Coloured Balls

Ball Power

Image of Coloured Balls - Ball Power
Record Label
Sing Sing

About this item

emerge from the early 70s Australian scene. Sure, The Saints and Radio Birdman stayed together longer and released a slew of fine albums during the punk era but it was the Coloured Balls who pioneered the proto punk sound earlier in the decade. Their wildcard was Lobby Loyde, Australia’s premier guitar hero whose pivotal roles in beat/psych/blues rock groups The Purple Hearts, The Wild Cherries and Billy Thorpe’s Aztecs made him a major home-grown star down under. Ball Power is full of raw, hard guitar rock and proto-punk. It's not only the Coloured Balls’ greatest album but also the finest music of Lobby Loyde’s long, fabled career. (Rising Storm) I'll state my case upfront – Coloured Balls' Ball Power has been a long-time favourite and unquestionably among my Top 10 Australian albums of all time. In some ways, it's difficult to convey just how significant this record is in the pantheon of Aussie hard rock.

By the early 1970s, the "Scream Years" of Australian pop music had subsided and new, louder, heavier bands were stripping away old inhibitions and going back to their roots in order to look to the future. Ball Power appeared in December 1973 as the local scene was truly starting to find its own identity. Nonetheless the Balls' brand of heavy rock and cosmic blues was harder, faster and more influential than anything else that year. There was much passion, integrity, aggression and experimentation all rolled into one driving focus and flying in the face of mainstream conformity. Local guitar god Lobby Loyde was in scintillating form throughout, his heavy riffs and blinding leads particularly tasty. And I love the way the rest of the band responded in kind, rocking hard and steady in the manner of the MC5 or the Pink Fairies. The songs are all excellent in their own way, yet 'Human Being' in particular remains a defining moment in the history of Aussie rock and one of the most powerful performances of the day. It also poses the crucial existential question: "Mama, what is a human being?" Irrespective of the existentialist angle, however, this is hard edged progressive rock bursting with street-level, proto-punk energy; surely one of the great power drive trips of all time. The marriage of melodic toughness and electric blues guitar crunch goes a long way in validating this record's true greatness. No wonder the band called it Ball Power...

So for now, listen to this prime slice of Aussie rock with unbiased ears and be prepared for an aural treat. The sound is phenomenal, and short of a complete in-concert recording of the band in full flight it provides vast insight into the Coloured Balls' enduring power. Ian McFarlane (Author of The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop, pub. 1999) . Deluxe vinyl cut, super heavy tip on textured gatefold sleeve, this is essential for any fan of guitar music!

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