The Twilights

The Twilights were an Australian beat sextet that released thirteen singles and two albums between 1965 and 1968 on Columbia (EMI). Their concept album Once Upon a Twilight evolved from a planned TV series. They included future AxiomLittle River Band singer Glenn Shorrock and guitarist–songwriter Terry Britten, who later wrote hits for Cliff Richard and Tina Turner.

Members: Glenn Shorrock (lead vocals), Peter Brideoake (rhythm guitar, vocals), Terry Britten (lead guitar, vocals), John Bywaters (bass), Clem “Paddy” McCartney (lead vocals), Frank Barnard (drums, 1965), Laurie Pryor (drums, 1965-69)


Background

The Twilights formed in mid-1964 when The Checkmates (a vocal trio) merged with Adelaide instrumental rockers The Hurricanes.

The Checkmates hailed from Elizabeth, a British-migrant-dense town north of Adelaide, where singer Glenn Shorrock teamed with two friends: Mike Sykes and Clem “Paddy” McCartney.

Shorrock (b. June 30, 1944; Kent, England) migrated to Australia at age ten. Paddy came to the area from Belfast, Ireland. With Sykes, they rehearsed pop and folk numbers and soon gigged steadily on Adelaide’s cafe circuit. For gigs at rock venues, they merged with local instrumental acts, including The Vector Men and The Hurricanes.

The Checkmates bonded with The Hurricanes, composed of bassist John Bywaters, drummer Frank Barnard, and guitarists Peter Brideoake (rhythm) and Kevin Peek (lead). The Hurricanes formed on the instrumental foundation of The Shadows and The Atlantics. Members hailed from Adelaide (Brideoake) and the South Australian town of Strathalbyn (Bywaters).

The mid-1964 outbreak of Australian Beatlemania sparked numerous mergers of singers and bands (Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, Pat Aulton & The Clefs, Colin Cook & The Strangers). Inspired by the new UK sound, Shorrock and Paddy joined The Hurricanes in a new six-piece configuration, The Twilights. That autumn, Peek cleared for guitarist Terry Britten (b. July 17, 1947), a transplant from Manchester, England. (Peek next surfaced in the James Taylor Move.)


1965 Singles

In June 1965, The Twilights debuted with “I’ll Be Where You Are,” a Britten–Shorrock original backed with “I Don’t Know Where the Wind Will Blow Me,” a Britten–Brideoake number.

A. “I’ll Be Where You Are” (2:07)
B. “I Don’t Know Where the Wind Will Blow Me” (2:33)

“I’ll Be Where You Are” was the first of thirteen Twilights singles across a 3.5-year span on the Australian branch of Columbia. The labels on this release (cat# DO-4582) misspell the surnames of Glenn (“Shorrocks”) and Peter (“Bridesake”).

In October 1965, The Twilights released “Come On Home,” a Hollies cover backed with “Wanted to Sell,” a Barnard–Bywaters composition with lyrics by Paddy McCartney.

A. “Come On Home” (1:48) originated on In the Hollies Style, the November 1964 second Hollies album; credited to “Ransford” (L. Ransford, the collective pseudonym of Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Graham Nash.)
B. “Wanted to Sell” (2:27)

The Twilights moved to Melbourne, where “Come On Home” became a local hit. Due to the strict “no girlfriends on the road” policy of Twilights manager Gary Spry, the married Frank Barnard exited the band, which hired drummer Laurie Pryor, a native of Broken Hill, New South Wales, who earned recent praise in John E. Broome & The Handels.

The lineup of Shorrock, McCartney, Britten, Brideoake, Bywaters, and Pryer held for the duration of The Twilights’ existence.


1966 Singles

In February 1966, The Twilights released “If She Finds Out,” a Britten–Brideoake original backed with “John Hardy,” an American folk traditional recently modernized by Manfred Mann.

