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Mars Needs Guitars!

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iTunes Review

While synth-pop groups, hair metal bands, over-the-top divas, American heartland rock, Prince, and Madonna dominated mainstream music in the '80s, left-of-the-dial college radio stations gorged on underground groups that—like R.E.M., their most famous brethren—immersed themselves in the guitar rock 'n' pop of the '60s and '70s. Australia's Hoodoo Gurus were among them and were simply brilliant. Singer/guitarist Dave Faulkner had a knack for catchy melodies that were never cloying. Each of Hoodoo Gurus' early albums featured enough highlights to make them essential listening for anyone curious about the mid-'80s underground/alternative scene. Their debut album, Stoneage Romeos, had featured the U.S. college radio hit "I Want You Back." Mars Needs Guitars, the follow-up, went even deeper, with the sterling "Bittersweet," the cow-punk "Hayride to Hell," and the gorgeously jangly "Show Some Emotion" and "The Other Side of Paradise." The title track is great B-movie fun. "She" turns the sound darker and more psychedelic. A classic.

Customer Reviews

"All my friends are dead or they're dyin'..."

I feel that this is the absolute best of the Hoodoo Gurus albums. Hearing these songs bring back great times and great memories - and I still pop it in and play it loud to this day. Every song on here is excellent. Not to romanticize the past, but music was just so much better at the time this album came out. Much more emotion and soul... This album is in my all time top 10!


Building on a solid foundation from Stoneage Romeos, the Hoodoo Gurus bring their quirky, guitar-driven music to life on this album. I am not a big fan of Show Some Emotion or The Other Side of Paradise, but I love the other songs. Hayride to Hell is a funny play on the 50's moralistic anti-sex tales. Mars Needs Guitars is just solid rock - strong guitars, pounding rhythms, and great lyrics "I'm primitive. I'm a primitive Man. I've got a primitive girl. We make primitive love because we ain't got a TV set." Every time I hear this album it brings back great memories of college. If you like rock with a discernible tune and understandable lyrics, this is a great album.

Good, but not great

Bittersweet certainly brings back great memories of this very good album. Compared to a lot of garbage released at this time, the Hoodoo Gurus shine.


Formed: 1981 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australi

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Like most bands, Australia's Hoodoo Gurus were largely the product of their influences; unlike most bands, however, the Hoodoos channeled their inspiration from the vast entirety of the American pop cultural landscape, drawing on such disparate sources as B-movies, bad sitcoms, and junk food -- in tandem with the usual suspects like garage rock, power pop, and surf -- to create a distinctly kitschy and catchy sound. Formed in Sydney in 1981, Le Hoodoo Gurus (as they were originally dubbed) were led...
Full Bio
Mars Needs Guitars!, Hoodoo Gurus
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