Little River Band

The Little River Band was an Australian rustic-rock/soul supergroup that released nine albums on Capitol between 1975 and 1986. They formed as super-group comprised of players from popular Down Under acts (The Twilights, Zoot, Axiom, Mississippi).

LRB were one of the first antipodean acts to achieve commercial success in the Northern Hemisphere. Their popularity peaked with the 1978/79 albums Sleeper Catcher and First Under the Wire. Evergreens from the band include “Help Is On Its Way,” “Reminiscing,” “Lady,” “Lonesome Loser,” and “Night Owl.”

Members: Graeham Goble (guitar, vocals, 1975-92), Derek Pellicci (drums, percussion, 1975-84, 1987-98), Beeb Birtles (guitar, vocals, 1975-83), Glenn Shorrock (lead vocals, keyboards, 1975-82, 1987-96), Dave Orams (bass, 1975), Graham Davidge (guitar, 1975), Roger McLachlan (bass, vocals, 1975-76, 1998-99), Rick Formosa (guitar, vocals, 1975-76), David Briggs (guitar, vocals, 1976-81), George McArdle (bass, vocals, 1976-79), Barry Sullivan (bass, vocals, 1979-80), Wayne Nelson (bass, lead vocals, 1980-96, 1999-present), Stephen Housden (guitar, vocals, 1981-2006), John Farnham (lead vocals, 1982-86), David Hirschfelder (keyboards, programming, vocals, 1983-87), Steve Prestwich (drums, percussion, 1984-87), Tony Sciuto (keyboards, guitar, vocals, 1990-92, 1994-97), Peter Beckett (guitar, vocals, 1992-97)

The Little River Band formed in early 1975 when alumni of several popular Australian rock bands converged in Melbourne.

Vocalist Glenn Shorrock hailed from 1960s beatsters The Twilights, which also featured guitarist and songwriter Terry Britten. At the turn of the ’70s, Shorrock fronted rustic-rockers Axiom with singer/songwriter Brian Cadd. That band broke up after relocating to England, where Shorrock was recruited for the multi-national super-project Esperanto. He sang lead on the band’s 1973 debut album and did backing vocals on their sophomore release Danse Macabre.

Guitarist/singer Beeb Birtles started in late-’60s garage-rockers Zoot, which he co-fronted with a young Rick Springfield. In late 1972, Birtles joined guitarist/singer Graeham Goble in the rustic-rock combo Mississippi, which released a self-titled album earlier that year. Drummer Derek Pellicci (ex-Blackfeather) joined in time for their post-album single releases. Their revolving bass slot was briefly occupied by future-Be-Bop Deluxe bassist Charlie Tumahai.

In 1974, Mississippi launched an abortive tour of the UK, where Birtles, Goble, and Pellicci met Shorrock, who became their new vocalist. They also met ex-Masters Apprentices bassist Glenn Wheatley, who agreed to manage the band in Australia. Wheatley’s familiarity with the lopsided deals allotted to ’60s Aussie acts, combined with his experience in US and UK music management, gave him insights on how to market an Australian band in the Northern Hemisphere.

The new Mississippi convened in Melbourne in February 1975 with ex-Quincy Conserve bassist Dave Orams and future-Goanna guitarist Graham Davidge. Their name-change came about as they were carpooling to a gig and passed the Little River exit. Shorrock suggested “Little River” as a possible song title. Seconds later, he suggested Little River Band as a group name. The other members immediately agreed with his suggestion.

For their first single, the Little River Band recorded a cover of the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved” but were beaten to the market by Linda Ronstadt, who scored a top-two Billboard hit with her version that spring. (The following year, Scottish posters Slik would also record the song.) LRB’s version remained vaulted until the 1988 rarities compilation Too Late to Load.

Davidge and Oram were replaced, respectively, by Italian-Canadian guitarist Ric Formosa and Kiwi bassist Roger McLachlan. The Little River Band signed to EMI Records in May 1975 and entered Armstrong’s Studios in Melbourne to record their first album.


  • Little River Band (1975)
  • After Hours (1976)
  • Diamantina Cocktail (1977)
  • Sleeper Catcher (1978)
  • First Under the Wire (1979)
  • Time Exposure (1981)
  • The Net (1983)
  • Playing to Win (1985)
  • No Reins (1986)
  • Too Late to Load [archival] (1988)
  • Monsoon (1988)
  • Get Lucky (1990)


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