Do-Re-Mi (band)

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Do-Ré-Mi
DoReMiPublicityShot1985.jpeg
Do-Ré-Mi, 1985 publicity shot
L–R: Stephen Philip, Helen Carter, Deborah Conway, Dorland Bray
Background information
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Pop rock, new wave
Years active1981–1988, 2018–present
LabelsGreen Records, Larrikan Records, Virgin
Associated actsThe Benders, Thought Criminals, Deborah Conway, Ghostwriters
MembersHelen Carter
Deborah Conway
Dorland Bray
Stephen Philip

Do-Ré-Mi (often typeset as Do-Re-Mi or Do Re Mi) were an Australian pop rock band formed in Sydney in 1981 by Deborah Conway (lead vocals), Dorland Bray (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Helen Carter (bass, backing vocals) and Stephen Philip (guitar). [1] [2] [3] They were one of Australia's most respected and successful post-punk groups. Do-Ré-Mi recorded self-titled EP and [1] [2] The Waiting Room for independent label Green Records [1] before signing to Virgin Records and recording their first LP, Domestic Harmony in 1985 with Gavin MacKillop producing. [1] [2] Domestic Harmony achieved gold sales and contained their most played song, "Man Overboard", which was a top 5 hit single in 1985. [4] [5] This song was notable for its lyrical references to penis envy and pubic hair. [6] Do-Ré-Mi's follow-up singles Idiot Grin and Warnings Moving Clockwise reached the Top 100.

Contents

Their second album, The Happiest Place in Town , produced by Martin Rushent, included the singles "Adultery", "King of Moomba" and "Haunt You", all of which reached the Australian top 100. [1] [4] The band chose to take an extended break in 1988, with Conway pursuing a solo career, and ended up permanently disbanding later in the decade. [1] [2]

Career

Previous bands

One of Dorland Bray's first groups was Shotgun Willie. They played several gigs in the Melbourne pub scene, mainly performing country material gathered from artists such as the relatively unknown Delbert McClinton and Willie Nelson.

Conway and Bray were both in Melbourne-based band The Benders with Neville Aresca, Les Barker, John Campbell, Daniel Solowiej and Greg Thomas. [3] Before joining The Benders, Bray had been in punk rock group the News. [2] Vocalist Conway joined The Benders in 1979 whilst still at Melbourne University. The Benders performed mostly in Melbourne and gigged around pubs playing original material (mostly written by Conway and Thomas) and Blondie and Devo covers. [7] Conway and Bray also wrote songs together. [8] In Sydney, Philip had been a guitarist for Thought Criminals [3] and was also a session musician. [1] [2] Carter was a member of punk band Friction. Carter had been living with punk rocker Roger Grierson of Thought Criminals [9] (later an executive of Festival Mushroom Records).

when the boys were taking a break at rehearsal one day, I picked up the bass guitar for the first time. [10]

Helen Carter, 2004

1981-1988: Do-Ré-Mi

Bray and Conway left Melbourne for Sydney in 1981, forming Do-Ré-Mi with Carter. In July 1982 Do-Ré-Mi recorded some tracks for a self-titled 12" EP using Philip as a session musician. Philip formally joined the band by the time of the EP's release in August 1982 on independent label Green Records. In line with the core post-1960s principle that the personal is political, the band's first recording featured a spiky-funk sound working under passionate, personal-political songs, which included the anti-cold war track "Standing on Wires".[ citation needed ]

Conway had lived with Paul Hester [8] drummer in Deckchairs Overboard (later in Split Enz and Crowded House). Hester guested on timbales for "(Just Like) Hercules", a track on their second 12" EP, released by Green Records in January 1983, The Waiting Room . [7]

Do-Ré-Mi was signed by Virgin Records after being spotted by the management of Cold Chisel and The Angels. [6] Do-Ré-Mi recorded two LP albums: Domestic Harmony (1985) and The Happiest Place in Town (1988) and seven singles for Virgin Records. [3] Both albums were recorded in London, Domestic Harmony had Gavin McKillop producing and peaked at No. 16 on the Australian albums charts;. [4] Martin Rushent produced The Happiest Place in Town. [3]

