The late Bon Scott once topped a list of The 100 Greatest Frontmen of All Time; on another occasion, he was voted fifth on a list of 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Vocalists of All Time. Such accolades stemmed from Scott's 1974-1980 tenure with AC/DC, the band he was leading at the time of his death in 1980. But before taking hard rock to the next level with AC/DC and even before going prog with Fraternity, Scott fronted pop groups in his native Australia such as The Valentines. Their complete output is captured on RPM's recent anthology, The Sound of the Valentines: 1966-1970.
Scott shared lead vocal duties in The Valentines with future Divinyls manager Vince Lovegrove. The two young men would trade leads, with the other adding tight harmony, as they honed their act in the mid-1960s Perth scene by performing live covers of soul and mod staples from Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, The Who and the Small Faces. Wyn Milsom and Ted Ward on guitar, Bruce Abbott on bass and Warwick Findlay on drums rounded out the group's first core line-up. RPM's set opens with the group's first single, from 1967 on the Clarion label (Arthur Alexander's "Every Day I Have to Cry" b/w Small Faces' "I Can't Dance with You") and moves chronologically from that point forward. Having achieved success with that initial single as well as a sophomore release ("She Said" by The Easybeats' Stevie Wright and George Young b/w Phil Spector's Teddy Bears hit, slightly rewritten as "To Know You is to Love You"), The Valentines moved out of Perth and onto Melbourne.
As the decade progressed, the band's sound began to shift, and Lovegrove also began to contribute original material alongside the expected covers. The Valentines went full-on into the realm of psych-pop with imaginative covers of The Easybeats' "Peculiar Hole in the Sky" and The Soft Machine's "Love Makes Sweet Music." Parting with Clarion, though, the band took an unexpected turn and announced their intention to be a bubblegum group. Ron Tudor's June Productions leased the band's next singles to Philips - bright confections such as Lovegrove and Scott's "Nick Nack Paddy Wack" and another song from the Easybeats' circle, "My Old Man's a Groovy Old Man."
The Valentines endured personnel changes and a marijuana bust before breaking up in June 1970 when Scott decamped to join Fraternity. RPM's collection features both sides of all seven singles released by the band, as well as originally-unreleased tracks, a broadcast advertisement, and four diverse tracks performed by Bon Scott and Wyn Milsom on television with their pre-Valentines band, The Spektors. Ian McFarlane provides a detailed essay in the booklet, and Simon Murphy has remastered all tracks.
- Everyday I Have to Cry (Clarion MCK 1773, 1967)
- I Can't Dance with You (Clarion MCK 1773, 1967)
- She Said (Clarion MCK 1975, 1967)
- To Know You is to Love You (Clarion MCK 1975, 1967)
- I Can Hear the Raindrops (Clarion MCK 2167, 1968)
- Why Me? (Clarion MCK 2167, 1968)
- Peculiar Hole in the Sky (Clarion MCK 2441, 1968)
- Love Makes Sweet Music (Clarion MCK 2441, 1968)
- Sooky Sooky (rec. 1968, first released 1988)
- "Doin' the Heavy" Advertisement
- Ebeneezer (Philips BF 427, 1969)
- My Old Man's a Groovy Old Man (Philips BF 427, 1969)
- Nick Nack Paddy Wack (Philips BF 444, 1969)
- Getting Better (Philips BF 444, 1969)
- Juliette (Philips BF 469, 1970)
- Hoochie Coochie Billy (Philips BF 469, 1970)
- Gloria - The Spektors (rec. 1966, released 1992)
- It Ain't Necessarily So - The Spektors (rec. 1966, released 1999)
- On My Mind - The Spektors (rec. 1966, released 1999)
- Yesterday - The Spektors (rec. 1966, released 1992)