The Little River Band was formed in 1975, in Melbourne, Australia. Several of the members had been in a country-rock band called Mississippi, which was very vocally driven. Other members had come from a '60s pop band called Zoot, which also feature… Read more
The Little River Band was formed in 1975, in Melbourne, Australia. Several of the members had been in a country-rock band called Mississippi, which was very vocally driven. Other members had come from a '60s pop band called Zoot, which also featured another Aussie future rock star, Rick Springfield. Sharrock had been the lead vocalist in another successful Australian band named, Twilights.
The new group settled on the name after some of the members saw a road sign for the Victorian township of Little River. They became an instant hit in their native country, and by 1976 was signed to EMI's Capitol Records. By trimming the eight minute album track, "It's A Long Way There," down to a manageable four-minute single, the band had its first US hit.
Other hits would follow between 1977 and 1981—"Reminiscing" (reaching #3, their biggest hit), "Lady" "Lonesome Loser," "Cool Change," "The Night Owls" and "Take It Easy on Me" all of which were Billboard Top 10 hits. In all, the group had 13 Top 20 hits, and sold over 25 million records.
The band began to have personnel changes soon after the hits started coming. Gradually most of the original members left or were replaced. Sharrock was forced out in the late 1982, when the others chose a harder musical direction.
Guitarist Stephen Housden, who joined in 1981, has remained throughout, and owns the rights to the name Little River Band. He has toured several versions of the group since then, none of which recently contained any original members. When the classic line-up of Sharrock, Gobles, and Birtle tried to reform a few years ago, Housden legally prevented them from using any reference to the Little River Band legacy in the marketing.