Top 10 Songs From The Choirboys

The Choirboys Songs

Feature Photo: RattyPussFACE, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Our top 10 songs from The Choirboys look at the catalog of an Australian band that gained global attention with its 1987 single “Run to Paradise.” The band was formed in 1979 by vocalist Mark Gable, drummer Lindsay Tebbutt, guitarist Brad Carr, and bassist Ian Hulme. A tough beginning didn’t ruin the band’s ambition to keep on with its musical pursuits. After several years of issuing demos, one of the band’s recordings reached a former member of Flash and the Pan and The Easybeats, George Young.

George Young, then a record producer, signed the band to Albert Productions. The producer had earlier signed his siblings Malcolm and Angus Young of AC/DC. AC/DC went on to issue a number of its groundbreaking work under Albert Records. The band followed Cold Chisel’s footsteps taking on the pub rock sound which was becoming popular in Australia. “Never Gonna Die” issued in August 1983 marked The Choirboys debut single.

The Choirboys’ Album Releases over the Years

After signing a recording contract with Albert Productions, The Choirboys issued its eponymous debut studio album. The Choirboys featured an impressive blend of pub rock and hard rock elements. Success came knocking at the band’s doors with its debut album making it to the Australian Albums Chart, peaking at number twenty-six. The album is home to some of the best songs by The Choirboys including “Never Gonna Die,” “Talk Big,” “Boys in the Band,” and “You’re with the Big Boys Now (Carrie).”

Following the success of its eponymous debut studio album, the band was featured on tours in support of Cold Chisel, Rose Tattoo, and The Angels. Unfortunately, lead vocalist Mark Gable ruptured his vocal cords forcing the band to shelve its musical ambitions for some time. However, the band came back stronger with its second studio album, Big Bad NoiseBig Bad Noise was issued through Mushroom Records. Other notable artists to have issued songs through Mushroom Records include Deborah Conway, The Badloves, Jimmy Barnes, and Kylie Minogue.

Brian McGee, who worked with Cyndi Lauper, and Peter Blyton, who worked with Machinations and The Radiators, were tasked with the production of the band’s sophomore album. Big Bad Noise remains the band’s most successful album, rising to a peak position of number five on the Australian Albums Chart. The album was also a commercial success, earning Platinum certification twice in Australia. “Run to Paradise,” “Fireworks,” “Boys Will Be Boys,” and “Struggle Town” are the most popular songs by The Choirboys from the album.

Still, under Mushroom Records, The Choirboys issued the album Midnight Sun in 1991. While Midnight Sun was a mainstream success, it failed to surpass feats achieved by the band’s sophomore LP, Big Bad Noise. The album made it to number thirty on the Australian Albums Chart. “Empire,” “Rendezvous,” and “Place with No Love”’ are the best songs by The Choirboys from the album.

In 1994, The Choirboys issued their fourth studio album, Dancing on the Grave of Rock n’ Roll. Let’s start by saying that, unlike the LP’s title, rock and roll wasn’t really dying by the time the band issued this album. However, we saw the evolution of the genre with the rock fans attracted to the flourishing alternative rock sound. Some of the most successful alternative rock outfits during the mid ‘90s include Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots among others. Dancing on the Grave of Rock n’ Roll marked the band’s first nosedive off the mainstream having it invite less attention to the band’s musical pursuits. However, songs like “Drops Like a Stone” and “Hard Heart” still managed to impress fans of the band.

Yo-Yo, issued in 1996, marked the band’s last album of the ‘90s. At the time, lead vocalist Mark Gable and bassist Ian Hulme were the only original members of The Choirboys to feature on this album following lineup changes over the years. Again, Yo-Yo­ failed to impress on the mainstream charts proving The Choirboys’ prime years to have been over. The band has issued several other albums since Yo-Yo­. However, none of the albums has been critically acclaimed.

The Choirboys’ Legacy

While the band might be past its prime years, The Choirboys remains one of the most significant pub rock acts in the ‘80s. The band joins Cold Chisel, The Angels, and INXS in the list of bands that played a central role in the flourishing of the Australian pub rock scene. Thanks to the band’s impactful music career that The Choirboys has been featured on tours by reputable artists including Rose Tattoo, Cold Chisel, The Angels, Deep Purple, Bon Jovi, and Cheap Trick. Here we present the ten best songs by The Choirboys.

#10 – Place with No Love

Ushering us to the top 10 songs by The Choirboys is the rip-roaring hit “Place with No Love.” The song is among the top musical gems featured on the band’s third studio album, Midnight Sun. “Place with No Love” is a song that finds singer Mark Gable crooning about a heart-breaking situation of being without love. In this song, the band carries on with its hard rock/pub rock sound influences into the ‘90s. “Place with No Love” achieved some mainstream success, peaking at number one hundred and ten on the Australian Bubbling Down Under Top 100.

