by John Archer, Geoff Crosby, Doug Falconer, Jack Howard, Robert Miles, Mark Seymour, Michael Waters;[13] unless otherwise indicated.

No. Title Length
1. "Prologue"   0:32
2. "Curse"   5:45
3. "Fish Roar" (Archer, Crosby, Falconer, Martin Lubran, Miles, Greg Perano, Seymour, Michael Waters) 3:17
4. "Blind Snake Sundae" (Archer, Crosby, Falconer, Lubran, Miles, Perano, Seymour, Waters) 6:10
5. "Mr. Right"   3:37
6. "Sway"   5:54
7. "Judas Sheep" (Archer, Crosby, Falconer, Lubran, Miles, Perano, Seymour, Waters) 4:04
8. "Eggheart" (Archer, Crosby, Falconer, Lubran, Miles, Perano, Seymour, Waters) 5:01
9. "Drinking Bomb"   4:49
10. "Epilogue"   0:55


Credited to:[2][3]

Production details

Producer – Konrad Plank, Hunters & Collectors

Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Peak
1982 Australian Albums Chart[8][9] 77
New Zealand Albums Chart[10] 46


  1. ^ a b c Dempsey, Shelley (3 August 1983). "Success bid paying off". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). National Library of Australia. p. 23. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Hunters & Collectors'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus; Warnqvist, Stefan; Bamford, Alan. "Hunters and Collectors". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Sarno, Tony (27 April 1986). "Can INXS Break the International Sound Barrier". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). ACT: National Library of Australia. p. 42. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Seymour, Mark (2008). Thirteen Tonne Theory: Life Inside Hunters and Collectors. Melbourne, Vic: Penguin Group Australia. ISBN 978-0-670-07165-4. 
  6. ^ Webb, Carolyn (1 March 2008). "How one curry might have cost a Melbourne band superstar status". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Export Quality". The Australian. News Corp Australia. 1 March 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d 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.
  9. ^ a b "Hunters & Collectors discography". Australian Charts Portal. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  10. ^ a b c d Hung, Stefan. "Hunters & Collectors discography". New Zealand Charts Portal (Hung Medien). Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Fireman's Curse – Hunters & Collectors". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Dodshon, Mark (17 August 1983). "Fireman's Curse a Likely Winner for the Hunters". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "ACE Title Search". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved 6 April 2014.  Note: User may have to enter details e.g. at 'Titles' enter Prologue/Curse; or at 'Performers' enter Hunters & Collectors