The Easybeats

Friends

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Originally released in 1969, Friends, The Easybeats' last album, was a curiously half-baked and deflated affair, despite some interesting moments. The Australian group's trademark peppiness gave way to a world-weary tone, perhaps as a result of their roller-coaster ride through near-Beatles-like fame in their native land and limited success elsewhere. Apparently much of this collection was actually half-finished demos, which accounts for the fairly sparse feel on several tracks. The least successful songs are the forced rock & roll boogies, with overwrought vocals from lead singer Stevie Wright. The more pensive tracks, like the title tune, have an oddly compelling, hollow feel of resignation bordering on gloom that starkly contrasts with their more well-known mid-'60s material. The Harry Vanda/George Young songwriting team wrote all of the album's songs, including the group's final single, "St. Louis."

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