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TAMAM SHUD

Crossover Prog • Australia


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Tamam Shud biography
Australian outfit TAMAM SHUD was formed back in 1967. The band had originally started out as The Four Strangers in 1964, but soon changed their moniker to The Sunsets. A change in stylistic expression and a subsequent line-up alteration called for a third alteration in band name, and from 1967 Dannie Davidson (drums), Zac Zytnic (guitar), Lindsay Bjerre (vocals, guitars) and Peter Barron (bass) took the name Tamam Shud when they started exploring the recently popular psychedelic progressive rock genre.

They were an active live unit throughout their career, and built themselves a good reputation from their base in Sydney.

They made their debut in early 1969 with Evolution. It was a rough and raw creation, recorded in a mere 2,5 hours in the studio. Four of the tracks were featured in the score for the surf movie 'Evolution', and the entire recording session was in fact financed from the budget of this film.

Zytnic left the band towards the end of 1969, and was replaced by the young, promising guitarist Tim Gaze in 1970. This slightly revamped version of the band recorded and released the sophomore effort Goolutionites and the Real People later the same year. This concept effort was met with critical acclaim, and have later been described as one of the truly great Aussie progressive rock albums.

Gaze and Davidson had left prior to the album release, to partake in another band project. Kevin Sinnott (drums) and Kevin Stephenson (reeds) were brought in for live duties, and Tamam Shud started exploring a more jazz-oriented direction at this time. Gaza returned to the band just after the album was issued in October 1970 though, and Sinnott and Stephenson left the band again at this point. Davidson did not return however, and he was replaced by Nigel Macara. Larry Duryea, Bobby Gebert and Richard Lockwood would join the ranks of Tamam Shud towards the end of 1970 as occasional members of the live band.

Tamam Shud continued as a prolific live act throughput 1971, and in 1972 they were asked to contribute the soundtrack to a new surf movie, 'Morning of the Earth'. While initially asked to cater for the entire soundtrack, a change of plans soon saw their contribution reduced to three compositions only. This and various other setbacks eventually saw the band break up towards the end of 1972.

Fans of the band were delighted when it was announced that they were to reunite in 1993, 21 years after breaking up. Bjerre, Gaze, Barro...
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TAMAM SHUD Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy TAMAM SHUD Music


EvolutionEvolution
Import
E.M. Records 2007
Audio CD$22.32
$21.77 (used)
Goolutionites & The Real PeopleGoolutionites & The Real People
Import
Aztec 2008
Audio CD$14.09
$28.77 (used)
Gooluntionites & The Real PeopleGooluntionites & The Real People
Import
Radioactive 2005
Audio CD$12.20
$10.50 (used)
1968-1972 Evolution & Goolutionites1968-1972 Evolution & Goolutionites
Import
Imports 2008
Audio CD$36.98
$24.02 (used)
Goolutionites And The Real PeopleGoolutionites And The Real People
Mayfair Music 2014
Vinyl$34.99
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TAMAM SHUD discography


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TAMAM SHUD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.06 | 7 ratings
Evolution
1969
3.92 | 15 ratings
Goolutionites and the Real People
1970
3.00 | 3 ratings
Permanent Culture
1994

TAMAM SHUD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TAMAM SHUD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TAMAM SHUD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TAMAM SHUD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Bali Waters
1972

TAMAM SHUD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Goolutionites and the Real People by TAMAM SHUD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.92 | 15 ratings

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Goolutionites and the Real People
Tamam Shud Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Australian psych-prog classic". Well, that is saying something, isn't it? I have read that line and similar, some even proclaiming it to be a masterpiece, many times and I always wonder what it is compared to. Is it Spectrums Milesago or The Aztecs or who? I have not an answer for this.

When I bought the album it was by way of lines as those above. Here was this amazing concept album of a progressive pedigree of the highest rank by this australian band, since long disbanded. I had to have it. When I received it, was I blown away? Was my inner feelings aroused by joy and musical fulfillment? Truthfully? No. No, I was not. By God, no.

