Ep 05: 1990 – Falling Joys, Tall Tales And True, Cosmic Psychos, The Hard-Ons – Show Notes

Show notes, links, music and other stuff for Ep 05: 1990.

Falling Joys

The album to get is Wish List (1990). Like a lot of bands in this decade, their debut album collects a lot of early single and EP tracks. It includes the ‘hits’ Lock It, You’re In A Mess, Jennifer and other great tracks.

Lock It remains their biggest hit. It’s a lovely, wistful, romantic song.

Nettwerk, the band’s North American label, made a second film clip for You’re In A Mess. It looks a lot better than the cheap black and white original. It’s probably still my favourite Falling Joys song.

There is a collection called, unimaginatively, Singles. It smells of a contractual obligation release for Sony. It says what it does on the tin, collecting singles from their three albums and various EPs. It was released digitally as Singles & B-Sides.

Tall Tales & True

Their most loved album remains Shiver (1989).

The track Trust was a big Triple J hit.

The band’s singles are collected on what looks like another contractually obligated best of called That’s All Folks – A Selection From 1988-1995. They didn’t need the years on that title – that ended up being the span of the band’s career.

There is a popular ABC radio program and podcast called Tall Tales And True. I suspect it’s a reference to this band.

Cosmic Psychos

The best place to start with Cosmic Psychos is probably the documentary Blokes You Can Trust.

There aren’t a lot of Cosmic Psychos film clips from their classic era, although there are heaps of live videos from recent years.

Go The Hack (1989) remains a great, blistering rock album. A that late 80s to early 90s stuff is all great (if you like that one thing they do). It probably makes more sense live. Unfortunately. There’s no compilations on digital services.

Here’s a very random clip. Some young, mostly all girl punk group covering Cosmic Psychos in a pub in Greece(?).


The best place to start with Hard-Ons for me are compilations like Singles. Because they had so many early non album singles and songs like The Girl In The Sweater are completely essential.

They started doing the odd film clip in the 90s. A lot of them show the band performing live, which makes sense. Seeing them live was essential to being a fan.

They had lots of international fans, including Henry Rollins. They did a single together, a cover of Let There Be Rock. They also performed together at the very first Big Day Out. Here’s a snippet of that.

They also appeared in the film clip for Ratcat’s Holiday. Ratcat and Hard-Ons we’re label mates on Waterfront before they left for rooArt. In the clip, Hard-Ons are kidnapped by aliens around 2 minutes in. It’s a joy to see them in a big budget film clip, and the bit of acting when the band get zapped is hilarious.

I referred to a Long Way To The Top clip where Ray and Blackie are kind of funny. Here it is.

The story of the band is so epic and the beauty is the details. I loved how the band looked, how they acted in interviews, how they sung about the Australia they saw and were just the best at what they did. There deserves to be books and documentaries and one was announced. But after serious allegations against Keish, projects were put on hold. The trailer released for the Hard-Ons documentary called The Most Australian Band Ever has now been taken off the internet.

It’s a massive shame. The story has changed, but I hope the story still gets told.

It did lead to the unexpected 90s heroes crossover of Tim Rogers joining the band. Here’s Tim with the Hard-Ons, covering The Saints.

1990 Charts

Here’s the year end charts for 1990, taken from Drum Media.


  • Jennifer by Falling Joys
  • You’re In A Mess by Falling Joys
  • Lock It by Falling Joys
  • Black Bandages by Falling Joys
  • Amen (remix) by Falling Joys
  • Shot In Europe by Falling Joys
  • Trust by Tall Tales & True
  • Summer Of Love by Tall Tales & True
  • Superstition Highway by Tall Tales & True
  • Custom Credit by Cosmic Psychos
  • Dead Roo by Cosmic Psychos
  • Go The Hack by Cosmic Psychos
  • The Girl In the Sweater by Hard-Ons
  • Where Did She Come From by Hard-Ons
  • Let There Be Rock by Hard-Ons
  • Hold Tight by Hard-Ons
  • Just Being With You by Hard-Ons.