THE EASTERN DARK – “Girls On The Beach (With Cars)” 2xLP, Waterfront Records, 1990

The Eastern Dark’s “Julie Is A Junkie / Johnny & Dee Dee” single released on Waterfront Records in 1985 was an instant cult classic. True story. The power pop anthems that singer / guitarist James Darroch was writing instantly gave the listener confirmation that he was a songwriter way ahead of his time. The Eastern Dark, I believe, could have easily become one of the biggest bands in Australian rock history if the horrific crash that unfortunately claimed the life of the 26 year old singer were to have somehow been avoided. May he rest in peace. His music will live on forever though and that is somewhat comforting to know. Their EP on Waterfront Records titled “Long Live The New Flesh” contains songs that sound as fresh today as they did 24 years ago when they were released to the public. Just listen to instant classics like “I Don’t Need The Reasons” or “No Pictures”. James Darroch was on to something. Those songs are simply amazing as is everything else he wrote.

I found this double LP in a box of records that this guy I knew was going to take to a record fair. He had it sitting there, in mint condition, collecting dust. I had been searching for it and I asked him how much he wanted for it and he advised me he was looking at $25 for it. I snapped it up immediately and took this treasure home and span it with excitement. This collection is all live recordings except for 2 home demos on side 3 and the records were pressed on nice thick blue vinyl. Some of this record has been re-issued on CD with the band’s studio recordings on the Half A Cow label under the title “Where Are All The Single Girls?” As this CD doesn’t feature all of these tracks (I am guessing due to the fact some of these songs are covers and the label didn’t wish to pay the royalties?), to hear this entire record, you will need to find this gem. I am unsure of the amount pressed (I am guessing somewhere around 1000 copies but don’t quote me on it) and I have never seen it on eBay so happy hunting. Record fairs would probably be your best way of finding it.

Record 1 track listing:

Side 1:
C&W Metal
Johnny & Dee Dee
Confrontation Time
Sacrifice Of Will
The President Is Dead

Groove message: “Piss Off, Postie”

Side 2:
Julie Is A Junkie
I Don’t Take LSD
Stay Sane Somehow
Used To Death

Record 2 track listing:

Side 3:
Stay Alone
Mr. Clean

Groove message: “Fun And Festivities (And Sins Of The Flesh)”

Side 4:
I Wanna Destroy You
Bad Times
And Then The Rain
Wish She Were Mine
Stompin’ All Over The World
Silly Girl

Groove message: “No! No! You Wait Here, I’ll Go To The Bar”

The band:
James Darroch – Electric & Acoustic Guitars & Vocals
Bill Gibson – Bass and Acoustic Guitars, Piano & Vocals
Geoff Milne – Drums & Percussion

To buy a copy of the CD version of “Where Are All The Single Girls”, click here.

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2 Responses to THE EASTERN DARK

  1. Nic Dalton says:

    Great review.

    Just to clarify: “As this CD doesn’t feature all of these tracks (I am guessing due to the fact some of these songs are covers and the label didn’t wish to pay the royalties?)”

    We left off the other tracks for a few reasons – they wouldn’t all fit on the cd, only wanted the original compositions on it, and ummed-and-ahhed about putting the live Johnny/Julie on the cd. Did talk about doing a second cd of live stuff. Maybe we will!
    Nothing to do with royalties – songwriting royalties are paid, whether original or covers.

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