Little River Band PhotoFORMED: March 1975, Melbourne, Australia

One of Australia's most prominent musical exports of the 1970s, the Little River Band shot to fame on the strength of their glowing harmonies and mellow country-pop sound. Formed in Melbourne in 1975 from the remnants of the folk-rock unit Mississippi, the group originally comprised vocalist Glenn Shorrock, guitarists Graham Goble (the lineup's only native Aussie), Beeb Birtles and Rick Formosa, bassist Roger McLachlan and drummer Derek Pellicci. After signing to Capitol, the Little River Band issued their self-titled 1975 debut, scoring a Top 30 U.S. hit with the single "It's a Long Way There"; after recording a follow-up, 1976's After Hours, both Formosa and McLachlan quit the group and were soon replaced by guitarist David Briggs and bassist George McArdale.

In the States, the next Little River Band release -- titled Diamantina Cocktail -- compiled material from their first two Australian LPs; it proved to be their commercial breakthrough, launching the single "Help Is On Its Way" into the Top 20. Over the next two years, the band scored four Top Ten hits -- "Reminiscing," "Lady," "Lonesome Loser" and "Cool Change" -- and earned platinum status with their fifth album, First Under the Wire. The record was the last to feature McArdale, who subsequently gave away all of his money to move to Australia's Blue Mountains and undertake a three-year Bible study retreat; he was replaced by bassist Wayne Nelson in the wake of the release of 1980's live set Backstage Pass. The legendary George Martin produced the Little River Band's next effort, 1981's Time Exposure, scoring another pair of Top Ten smashes with "Take It Easy on Me" and "Night Owls."

Another single, "Man on Your Mind," was also a success. However, the group quickly began to fall apart; first Briggs exited, to be replaced by guitarist Steve Housden, then Shorrock left to mount a solo career. With new vocalist Jon Farnham, Little River Band produced 1983's The Net, which failed to match the popularity of the albums which preceded it. On 1985's Playing to Win, their roster fluctuated yet again, with drummer Steven Prestwich replacing Pellicci; keyboardist David Hirschfelder also signed on. After 1986's No Reins, Farnham, Hirschfelder and Prestwich all quit, allowing for the returns of both Shorrock and Pellicci in time to cut 1988's Monsoon. Continuing into the 1990s, the Little River Band resurfaced with Get Lucky, followed in 1991 by Worldwide Love. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide