What’s The Rockbrat Listening To Today ? Divinyls – Temperamental

Posted: October 11, 2011 by rockbrat in What's The Rockbrat Listening To Today ?
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Back in 1988, this casette tape got serious rotation in the Rockbratmobile. The Divinyls were world class – a band who wrote and recorded some amazing rock n roll songs. They  remain one of my favorite ever live acts and it is an unjustice that they never tasted greater success. Sure they had a worldwide hit in 1991, but after ten years of hard slog, no one could deny them – and they were deserving of it. Bizarrely I can recall hearing that blasting from some limey’s car stereo whilst living in sowwf London at the time. I wonder just how many people bothered to discover thee band’s back catalogue after hearing I Touch Myself for the first time, or whether many just assumed they were a one hit wonder ?
Personally it is a tune I have trouble listening to. Some folks labelled it a ‘novelty’ type song – (something this hard edged Australian act definitly were not) which could be the reason it makes me wince. The very limited Riot Grrrl clone Pink I think covered this, and my spies tell me Nashville songstress Annie McCue has recently tackled the the band’s mid-80’s hit ‘Pleasure and Pain’. (McQ herself got a close look at the Divinyls’ live power when her former band Girl Monstar shared stages with them in the late 80’s – but I digress…)
Me and the Cowboy saw the band many times in 1988 on the road in support of this album. Blacktown in Sydney’s west, Dee Why, the St James Tavern – even a show at Manly beach (was it North Curl Curl ? I was never a wax head – up the Fibro’s) and even one gig whilst on a State of Origin jaunt in May of that year at Alexandria Headlands on the Sunshine Coast ! (footy = rock don’t forget). A loud, riotous, sweaty Christmas Eve gig at the Ermington Hotel that year will stay with me forever as well. When they were on form and in a hungry mood, no one and I mean no one could match Amphlett, McEntee and Co in the live environment.
Temperamental is probably my favorite Divinyls album. I also love the criminally ignored Underworld record, but if I had to choose just one, this might be it. (1982’s ‘Desperate’ will be looked at later – what a killer debut that was).  I purchased a red vinyl copy of Temperamental back in the day and also souvenired a promo sticker from the record store wall. Amphlett was often compared in the local Sydney press to Angus. School uniforms aside, it was the axiumum energy levels of both which I assume they were alluding to. Mr Rockbrat often wonders what woulda happened if this band had’ve got on board the Alberts roster back in the early – mid 80’s ?! Something to ponder another time I guess……. This album has so many great songs on it. Did this record break into the fickle top ten in Australia up on released ? I cannot recall, but I do remember the ‘Back To The Wall’ track getting a large dose of radio airplay – and rightly so. It is a tune which is as close to guitar-pop perfection which you’ll find, and has that McEntee signature riff in the chorus. ‘Better Days’ is another album stand-out. The gritty ‘Dirty Love’ is probably my favorite track on Temperamental – killer opening riff and crunching break with a 1-2-3-4 holler from Amphlett. Brings back fond memories of seeing them churn this out live back at the time. The seldom written-about Chrissie falsetto at songs end is a highlight too !  Punxsie is another amazing song which is easily on par with anything they’d ecorded previously – a high bench mark indeed. Their cover of Hey Little Boy was cleverly done and the catchy tune Fighting rounds this platter off nicely.  Folks, there are no duds on this album. I Ioved it then and I love it just as much now – maybe more so. If you thought this high calibre rock band from Sydney were a one-trick pony courtesy of their 1991 radio hit,  you need to re-think your opinion. Temperamental is a great place to start.

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Comments
  1. Cowboy Col says:

    Rockbrat – they played an open air gig at North Steyne. Also, we saw them at Kings Cross for some open air thing in 1991 too I recall. Also so them at Queanbeyan Leagues, and several times with Joan Jett in 95………….

  2. rockbrat says:

    St James Tavern as well from memory (bassist Tim fainted from the heat) – gig dates are getting a bit fuzzy as time moves on !

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