A. “If She Finds Out” (2:26)
B. “John Hardy” (2:04) concerns a Keystone man hung in 1894 after a deadly poker dispute. The song dates to the mid-1920s. This version, inspired by the 1964 Manfred Mann version, credits the song to their arrangement.

“If She Finds Out” extended The Twilights reach to Sydney and Brisbane and reached No. 24 on the Australian chart (as estimated by the later-established Kent Music Report).

In May 1966, The Twilights released “Baby Let Me Take You Home,” an Animals cover backed with “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me,” a Miracles classic.

A. “Baby, Let Me Take You Home” (2:25) originated as “Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand,” a January 1964 Atlantic a-side by New Brunswick soul singer Hoagy Lands. Two months after its first version, The Animals changed it to “Baby Let Me Take You Home,” released as their first single.
B. “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me” () originated as the b-side of “Happy Landing,” a November 1962 single by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

In June 1966, The Twilights released “Bad Boy,” a Larry Williams cover backed with “It’s Dark,” a Brideoake original.

A. “Bad Boy” (2:11) originated as a 1959 Specialty a-side by New Orleans R&B singer–pianist Larry Williams; first covered by The Beatles on their June 1965 American LP Beatles VI.
B. “It’s Dark” (1:57)

Columbia included the a-side on Bad Boy, a four-song Twilights EP with the two prior 1966 a-sides and the earlier “I’ll Be Where You Are.”

In July, The Twilights partook in Battle of the Sounds, a competetion held at Melbourne’s Festival Hall; co-housted by Hoadley’s Chocolates and Go-Set magazine. Due to the contest’s five-member limit, Paddy sat out their set but appeared for the encore. The Twilights beat out 500 acts for the $1,000 prize and an expenses-paid trip to England aboard the Sitmar cruise liner Castel Felice.

In August 1966, The Twilights released “Needle in a Haystack,” a Velvelettes cover backed with “I Won’t Be the Same Without Her,” a song by Brill Building husband–wife legends Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

A. “Needle In a Haystack” (2:12) originated as a September 1964 VIP–Motown a-side by The Velvelettes, an underexposed girl group whose version peaked at No. 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
B. “I Won’t Be the Same Without Her” (2:45) is a King–Goffin number also recorded in 1966 by The Monkees and The Warner Brothers, a Chicago garage-rock band. (The Monkees version, recorded for their first album, went unreleased until their 1969 post-series-cancellation album Instant Replay).

“Needle in a Haystack” reached No. 1 on the just-established Go-Set national chart. Now positioned as one of Australia’s biggest rock acts, The Twilight’s sailed to the UK, where they immersed in the music and fashion of Swinging London.

In November 1966, The Twilights released “You Got Soul,” a southern soul obscurity backed with “Yes I Will,” their second Hollies cover.

A. “You Got Soul” (2:24) is a song credited to Margaret Nash (wife of Texas soul singer Johnny Nash, who cut his own 1968 version); first released as a 1965 Jocida a-side by Georgian soulster Bill Johnson (of the duo Sam & Bill).
B. “Yes I Will” (2:53) is a song co-credited to Gerry Goffin and LA producer Russ Titelman; first released as a January 1965 Hollies a-side.

Meanwhile, “Needle In a Haystack” became their first of three UK singles (on Columbia) and their sole US single (on Capitol).


The Twilights

The Twilights released their self-titled debut album in December 1966 on Columbia (Australia, New Zealand). It features both sides of their concurrent single (“You’ve Got Soul” / “Yes I Will”) and the recent hit “Needle In a Haystack,” plus the earlier b-side “It’s Dark.”

The Twilights also contains covers of the Small Faces (“Sorry, She’s Mine”), The Who (“La La La Lies”), The Rolling Stones (“Satisfaction”), The Moody Blues (“Let Me Go”), Yardbirds (“I’m Not Talkin”’), and Bo Diddley (“Diddy Wa Diddy”). Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibb wrote “Long Life” especially for The Twilights. They also cover “Lucky Man” by Melbourne singer–songwriter Hans Poulsen.

