Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday 80s Flashback for October 18, 2013

Big Pig (photo credit:

[Bonk] -- First off, please accept my apologies for not posting a Flashback last week. Hopefully you'll feel this week's entry to be satisfying enough for two weekends. And I'm fairly confident you will, because this one is going to bonk you. Now, get your heads out of the gutter. I'm talking about Bonk, the 1988 debut album from Australian pop-rockers Big Pig.

In a decade of big synths and bigger hair, Big Pig bucked both musical and fashion trends (check out those leather aprons). The brainchild of drummer Oleh Witer, Big Pig traces its origins to 1983 after Witer bounded in and out of four different bands. After the fourth gig fizzled out with nothing tangible to show for his efforts, Witer opted to form his own band and to do it totally on his own terms. He wanted to write his own songs and create something without compromise. The first incarnation of Big Pig (1985) was inspired by Japanese taiko drummers -- around nine drummers creating a controlled chaos of rhythms. Members came and went as Witer felt he just needed to get the right people for his vision of orchestrated rhythms. When Big Pig made their concert debut in 1986, the necessary lineup had finally gelled. They self-released an EP that same year and generated enough interest for a label to get the band in studio to begin recording a full-length LP in 1987. Three EP tunes ( "Hungry Town", "Money God" and "Devil's Song") were reworked for the album and they recorded eight more tracks, one of which was a, ahem, "Breakaway" hit which also appeared on the Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure soundtrack. Despite this success, and all the hype, Big Pig's sophomore album made no dent in the charts or MTV, and the band all but disappeared after their 1990 tour.

To check out some Bonk tunes, read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1"Omina, doke doe, ominea."

"(I Can't) Break Away" was released in 1988 and it became a top 20 hit for Big Pig. The video was in heavy rotation on MTV and the song was featured on the soundtrack album for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure where it plays over the opening credits. Here is the band's official music video for the tune.

Flashback #2"I got my hat and a dollar bill | Lord I feel so hungry I'm feeling ill."

As mentioned previously, "Hungry Town" was one of the songs from Big Pig's self-produced, and self-titled, EP. That EP came out in 1986, and the "Hungry Town" made the rounds that year as well. It was later reworked for Bonk and released as a single in 1987. Amidst the keyboards and drums, there is a not-so-subtle message about hunger. 

Flashback #3"Got a story to tell."

The fourth single released from Bonk, "Big Hotel" is a sweaty, misty opus to communal living. However, I don't mean communal as in a commune. I mean it in the sense of living in the dirty, swanky armpit of a major metropolitan area. And Big Pig almost makes it seem glamorous. At least it's toe-tapping and harmonica-swelling fun.

Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

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