#9 – Drop Like a Stone

“Drop Like a Stone” takes us back to the ‘90s which were relatively fair years for the band despite not being as impactful as the ‘80s. The song is featured on the band’s fourth studio album, Dancing on the Grave of Rock n’ Roll. Together with “Hard Heart,” “Drop Like a Stone” adds glamour and life to the band’s fourth studio album. One noticeable element of this hit was The Choirboys’ shift to a hard rock sound featuring few pub rock attributes. “Drop Like a Stone” never made it to the mainstream charts but its impactful hard rock sound makes it a magical gem worth listing on the ten best songs by The Choirboys.

#8 – Talk Big

Coming in at number eight on our top 10 songs by The Choirboys is the bewitching hit “Talk Big.” The song is among the musical gems featured on the band’s eponymous debut studio album. “Talk Big” finds Mark and his fellow band members calling out a man for his huge but lame talk. While the song never made it to the mainstream charts, its sizzling groove saw it crowned as one of the best cuts off the band’s eponymous debut studio album. Thanks to the energy yielded in songs like “Talk Big” The Choirboys were featured on Cold Chisel’s Last Stand tour. 

#7 – Rendezvous

How the song “Rendezvous” off the band’s album, Midnight Sun failed to make it to the Australian Singles Chart remains a mystery to many of the band’s fans. The song is a perfect representation of the band’s underrated status. With such powerful ballads, The Choirboys should have become more successful in its homeland, if not internationally. “Rendezvous” is a fast-paced awe-inspiring ballad that gives us a taste of Mark Gable’s vocal skillfulness. The song also features some alluring guitar riffs that make it one of the band’s hard-hitting classic rock hits!

#6 – Fireworks

Number six on our top 10 songs from The Choirboys is the brilliant hit “Fireworks.” The song was the first track off the band’s album, Big Bad Noise. Thanks to songs like “Fireworks” the album, Big Bad Noise managed to become a mainstream and commercial success. “Fireworks” became The Choirboys’ second song to grace the Australian Singles Chart, peaking at number sixty. You ought to love the impressive guitar riffs in this hit, especially in the outro. 

#5 – Empire

Midnight Sun, the band’s third studio album, is home to the fifth pick of our ten best songs by The Choirboys. “Empire” was the last song by the band to make it to the Australian Singles Chart, peaking at number sixty-three. The song features a music accompanying video directed by Kriv Stenders. Kriv has also directed music videos for other Australian bands including Mental As Anything, Noiseworks, and Go Betweens.

#4 – Struggle Town

“Struggle Town” is one of the most memorable hits by the band featured on the album, Big Bad Noise. The song is an ode to moving on from one’s hometown which has fewer prospects of making it in life. Lead vocalist Mark Gable croons about how he won’t be moving back to “Struggle Town” after moving to the city streets which are paved with gold (metaphoric for great opportunities). “Struggle Town” managed to rise into the Australian Singles Chart, peaking at number thirty-four.

#3 – Never Gonna Die

Debut singles are definitive tracks for some if not all artists. This is the exact case for The Choirboys whose debut single went on to shape the band’s sound, especially in its debut studio album. “Never Gonna Die” was the first song issued by The Choirboys after being signed to Albert Production by George Young, a former member of The Easybeats.

The song went on to become the band’s signature hit for its debut studio album. “Never Gonna Die” was an instant mainstream success, peaking at the thirtieth spot on the Australian Singles Chart. The song was covered by the American heavy metal outfit Rough Cutt in 1985.

#2 – Boys Will Be Boys

The impression of being “Forever Young” has been on for quite some time. In fact, this impression has been implored and expressed by tons of artists from Bob Dylan and The Band to Alphaville. The Choirboys must have had almost a similar kind of feeling when they penned the hit “Boys Will Be Boys.”

This anthemic hit celebrates the lifestyle of men in almost a similar style claiming that they never grow old remaining to be boys for a lifetime! Thanks to its highly relatable lyrical content that the song was warmly received in the mainstream. “Boys Will Be Boys” went on to peak at number fourteen on the Australian Singles Chart. The song also made it to position thirty-one on the New Zealand Singles Chart.

#1 – Run to Paradise

Number one on our ten best songs by The Choirboys is the grooving hit “Run to Paradise.” The song rose to become the band’s signature hit in the ‘80s after its release on the band’s album, Big Bad Noise. “Run to Paradise” brings the best of The Choirboys’ blend of hard rock and pub rock. The song was issued as the second single for the band’s first album with Mushroom Records, Big Bad Noise.

Its release followed after the band returned from a tour with Bon Jovi as a support act. “Run to Paradise” has seen its lyrics mistaken to be allusive of the heron use. However, singer Mark Gable revealed this to have been a misjudgment of the song’s lyrics. The singer cited this hit to be allusive of a misspent youth.

“Run to Paradise” peaked at number three on the Australian Singles Chart, rising to number thirty-three on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. The song went on to become the band’s only hit to grace the Billboard Hot 100, rising to a peak position of number eighty. The Choirboys released a remix version of this hit in 2004 featuring Nick Skitz.

Top 10 Songs From The Choirboys article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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