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pre-AC/DC group Marcus Hook Roll Band getting debut album reissued (stream a track)

By Ian Chainey

Marcus Hook Roll Band

Australia’s Marcus Hook Roll Band will re-release Tales of Old Grand-Daddy, their 1973 album, worldwide on June 3 through Parlophone. Released originally in a limited domestic run, the LP and the band’s other singles have become a crate-digger’s holy grail, due in large part to the contributions from pre-AC/DC contributors Malcolm and Angus Young.

Started in 1972 by former Easybeats and future Flash and the Pan members Harry Vanda and George Young, Marcus Hook Roll Band was quickly scooped up by Capitol Records on the strength of their debut single “Natural Man.” The band decamped to the studio with George’s younger brothers in tow for sessions as whiskey-drenched as album title suggests. (Old Grand-Dad is a brand of bourbon.) As the story goes, the free-flowing booze nearly eradicated everyone’s memory of the studio stay, leaving such details as who-performed-what lost to flushed braincells. George Young: “We all got rotten (drunk) except Angus, who was too young and we spent a month in the studio boozing it up every night.” Angus, forever the schoolboy. In November of 1973, Angus and Malcolm, no doubt benefiting from the experience, would form AC/DC.

Marcus Hook Roll Band is a bit more than an AC/DC curio, having produced a catchy collection of rollicking, fried pub pop, best evidenced by the sing-along “Quick Reaction;” a track you could categorize as the Faces gone power pop. The timing of the re-release, however, comes oddly close to Malcolm Young’s hiatus from AC/DC due to illness. While this isn’t Tales of Old Grand-Daddy‘s first repress, it does span multiple formats including CD, LP, and a digital version, suggesting the proximity may be coincidental.

“Quick Reaction” is available to be streamed below.

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