17th October, 1968.
Recorded between June 1967 – July 1967, November 1967 – Mid 1968 at Olympic Recording Studios, Pye Studios and Central Sounds.
Orchestral Arrangements – Alan Tew (tracks: ‘Hello, How Are You’), Bill Shepherd (tracks: ‘The Music Goes Round My Head’ and ‘Sha La La’)
Engineers – Barry Ainsworth, Freddie Packham, Glyn Johns (‘Good Times’ and ‘Land Of Make Believe’)
Harmonica [Wailing] – George Alexander
Percussion – My Dear Watson (‘I Can’t Stand It’)
Piano – Nick Hopkins
Producer – The Easybeats, Mike Vaughan (for Alberts Productions) and Glyn Johns (uncredited: ‘Good Times’ and ‘Land Of Make Believe’)
After one year, one abandoned album and three different recording studios; The Easybeats finally released their follow up to 1967’s Good Friday. The album’s title was not only an acknowledgement to the long waits their fans had endured for a new LP, but it tribute to the band’s own perseverance. After legal troubles, money troubles, touring troubles, popularity troubles and even interpersonal troubles within the band, it’s any wonder that the “vigil” held for The Easybeats sustained throughout the past 12 months. The album was first released in the band’s current place of residence in the summer of 1968. The final album that was released was really a collection of different sessions and singles that had appeared (or not) during the band’s sporadic recording timeline. That said, although the album feels more like a compilation than a whole – it doesn’t take away from the fact that some of Vanda and Young’s best song writing is showcased on this disc. The album opens with the hard rock anthem ‘Good Times’ (an outtake from the abandoned 2nd album). The famous folklore of this song is that Beatle Paul McCartney was so taken by it, after hearing it on his car radio that he pulled over, called the station and demanded the song to be replayed again (although this legend has also been retold by Stevie as the song being ‘St. Louis’). ‘Land of Make Believe’ was the single released to promote Vigil. Another causality of the 1967 scrapped album, it’s one of the great, underrated, psychedelic classics of the 1960′s – criminally robbed of a rightful release during the previous year’s summer of love. Stevie was once quoted in an interview stated that this was his all-time favourite Easybeats song. The 1967 singles ‘Falling Off The Edge Of The World’, ‘Come In You’ll Get Pneumonia’ and ‘The Music Goes Round My Head’ follow as well as the first of three R &B covers (‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’, ‘Hit The Road Jack’ and ‘I Can’t Stand It’). The ska influenced ‘Sha La La’ (or ‘Sha La La La Leah’ in Australia) was a refugee from the Bill Shepherd sessions in late 1967. ‘See Saw’ and ‘Fancy Seeing You Here’ goes back to the songs that Young and Wright used write back in Australia “for the people to dance to”. This time instead of ‘65/’66’s beat music – The Easy’s again embrace R&B music. Given that it was the last single and the band’s biggest recent hit – it’s only logical for ‘Hello, How Are You’ to make an appearance. While the final Vanda and Young number on the album is the cynical hippie satire of ‘We All Live Happily Together’, which concluded with each band member reciting the title in their native tongue.
On the Australian release, all the cover songs were removed and the Central Sounds demo “Bring a Little Lovin’” was added. The order was also completely reshuffled to have both songs of the recent Australian double A-side “Good Times/’Land of Make Believe” open each side. ‘Sha La La’ now featured the extended title of “Sha La, La, La, Leah”. “Hello, How Are You” was now the album’s closing track and most other songs had been moved to a different order to the original U.K. release.
The Australian version of the album was released in Mono only.
In 2017, the Australian version of Vigil was reissued on vinyl for a limited Record Store Day release by Varèse Vintage. Reissue producer’s Andrew Sandoval and Cary E. Mansfield work with Alberts in locating the best possible masters to replicate the Aussie version of the album, using the original mono mixes of the 1968 release.
The reception to Vigil in Australia was lukewarm. It did not enter the Australian album charts.
Original Track Listing
- Good Times (Vanda/Young)
- See Saw (Vanda/Young)
- Fancy Seeing You Here (Vanda/Young)
- Sha La, La, La, Leah (Vanda/Young)
- What In The World (Vanda/Young)
- Bring A Little Lovin’ (Vanda/Young)
- Land Of Make Believe (Vanda/Young)
- We All Live Happily Together (Vanda/Young)
- Falling Off The Edge Of The World (Vanda/Young)
- The Music Goes Round My Head (Vanda/Young)
- Come In You’ll Get Pneumonia (Cahill/Vanda/Young)
- Hello, How Are You (Vanda/Young)
1968 – Mono PMCO 7551
2017 – Mono – 302 067 466 1