The only thing I noticed, at first, was the extremely shaky vocals of Lindsay Bjerre. It drowned away everything else and I was deeply troubled. The album was then laid to rest, hidden away amongst the other CD:s of my collection. As time passed by, the feelings of dislike faded away and my interest for Tamam Shud re-emerged. By that time I managed to see through the foggy haze of rather bad vocals. When uncovered I found a treasure. A little gem of progressive rock.

The cover is beautiful with it's simple concept. A totally blue background, a gate and some sort of mythical being leading a parade of people, of sorts. That is alone something to behold. Inside this artistic delight is the music itself. The music of Tamam Shud is a mixture of psych, hard rock, jamming and progressive explorations, with a hint of jazz and folk. It is throughout a moody album. Reflective and pensive at times. Explosive and hard rocking at other times.

The music flows by, in an ever flowing segment, as many a progressive album do. Though comprised of several moods and changes in musical direction the music never strays too far but retains a sense of cohesiveness.

The shorter tracks, like "I love you all" and the jazzy "They'll take you down on the lot", are really effective parts of the equation, acting intermediary to the longer epics of the album. "Heaven is closed" and "A plague". The two songs "Goolutionites theme part 1 and 2" act as one entity and is a fine example of the jazzy progressive jazz-rock of Tamam Shud.

The vocals aren't as bad as I first experienced. They are not the greatest but in context they actually work really well. They are shaky but somewhat charming, ranging from being sometimes bad and sometimes quite good. If you get past the vocals I dare say you are in for a treat, listening to this album.

So, is it an australian masterpiece of prog? I can't say. I know too little about Australia's prog scene of the 1970's (or any decade) to say. It is, however, a great progressive album by any national standard and has that certain australian flavor I have found in Spectrum's music. That tone is very pleasing and makes for a very enjoyable experience. I really recommend anyone into psych-prog or progressive rock with jazzy elements to give it a listen. It is a great example of early progressive rock's attitude towards music in general, blending and twisting all genres into one delicious concoction.

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 Bali Waters by TAMAM SHUD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Bali Waters
Tamam Shud Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

4 stars I'm cheating here - I don't have this EP, but all three tracks appear on the Aztec re-release of Goolutionites, so I've at least heard all the music. Nothing here was completely new - the title track was on the Morning Of the Earth soundtrack album, while the other two tracks had been released as a single in 1971. "Bali Waters" is a gorgeous piece of music. Almost entirely instrumental (other than a hummed chorus), it spotlights Richard Lockwood's flute, and is supported by a very sympathetic strong arrangement from Peter Jones. It's one of the best tracks they ever recorded. 'Got A Feeling" and "My Father Told Me" are simpler songs, not so overtly proggy, although they do benefit from Lockwood's woodwinds and from Tim Gaze's more structured guitar playing.

Besides Bali Waters, two further tracks were recorded for the Morning Of The Earth soundtrack album. Those three tracks represent the best work of Tamam Shud and, along with this EP, point to the potential masterpiece that would have been Tamam Shud's third album, had they been allowed to record it.

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 Goolutionites and the Real People by TAMAM SHUD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.92 | 15 ratings

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Goolutionites and the Real People
Tamam Shud Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

4 stars Goolutionites still basically continues in the west coast acid rock style of the previous album - they still hadn't really crossed over into full-blown prog, although the addition of Tim Gaze to the band gave them the instrumental chops to carry the band into more ambitious territory in the years to come. Goolutionites is nevertheless a great album, a huge improvement over Evolution. Lindsay Bjerre's social and environmental concerns were coming to the fore in his lyrics, and for this album he put together a loose song cycle excoriating the selfish andwasteful lifestyle and repressive politics of mainstream society, and celebrating the virtues of nature and the new values of the counter culture. There are further explorations of unusual song structures on tracks like "Goolutionites Theme" and "Heaven Is Closed", while Tim Gaze's lead guitar drives the band to greater instrumental achievement on tracks like "I Love You All, "A Plague" and "Stand In The Sunlight". The gorgeous ballad "Take A Walk On A Foggy Morn" is possibly my favourite Tamam Shud song. This version of the band broke up almost immediately after the album was recorded, with Gaze and Davidson joining Kahvas Jute. Bjerre & Barron (eventually rejoined by Gaze) immediately took the band in a very different direction - lighter, jazzier, and proggier. Unfortunately, they were never allowed to record another album.

