Scrapped 2nd album for United Artist Records
During mid 1967 the band were working on the follow-up to their Good Friday album with producer Glyn Johns at Olympic Recording Studios. According to John Tait's book Vanda & Young: Inside Australia's Hit factory, the album was to be titled Good Times. However, due to legal issues between the band and its Australian production company Albert Productions, that album was permanently shelved. Some of the surviving tracks ("Good Times", "Land of Make Believe"), as well as newly recorded ones, would be used on what was now titled Vigil (so titled as tribute to the fans who held vigil for the album's long release). Other songs from the original Good Times album would eventually be released on The Shame Just Drained compilation in 1977.
Work continued on recordings after the band returned from their US tour in September 1967. During this period, the group worked with arrangers Bill Shepherd and Alan Tew. In late 1967, they released two singles that would later appear on the released album: "Falling off the Edge of the World" in the US and "The Music Goes Round My Head"/"Come in You'll Get Pneumonia" in the UK. Their next single "Hello, How Are You" marked a change in musical direction for the group with its soft pop/adult contemporary sound. The song reached #20 in the UK Charts in March 1968. However, the band have always felt the change in sound might have hurt their standing with the public. The song's co-writer, George Young, later reflected in Rolling Stone Australia: "The people in the industry dig it and it skidded in and out of the Top 20. But it was a classic mistake from our point of view. We were a rock 'n' roll band and what was a rock band doing with this corn-ball, schmaltz shit? We shouldn't have done that".
The album was titled Vigil, due to the long wait fans had since their last album Good Friday. It was not a commercially or critically successful album. Reviews from the time were mixed. Disc and Music Echo commented: "They have a good habit of selecting good numbers. You'll find many of them on this album. Sometimes their vocalizing gets a bit strained but their interesting orchestrations are strong on excitement.". In a modern review from All Music, Bruce Eder wrote: "There's a real sense of simply going through the motions of making music, and no originality to speak of on most of the songs".Vigil would be last the band would record for United Artists Records. The UK/European version was later reissued by Repertoire Records and featured ten bonus tracks.
"The Music Goes Round My Head"/"Come In You'll Get Pneumonia"
Released: December 1967
"Hello, How Are You"/"Falling Off The Edge Of The World"
Released: March 1968
"Good Times"/"Land Of Make Believe"
Released: 18 July 1968
Unlike the Good Friday album, Vigil did receive an official release in the band's home country Australia. The Australian version would have the cover songs "Can't Take My Eye's Off of You", "Hit The Road Jack" and "I Can't Stand It" removed and "Bring a Little Lovin'" added. The track order would also be radically different from the UK release. It was released in 1968 through Albert Productions/Parlophone. The album was only released in mono, as stereo was still not common place for locally produced records.
In New Zealand, the album was also released though Albert Productions/Parlophone, but the UK track order was kept and a stereo version was released.
Like the UK album, the Australian release was neither a commercial or critical success. Along with The Best of The Easybeats Volume 2, the Australian version of Vigil was not reissued on compact disc by Albert Productions in the 1980s and 1990s.
The North American version of Vigil was re-titled Falling Off The Edge Of The World and issued in October 1968 with a different album cover and running order from the UK release. This version was pared down to 12 songs from 14, omitting "Sha La La" and "We All Live Happily Together". A different recording of the title track (known as the "second version") replaced the more common version from the Australian and UK/European releases. This version of the album has also been released on CD, paired with Friday On My Mind on the Collectables label.