Song Of The Week: “Children Of The Sun” by Billy Thorpe

billy thorpe children albumSpace became a very popular place in the 1970s. After the double feature success in the late 60s of 2001: A Space Odyssey followed by NASA Presents: The Moon Landing, a number of artists in both film and music began to explore the flora and fauna and fantasy of the outer limits. And once Star Wars hyperspaced its way into our hearts, the world exploded into a meteor shower of starships, lasers, and aliens for the next few years.

In 1979, at the peak of space-mania, Billy Thorpe unleashed his interstellar rock suite, Children Of The Sun. The story revolves around a race of aliens who invite any and all humans to leave Earth and return with the space ambassadors to the kingdoms of the sun.

And they do. Leave, that is. Every man, every woman, every child. There’s not much detail beyond that. It’s left up to your imagination as to whether these aliens are, in fact, benevolent, or if they’re actually galactic kidnappers selling off humanity to the nearest Soylent Green factory.

billy thorpeAside from the title track — which fell just outside the Top 40 in 1979 — most Americans have no idea about Billy Thorpe’s legacy. In his homeland of Australia, however, Thorpie is a bit of a legend.

Beginning his entertainment career as a popular child singer touring the country with established acts, in 1963 he hooked up with an instrumental surf group known as The Aztecs and together they found success as a beat group in the mold of The Beatles and The Stones. As times changed, however, the hits dried up. The band split and Thorpe took a few years off to grow his hair and a beard, change into blue jeans, and toughen up his sound. He emerged with a new lineup of The Aztecs and they became one of the premier hard rock bands in the country while also managing to have  a huge hit with Thorpe’s signature song, an Australian rock classic, “Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy.” 

(The band was so loud they once accidentally killed a tank full of tropical fish on another floor of a club they were playing.)

When musical winds changed direction once again, Thorpe lit out for the golden shores–and golden records–of Los Angeles. It was here he recorded the Children Of The Sun album, his biggest US success. After a few more albums and some years scoring music for TV, he returned to Australia as an elder statesman of the rock scene.

So pack your bags and get ready for your musical journey to the stars!

(By the way, Soylent Green is people.)

(It’s people !!!!)

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