Following the demise in 1978 of the original line-up of The Saints, guitarist Ed Kuepper returned to Australia and teamed up with his schoolyard chum and former Saints drummer, Jeffrey Wegener, embarking upon his most ambitious project to date, the Laughing Clowns. Taking inspiration from such disparate genres as free-jazz, bluegrass and krautrock. the Laughing Clowns would polarise opinion in much the same manner as John Lydon did with his post-Sex Pistols outfit PiL. In reality, though, the Laughing Clowns were the logical extension of The Saints continuing the musical themes already explored on The Saints second and in particular, third album, Prehistoric Sounds. Criminally overlooked at the time, a 3CD box set released in 2006 entitled Cruel But Fair, revisits the true genius that was the Laughing Clowns.
History of Rock ‘n’ Roll Volume One
Laughing Clowns returned to Australia from their extended European sojourn in mid 83 after a second major lineup change, continuing personal conflicts amidst mounting debts, and an album of new material waiting to be recorded without a record company in sight to lubricate the wheels of creativity. At a time which might have spelled the end for the band, 'History of Rock 'n' roll volume one' was at once an ending and a beginning.
Essentially put together as a way of raising cash to pay off overseas touring debt and to facilitate the recording of "law of Nature’, the compilation took on something of an iconic status amongst fans not only because it collected in one place many of the out of print recordings from Ed Kuepper’s by then defunct label Prince Melon Records. It also illustrated the remarkably smooth coexistence of painterly, seemingly art house ambitions and outright contrary and individualistic musical aspirations that made up the various lineups of the Clowns
Eschewing strict chronology the album’s first side opened with what seemed like a three car pile up with the Loony Tunes meets 50’s space age rockabilly of ‘Theme from ‘Mad Flies, Mad Flies’’, followed rapidly in a similar vein by ‘Every dog has it’s day’ and the slightly darker ‘’Cabinet of Doctor Caligari’’ like tension of ‘Holy Joe ‘before moving into the straight ahead pop of ‘Sometimes ,I Can’t live with anyone’ ,[straight ahead that is if you lived in an alternate reality where actual early 80’s Australian mainstream pop didn’t exist], and finishing with the bands eponymous theme song “the Laughing Clowns’
A1 Theme from "Mad Flies, Mad Flies" 4:14
A2 Every Dog Has Its Day 3:50
A3 Holy Joe 3:52
A4 Sometimes (I Can't Live With Anyone) 4:06
A5 The Laughing Clowns 4:09
B1 Ghost Beat 3:21
B2 I Want To Scream 5:10
B3 Clown Town 3:24
B4 Everything That Flies (Is Not A Bird) 4:17
B5 Collapse Board 5:54