Friday, February 10, 2012

Easybeats -- "Friday On My Mind" (1966)

Wednesday just don't go
Thursday goes too slow
I've got Friday on my mind

The Easybeats were the most successful Australian pop group of the 1960s.  "Easyfever," the intense fan hysteria that characterized their public appearances in Australia, was the Down Under equivalent of "Beatlemania."   

None of the Easybeats were Australian natives.  Two members of the group were the children of English immigrants, and another was the son of a family that migrated to Australia from Scotland.  The other two band members were the sons of Dutch immigrants.

After releasing a string of Australian hits in 1965 and 1966, the Easybeats traveled to London to record at Abbey Road Studios.  "Friday On My Mind" was one of the tracks from that recording session.  It was a #1 hit in Australia, and reached #6 and #16 on the British and American charts, respectively.  (Their producer, Shel Talmy, also produced the Who's "My Generation" and a number of the Kinks' singles.)

David Bowie covered "Friday On My Mind" on his 1973 album, Pin Ups, which also included cover versions of hits by the Who ("I Can't Explain"), the Kinks ("Where Have All the Good Times Gone?"), the Yardbirds ("Shapes of Things"), Pink Floyd ("See Emily Play"), and other British groups.  I bought the album, and I can't say that any of Bowie's covers were nearly as good as the originals.

"Friday On My Mind" was written by the Easybeats' rhythm guitarist, George Young, and its lead guitarist, Harry Vanda.  Most of the group's early hits were authored by Young and lead singer Stevie Wright -- Vanda was born in the Netherlands, and his English was not very good when the Easybeats were formed.

Young and the multilingual Vanda continued to write songs after the Easybeats broke up, and also became very successful record producers.  George Young's younger brothers Angus and Malcolm formed AC/DC in 1973, and that group's early albums were produced by big brother George and Harry Vanda. 

In 2001, "Friday On My Mind" was voted "Best Australian Song" of all time by a music industry group.  In 2007, Australian Musician magazine said that the 1964 meeting between Young and Vanda in a hostel for migrants in Sydney was the most significant event in Australian pop music history.   

Here's "Friday On My Mind":

Here's a live television performance of the song:

You can use this link to buy the song from Amazon:

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