The Saints - All Times Through Paradise

Seminal Aussie punks’ purple patch

When the producers of the 70s
action TV show The Return Of
The Saint needed a punk band
to play in the background of a
club scene, they turned not to
any of the usual London
suspects, but to Simon
Templar’s Brisbane namesakes.
A corny little joke, perhaps, but
that’s not to take anything away
from the group’s lasting
influence on the scene.

Chris Bailey and Ed Keupper
were out of the traps earlier than
the Brits, though, first playing
together while still at school in
1974, bonding over a shared passion for The Stooges and
MC5. They moved to London in
’77 and signed to Harvest (an
odd home, given the bulk of their
prog-leaning labelmates) to
release the pivotal (I’m)
Stranded, one of three original
albums featured in their entirety
on this box set. Already they were
displaying a heightened
musicality compared to most of
the Brit pack (Demolition Girl,
Nights In Venice) but with no less
ferocity or attitude.

The following year’s
Eternally Yours found them
broadening their palette,
injecting 60s soul motifs into
Know Your Product and blues
elements into A Minor Aversion.
Prehistoric Sounds, also from
1978, and the last long player
by the original line-up, moved
further away from the bloodrush
of punk and suggested a
growing sophistication. Fans
who still prefer the band’s
earlier venom are catered for
here by the inclusion of a full
live show from London’s Hope &
Anchor, recorded not long after
The Saints’ arrival in the UK.
Terry Staunton

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

EMI | cat no tbc (4-CD)

Reviewed by Ron Sexsmith
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