The journey that has taken Hunters & Collectors from esoteric art-funk innovators to Australia’s greatest pub-rock exponents has been a fascinating one to say the least. The band’s early records were full of challenging, noisy rock, bleak imagery, gripping drama and slithery funk. By the 1986 album Human Frailty and single `Say Goodbye’, the band had stripped away unnecessary excess to arrive at a sound that combined equal parts refried boogie-rock and lyric paradoxes.
Hunters and Collectors made their live debut on the 15th of May 1981 at the Seaview Ballroom in Melbourne. Hunters and Collectors quickly earned a reputation as the ‘next big thing’ and the band to experience live through chaotic, intense live performances. They were signed up by Mushroom Records label White, which they remained with for the entire of their existence. The January 1982 released debut EP “World Of Stone” (World Of Stone / Watcher / Loinclothing) gave the Hunna’s an early taste of success, spending eight weeks in the Australian top 100, peaking at number 50.
The self titled debut studio album came out in mid 1982, selling reasonably well in Australia (#14, eventually selling Gold) and in New Zealand. The album put a focus on brilliant instrumental sections featuring everything from the massive brass section to an empty gas cylinder. It features the seven and a half minute song that is regarded as the bands first truly excellent song, “Talking To A Stranger”, which was released as a 7″ single and reached #59 in Australia. The single was also eventually released in the UK in various forms. The obscure but brilliant display of confusion and imagery in the video clip for “Talking To A Stranger” is also regarded as a classic and was directed by Richard Lowenstein.