Album Review: A Life in the Sun | Various artists

A Life in the Sun is not only a collection of music from surf movies from 1966 to 1977, but a history of Australia’s music and surf culture. It covers a time when there hippies, not hipsters ruled the streets, and life was simpler. Many people literally followed the sun. The album takes its name from the 1966 Paul Witzig film which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Back then it was a DIY culture with film makers actually touring their films themselves.

Some of the material I’ve heard before, like The Sunsets The Hot Generation which Celibate Rifles played as a cover. The original by the Sunsets is timeless like many of the other tracks, and of course there are classic tracks from Morning of the Earth.

Richard Clapton classics, Tamum Shud, and G Wayne Thomas are just some of the artists I knew, but there are others like Frog Hollow that had me dreaming of life back in the 1960s and 1970s, when your cares drifted away like the outgoing tide or the smoke from your reefer.

It’s a great listen and a great example of Australian original music, much of that not in the mainstream. It follows the path of exposing the great talent in Australia at that time in the vein of 1960’s garage compilation Nuggets a few years ago.

There are previously unreleased tracks, and when you buy the CD you also get a 28-page booklet from album curator Stephen J McParland with notes and pictures of the era.

The movies included were a history and chronicle of the times, as is the music contained in this album. Check it out!

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