Home Hear Classic Album Review: Radio Birdman | The Essential (1974-1978)

Classic Album Review: Radio Birdman | The Essential (1974-1978)

The Australian cult heroes collect two dozen nuggets of their raucous brand of rock.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Their name comes from a misheard lyric in The Stooges1970. Their first album Radios Appear was titled after a properly heard lyric in Blue Öyster Cult’s Dominance and Submission. Their sound has elements of both camps — mainly the primal Detroit garage-metal of Iggy Pop and co., but with enough darkly twisted glam-rock undertones to form a rock hybrid that seemed to come straight outta nowhere. As did Radio Birdman themselves.

Arguably the great lost punk band of the ’70s, these turbocharged cult heroes hailed from Sydney, Australia, thousands of miles away from the punk wellsprings in New York and London. But distance didn’t stop them from churning out some of the most raucous rock of the era — and age hasn’t diminished the pure punk power of timeless songs like Murder City Nights and Burn My Eye. And it shouldn’t stop you from picking up this essential compilation, which gathers 22 cuts from their handful of official releases. Two decades after they last soared, Radio Birdman still don’t sound half as dated as last year’s Limp Bizkit album.