23 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The title of this compilation is a bit misleading in that the Master’s Apprentices were still active after 1968, but this 23-song-deep collection covers the Australian band’s best garage rock and freakbeat recordings. Following songwriter/rhythm guitar player Mick Bower’s departure in 1967, various line-up changes resulted in flowery hippie pop, progressive rock and proto-metal. “Undecided” opens with mod-friendly maximum R&B sounding like something spawned by the Pretty Things and the Misunderstood before the “Paint It Black”-inspired “But One Day” rocks with darker melodies. They turn Bo Diddley’s “Dancing Girl” into the kind of maraca-dappled rave-up that well-dressed teenagers on Carnaby Street would groove to all night long during swinging London’s heyday. Similarly, Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode” gets the go-go treatment, not too unlike Shadows Of Knight’s hep take on Berry’s “Let It Rock.” Even more ambitious covers of the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” and the Animals’ “Inside Looking Out” get cleverly covered — the former with a slow and sultry strut and the latter with a demure cool akin to the Creation.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The title of this compilation is a bit misleading in that the Master’s Apprentices were still active after 1968, but this 23-song-deep collection covers the Australian band’s best garage rock and freakbeat recordings. Following songwriter/rhythm guitar player Mick Bower’s departure in 1967, various line-up changes resulted in flowery hippie pop, progressive rock and proto-metal. “Undecided” opens with mod-friendly maximum R&B sounding like something spawned by the Pretty Things and the Misunderstood before the “Paint It Black”-inspired “But One Day” rocks with darker melodies. They turn Bo Diddley’s “Dancing Girl” into the kind of maraca-dappled rave-up that well-dressed teenagers on Carnaby Street would groove to all night long during swinging London’s heyday. Similarly, Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode” gets the go-go treatment, not too unlike Shadows Of Knight’s hep take on Berry’s “Let It Rock.” Even more ambitious covers of the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” and the Animals’ “Inside Looking Out” get cleverly covered — the former with a slow and sultry strut and the latter with a demure cool akin to the Creation.

TITLE TIME

About The Masters Apprentices

One could easily make the case for designating the Masters Apprentices as the best Australian rock band of the '60s. Featuring singer Jim Keays and songwriter/rhythm guitarist Mick Bower, the band's earliest recordings combined the gritty R&B/rock of Brits like the Pretty Things with the minor-key melodies of the Yardbirds. The compelling "Wars or Hands of Time" and the dreamy psychedelia of "Living in a Child's Dream" were undiscovered classics, although the latter was a Top Ten hit in Australia. Bower left the group after suffering a nervous breakdown in late 1967, and the Masters grew steadily less interesting, moving from flower pop and hard rock to progressive and acoustic sounds. Plagued by instability (undergoing eight personnel changes between 1966 and 1968), the group moved to England in the early '70s, achieving some cult success with progressive rock albums before breaking up in 1972. ~ Richie Unterberger

GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1965

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