Their best known hit, "Man Overboard" originally appeared on their 1983 EP The Waiting Room. [2] They re-recorded "Man Overboard" for Domestic Harmony and the track was released as a single in May 1985. It peaked at No. 5 on the Australian singles chart. [4] [6] "Man Overboard" was the 8th highest Australian song for 1985 End of Year Chart. [11]

In the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2001 TV series Long Way to the Top [9] Carter described the delight Do-Ré-Mi had in the success of this single, which came despite the concerns of their record company:

There was a real hit-maker mentality [...] people would say 'It can't be a hit – it doesn't have a chorus [...] You're talking about pubic hair, oh my God!' [9]

Helen Carter, 2001

In 1985 Do-Ré-Mi performed three songs for the Oz for Africa concert as part of the global Live Aid program – "Man Overboard", "Warnings Moving Clockwise" and "1000 Mouths". [12] It was broadcast in Australia (on both the Seven Network and Nine Network) and on MTV in the US. [12]

Not long after their second album was released in February 1988, Do-Ré-Mi travelled to the United Kingdom to begin recording a third album. Before this was finished Virgin Records offered Conway a solo deal and Do-Ré-Mi disbanded.

Subsequent careers

Bray became a member of Ghostwriters for their first album Ghostwriters (1991). Carter and Philip wrote and performed together first with short lived Lupi and later (c. 2001) in Underfelt. [6] Philip wrote soundscapes for a number of theatre productions of Macbeth, featuring David Field at the Performance Space in Sydney, and produced for Peter Milton Walsh and Grant McLennan.

Conway has a successful solo career, winning an ARIA award for her first solo album String of Pearls in 1991 (co-writing three songs with Bray). [7] Her best known solo hit was 1991's "It's Only the Beginning" reaching No. 19. [8] Conway is still involved in musical activities with a 2007 version of Broad. Thought Criminals reformed in February 2006: see Official website.

Reunion

In 2018, Carter, Conway and Philip reformed Do Re Mi to perform at the inaugural Australian Women in Music Awards ceremony in Brisbane. Carter and Conway decided to continue with the reunion after being approached to be a part of the By The C concert series. The group, alongside new members Bridie O’Brien (guitar), Julia Day (drums) and Clio Renner (keyboards), would go on to announce a run of headlining shows for 2019. [13]

Covers and others

"Man Overboard" was used for He Died with a Felafel in His Hand (2001) performed by Conway and Wicked Beat Sound System. [14] It was also recorded by the band george (with Conway guesting) for their 2004 EP Still Real. [15]

"Standing on Wires" was used for Australian TV series Love My Way (2004–2007) episode 2.03. [16]

Discography

Studio albums

List of albums, with Australian chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart
positions
Certification
AUS
[4]
Domestic Harmony
  • Released: July 1985
  • Label: Virgin (VOZ 2001)
6
  • AUS: Gold
The Happiest Place in Town
  • Released: August 1988
  • Label: Virgin (V 2467)
24

Extended plays

List of EPs with Australian details
TitleEP details
Do-Ré-Mi
  • Released: August 1982
  • Label: Green (LRM-680)
The Waiting Room
  • Released: January 1983
  • Label: Larrikin (LRM117)

Singles

YearSinglePeak chart
positions
Album
AUS
[4]
1985"Man Overboard"5Domestic Harmony
"Idiot Grin"43
"Warnings Moving Clockwise"72
1986"Guns and Butter"48non album single
1987"Adultery"27The Happiest Place in Town
1988"King of Moomba"52
"The Happiest Place in Town"-
"Haunt You"91

Awards and nominations

Countdown Music Awards

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974–1987, it presented music awards from 1979–1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week . The TV Week / Countdown Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards. [17] [18]

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1985Domestic HarmonyBest Debut AlbumWon
"Man Overboard"Best Debut SingleWon
ThemselvesMost Promising TalentWon
1986 Deborah Conway in "Guns & Butter" by Do-Re-MiBest Female Performance in a VideoNominated

ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
ARIA Music Awards of 1987 "Guns and Butter" ARIA Award for Highest Selling Single Nominated

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<i>The Waiting Room</i> (EP) 1983 EP by Do-Re-Mi

The Waiting Room is the second EP by Australian rock/pop group Do-Ré-Mi and was released by independent label Larrikin Records in January 1983. The album has six tracks, which were written by lead vocalist Deborah Conway, drummer Dorland Bray, bass guitarist Helen Carter and guitarist Stephen Philip. "Man Overboard" made its first appearance on this EP, but was re-worked and released as a single in 1985 to become a surprise top 5 hit, it included lyrics referring to anal humour, penis envy and pubic hair; and had no chorus. Paul Hester, later drummer for Split Enz and Crowded House, was living with Conway and guested on timbales for the track, "(Just Like) Hercules".

