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Ayers Rock

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Ayers Rock Beyond album cover
3.70 | 28 ratings | 6 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Moondah (Beyond)
2. A Place To Go
3. Catchanemu
4. Song For Darwin
5. Angel In Disguise
6. Little Kings

Line-up / Musicians

- Chris Brown / guitar, vocals
- James Doyle / guitar, vocals
- Mark Kennedy / drums
- Col Loughnan / saxes, clarinet, flute, keyboards, vocals
- Duncan McGuire / bass

Releases information

LP Mushroom L 35707 / CD Mushroom D 19762

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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AYERS ROCK Beyond ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AYERS ROCK Beyond reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This is another LP I have that still has a one dollar price sticker from the used record store. The things other people discard.

The descriptions here comparing this band to Santana and Traffic are right on the money. I wouldn't go as far as comparing them to The Mahavishnu Orchestra, but I hear where that's coming from.

The first song, Moondah, right off, falls right between Santana's rhythmic jams, and Traffics smooth rock sound. Place To Go, a slow vocal tune has some fusion aspects, and sort of reminds me of some of Stanley Clarke's early vocal fusion. Catchan Emu is a fast funky tune, where many of the Mahavishnu comarisons come from. While good, this is nowhere near as good as McLauhlin and friends.

Song For Darwin starts with a weird, almost orchestral intro, before settling into a Santana-like vocal arrangement. Angel In Disguise has a schmaltzty string intro, then becomes a nice slow fusion piece which segues into fast funk. Little Kings is a short, jazzy funk vocal tune.

I can understand why this band is so obscure. But for what they are, they are not bad.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars Ayers Rock came to my attention back in the 70s when I was listening to Skyhooks. The inner cover of "Ego is not a dirty word" had a number of album covers listed as a form of promotion for Mushroom labels, and the iconic image of Ayers Rock on the cover was always something that made me wonder what this band would sound like. Interestingly enough the EP "Big Red Rock" is actually a live album with very rocked up songs sounding nothing like the work on this debut album release. The music on "Beyond" is more jazz fusion, and instrumentals abound, though at times it verges back to the straight forward sound of "Big Red Rock".

The album begins with ethereal atmospherics on 'Moondah (Beyond)' that relies heavily on Col Loughlan's keyboard skills and woodwind. The aboriginal sounds are prevalent using clicking sticks and a didgeridoo droning effect. It breaks into beautiful guitar and keyboard melodies, with chimes and strong percussion. It is a delightful melody and very original sound, and allows for lengthy twin guitar solos using wah wah pedal and tremolo bar. The sax lends a nice jazz edge along with the rocking tempo.

'A Place To Go' features a moderate tempo and a sax melody, and the vocals at last come in. The smooth approach is welcome and sounds a bit bluesy in style. The string section is beautiful on this giving it a symphonic quality. The sound is akin to Santana with the cool guitar solos and breezy tempos. 'Catchanemu' is a showcase for percussionist Mark Kennedy, using a full on drum attack. The sax sounds are prominent and powerfully played by Col. The lead guitar playing is like Carlos Santana, soaring and emotional throughout.

'Song For Darwin' is dedicated to the victims and survivors of the devastating Cyclone Tracey that hit Darwin in 1975 and left thousands homeless just prior to Christmas. The disaster is one of the worst in Australian history and it is nice to hear a song dedicated to the catastrophic event, and this is better than the more popular at the time 'Santa Never Made It Into Darwin'. 'Angel In Disguise' is another instrumental that begins with chimes and sparse piano. It builds with gorgeous violin strings, harps and a full symphonic sound of transfixing beauty. Guitar swells and cymbal splashes add to the light textures. A steady bass sig locks in with a lovely lead guitar solo and spacey keyboard squelches. A very relaxing piece of music is the result, and definitely shows what the band were capable of. It builds to a nice fast tempo and some extreme wah wah guitar finesse.

'Little Kings' finishes the album with a rock song, sounding like Traffic, that is uncharacteristic of the music previous. It certainly wakes you up after the beauty preceding and is a decent way to close things off. I like the sax on this and it has an infectious chorus melody.

Overall this is a solid album from Ayers Rock, though is uneven and inconsistent in terms of the musical approach. Rather than sticking to one style it tends to veer into some odd songs that ruin the overall feel of the album. In any case it is worth seeking out as there is some fine music here and it is a prime example of 70s jazz fusion, and perhaps Ayers Rock's finest recording.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Fun, worthwhile listening for the fusion crowd. Due to the presence of a number of AOR oriented tracks, this could be a good introduction to the neophyte fusioneer. The opener and the closer are smoking hot fusion featuring rapid tempo and mood changes and dynamic interplay between the rhyth ... (read more)

Report this review (#988261) | Posted by Suedevanshoe | Friday, June 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars On this album the jazz fusion influence was much more overt, employing the much more sophisticated harmonic language of jazz and greater melodic effort, less reliance on blues scale, and greater prominence to Col Loughnan's winds and keyboards. There is still a commercial side to the band, on tracks ... (read more)

Report this review (#724480) | Posted by sl75 | Thursday, April 12, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow! Was the first thing I said when I listened to Beyond. Before Ayers Rock the only Jazz Fusion I ever listened to, or heard for that matter, were bands like Return to Forever, as music like this is not easily accessible where I live. This album is just amazing, and along with Crossfire's (f ... (read more)

Report this review (#189524) | Posted by AmericanProgster | Sunday, November 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Note: this album is not space rock but you'll like it. I saw this one as an incredible find for digging it up in a record bin for only two dollars. Rock, funk, jazz, and symphonia, this album has it all. Accessible (on the poppy side) and musically challenging, everything here is tight. A love ... (read more)

Report this review (#33012) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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