The brief rise and fall of '70s Aussie punk band Radio Birdman will be celebrated in July with The Essential Radio Birdman, the group's first U.S. release in 20 years.
Radio Birdman originally took flight in 1974, led by singer Rob Younger and guitarist Deniz Tek. The latter grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was influenced by such seminal Motor City punk acts as the Stooges and the MC5.
With a lineup that also included guitarist Chris Masuak, bassist Warwick Gilbert, keyboardist Pip Hoyle and drummer Ron Keeley, Radio Birdman tuned in only long enough to release an EP (Burn My Eye in 1976) and two albums (Radios Appear in 1978 and Living Eyes in 1981) before calling it a day in 1981.
Tracks from all three of those records, as well as selections from Birdman's posthumous 1988 EP, More Fun! (previously unreleased in the U.S.), will be featured on the 22-track compilation The Essential Radio Birdman, including "Murder City Nights," "Non-Stop Girls," "Alone in the Endzone" and "Aloha Steve & Danno," a punk-rock ode to the "Hawaii Five-O" detectives portrayed by Jack Lord and James MacArthur.
Even though Radio Birdman were around for only seven years, they are generally credited with being the first homegrown punk band to hail from the land Down Under predating more widely known Aussie punkers the Saints.
After their demise, members of Radio Birdman splintered into several groups, most notably the one-off punk group the New Races, which featured Tek, Younger, Gilbert, along with former Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton and MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson.
The Essential Radio Birdman will be issued July 15 on Sub Pop.