The Melbourne outfit called The Strangers started in the early 1960s. The group played mainly instrumentals but slowly transformed and were still a cohesive vocal pop ensemble up to the late 1970s. Their ranks included a variety of well known Oz rockers. The most famous was John Farrar who was responsible for some of the most enduring hits of the last century. His most known work is on the soundtrack of the movie "Grease" which starred Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.

John Farrar (sitting alone in picture) was with the group up until 1970.
He left just after they had their biggest commercial success with a single called "Melanie Makes Me Smile"...This song was originally written for UK singer Tony Burrows. Tony who, you ask? Tony Burrows is the obvious contender for the singer with the most "one hit wonders" to his credit...Tony recorded at least 9 top 40 UK hits under various pseudonyms or from being in various studio concocted pop groups. He was in The Kestrels, The Ivy League (who had 3 hits) , The Flowerpot Men (Let's Go To San Francisco) , White Plains (My Baby Loves Lovin'), Pipkins (Gimme Dat Ding), Brotherhood Of Man (United We Stand), Edison Lighthouse (Love Grows), First Class (Beach Baby), Domino, Touch, West End Boys and Magic.

After the success of
"Melanie Makes Me Smile", The Strangers were encouraged to record a follow-up single with a similar big brassy sound. At roughly the same time John Farrar decided to leave the group for pastures greener in the UK so the next single was a double A-side but vocals fell to a different lead singer. The songs were "Mr President" backed with "Looking Through The Eyes Of A Beautiful Girl". Both songs were more than credible cover versions of overseas hits. In some states this double A-side single got to be in the top 10 and the various pop shows of the time played clips for both tracks.

Mr President" was originally a hit in the UK for "Dozy, Dave, Beaky & Tich". "Looking Through The Eyes Of A Beautiful Girl" was originally a hit in Ireland and it was written by members of The Times - guys who were from Joe Dolan's backing group.

Here in Oz "Looking Through The Eyes Of A Beautiful Girl" was a #9 hit in Brisbane and #22 hit in Adelaide for The Strangers but in Sydney, The Autumn had a #4 hit with their version. This song was also a big hit for a group in NZ called Kal-Q-Lated Risk.

The Stranger's version of
"Looking Through The Eyes Of A Beautiful Girl" is available for download on this blog - please use the search facility to locate this track.

The Strangers have all their major work nowadays on CD thanks to companies like Canetoad Music but for some reason the version of "Mr President" that continues to be issued is a stereo album cut which flounders compared to the punchy single mix. The single mix was first issued on a 1994 CD called "People Gotta Be Free". This CD is long out of print but it has the best version of the "Mr President" single I have ever found.

For download is a Tom Mix exclusive, two versions of "
Mr President" in a zip file. The mono 7" single mix and an extended 12" stereo Tom Mix version - both from CD masters.

There is a password on the zip file - see previous postings for the same old password...


1 comment:

  1. The 1970 album "20 Fable Chartbusters" has the stereo version of "Mr President"