Never Found in the 80s (at least in the U.S.): Hunters & Collectors
A few weeks ago, during the Stuck in the 80s podcast OZ in the 80s segment, Dave Featherston, correspondent from Australia, talked about the not so well known (in the States anyway) band Hunters & Collectors. I got so excited, because that band is on my list of artists to profile in my Never Found in the 80s series!
A brassy pub rock band formed in Melbourne, Australia, Hunters & Collectors were led by the muscular singer/songwriter/guitarist Mark Seymour. When I saw these guys in concert at First Avenue in 1987, I remember thinking Mark’s vocals weren’t the best, but he really belted out the tunes with sincere heartfeltedness. I was struck also by the meaty basslines and a hot, hot horn section.
The song I’m featuring is Say Goodbye. It’s the opening track off their 1986 release Human Frailty. The album did reach No. 10 and Say Goodbye did reach 24 on the Aussie charts, but in the State,s Hunters & Collectors only managed to hit on the Modern Rock chart in the late '80s. It appears that they remained pretty much an Australian and New Zealand phenomenon throughout their career.
Having originally formed in 1981, the band broke up in 1998 after which both Mark Seymour and another original band member Jack Howard (trumpet/keyboards) pursued solo musical careers. In 2005, Hunters & Collectors were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association’s Hall of Fame. In September 2013, a Hunters & Collectors tribute album is set to be released. It will feature covers of the band’s songs by various artists including Neil Finn and Eddie Vedder.
As a bonus (two actually), Hunters & Collectors released the song Throw Your Arms Around Me as a single in 1985 and included it on the Human Frailty album. It’s an excellent song that, according to Neil Finn, "has become a classic without ever being a hit." Your bonuses are an acoustic version by Neil Finn and the original by Hunters & Collectors.