Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Ward Brothers - Echoes Of A Crowded House

The song ‘Cross That Bridge’ first hit the Australian airwaves in early ‘87 and the first time I heard it I thought it was another single release from Crowded House’s debut album. The song just had that classic acoustic-rock feel about it, and the vocalist had more than a hint of Neil Finn’s vocal cadence. I recall it was played in the middle of one of those FM-radio continuous hit mixes, and the DJ neglected to give any details about the song. So it took until the next listen when the name The Ward Brothers was given as a credit that the mystery was solved. It wasn’t a Crowded House song but that mattered not as it was a great song nonetheless.

In those days the budget was a bit tight (it coincided with my first attempt at life as an impoverished university student), but this song was a stand out and so I rustled up the $2.99 needed (in 1987 $2.99 could get me a full meal at Maccas) and I went out in search of ‘Cross That Bridge’ by The Ward Brothers. I tracked it down and as a bonus scored a picture cover 45 (which was always the preference). The song did nothing on the Australian charts, which is surprising given that Crowded House were so big at the time and this song could easily have come from the Neil Finn songbook.

I haven’t been able to find any album information or even information on the band members, but there is a pic on the back cover of the single showing three musicians so I assume they were a trio. As to whether they were brothers, who knows. I did find it interesting that the single was produced by one Don Was (see earlier post) and from a Dutch site I read it was from the album ‘Madness Of It All’. ‘Cross That Bridge’ enjoyed more success elsewhere reaching #32 in the U.K. in early ‘87, spending 8 weeks on the chart there. It also charted well in parts of continental Europe, including Germany and Holland. I don’t even know what part of the world The Ward Brothers hailed from (SEE READER'S COMMENT BELOW), but given the song didn’t register in the U.S. I doubt they were from there - come to think of it by its sound the song could also have easily been by the Hooters.

There is a MySpace page for an artist called The Ward Brothers but it’s not the same group. Again if anyone out there can offer any further information on the members of The Ward Brothers (circa 1987) and/or details of the group’s exploits, please feel free to post a comment - it would be much appreciated.

Anyway there’s no evidence anywhere that the song is available on CD, so to enjoy a taste of classic 80s acoustic-rock have a listen to ‘Cross That Bridge’ here:


zohar said...

One of their song is featured on Miami Vice, its "The madness of it all". I have searched the web but couldnt found it, so i managed to rip it from the video, but its poor quality

A. FlockOfSeagulls AKA Rhys Jones said...

Cool, thanks for the info. Do you have a fileshare link by any chance for the song?

zohar said...

Here’s the link
But again i say its very poor quality, maybe some of the guys at would be kind enough to give it to You (if You ask them very najs:)

A. FlockOfSeagulls AKA Rhys Jones said...

Much obliged Zohar :)

Mark said...

Just looked at the inlay card of Now That's What I Call Music 9 (UK Version) and it says the band comes from Barnsley, England.

A. FlockOfSeagulls AKA Rhys Jones said...

Many thanks for your comment Mark, and information regarding where the Ward Brothers hailed from.

Anonymous said...

Here's the link for the torrent which includes the album 'Madness Of It All'[Part_47]_New_Wave__New_Romantic

A. FlockOfSeagulls AKA Rhys Jones said...

Many thanks for the link to 'Madness Of It All' album. I'm sure people who come across this post will be keen to check out the album for a listen :)