Axiom was an all-too-short lived Australian ‘supergroup', formed in 1969 by established musicians with successful local careers towards creating a group which could relocate to England as soon as practicable to have a crack at the international market. For a number of reasons they never realized that goal, or their potential.
Two previous name bands, the Groop and the Twilights had already had a shot at "making it" it London, but had done enough to leave the lingering thought amongst band members, "What if..?". The Groop had had one of their songs covered by Manfred Mann's Paul Jones, while the Twilights had had a song given to them by the Hollies, and they'd recorded at Abbey Road Studios alongside the Beatles. Back in Australia a plan was hatched to form a new group around the two group's frontline remnants. The Twilights' lead singer Glenn Shorrockwas joined by the Groop's songwriting team of Brian Cadd and Don Mudie, and the line-up competed by guitarist Chris Stockley and drummer Doug Lavery, two admired players from other bands. Immediately dubbed a "supergroup", the band asked fans to suggest a name and settled on Axiom.
Almost immediately Axiom buried itself in the recording studio. In December 1969 they released the first single, "Arkansas Grass", heavily influenced by The Band's Music From Big Pink. Four months later Axiom departed for London, and as a parting gift left their second single, "A Little Ray Of Sunshine", inspired by the birth of Don Mudie's first child. Both singles were top ten hits. "A Little Ray Of Sunshine" has become one of the Australian songs most often still played on radio. Just before departing for London drummer Don Lebler replaced Lavery.
In their absence the band's album Fool's Gold was released, one of the first true ‘albums' in Australian music, and despite the "Arkansas Grass" single title the album was also one of the first attempts in Australian pop to write about the Australian landscape. The album saw some of the first uses of the didgeridoo in Australian popular music. The songs were all of high quality as were the production values. Fool's Gold reached the top ten but never reached its full potential because Axiom were not around to promote it. A third single failed to chart.
In England Axiom signed a three-year recording contract with Warners, cemented by a single "My Baby's Gone" produced by Shel Tamly of early Who, Kinks and Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind" fame. The band was then bundled off to Los Angeles to record an album. In international hands they just ended up sounding like everyone else. By the time the album If Only was released the band had already broken up. A couple of trips home to try and keep the momentum on their career and put some money in their pockets had met with disappointing results. The band just fell apart.
Singer Glenn Shorrock would return to England where the would-be Little River Band found him. Brian Cadd stayed in Australia and launched a successful solo career. A couple of years later Chris Stockley became part of The Dingoes. ~ Ed Nimmervoll
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