The Party Boys
Written by Ryan Stevenson on 1 July 2020
The Party Boys were an Australian band with a difference, they were a supergroup that featured many national and international stars and they had recorded more live albums than studio albums.
The band was started by Mondo Rock guitarist Paul Christie along with Kevin Borich in 1982 and joining them were James Reyne, Graham Bidstrup and Harvey James.
Some of the well known members of the band were Paul Christie, Ross Wilson, Angry Anderson, Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan, James Reyne, Marc Hunter, Kevin Borich, Richard Clapton, Harvey James and John Swan.
Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh was also part of the band between 1984 and 1986 before joining them again for 1989.
Their first album ‘Live at Several 21sts’ peaked at No. 9 on the Kent Music Report and their second album ‘Greatest Hits (of Other People)’ peaked at No. 25 in 1983.
‘No Song Too Sacred’ came along in 1984 with Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan as the new lead singer and this live album peaked at No. 61 on the Kent Music Report chart.
‘You Need Professional Help’ was released in 1985, it peaked at No. 96 and was the only album to feature Joe Walsh, it also featured Marc Hunter in his one album turn as lead singer.
The Party Boys reached the ultimate success in 1987 when their version of ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’ reached No. 1 and their only studio album ‘The Party Boys’ peaked at No.18 on the album chart.
The vocals for the album and the song were done by John Swan, he is the older brother of Jimmy Barnes and a success himself as he had recorded six Top 100 singles before his stint with The Party Boys.
Their next single ‘Hold Your Head Up’ peaked at No. 21 and this would be the highest that the band would get on the charts for the last five years of their 1983-1992 run.
After their next two singles failed to chart, ‘Follow Your Heart’ peaked at No. 94 in 1989 and their last charting single ‘Do-Wah-Diddy’ peaked at No. 73.
The recording of ‘Do-Wah-Diddy’ is notable for Vince Contarino singing lead instead of Ross Wilson who was the band’s lead singer but he couldn’t record the song due to contractual reasons.
The band had five charting singles between 1983 and 1991 including the No. 1 hit ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’.
The band reunited for some shows in 1999 and performed as Kevin Borich’s Party Boyz in 2011 with Angry Anderson singing lead in both 1999 and 2011 along with John Swan.
The Party Boys undoubtedly had more stars than any Australian band in history and it is highly unlikely that this record of star power will ever be broken.