Classic Albums: Sex by The Necks

It’s been a few of my Classic Albums posts since the last Aussie artist/band so I’ve got to do another one now, this time it’s The Necks. Could be one of most underrated Aussie band out of alot of under rated bands that come from Australia. Most likely more known outside of their home country than inside. They do have a bit of a cult following around the world now but I can’t believe I’ve waited so long before getting my own copy of this album. I saw them live at the start of this year, it was my first time seeing and it was mind-blowing. I’ve been on The Necks kick never since, it was at Golden Plains in Meredith. I liked their stuff before but after seeing them live it does take on new meaning. The New York Times are so right by saying “One of the greatest bands in the world.” I just got to write something here about them, I’ve wanted to for a while but because I feel I couldn’t, now I’m giving it a go and hopefully it’s not too bad or might be pretty good?

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The Necks in late 80’s with Tony, Chris and Lloyd (left to right)

Sex is the debut album from the late 80’s, released in 1989 but I did read somewhere it was recorded before that year but I can’t find anymore info about that fact and very little about recording really at all. I did find out it’s the highest selling albums of theirs, well a couple of years it was so I can’t see it changing by now. That make real sense because of the old saying sex sells so naming your album and title track that, well it works.

They never really crossed over to the mainstream crowd, the closest The Necks got was the one film soundtrack they did to the late 90’s Aussie called The Boys but because the movie itself pretty fucked-up watching it was never going to be a big hit anyway and that’s only time they ever did do a film soundtrack. Sex is just one track album too, if you didn’t know it’s just epic and unbelievably great. Just short of one hour in length it’s pretty perfect but I guess some would say it’s too long or something. It could go for longer really, in an interview The Necks’ Lloyd Swanton talks somewhat about this:

  CD format had arrived just in time for us. Although we’ve recently done an LP with two 20 minute pieces on it, in the early days I don’t think we could have fully expressed what is unique about our music in 20 or so minutes, and it would have been tragic to cut a piece in half to fit it across both sides of an LP, so the CD format was just what we needed.

He’s right too, I guess most albums are this length anyway give or take but have 10, 12 songs over the whole thing but with The Necks you just need one track. Cutting it in half or anything like that would be so wrong too. So The Necks are a trio from Sydney N.S.W. and the members are Chris Abrahams on piano, Tony Buck on drums and Lloyd Swanton on bass. Simply if you never heard them before they’re instrumental band and the third album here on my fave album list now after another Aussie trio Dirty Three’s Whatever You Love, You Are album and African Toumani Diabaté with his Kaira album. They have been called Jazz but I don’t know about that label, Sex album does have Jazzy feel to it but some other albums I wouldn’t say so and then Post-Jazz and Future Jazz has been thrown about them. Abstract or Ambient are words also used but I think Improvised music might the best way to describe their music because what they’re doing when it comes down to it. I guess that’s why it’s called Sex and you do get into a great groove listening to this album which is another reason why that’s a great title too.

I’m not the first to point out they’re not that sexy or the sexist band ever but it’s not like you are going to have sex with them yourselves, are you? The album following this one is called Next which does start again on that groove but then breaks off and goes into something else, it’s a pity the next album wasn’t called something like Plex. When I first saw they had one album called Sex and then found out they had one called Next, it was like where’s the missing one to make they own The Rosy Crucifixion? I guess it’s not a Henry Miller reference but anyway I’m getting side tracked again, should I edit that out now because it’s got nothing to do with this? Nope, I’ll leave it in here OK?

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The Necks these days now.

The album Sex did come in number 47 in the industry list of the Triple J’s Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time, industry means musos, DJs etc and in a few of the top tens albums that’s listed on the website we have three Aussie artists naming them with both Bertie BlackmanDan Luscombe picked Sex album out and then Augie March’s Glenn Richards named 1999’s Hanging Gardens by The Necks too. Off course the listeners poll didn’t vote anything this cool.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds next years Aussie tour with have The Necks as supports on some shows but not in Perth so I miss out of seeing them again. Not the first time Cave and his band shown The Necks some love, in 2009 the ATP Aussie Festival included them on the bill too. The they also was on the bill for the last ever ATP Festival just before the promoters going broke earlier this year, I wonder if they got payed for that one? It seems they’re playing a show tomorrow for eight hours straight, yes that’s 8 hrs! It’s for the 30 year anniversary of The Necks in Amsterdam, Netherlands at BIMHUIS. I guess that’s a good note to finish on, what the hell else can I possibly say after that?

Sex track listing and time:

1. Sex  – 56:08

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 My Classic Albums are, so far:

Tales From The Australian Underground – Volume 1 & 2 by Various Artists

Station To Station by David Bowie

Unplugged In New York by Nirvana

Rust In Peace by Megadeth

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

Henry’s Dream by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Whatever You Love, You Are by Dirty Three

Gala Mill by The Drones

Black Monk Time by The Monks

Ex Tropical by Lost Animal

Work (Work, Work) by HTRK

In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd

Songs Of Love And Hate by Leonard Cohen

Warm Leatherette by Grace Jones

The White House by The Dead C

Silence Is Sexy by Einstürzende Neubauten

Lulu by Lou Reed & Metallica

Kaira by Toumani Diabaté

Kings Of The Wild Frontier by Adam And The Ants

Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth by Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males

Aerial by Kate Bush

The Future by Leonard Cohen

Rock For Light by Bad Brains

Last Splash by The Breeders

Sex by The Necks

So, this was the reason I started this blog. The idea is simply to write page/post about one of my fave album each that I consider a classic album. Please leave your comments below about each album because I would love to hear what you think about each album too, cheers!

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