Sunday, December 4, 2011

He's Gonna Step On You Again - The Party Boys

The Party Boys
(J. Kongos, C. Demetriou) CBS 650906 7


Chart Entry: 8th June, 1987
Highest Position: #1
Points: 102,385
From the album "The Party Boys".


John Kongos' 1971 top ten hit, "He's Gonna Step On You Again", was always going to take the charts by storm in 1987, somehow. The song was slated to be John Paul Young's comeback hit, but a recording never took place. Instead, three Australian bands delivered their interpretations, Exploding White White as the b-side to their "Blaze Of Glory" single, soapie collective the Chantoozies, who made it to #36 with their version, and The Party Boys, hitting #1 in July of that year, and holding for two weeks.

The Party Boys started with ex-Mondo Rock bass player, Paul Christie who set up the "supergroup" as a means of employment during downtime of their usual ventures. Some of the biggest names of the Australian music scene spent time in the group, lead by James Reyne (1982-82), Richard Clapton (1983), Shirley Strachan (1983-84), Marc Hunter (1984-85), Angry Anderson (1986) and John "Swanee" Swan in 1987. The invitation also extended beyond our shores with international artists Joe Walsh, Alan Lancaster, Eric Burdon and Graham Bonnett (the latter two taking over vocal duties from John Swan after he retired from the group).

The Party Boys had a strict policy to perform cover songs only, releasing four live albums worth of material along the way with moderate success. They hit the top ten early in their career with the album Live At Several 21st's (1983, #9), and continued throughout the 80's with Greatest Hits (Of Other People) (1983, #25), No Song Too Sacred (1984, #61) and You Need Professional Help (1985, #96). With John Swan at the helm, it was time to take The Party Boys into the studio to cut an album featuring covers previously recorded by the likes of AC/DC, Argent, Them and The Angels. They also broke their "covers" rule by contributing four originals to the set. The self-titled album put The Party Boys back inside the Top 20 on the albums chart, peaking at #24 and spending almost half a year in the Top 100.

The Party Boys' singles account couldn't have been any worse than it was. 1983's "Bitch" was their only chart entry, and it only made it to #100 for just one week. That's better than nothing, I guess. The six members of the 1987 incarnation, John Swan, Paul Christie, Kevin Borich (La De Das), Richard Harvey (Divinyls), John Brewster (The Angels) and Alan Lancaster (Status Quo) had all tasted top ten success on the Australian charts with their previous bands, but "He's Gonna Step On You Again" gave six careers a new highlight when it hit #1, the complete opposite to The Party Boys' previous singles chart entry.

The Party Boys went back to relative obscurity after their amazing year, the international talents of Eric Burdon and Graham Bonnett giving the band a couple of minor hits before the whole project folded in 1992. But just as this whole thing started as a bit of fun for the cream of the Australian music scene, it could never really die as long as Australian music existed. Paul Christie revived The Party Boys in 1999 for a series of live concerts, and Kevin Borich's Party Boyz Tour featuring John Swan and Angry Anderson, performed a New Year's gig to see in 2011, continuing a string of shows through January at various RSL clubs.


Chart Run:
(26 weeks) (Australian Music Report)

No comments:

Post a Comment