The Master's Apprentices The Master's Apprentices
This was the first single recorded by Australian band the Masters Apprentices. It was composed just before a 1966 demo recording session in Adelaide when they needed an extra song. They were unsure what to call it, so named it 'Undecided'. It features a great overdriven guitar sound, apparently due to a faulty valve in the guitar amplifier.
This song was an astounding debut, and featured raw playing and sound unlike anything else on the charts, in Australia or overseas. Jim Keays' vocals were brazen and uninhibited, complete with yelps and gutteral noises. Undecided was co-written by songwriter Mick Bower, who wrote classic songs for the Masters, such as Buried and Dead, Living in a Child's Dream, Wars or Hands of Time, and Tired of Just Wandering. Unfortunately he left the band early in its career due to ill health. Other members were Brian Vaughton (drums), Gavin Webb (bass) and Rick Morrison (lead guitar).
The band eventually changed personnel while retaining Jim Keays, and went on to more success here in Australia, but for me that early incarnation was special. This is a band worth seeking out, especially those Mick Bower songs, as an example of the early Australian rock scene. Aztec Music has just released a remastered and expanded version of the first album with these songs and more.
I know of no film clip for this song, so I created this slide show with mostly images of the recording line up (a few images of subsequent guitarist Tony Summers crept through).
Comments are welcome.
Update: Just heard today (13 June 2014) that Jim Keays passed away from cancer. R.I.P. Jim Keays.
Just had a comment (12 Feb 2016) from Max Pepper who recorded this track: "I recorded this song in 1966 at Mastersound in Moger Lane off Pirie Street East. The Government garage opposite was used as an echo chamber and the Bass and Guitar amps were direct fed through a passive mixer. The drums had a kick mike and one overhead. At the end of the session the group couldn't decide on a name so I wrote Undecided on the tape box. A Phillips Limiter and Pultec equaliser were used in the session. Max Pepper"
Rock / Beat / Garage Rock / Psychedelic Rock / Rhythm & Blues