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Moving Pictures was a rock music band formed in Sydneymarker, Australia in 1978. They became popular in the 1980s with their Australian number one hit single, "What About Me" and number one multi-platinum album Days of Innocence.

Biography

The group was composed of singer Alex Smith, formerly of Bilgola Bop Band and This Side Up; guitarist/keyboardist Garry Frost (The Harps); saxophonist, Andrew Thompson (Bilgola Bop Band), Charlie Cole on keyboards/trumpet; bass player, Ian Lees (This Side Up) and Paul Freeland on drums.

The band's first performances were in 1978 and they forged a strong reputation as a pub rock act with R&B influences, playing up to 250 shows a year. Their early performances included a mix of original material and covering the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison. In early 1981 Moving Pictures were signed to the Wheatley management team (run by former Masters Apprentices bassist Glenn Wheatley). The band released their debut single "Walls" in July 1981, but their breakthrough on the charts came via its follow up "Bustin’ Loose" in October, 1981. The band's live show was all about their rock leanings but, after signing to Wheatley, their debut album, Days of Innocence (released in October, 1981), featured strong ballads that belied that live rock act. The album's biggest single "What About Me", which remained at number one for six weeks in early 1982 and won the 'Best Single' award at the 1982 Countdown Awards. It was the second biggest selling single in Australia for 1982 (behind Survivor’s "Eye of the Tiger"). It also reached #29 on the Billboard pop singles chart, spending 26 weeks inside the Billboard Hot 100. "What About Me" managed to make Billboard's year-end Hot 100 list for 1983, at #88 - a rare feat for a single with such a low peak position. The song made an unusual comeback in 1989, peaking at #46.

Moving Pictures were then signed to the Electra distribution label in the Americamarker and just as the song started to chart there Elektra collapsed. This was also on the eve of their planned U.S. tour to capitalise on their phenomenal success there. The tour included support slots with REO Speedwagon, Tom Petty and Hall & Oates as well as their own headlining shows. In hindsight this was Moving Pictures only chance and it was shot. Paul Freeland then left the group and was replaced by drummer Mark Meyer (ex-Stylus, Richard Clapton and Mark Gillespie).

Their second album, Matinee, was released in October 1983, which reached number 16 in Australia. The release captured more of the band's live show feel and rock leanings. Of the four singles lifted from the album only "Back To The Streets" was able to crack the Australian Top 40. The band toured Japan before internal frictions saw Garry Frost leave the group in 1984, with Joey Amenta a temporary replacement until Kevin Bennett joined the lineup. The group continued to tour domestically and gained a strong, loyal following but it wasn't until 1987 that they released their next album, The Last Picture Show, based on their 'Live Picture Show' tour that took place earlier in May 1987, at the end of that year. Soon after the group disbanded.

Post Moving Pictures

  • Alex Smith toured with The Party Boys for a short stint before going on to form Alex Smith and the Volunteers, which was later known as Alex Smith and DBM, in 1989. The line up included guitarist Ben Little, ex-Pink Slips and Scribble keyboardist Lee Borkman bassist Dave Carter and drummer Mark O'Shea. In 1991 Alex next fronted The Blues Liners and released a single with the group, "This Time Tomorrow", recorded in the United Kingdom.


  • Garry Frost left Moving Pictures in 1984 feeling the group had lost direction. He holed himself up in his Mosmanmarker home with his wife and started concentrating on his writing and piano playing. He concentrated so much on his piano, in fact, that he developed tendonitis in his wrists. He went onto to form 1927 with Eric Weideman, whom he had seen performing on Hey Hey It's Saturday's 'Red Faces' talent/no talent segment. Whilst with 1927, Garry also worked with Gyan co-writing her 1989 hit "Wait". "Wait" was the first single from Gyan's self titled ARIA award winning, platinum debut album, Gyan. Following the break-up of 1927, Frost is a co-partner in a Sydney post production studio, he continues writing, performing and producing. Some of Garry's most recent work has been with Sydney singer/songwriter Djamel and vocalist Carlie Fairburn.


  • Charlie Cole went onto work in Los Angelesmarker then joined the 1927 line up in 1990. Since then he has undertaken recording work in America with members of the Blues Brothers Band, recording in Nashvillemarker with Australia singer/songwriter James Blundell and doing session work for many individuals and bands including legendary Aussie singer/songwriter Ed Kuepper. Cole returned to Australia in 1999, and joining The Shuffle Kings in which he plays trumpet, recorder, keyboards and the piano accordion.






  • Kevin Bennett after forming Chasin' The Train went onto formed blues/roots band The Flood.


  • Mark Meyer also joined Chasin' The Train with Lees and Bennett. He has performed in Wendy Matthews touring band and together with Lees have both been long term rhythm section for James Blundell. Meyer and Lees have also worked with Australian guitarist/singer Lawrie Minson and Lee Kernaghan.


Legacy

"What About Me" returned to the top of the Australian music charts in early 2004, as a virtually identical cover version by Australian Idol runner up Shannon Noll.

In 2000 BMG Australia released a remaster of Days of Innocence, titled Days Of Innocence - The Ultimate Collection, a collection of all the tracks from the entire Days of Innocence album (reproducing its original cover art), with the addition of almost a full album's worth of bonus tracks including a couple non-LP single sides and highlights from the Matinee album including "Never".

In 2005 Moving Pictures reformed, although the only original members in this line-up were Alex Smith and Charlie Cole, who were joined by Dave Carter, for 26 acoustic performances throughout New South Wales and Queensland.

Their song "Never" was used as part of the soundtrack for the 1984 film "Footloose" & 2007 film Hot Rod.

Discography

Albums



Singles

  • "Walls" - Wheatley (July, 1981)
  • "Busting Loose"/"Saturday Love" - Wheatley (October, 1981) AUS #43
  • "What About Me"/"Round Again" - Wheatley (February, 1982) AUS #1; US #29 (though only peaking at #29, it spent 13 weeks in the Top 40 and 26 weeks on the Hot 100)
  • "Winners"/"Pay the Piper" - Wheatley (1982) AUS #12
  • "Sweet Cherie"/"Nothing to Do" - Wheatley (1982) AUS #51
  • "Back to the Streets"/"Spies" - Wheatley (1983) AUS #37
  • "Where they Belong"/"Pleasure and Pain" - Wheatley (1983) AUS #80
  • "Back to the Blues and Booze"/"Sisters of Mercy" - Wheatley (1983) AUS #80
  • "Never"/"We Share our Love" (Footloose Soundtrack) (1984)


References

External links

  • http://www.abc.net.au/nsw/stories/s1435206.htm (includes live interview with Alex Smith)
  • http://www.debbiekruger.com/writer/aprap/songs2.html (info on Garry Frost, third article)
  • http://15min.org/articles/2005/august/10/rock_3.html ("reunion")



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