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Jaws of Life [Import]

Hunters & CollectorsAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 18, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: August 5, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Liberation Music Oz
  • ASIN: B0000AQS56
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 42 Wheels
2. Holding Down A D
3. The Way To Go Out
4. I Couldnt Give It To You
5. Its Early Days Yet
6. I Believe
7. Bettys Worry Or The Slab
8. Hayleys Doorstep
9. Red Lane
10. Carry Me
11. Little Chalkie
12. Towtruck
13. Droptank
14. Mouthtrap
15. Lumps Of Lead

Editorial Reviews

2003 reissue of the Aussie alternative act's 1984 album. 15 Tracks. Liberation.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Album of All Time January 12, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I know that's a bold statement, especially since we music fans only usually consent to narrowing it down to our top 10, but, if the proverbial gun were held to my head, I'd have to pick this one. And that's the way it's been since I first bought this on cassette (released by Slash Records here in the U.S.) way back in 1984. A few years ago, I was able to obtain this version on CD via a website which specialized in importing hard-to-find music from Australia and New Zealand into the U.S., but I am happy to see it re-released here so that it may potentially infect a wider audience. A (hopefully not too boring) note on discography: The proper Jaws of Life album begins with "42 Wheels" and ends with "Little Chalkie"; the last 4 songs were originally released on the Payload EP in 1982 (and also appeared on the original A&M Records release of their eponymous debut album, along with "Talking to a Stranger"). These are also excellent tracks, but are more in the vein of funky (albeit disturbing) dance numbers and have a different feel from the rest of the songs. For maximum enjoyment, my suggestion is to play these first and then go back to the first track. This will put things in chronological order and leave "Little Chalkie" as the proper dramatic conclusion to the whole thing.

Now on to the music itself. I can only describe this as some kind of alien form of experimental punk rock - with a horn section! This has about the most sinister sound of any music I've ever heard, driven by unrelenting bass lines and tribal drum beats, and punctuated by a distorted, quasi-bluesy guitar and bizarre synthesizer intrusions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Hunt is over. Collect it now... February 21, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Coming of age in the 80's ususally meant that if you loved music, you most likely started out the decade by collecting cassettes. I just found this cassette--- a forgotten treasure amongst the hundreds I have had in storage. And now I'm finally buying the CD.
Hunters and Collectors was an aquired taste at the time, and still is, but this album flat-out rocks. The music here stands outside of time, and sounds as though it could have been recorded (and released) yesterday. The intensity of it far outshines anything on current radio playlists, just as it did when it was released 18 years ago. Do yourself a favor and get this gritty album.
Your hunt is over. Collect it now...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gnashing and tearing muscle from bone.... May 10, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I hope the following superlatives don't sound trite. Over the years many ponder what is the best pop/rock album of all time, guided by the likes of Rolling Stone magazine and MTV, and usually names like the Beatles or The Rolling Stones are thrown about. After a relatively short life, my choice for greatest album of all time is the unknown yet brilliant 'The Jaws of Life' by Hunters and Collectors.
Never before or since it's release have I heard music with such driven intensity and originality. The basslines are thumping, the guitars really crunch and the wall of sound is delivered with a `measured' frenzy somehow mixed with delicate hooks and melody. And the lyrics of Mark Seymour are just sublime - the man captures the heart and sweat of the hardened Australian existence, urban and regional, and does so with a crusty mannish realism mixed with surreal vision and warm humour.
In essence the Australian ethos/identity is wonderfully captured in an album that oozes with the blood of working and middle class existence. A document on a society; hard, lyrical, boisterous and funny, never expressed so poignantly before, not been overshadowed since. Plus some Ray Charles and a couple of drinking songs thrown in. Play loud but careful with the bass!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album Nobody Ever Heard September 30, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Whenever I get into conversations about the best albums in my collection I always mention this one and I've yet to meet anyone who has ever even heard it. Everytime I play it for someone new they can't believe how good it is. I had this on vinyl when it was new and it was one of the first CDs I bought when I changed to digital. Out of the 1500 or so disks I have collected this one stands out by far as among the best. If you heard Hunters And Collectors' later music, when they almost broke through commercially, and dismissed them, I can't argue. Their later albums were too commercial and too contrived to be any good. They were trying to sell records and it didn't work.

Jaws of Life is the exception. It's noisy and it's raw and it's messy in all the right places. The songs are outstanding. They are 1000 times better than anything else they did. Deep bass grooves, choppy guitars, raw vocals and a horn section! There's nothing else like it. Think of The Birthday Party with a horn section and some soul. They even had the good taste to cover Ray Charles and make the song their own. It's hard to describe and it doesn't matter if I get this review right because no one will ever read it.

This album is doomed to be the best album no one will ever hear. Oh well, I heard it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars seminal oz rock December 4, 1999
Format:Audio CD
In the early eighties, Hunters and Collectors were the giants of the (then yet to be named) Australian alternative music scene. 'Jaws of Life' was their second album, and the one that was to contain most of the standards from their repotoire of the next five years. 'The Slab', with its driving baseline and chanted vocals, was for five years possibly the most-covered song of garage bands around the country.
'The Hunnas' garnered a cult following among live music-goers - in their day, in Australia, they were bigger than Nick Cave - but failed to really make an impact commercially until they breeze-ied up their syle, circa 1985.
'Jaws of Life', from 1982, had a rawness, an honesty and an edge too confronting for radio.
If the Hunters and Collectors were American, you'd all be talking about them in the same breath as R.E.M., Sonic Youth and other pioneers of D.I.Y. urban rock from the period.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a favorite. A singular album.
After all these years this album still captivates me. I bought this on vinyl way back in the day after hearing an earlier H&C single ("Talking to a Stranger") somewhere. Read more
Published on January 31, 2011 by Lee Cushing
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 kindred Souls here!
I can't add anything to the above 2 excellent reviews of this album. OK, I could say that I just recommended it to a buddy in a fantasy newsgroup and briefly described it as... Read more
Published on November 26, 2008 by Mr. Steven Mcintosh
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite album of all time
I know that's a bold statement, especially since we music fans only usually consent to narrowing it down to our top 10, but, if the proverbial gun were held to my head, I'd have to... Read more
Published on July 30, 2007 by M. L. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Hunt is over. Collect it now...
Coming of age in the 80's ususally meant that if you loved music, you most likely started out the decade by collecting cassettes. Read more
Published on February 21, 2002 by Gregory Teaderman
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Hunt is over. Collect it now...
Coming of age in the 80's ususally meant that if you loved music, you most likely started out the decade by collecting cassettes. Read more
Published on February 21, 2002 by Gregory Teaderman
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruising
There is something unique about this album - something primal, tough, and yet uniquely Australian. Sure, it's in the lyrics, which often address an idealised land of trucks, red... Read more
Published on December 18, 2000 by "harper_hodson"
5.0 out of 5 stars So Long H&C !
Too bad these guys split up! I have been listening to them for 11 years and I just can't get tired of their music. If you are a fan, BUY IT!
Published on November 28, 2000 by S. Schulhof
5.0 out of 5 stars This Cd is deadly!
I have been praying this would come out on CD. It's H & Cs at their best.
Published on July 24, 1999 by johnty@cruzio.com
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