Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Loved Ones - Everlovin' Man/More Than Love

The Loved Ones
Everlovin' Man/More Than Love


Released 1966 on In
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 17/04/2007ce


About 20 years ago the UK music paper Melody Maker ran an excellent feature called "Rebellious Jukebox" which consisted of interviewing 4 musical artists and having them talk about their top 10 songs of all time. One particular issue had Julian Cope, Steve Severin of Siouxsie & The Banshees, Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens & former Birthday Party frontman Nick Cave. All 4 artists listed some interesting songs, yet it was Nick Cave who alerted me to Australian garage group The Loved Ones. Cave insisted that the reader hear this group at all costs and raved passionately about the group's lead singer Gerry Humphreys.

Luckily the following week I located a re-issue of the Loved Ones only long player "Magic Box" (which was essentially a collection of all the group's 45 sides with a couple of bonus live recordings.) As soon as I heard "Everlovin' Man" I was completely floored. WOW! What a record! and Humphreys voice was just sensational, it was every bit as powerful as Nick Cave described it. Gerry Humphreys was without question one of the most distinctive and powerful rock singers ever. His range is completely off the rails sounding like Elvis Presley, Screamin' Jay Hawkins & Fred Cole of The Lollipop Shoppe/Dead Moon all at the same time. Gerry lets out these shrieks on "Everlovin' Man" that are impossible to describe, he sounds like his face is on fire. I can see Nick Cave learned a thing or two from Humphreys which he brought to The Birthday Party. I can't ignore the backing musicians who lay down a primitive beat that makes The Seeds sound like a prog band. "Everlovin' Man" is one of the most powerful rock & roll records I have ever heard.

Incredibly the flipside "More Than Love" might be even better than the A-side. This song is another extremely raw raver that once again showcases Gerry's incredible voice. A couple of months ago I was browsing through the YOUTUBE video site and I almost died when I saw some enlightened Australian fellow uploaded videos of both tracks of this 45. I freaked right out! Sadly the "Everlovin' Man" video has since been pulled. However the complete video of "More Than Love" is still there and simply must be witnessed. This video is one of the most compelling performances I have ever seen (even though the song is mimed.) Gerry Humphreys has a stage prescence like no other singer, he looks incredible, like a mixture of 1966 Dave Davies and kid actor Corey Feldman. Humphreys paces about clapping his hands in the air like a man possessed, then does a wailing harp solo that is part Vic Godard and part Mel Lyman, truly amazing! At the end of the number Gerry holds his hands in the air as if he is motioning the audience to shut the fuck up! If you are reading this review, please watch this incredible clip while you still can, it's life changing.

The truly amazing thing about The Loved Ones is that their ultra primtive records were actually hits in Australia (which proves once again what a tuned in country Australia is.) Former Saints/Laughing Clowns visionary Ed Kuepper was a big Loved Ones fan, even chart act INXS covered a Loved Ones song. It's time the rest of the world recognizes the genius of Gerry Humphreys and The Loved Ones. Sadly Gerry is no longer with us, he passed away in 2005 in England at age 63. Probably the easist route to the Loved Ones music is the aforementioned "Magic Box" collection (which has come out on CD.)

On a similar topic, the wonderful person who uploaded The Loved Ones clips on YOUTUBE has also put up incredible videos by other Aussie heavyweights The Purple Hearts, Ray Brown & The Whispers, Black Diamonds, The Strangers, Normie "GOD" Rowe and Mike Furber and others, see them while you can.


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