A1. “Sorry, She’s Mine” (2:33) originated as a 1966 Small Faces album track; written by industry figure Kenny Lynch and also recorded in 1966 by Jimmy Winston & His Reflections, led by the original Small Faces keyboardist.
A2. “La La La Lies” (2:06) originated on the 1965 debut Who album My Generation; written by Pete Townshend.
A3. “It’s Dark” (1:55)
A4. “Diddy Wa Diddy” (2:16) originated as a 1956 Checker a-side by Bo Diddley (aka Elias McDaniel), co-written with Willie Dixon; also covered in 1966 by Captain Beefheart and The Remains.
A5. “Long Life” (3:20)
A6. “Needle In a Haystack” (2:09)
B1. “You’ve Got Soul” (2:22)
B2. “Yes I Will” (2:50)
B3. “I’m Not Talkin’” (2:23) originated on the June 1964 Atlantic LP The Word from Mose, a trio release by Mississippi jazz pianist Mose Allison. The Yardbirds 1965 cover inspired versions by The Twilights and Swedish beatsters Annaabee-Nox.
B4. “Let Me Go” (3:01) originated on the 1965 debut Moody Blues album The Magnificent Moodies; co-written by Denny Laine and Mike Pinder.
B5. “Lucky Man” (2:10)
B6. “Satisfaction” (3:33)

The Twilights recorded the album with producer David Mackay, who also oversaw the late-1966 Easybeats released Volume 3. Both albums feature cover photography by Ian Morgan.

The Twilights reappeared in 1968 on the low-budget reissue label Music For Pleasure with new liner notes and an outdoor photo of the now-mustached group.


1967 Singles

The Twilight’s UK stay included a one-week residency at the Cavern Club, the Liverpool breeding ground of Merseysound. They recorded three songs at EMI Studios (soon renamed Abbey Road) with soundman Norman “Hurricane” Smith, an early Beatles engineer who produced subsequent Columbia sides by Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, and The Karlins.

In February 1967, The Twilights released “What’s Wrong with the Way I Live,” a recent Hollies deep cut backed with “9.50,” a psychedelic Britten rocker.

A. “What’s Wrong With the Way I Live” (2:00) is a Clarke–Hicks–Nash composition that first appeared on the fifth Hollies album, For Certain Because…, released two months before The Twilights’ version.
B. “9.50” (2:32)

“What’s Wrong with the Way I Live” reached No. 7 on the Go-Set chart.

In May 1967, The Twilights released “Young Girl,” a Laurie Pryor tune produced by Hurricane Smith; backed with “Time and Motion Study Man,” an Eastern-tinged Britten cut recorded in Australia with David Mackay.

A. “Young Girl” (2:22)
B. “Time and Motion Study Man” (2:14) sitar

“Young Girl” reached No. 4 on Go-Set. It appears on Twilights’ Time, a 1967 EP with both sides of their prior single, as well as their biggest hit “Needle In a Haystack.”

Meanwhile, EMI Australia issued the custom-press Twilights single “Bowling Brings out the Swinger in You,” a harmony-pop bowling jingle backed with an instrumental version.

In November 1967, The Twilights released “The Way They Play” backed with “Cathy Come Home,” both sitar-psych Britten originals produced by David Mackay.

A. “The Way They Play” (2:14)
B. “Cathy, Come Home” (2:02) was inspired by a BBC-TV drama about a homeless couple, which aired across three autumn 1966 episodes of The Wednesday Play anthology.

“The Way They Play” reached No. 4 on Go-Set. In the UK, Columbia issued the single with the sides reversed to capitalize on the notoriety of the recently televised play.


Proposed TV Show

In late 1967, Australia’s Seven Network tapped The Twilights for a sitcom comprised of work–play scenarios and fantastical capers, ala The Monkees and A Hard Day’s Night. The proposed series, titled Once Upon a Twilight, would also feature comedienne Mary Hardy (as the band’s secretary) and ex-Flies singer Ronnie Burns.

