Christine Amphlett - vocals; Mark McEntee - guitars; Rick Grossman - bass; Bjarne Ohlin - guitars, keyboards
The Divinyls might have been introduced to audiences around the globe as part of the 1980s' Australian Assault that spawned Men at Work, Midnight Oil, INXS, and Crowded House, but that's as close as they've ever come to being placed in any kind of familiar category. The Divinyls have always been among the most distinctive rock bands to win the hearts of both critics and fans. Their rock 'n' roll is both powerful and relentless, yet their songs often transcend compassion. In many ways, they are the quintessential rock outfit: delivering great songs with passionate performances, and all wrapped up in the unforgettable persona and brazen sexuality of lead vocalist Christina Amphlett.
This show, recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, was recorded on the band's first world tour, where they pretty much played most shows as an opening act. The material is from their first US LP, Desperate, and many of the songs had previously been recorded as part of a film soundtrack entitled Monkey Grip. Amphlett and McEntee co-wrote all but one song, and most of Desperate is featured during this show. On "Elsie," Amphlett sings about desperation and decadence in the story of a girl who has wasted her life. They open with a remake of the classic Easybeats' song, "Make You Happy", which is used to close the album in pure pop fashion.
The group returned home in the fall 1983 and immediately began recording the follow-up to Desperate, but the sessions were strained, and in the end three platinum producers would be involved. Eventually, Christine and Mark journeyed to Los Angeles, where they managed to convince acclaimed pop producer, Mike Chapman, to return to Australia with them and finish the album (which took two years to complete), now dubbed What A Life!
They toured in 1986 to support the What A Life! record, and returned again in 1988 with Temperamental, but again, they both failed to provide the big commercial breakthrough for Amphlett and McEntee. In 1989, the Divinyls left Chrysalis Records and temporarily moved to France where they fit in comfortably in the "red light" district of Paris. Eventually the duo returned on another label with their first bona fide U.S. hit single, the controversial "I Touch Myself," a vaguely veiled ode to the joys of masturbation. The single, and its accompanying LP, Divinyls, went Top 10 everywhere, thanks largely to a controversial MTV video.
In the mid-1990s, Amphlett pursued an acting career (she played Judy Garland in the Aussie production of The Boy From Oz); and McEntee pursued various solo projects. The Divinyls remain a touring band today, when both Amphlett and McEntee are in between their own projects. They recently headlined the Australian "Homebake" tour of 2007.