There are very few bands that maintain success for more than 30 years, but for the Little River Band, they have done just that. As the most successful group to ever come out of Australia, the Little River Band has permanently made its mark in rock and roll history.
In early 1975, the Little River Band was formed with lead singer Glenn Shorrock, Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles, Derek Pellicci and Glenn Wheatley.
How did the band come up with their name? On a road trip between Melbourne and Geelong in Australia, they saw a road sign that said “little river”. One of the guys suggested that the name would make a great song title. Glenn Shorrock said that it would make a great name for the group. The other members agreed and the band became known as the Little River Band.
The Little River Band Top Ten Hits:
10. “Man On Your Mind”
Another hit song from “Time Exposure”, the song “Man On Your Mind” went up to #14 in 1982. Co-written by Glenn Shorrock, this was another song that almost never made the album. When the songs were originally sent to the producer to be put on the album, “Man On Your Mind” was overlooked. Shorrock said wait a minute, something is wrong, and the song was then included on the album.
9. “Help Is On The Way”
This was the first song that cracked the Top 20. Written by lead singer Glenn Shorrock, “Help Is On The Way” rose all the way up to #14 on the Billboard charts. It hit #1 in Australia. By this time the group also began touring with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Boz Scaggs, Heart and The Eagles.
8. “Happy Anniversary”
This Bee Gees inspired hit peaked in 1978 at #16. “Happy Anniversary” came from the bands album “Sleeper Catcher”, which spent 61 weeks on the Top 200 Albums chart. Written by Beeb Birles, “Happy Anniversary” was his single biggest piece.
7. “Take It Easy On Me”
The third big hit from “Time Exposure”, “Take It Easy On Me” went to #10 on the Billboard charts. This song is based on the story of a guy who has not succeeded in love, but goes on anyway. “Take It Easy On Me” was originally sung by Wayne Nelson on lead vocals. Upset by this decision, Glenn Shorrock released a second version with him singing lead to the record company. Capitol chose the one with Shorrock on lead. The events in part led to Glenn Shorrock leaving the band later in 1982.
In early 1979 “Lady” peaked at #10 on the Billboard charts. Also written by Graeham Goble, “Lady” spent 20 weeks on the charts and was the groups biggest selling single.
5. “Lonesome Loser”
During the summer of 1979 the Little River Band released another album, “First Under The Wire,” which went to #10 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. Based on the story of an average “joe” who keeps trying to make it in life no matter how many times he fails to find happiness, “Lonesome Loser” peaked at #6 in 1979.
4. “Cool Change”
Penned by Glenn Shorrock, “Cool Change” was the bands next big hit song from the album “First Under The Wire”. The song went to #10 on Billboard, spending 18 weeks on the charts. It was written to be a look back at life, and about a man who was trying to find himself. Its heavy emotional impact helped make “Cool Change” a smash hit.
3. “The Night Owls”
From the album “Time Exposure”, which went to #21 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums charts, the hit song “The Night Owls” came out. Written once again by Graeham Goble, “The Night Owls” went all the up to # 6 on the Billboard charts in 1981. It spent 21 weeks on the charts and became the longest running single in the group’s history.
2. “It’s A Long Way There”
This was the groups first hit song and the one that gave them their start in America. The song was already a hit in Australia, but unknown in America. That changed in a hurry when the band traveled to America and opened for the Average White Band. Scheduled to only perform in three concerts, a DJ from Jacksonville, FL, Bill Barnett, began playing several of the bands song tracks, sparking the groups soon to be popularity. Suddenly, three concerts turned into 12, and then into 5 months. “It’s A Long Way There” broke the American Top 40 and Casey Kasem began to give them airtime on his weekly radio show. There was no stopping LRB now.
It’s interesting in how this song got its start. Graeham Goble wrote the song in 1972 based on his trips back home to his parent’s house. He lived in another state and would drive 10 hours each way once a month to see them. During one of the long road trips he came up with the song.
“It’s A Long Way There” is considered by many to be the group’s signature song. The hit single peaked in 1976 at #28. More importantly though, it was the beginning of an incredible journey.
The bands highest ranked single of all-time. “Reminiscing” sky-rocketed up the charts to #3 in 1978. It spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also has over 4 million radio airplays to its credit, and was a personal favorite of the Beetle’s John Lennon.
Written by Graeham Goble, he got the idea for the song from watching old black and white movies with Glenn Miller and Cole Porter songs. He says it took only a half-hour to write the words to it.
The amazing thing about this was that the song was almost never recorded. When the band was set to record the song, their keyboard player wasn’t there. They tried to make the single with a different keyboard player, but it didn’t work out. So, they tried another one, again, it didn’t work. By this time the rest of the band was getting tired of it. Finally, their keyboardist made it back, and Goble was able to convince them to give it one more attempt in making the song. They finished the album and sent it off to Capitol Records.
Capitol sat on the album for five weeks, not knowing if any of the songs were singles material. Someone from Capitol said “Reminiscing” needed to be released as a single immediately because it was a smash hit just waiting to happen. Sure enough, it exploded up the charts after almost never having been recorded.
No matter how young or how old you are, the music from the Little River Band never grows old. Like being around a good friend, the Little River Band gives you a the wonderful feeling of comfort, peace and happiness.