They filmed a pilot that featured Burns’ rendition of “In the Morning,” a Barry Gibb-penned outtake from the Bee Gees’ Spicks and Specks sessions. (Burns version, a 1967 b-side, was the first commercial release of the song that gained fame through multiple covers as “Morning of My Life”). By New Year’s Eve, the Twilights’ unaired series lost its main sponsor, the Ford Motor Company.

Despite this setback, The Twilights continued work on the would-be soundtrack, which morphed into a standalone concept album. In May 1968, they previewed the laborious sessions with two songs: “Always,” an acoustic ballad backed with “What a Silly Thing to Do,” both MacKay-produced Britten originals.

A. “Always” (2:38)

“Always” remained a standalone while its b-side appeared on their ensuing album. Columbia placed “Always” on a titlesake EP with both sides of the “Cathy, Come Home” single and the earlier “You Got Soul.”


Once Upon a Twilight

The Twilights released their second album, the conceptual Once Upon a Twilight, in June 1968 on Columbia. It was the musical brainchild of Terry Britten, who employed multiple layers (strings, brass), sound effects (feedback, wah-wah), and studio tricks (panning, back-masking) in the album’s creation.

Britten wrote everything apart from “Tomorrow Is Today” (a Brideoake chamber ballad) and “Cocky Song” (a comedic Pryor number). Terry’s numbers range from psych-rock (“Paternosta Row”) and Eastern exotica (“Devendra”) to harmony folk (“Bessemae”) and orchestral pop (“Mr. Nice”).

A1. “Once Upon a Twilight” (2:26)
A2. “What a Silly Thing to Do” (2:46)
A3. “Bessemae” (3:07)
A4. “Stop The World For a Day” (3:20)
A5. “Mr. Nice” (2:01)
A6. “Take Action” (2:05)
B1. “Blue Roundabout” (3:15)
B2. “Devendra” (1:50)
B3. “Found to Be Thrown Away” (2:20)
B4. “Tomorrow Is Today” (2:33)
B5. “Cocky Song” (2:04)
B6. “Paternosta Row” (3:18)

Sessions took place at Armstrong Studios in Melbourne with David MacKay, who also produced 1968 titles by The Cliffmores, Johnny Farnham, The Groove, and The Vibrants. The album credits three engineers, including Englishman Roger Savage, a concurrent soundman for Procession and The Strangers.

Once Upon a Twilight appeared in a gimmix gatefold designed by Graham McLean with photography by Colin Beard (Somebody’s Image, Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys). The purple-on-white outer cover features the title and credits in Blackletter font with a small castle doodle. The sleeve opens to a full-color, three-dimensional pop-up illustration of The Twilights on castle ground in medieval garb, surrounded by angels, fairies, and anthropomorphic trees.

Columbia pressed Once Upon a Twilight in mono (black–blue–white label, OSX 7870) and stereo (Orange–black label, SCXO 7870); the latter had murky sound but enhanced layer separation.


Final Singles

The Twilights consolidated their live prowess during 1968 with a mix of originals and covers of Cream (“Sunshine of Your Love”), Jimi Hendrix (“Purple Haze”), The Move (“Night of Fear”), and Traffic (“Dear Mr Fantasy”). They dominated Melbourne’s hotspots (Bertie’s, Pinnochios, The Thumpin’ Tum) with a slapstick act in which Shorrock presented as a Superdroop, a jump-suited (and sometimes gorilla-suited) wise-cracker and trapeze stuntman.

Under the guidance of producer Jimmy Stewart, The Twilights teamed with singers Terry Walker (The Strangers) and Ronnie Charles (The Groop) under the collective pseudonym Pastoral Symphony. With backing by the Johnny Hawker Orchestra, the cut the May 1968 Festival Records single “Love Machine,” a cover of a recent a-side by LA pop-rockers The Roosters (b/w “Spread a Little Love Around”).

