Thursday, June 6, 2013



Johannes Hendricus Jacob Vandenberg and George Redburn Young were the musical might behind The Easybeats (for the most part anyway)  they wrote or co-wrote most of The Easybeats later hits including their international hit "Friday On My Mind"and they were the record producers for the group from 1967, they were signed by EMI / Parlophone Records with Ted Albert producing their early recordings.

BUT THEN after The Easybeats disbanded in 1969, George and Harry got gigs as songwriters and producers for their own projects such as The Marcus Hook Roll band (EMI), Paintbox (Youngblood) and Haffey's Whiskey Sour (Deram), Flash and the Pan, and for other acts including producing early albums for AC/DC, they were staff producers for Albert Productions from 1973. to 2005


The Vandenbergs and Youngs migrated to Australia in 1963, both families were initially housed at the Villawood Migrant Hostel in Sydney, but, contrary to popular belief, not at the same time ....they did however jam at the hostel in one of the laundry rooms, because of the brilliant acoustics and the many powerpoints available for their amps and record players..... By 1966 Vanda & Young had begun their writing partnership; together they penned The Easybeats' late 1960s recordings including "Friday On My Mind" which reached #1 on the Australian singles charts in 1966 and "Good Times" (1968).

 The Easybeats became Australia's most popular and successful 1960s group, they travelled to the UK on 10 July 1966 where "Friday On My Mind" was produced by Shel Talmy in November. They toured Australia in May 1967 and the USA in August to promote their later singles and albums, at this time Vanda & Young were producing their recordings; by late 1969 the group returned to Australia and disbanded.

Vanda & Young returned to the UK and continued their writing and performing partnership. They recorded tracks under various names: Paintbox "Get Ready For Love" (1970), Tramp "Vietnam Rose" (1970) and Eddie Avana "Children" (1970) all on Youngblood Records; Moondance "Lazy River" (1970, A&M Records), Grapefruit "Sha-Sha" (1971, Deram Records), Haffy's Whiskey Sour "Shot in the Head" (1971, Deram) and Band of Hope "Working Class People" (1972, unreleased).   

Grapefruit had included Young's elder brother Alex Young (aka George Alexander). In 1972 Vanda & Young formed Marcus Hook Roll Band and recorded the singles "Natural Man", "Louisiana Lady" and "Can't Stand the Heat" in London's Abbey Road Studio during 1973 using Ian Campbell on bass, Freddie Smith on drums and Alex Young on saxophone. These tracks would later appear on the album Tales of Old Grand-Daddy released in 1974 on EMI.

1973-1978: Return to Australia and AC/DC 
Vanda & Young returned to Australia in 1973 and were reunited with Ted Albert, who had established Albert Productions under EMI Records.

Stevie doing Evie at the concert of the decade in 79

Recently formed AC/DC's band members, and George Young's brothers, Malcolm and Angus Young joined the Marcus Hook Roll Band project on guitars to complete Tales of Old Grand-Daddy with John Proud on drums...

 In late 1974 Vanda & Young produced AC/DC's single "Can I Sit Next to You Girl". They also produced early albums for AC/DC including High Voltage (1975), T.N.T. and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (both 1976), Let There Be Rock (1977), Powerage and If You Want Blood You've Got It (both 1978)....

As house producers for Albert Productions record label, they also wrote for and/or produced many Australian chart-topping acts including Stevie Wright (ex-The Easybeats), Ted Mulry, Rose Tattoo, Cheetah, William Shakespeare, Mark Williams, and The Angels.



Vanda & Young also wrote and produced several hits for John Paul Young including "Standing in the Rain", "I Hate the Music", "Love Is in the Air" and "Yesterday's Hero", which was also a cover version hit when recorded by Bay City Rollers.

Vanda & Young recorded several Australian hit singles under the studio-only pseudonym of Flash and the Pan, including "Hey St. Peter" (1977) and "Down Among the Dead Men" (1978). They had more success in Europe with hits "Waiting for a Train" (1983), "Midnight Man" (1984), "Early Morning Wake Up Call" (1985), and "Ayla" (1987), from the number 1 albums Headlines (1982), Early Morning Wake Up Call (1985) and Nights in France (1987) well as producing William Shakespeare's album


George got back behind the desk and produced his little brothers again, doing AC/DC's 2000 album Stiff Upper Lip. 

Harry left his long time partnership with Albert Productions in 2005 and started Flashpoint Music as a private recording studio and George had enough and moved to Portugal to relax and chill out 

here is just some of the songs co-written by Vanda & Young:

"Friday On My Mind" - The Easybeats (1966) 

Aust #1, US #16, UK #6, also recorded by David Bowie, London, Gary Moore, Richard Thompson
"Good Times" - The Easybeats 1968, INXS with Jimmy Barnes
"I'm on Fire" / "Watch Me Burn" – Mike Furber 1969
"Evie, Parts 1, 2 & 3" - Stevie Wright 1974 Aust #1, The Wrights, Suzi Quatro
"Hard Road - Stevie Wright 1974, Rod Stewart
"Yesterday's Hero" - John Paul Young 1975, Bay City Rollers 1976
"Black Eyed Bruiser - Stevie Wright 1975, Rose Tattoo 2007
"Standing In The Rain" - John Paul Young 1976
"I Hate The Music" - John Paul Young 1976
"Hey St Peter" - Flash and the Pan 1977
"Love Is in the Air" - John Paul Young (1978) Aust #2, US #7, UK #5
"Down Among the Dead Men" - Flash and the Pan 1978
"Walking in the Rain" - Cheetah (band), Flash and the Pan 1978, Grace Jones
"Waiting for a Train" - Flash and the Pan 1983
"Midnight Man" - Flash and the Pan 1984
"Show No Mercy" - Mark Williams 1989
"Runnin' for the Red Light (I Gotta Life)" - Meat Loaf 1995

 In 1988 the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) acknowledged the iconic status of Vanda & Young when they were inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame, in 2005 The Easybeats were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.

 In 2001, the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) surveyed 100 music industry personalities for the APRA Top Ten Best Australian Songs of All Time where "Friday On My Mind" was declared #1. Their song for John Paul Young (no relation), "Love Is in the Air" was declared the 'Most played Australian song overseas' by APRA following its use on the 1992 film Strictly Ballroom.


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