<i>Do-Re-Mi</i> (EP) 1982 EP by Do-Ré-Mi

Do-Ré-Mi or Standing on Wires is the debut EP album by Australian rock/pop group Do-Ré-Mi which was released by independent label Green Records in August 1982. The album has four tracks, which were written by lead vocalist Deborah Conway, drummer Dorland Bray, bass guitarist Helen Carter and guitarist Stephen Philip. Philip had been a session musician but was invited to join the band during recording in July.

<i>Domestic Harmony</i> 1985 studio album by Do-Ré-Mi

Domestic Harmony is the debut studio album by Australian rock/pop group Do-Ré-Mi which was released by Virgin Records in August 1985. The album has ten tracks, which were written by lead vocalist Deborah Conway, drummer Dorland Bray, bass guitarist Helen Carter and guitarist Stephen Philip.

<i>The Happiest Place in Town</i> 1988 studio album by Do-Ré-Mi

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Man Overboard (Do-Re-Mi song)

"Man Overboard" is a song by Australian rock/pop group Do-Ré-Mi recorded in 1982 for the EP The Waiting Room. The song was re-recorded in 1985 and released in May 1985 as the lead single from the group's debut studio album, Domestic Harmony. The 7" vinyl version has three tracks, which were written by lead vocalist Deborah Conway, drummer Dorland Bray, bass guitarist Helen Carter and guitarist Stephen Philip.

Idiot Grin

"Idiot Grin" is a song by Australian rock/pop group Do-Re-Mi released by Virgin Records in August 1985 as the second single from their debut studio album. The song peaked at number 43 in Australia.

Warnings Moving Clockwise

"Warnings Moving Clockwise" is a song by Australian rock/pop group Do-Re-Mi released by Virgin Records in November 1985 as the third and final single from their debut studio album. The song peaked at number 72 in Australia.

Guns and Butter (song)

"Guns and Butter" is a song by Australian rock/pop group Do-Ré-Mi released by Virgin Records in October 1986. The song peaked at number 48 on the Australian charts.

King of Moomba (song)

"King of Moomba" is a song by Australian rock/pop group Do-Ré-Mi released by Virgin Records in January 1988 as the second single from the group's second second album The Happiest Place in Town. The song was written by lead vocalist Deborah Conway, drummerDorland Bray, bass guitarist Helen Carter and guitarist Stephen Philip. While the B-side "Tearing up the Carpet" was written by Carter and Philip. The song peaked at number 52 on the Australian charts.

Adultery (song)

Adultery is a song by Australian rock/pop group Do-Ré-Mi, released by Virgin Records in October 1987, as the lead singe from the band's second studio album, The Happiest Place in Town. The song peaked at number 27 on the Australian charts.

The Happiest Place in Town (song)

"The Happiest Place in Town" is a song by Australian rock/pop group Do-Ré-Mi released by Virgin Records in May 1988 as the fourth and final single, from their second studio album The Happiest Place in Town.

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Its Only the Beginning 1991 single by Deborah Conway

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References

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  5. Debbie Kruger (14–20 July 2004). "Once more with feeling". Melbourne Weekly Bayside Magazine. Retrieved 24 September 2007.
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  9. 1 2 3 "Helen Carter video interview for Long Way to the Top". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  10. Helen Carter (January 2004). "Publication reviews". Perfect Beat 5 pp 80–82. Retrieved 9 August 2007.
  11. "1985 End of Year Chart". Oz Net Music Chart. Archived from the original on 8 September 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  12. 1 2 "Oz for Africa". liveaid.free.fr. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  13. "Do Re Mi Announce First Headline Shows In 30 Years". theMusic.com.au. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  14. "He Died with a Felafel in His Hand soundtrack". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  15. "george Official Website". george. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  16. T. Zuk. "Love My Way music credits". Australian TV information archive. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
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  18. "Final episode of Countdown". 1970scountdown. Retrieved 23 October 2020.