In August 1968, The Twilights released a double-a-sided single: “Tell Me Goodbye,” a cosmic-phased singalong backed with “Comin’ On Down,” both MacKay-produced Britten originals.

A. “Tell Me Goodbye” (2:24)
B. “Comin’ On Down” (2:24)

Around this time, The Twilights split with manager Gary Spry. Tensions arose as the psychedelic studio craft of Terry Britten clashed with the harmony-pop leanings of Glenn Shorrock.

In December 1968, The Twilights released their final single: “Sand in the Sandwiches” backed with “Lotus,” both Britten originals.

A. “Sand in the Sandwiches” (2:25)
B. “Lotus” (2:58)

The Twilights cut both sides with Howard Gable, a Kiwi soundman who also produced 1967–68 titles by The Castaways, Fourmyula, Mr. Lee Grant, The Simple Image, Tom Thumb, Zoot, and his then-fiancé, auburn-haired pop queen Allison Durbin.


Breakup

The Twilights cancelled plans for a second UK tour after the abrupt resignation of Laurie Pryor. Faced with inhibiting factors (diminished market reach; individual creative instincts beyond group confines) they decided to fold the band and pursue separate projects.

In January 1969, The Twilights played their final show at Bertie’s disco in Melbourne.


Post-Split

Britten cut a 1969 solo single: “2000 Weeks,” titled after a current Australian drama film by future Alvin Blue director Tim Burstall (b/w “Bargain Day”). “2000 Weeks” appears as the final track on The Way They Played, a Twilights compilation first released as a sixteen-track LP in 1977 by EMI Australia (later reissued as a 28-song CD by Raven Records).

Glenn Shorrock teamed with Groop singer–songwriter Brian Cadd in Axiom, a Band-inspired rustic-rock act that released the 1970–71 Parlophone albums Fool’s Gold  and If Only…. He also cut a 1971 solo single (“Let’s Get the Band Together”) and joined Esperanto, a multi-national orchestral-rock ensemble that released three albums; he performed on their first (Rock Orchestra, which includes his twice-recorded “Statue of Liberty”) and co-wrote the centerpiece of their second (“The Castle” on Danse Macabre) but left before its sessions. Shorrock then linked with members of Aussie supergroup Mississippi in the Little River Band, which released six albums between 1975 and 1981 and scored global hits with “Help Is On Its Way,” “Reminiscing,” “Lonesome Loser,” and “Night Owl.” His first solo album, Villain of the Peace, appeared in 1982 on Capitol.

Terry Britten teamed with three members of the James Taylor Move (Alan Tarney, Trevor Spencer, and Britten’s Twilights predecessor Kevin Peek) in Quartet, which situated in England and cut two singles on Decca. He submitted two late-period Twilights songs (“Always,” “Take Action”) to Cliff Richard for the singer’s 1969 album Sincerely. Between 1970 and 1975, he played on recordings by Alvin Stardust, Mike Hugg, and Olivia Newton-John and wrote songs for Ronnie Burns, Zoot, and Kristine Sparkle.

In 1976, two Britten songs appeared on Cliff Richard’s comeback album I’m Nearly Famous, including the global hit “Devil Woman.” Britten joined Richard’s backing band for the 1977–78 albums Every Face Tells a Story and Green Light, then wrote and produced the singer’s 1979 album Rock ‘n’ Roll Juvenile. In 1984, he formed a writing partnership with Graham Lyle (ex-McGuinness Flint, Gallagher & Lyle); they co-wrote Tina Turner‘s comeback hit “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and (for her co-starring role in the 1985 dystopian action-drama Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome) the ballad “We Don’t Need Another Hero.”

Peter Brideoake enrolled at the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide. He became a classical composer and lecturer and commissioned works for the Sydney String Quartet and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.


Discography:


Sources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *