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The Living End. (L-R) Chris Cheney, Scott Owen, and Andy Stracha. (IMAGE by CybeleMalinowski - Supplied)

Celebrating 25 Years of The Living End’s Iconic Self-Titled Album

Prepare for a captivating journey through music history as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The Living End’ and their iconic self-titled debut album. Hear firsthand from Chris Cheney and Scott Owen of The Living End as they join Matty O and Chris Holland on Triple M Homegrown to reminisce about the album that launched their legendary career.

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“We did it, we said what we were going to do,”

Chris Cheney, The Living End

Frontman Chris Cheney, reflecting on the early days when boundless energy and ambitious dreams fueled their music. He vividly describes how the songs from the debut album transport him back to his early 20s, a time of youthful exuberance.

A Monumental Debut – The Living End’s Self-Titled Album

On 12th October 1998, The Living End unleashed their highly anticipated self-titled album to the world. Coming off the back of the massive double A-side single ‘Second Solution’ / ‘Prisoner of Society’, the pressure was on for the band to deliver a stellar full-length record. And deliver they did – the album debuted at an impressive #1 on the ARIA Album Chart and remained in the Top 10 for an astounding 27 weeks. With such a phenomenal start, the album exceeded all expectations, solidifying its place as a staple in Australian musical history. To add to the accolades, the album went on to win two prestigious ARIA Awards: “Breakthrough Artist – Album” and “Best Group,” at the 1999 ceremony.

A Timeless Classic in Australian Music

As the years passed, ‘The Living End’ continued to solidify its place in Australian musical history. Remaining on the ARIA Album Charts for a remarkable 83 weeks, the album’s staying power was undeniable. What’s more, the record spawned five successful singles, captivating the hearts of music enthusiasts across the country. Today, it proudly boasts a certified 5 x platinum status and remains one of the best-selling debut rock albums in Australian music history.

Notably, in 2011, ‘The Living End’ was voted as the #4 album in the ‘Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time’ poll. This accolade put The Living End in illustrious company, sandwiched between AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ and INXS’s ‘Kick,’ a testament to the album’s lasting impact and influence.

A Fusion of Influences

The album captured the band’s diverse range of influences. Stylistically, it seamlessly incorporated elements of punk (‘West End Riot’), metal (‘Growing Up Falling Down’), pop (‘I Want a Day’), rockabilly (‘Second Solution’), hillbilly thrash (‘Prisoner of Society’), jazz (‘Fly Away’), ska (‘Trapped’ and ‘All Torn Down’), swampy surf twang (‘Bloody Mary’), country picking, and more. The result was a sonic tapestry that defied categorization, captivating a wide and diverse audience.

Chris Cheney’s Reflection on the Journey

As the band looks back on the creation of ‘The Living End,’ frontman Chris Cheney shared his thoughts on the album’s significance. Reflecting on the journey that led them to this groundbreaking record, Cheney expressed,

“I think unknowingly our destination was always this; this album right here. All songs led here. All the gigs and all the songs we’d written and rejected over the years, all the lessons we’d learned had been building up to this….our first album.”

Chris Cheney, Frontman of The Living End

Cheney further explained the diverse musical influences that shaped the album’s unique sound.

“Ultimately what we captured was a melting pot full of our influences but not to the extent that we sounded confused. The way we played glued it all together. Stylistically, it had punk (‘West End Riot’), metal (‘Growing Up Falling Down’), pop (‘I Want a Day’), rockabilly (‘Second Solution’), hillbilly thrash on steroids (‘Prisoner of Society’), jazz (‘Fly Away’), ska (‘Trapped’ and ‘All Torn Down’), swampy surf twang (‘Bloody Mary’), country pickin’ and anything else we thought we could throw at it.”

Chris Cheney, Frontman of The Living End

The 25th Anniversary Edition: A Nostalgic Journey

Released on October 13, 2023, is a special 25th Anniversary edition of the 14-track album, thoughtfully repackaged for both vinyl and CD formats. This deluxe edition includes a 32-page booklet complete with liner notes penned by Chris Cheney and rare photos from the period. In a delightful addition, the album is enriched with a 10-track live recording from 1998. Among these live tracks, fans will be delighted to find a rare cover version of ‘On The Inside’ (theme from ‘Prisoner’).

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Chris Cheney’s Reflection on the Impact

On the eve of the deluxe edition release, frontman Chris Cheney reflects on the album’s enduring impact.

“In the lead up to this re-release of our debut album, I’ve thought a lot about the who, what, where, when, and essentially why this record had the impact that it did? What the circumstances were to make this album what it is today. It wasn’t necessarily the right time or the right look or the right song or dumb luck. It was ALL of them! When it was released, it was THE defining moment for us. Everything changed after that. It’s crazy that it’s turning 25, but it still feels as fresh as the day it was pressed. With this new Anniversary re-release, it actually looks better than it ever did. I’m incredibly grateful that it remains such a special album not just for us but for so many people.”

Chris Cheney, The Living End

The Unforgettable Anniversary Show

In early August, The Living End announced a one-off show to celebrate the 25-year milestone. This extraordinary event will take place in their hometown of Melbourne at Festival Hall on Saturday, 4th November. The band plans to perform the iconic self-titled album in its entirety, accompanied by all their other hits, rarities, and deep cuts. The response from fans was overwhelming, with tickets being snapped up in a matter of days, resulting in a SOLD OUT sign hanging proudly.

TLDR

As The Living End’s iconic self-titled album turns 25, the excitement is palpable. Join us for this exclusive episode as we travel back in time with The Living End, reliving the music, the memories, and the magic of ‘The Living End.’ The band’s 25th-anniversary celebration promises to be a momentous occasion, packed with nostalgia, great music, and cherished memories. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event that will surely go down in Australian music history!

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