Sunday, 30 October 2016
Father Confessor/A Little Ray Of Sunshine/My Baby's Gone/Time & Time Again
Axiom's formation was a by-product of the annual Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds in which the top Australian bands of the day performed in front of judges for the prize of a paid return trip to London. In 1967 The Twilights were the first winners, the next year The Groop. Both found it difficult to settle back to the grind of the Australian pop scene after tasting the London big time. Neither band had made anything but the smallest dent in London (The Twilights being given a song by the Hollies, while The Groop's "When I Was Six Years Old" was recorded by Manfred Mann's Paul Jones), but it was enough to leave the lingering thought amongst band members, "What if..?"
After signing with EMI's Parlophone label, Axiom buried themselves in the recording studio. In December 1969 the group released their first single, "Arkansas Grass", heavily influenced by The Band's "Music From Big Pink". Though the single's title superficially appealed to international markets, and its Civil War theme reflected Cadd's current obsession with the music of The Band, it was in fact a coded anti-Vietnam war song – and in that respect addressing a very Australian concern, since Australian men were at the time being drafted to fight in that war. "Arkansas Grass" reached No. 7 in December 1969.
In their absence the band's debut album Fool's Gold was released, one of the first true "albums" in Australian music. Apart from the "Arkansas Grass" single it was also one of the first attempts in Australian pop to write songs about the Australian landscape, and using Australian place names. It is also notable as one of the first Australian albums on a major label to be self-produced by the recording artist/s and also featured one of the first uses of the didgeridoo in Australian popular music. The songs were all of high quality as were the production values. Fool's Gold reached No. 18 in June and still stands as one of the best albums of the period, however it never reached its full commercial potential because Axiom were not around to promote it. A third single failed to chart. In Australia Axiom were signed to Ron Tudor's independent production company. They left Australia with Tudor's approval to try to secure a worldwide recording contract: he would not stand in their way.
"Warner Brothers hired me to record them. Super-duper band. It was a super album. Two weeks before the album was to be released on Warner, they decided to break up. And they did, and Warners said, "Bye!! If you think we're promoting this album, you're out of your fucking minds!" I was real pleased with that album. It was fun to do, they were talented, the songs were great."
By the time the album was released the band had already broken up and as Talmy indicated, it effectively vanished without trace.