Quick note about editions. On the original pressing, "They'll Take You Down On The Lot" finishes with a quick descending four chord progression, a brief drum solo, and finally one of those rock and roll endings where everyone plays at once until a final drumbeat. On both of the official CD releases, this ending is cut short at the end of the drum solo. There are pirate CDs circulating which have the full ending. On the other hand, the Aztec re-release includes loads of bonus tracks - all their subsequent official releases (the Bali Waters EP and the contributions to Morning Of The Earth), and some rare live recordings from late in 1971. This was Tamam Shud's best period, so it's great to have so much of it finally available on a single CD - now if they could have included "America" from the GTK Tapes it would have been perfect.

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 Evolution by TAMAM SHUD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.06 | 7 ratings

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Evolution
Tamam Shud Crossover Prog

Review by sl75

3 stars Tamam Shud's debut was a seriously lo-fi garage rock album, recorded in mere hours when they had some studio time left following their recording (along with Carlos and Lockwood from Tully) of a soundtrack to the film of the same name as the album. At this point their music was more influenced by Haight-Ashbury style acid rock, but there are some quirkier musical moments - the unusual melody of "Falling Up", the detached rhythm of "I'm No One", the irregular metre of "Too Many Life", the unusual formal structure of "It's A Beautiful Day" - as well as more conventional but fantastic songs like "Music Train/Evolution", "Lady Sunshine", "Jesus Guide Me". A good beginning.

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 Goolutionites and the Real People by TAMAM SHUD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.92 | 15 ratings

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Goolutionites and the Real People
Tamam Shud Crossover Prog

Review by DeKay

4 stars Tamam Shud was a psych-prog rock band formed in 1967. The name of the band is a a Persian phrase meaning "the very end", taken by the band's guitarist Bjerre from the closing words of Omar Khayyam's poem "The Rubaiyat". The band was probably influenced by the "Mystery of the Somerton Man", a case of a man's dead body found on Somerton beach in Adelaide, Australia on December 1948. A piece of paper with the words "Tamam Shud" was found inside a sectret pocket in the man's clothes. The body was never identified. Quite a story...as is the band's music.

After their debut, "Evolution", released in 1969, which was the soundtrack to Paul Witzig's surf film, Tamam Shud were offered a deal by Warner Brothers and decided to make a turn towards more adventurous, progressive music, compared to their mostly psych/acid (and less prog) rock debut. "Goolutionites and the Real People" was released in October 1970 with one line-up change: Zac Zytnic was replaced by guitar prodigy Tim Gaze, not more than 15 years old when he joined the band, who nevertheless contributed very much to Tamam Shud's "evolution-after- Evolution".

Considered as their masterpiece, this is a concept album about enironmental degradation by "goolutionites" (= polluters) versus "the real people" (=anti-polluters). The concept (as well as Gaze's embarking) was Bjerre's idea. The music is dominated by the guitar heavy riffing, flowing leads and kind of jazzy licks. The acid-rock influences are still present here, which gives a unique, more groovy and yet heavy rock, identity to the album. All songs are beautifully structured, sounding as a turning point from psychedelic rock to to the prog era which followed in the early '70s. After some live shows which followed the release of "Goolutionites..", Tamam Shud disbanded. Tim Gaze and Dannie Davidson went on to form another great band, Kahvas Jute, with Bob Daisley and Dennis Wilson (ex-Mecca).

