Years of struggle had turned Cold Chisel into one of Australian rock's all-time great bands – many would argue the greatest. But the years had also taken their toll and, by the early '80s, rifts had begun to drag on the band. Drummer Steve Prestwich called it quits in June 1983. Two months later, the band put out a press release saying it was disbanding and in December played its final concerts to sold-out audiences at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. The shows were filmed for the documentary Last Stand: this is the film's soundtrack and the cream of those concerts. Undoubtedly a chunk of Aussie rock history, this album also stands purely on the strength of its content. Impassioned renditions of 16 of Chisel's best numbers (three of which – "Twentieth Century," "Flame Trees," and "Janelle" – had not as yet been released) delivered to rabid audiences show that the guys could still get their mojo working in overdrive and that, to the end, Cold Chisel were a great live act.
Alun Francis is one of the most respected conductors on the international scene, and is particularly admired for his efforts in bringing international recognition to several great tonal symphonists active in the post-World War II years, and for other efforts on behalf of 20th century music. His "native" instrument is the French horn. He continued his studies on that instrument and took conducting while attending the Royal Manchester College of Music from 1960 to 1963.
Polly Jean Harvey, MBE (born 9 October 1969) known as PJ Harvey, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, and composer. Primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, she is also proficient with a wide range of instruments…
Asia hadn't released an album of new music since 1985, so changes were to be expected. But changes for the better – well, that was a pleasant surprise. Aqua found the band infused with new energy, represented by a younger generation of arena rockers in bassist/vocalist John Payne and guitarist Al Pitrelli. Although Payne doesn't invite comparison to John Wetton or Greg Lake (his voice tends to get rougher as it gets louder), he gets the job done and turns out to be a pretty good songwriter in the bargain. Pitrelli, who had recently worked with Alice Cooper, knows his rock guitar; he's no replacement for Steve Howe, but he doesn't have to be – Howe makes guest appearances throughout the disc.