Do-Ré-Mi, 1985 publicity shot
L–R: Stephen Philip, Helen Carter, Deborah Conway, Dorland Bray
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Genres||Pop rock, new wave|
|Years active||1981–1988, 2018–present|
|Labels||Green Records, Larrikan Records, Virgin|
|Associated acts||The Benders, Thought Criminals, Deborah Conway, Ghostwriters|
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).They were one of Australia's most respected and successful post-punk groups. Do-Ré-Mi recorded self-titled EP and The Waiting Room for independent label Green Records before signing to Virgin Records and recording their first LP, Domestic Harmony in 1985 with Gavin MacKillop producing. Domestic Harmony achieved gold sales and contained their most played song, "Man Overboard", which was a top 5 hit single in 1985. This song was notable for its lyrical references to penis envy and pubic hair. Do-Ré-Mi's follow-up singles Idiot Grin and Warnings Moving Clockwise reached the Top 100.
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.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.
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.Before joining The Benders, Bray had been in punk rock group the News. 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. Conway and Bray also wrote songs together. In Sydney, Philip had been a guitarist for Thought Criminals and was also a session musician. Carter was a member of punk band Friction. Carter had been living with punk rocker Roger Grierson of Thought Criminals (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.— Helen Carter, 2004
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 Hesterdrummer 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 .
Do-Ré-Mi was signed by Virgin Records after being spotted by the management of Cold Chisel and The Angels.Do-Ré-Mi recorded two LP albums: Domestic Harmony (1985) and The Happiest Place in Town (1988) and seven singles for Virgin Records. Both albums were recorded in London, Domestic Harmony had Gavin McKillop producing and peaked at No. 16 on the Australian albums charts;. Martin Rushent produced The Happiest Place in Town.
Their best known hit, "Man Overboard" originally appeared on their 1983 EP The Waiting Room.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. "Man Overboard" was the 8th highest Australian song for 1985 End of Year Chart.
In the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2001 TV series Long Way to the TopCarter 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!'— 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".It was broadcast in Australia (on both the Seven Network and Nine Network) and on MTV in the US.
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.
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.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).Her best known solo hit was 1991's "It's Only the Beginning" reaching No. 19. Conway is still involved in musical activities with a 2007 version of Broad. Thought Criminals reformed in February 2006: see Official website.
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.
"Man Overboard" was used for He Died with a Felafel in His Hand (2001) performed by Conway and Wicked Beat Sound System.It was also recorded by the band george (with Conway guesting) for their 2004 EP Still Real.
"Standing on Wires" was used for Australian TV series Love My Way (2004–2007) episode 2.03.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart|
| AUS |
|The Happiest Place in Town||24|
|The Waiting Room|
| AUS |
|1985||"Man Overboard"||5||Domestic Harmony|
|"Warnings Moving Clockwise"||72|
|1986||"Guns and Butter"||48||non album single|
|1987||"Adultery"||27||The Happiest Place in Town|
|1988||"King of Moomba"||52|
|"The Happiest Place in Town"||-|
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.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1985||Domestic Harmony||Best Debut Album||Won|
|"Man Overboard"||Best Debut Single||Won|
|Themselves||Most Promising Talent||Won|
|1986||Deborah Conway in "Guns & Butter" by Do-Re-Mi||Best Female Performance in a Video||Nominated|
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.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|ARIA Music Awards of 1987||"Guns and Butter"||ARIA Award for Highest Selling Single||Nominated|
Paul Newell Hester was an Australian musician and television personality. He was the drummer for the bands Split Enz and Crowded House.
Sweet and Sour was an Australian television series that screened on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1984. It was created by Tim Gooding and Johanna Pigott and was produced internally for the ABC by Jan Chapman.
Deborah Ann Conway is an Australian rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, and had a career as a model and actress. She was a founding member of the 1980s rock band Do-Ré-Mi with their top 5 hit "Man Overboard".
Australian Crawl were an Australian rock band founded by James Reyne, Brad Robinson, Paul Williams (bass), Simon Binks and David Reyne (drums) in 1978. David Reyne soon left and was replaced by Bill McDonough. They were later joined by his brother Guy McDonough. The band was named after the front crawl swimming style also known as the Australian crawl.
I'm Talking are an Australian funk-pop rock band, which featured vocalists Kate Ceberano and Zan Abeyratne. They formed in 1983 in Melbourne and provided top ten hit singles "Trust Me", "Do You Wanna Be?" and "Holy Word" and a top fifteen album, Bear Witness, before disbanding in 1987. The group reunited in October 2018, and went on a 2019 tour as well as a series of small venue shows.
John Martin Armiger was an Australian musician, record producer and composer. He was one of the singer-songwriters and guitarists with Melbourne-based rock band the Sports from August 1978 to late 1981, which had Top 30 hits on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart with, "Don't Throw Stones" (1979), "Strangers on a Train" (1980) and "How Come" (1981); and Top 20 albums with Don't Throw Stones, Suddenly and Sondra (1981).
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".
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.
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.
The Happiest Place in Town is the second and final studio album by Australian rock/pop group Do-Re-Mi and was released by Virgin Records in August 1988. The album has twelve tracks, which were written by lead vocalist Deborah Conway, drummer Dorland Bray, bass guitarist Helen Carter and guitarist Stephen Philip.
"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" 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" 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" 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" 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 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" 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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"It's Only the Beginning" is a song by Australian singer songwriter Deborah Conway. It was released as the first single from her debut studio album String of Pearls (1991). It peaked at number 19 inAustralia in August 1991.
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