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Beat That

The Purple Hearts

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Even though the Who’s 1979 film Quadrophenia tried to warn kids about the dangers and problems involved with incestuous subcultures like the ‘60s mod movement, nobody took heed. Instead, the film sparked the second wave of mod. Named after a lavender, heart-shaped amphetamine, the Purple Hearts titled the first song on their first album after Quadrophenia’s protagonist. “Jimmy” is an infectious power-pop number with an opening riff similar to the Who’s “I Can’t Explain” where singer Bob Manton croons a one-way conversation with the character while cleverly taking liberties in the lyrics to pen some prequel placed story about Jimmy’s background. With the title track, bass player Jeff Shadbolt endearingly mimics the root-note pedaling of the Jam’s Bruce Foxton while Simon Stebbing’s Rickenbacker jangles like that of a young Pete Townshend. Their cover of “Can’t Help Thinking About Me” by David Jones (who went on to become David Bowie) gets injected with some Buzzcocks inspired angst, while the band’s own “Extraordinary Sensations” picks up on the pop-art freakbeat of bands such as the Creation, the Action and the Smoke.

Biography

Formed: 1965 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '60s

Although the Purple Hearts' legacy is rather slim, amounting to five 1965-1967 singles, the group was one of the very toughest garage/R&B-styled bands on the '60s Australian scene. Like many Australian bands of the era, they were something of a cross between the British R&B/rock groups (like the Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things) and the somewhat less adept American garage bands, though they leaned more in the British R&B direction. And, like some other notable Australian bands, they...
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Beat That, The Purple Hearts
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