Ian McFarlane (Australian music journalist and author of The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop) called Tamam Shud's final album as "one of the truly great Aussie progressive rock albums" and I couldn't agree more. Alongside Masters Apprentices, Buffalo, Madder Lake, and Kahvas Jute, Tamam Shud are among the underrated bands of '70s aussie prog rock.

Favorite songs: "Heaven Is Closed", " A Plague", "Goolutionites Theme (Part 1 & 2)".

Highly recommended to all psych/prog rock and proto-prog rock fans.

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 Evolution by TAMAM SHUD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.06 | 7 ratings

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Evolution
Tamam Shud Crossover Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Aussie proggers designed for the acid soaked rebellious 60s generation.

"Evolution" is a very psychedelic album from the Australian surf acids rockers Tamam Shud. There are moments of pure psych prog and other moments are simple rock structures reminiscent of early 60s rock. The vocals of Lindsay Bjerre are raw and unpolished, the songs are short and to the point for the most part, and there were strong rhythms; they were a no frills Aussie product of the psychedelic 60s. A lot of the songs are throwaway 60s fodder but there are a few shining moments.

'It's a beautiful day' has a staccato riff that pulsates along with a simple guitar motif, and then the time signature becomes odd. The guitars have a spacey quality, with very pronounced arpeggios. The lyrics are strange and non sensical; "it's a beautiful day the sound of the symphony...to a house of no ending, the minds are bending..." The time sig completely changes toward the end to an almost whimsical tune.

'Mr Strange' is a rocker with a driving beat and heavy guitars, the drumming is relentless and overblown with crashing cymbals that are constant. The psychedelic lyrics are notable; "it's been a while since we saw you I thought it was very strange, how does it feel Mr Strange, how is the weather today, you've been walking round in the rain... the bird has flown now your seed is sown..." Another blazing rock number with raucous guitars.

'Falling Up' has a quirky riff that sounds a bit like the Crazy World of Arthur Brown in structure and feel. The lead break is a cool surfie refrain typical of the underground 60s, similar to The Sonics or acid rockers The 13th Floor Elevators.

'Jesus Guide Me' is another rocking song and the lead singer Lindsay Bjerre is almost screaming the words 'Jesus Guide Me' as if he is crying out in desperation for help. Perhaps this is like the cry of the Jesus freaks, the long haired hippies that were searching for meaning during the late 60s.

'Lady Sunshine' has a metronome swinging beat that drives it and some unusual guitar noises. The vocals are melodic with typical 60s flower power themes, "lady sunshine let that sunshine in". The stoner rock of the album is evident on these types of throwaway tracks, that seemed designed to get high to rather than to admire any type of musical virtuosity.

The final song is 'Too Many Life' with a very strange structure, a driving beat that moves in metrical shapes slow to fast, and lead guitar breaks that flow along simply but effectively. The lyrics are rebellious anecdotes and the cry of wanting to be free from the system, the cry of the 60s youth; "Too many people using my time, blowing my mind, too many juries, judging my time, jailing my mind..." After the freakout ending, there is a male scream of pain and then a female screaming like she is being murdered and then we hear footsteps down a hallway. It really freaked me out as I wasn't prepared for that disturbing ending. In a way it is like a scream of agony from the youth wanting to be set free from the expectations of conforming to the rules and regulations of the late 60s.

The band are not virtuoso musicians on this album but they make their intentions known in their no-nonsense style in a bunch of songs less than three minutes, with some almost clocking 4 minutes and one clocking in at 7 minutes. They were not designed for prosperity or longevity, Lindsay Bjerre even admitted in a GTK interview that they were not good enough for an American tour and pretty much kept to the surf and sun of Australian shores to bring their music to the masses. Certainly the band were a product of their time and this album was a solid debut; a taste of the underground 60s sound of Aussie prog and is quite a curiosity worth hearing.

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