Chris Bailey, who gave punk rock to Australia, dies at 65
Nevertheless, they thrived. Their single ‘This Perfect Day’ reached No. 34 on the UK charts and their first two albums, ‘(I’m) Stranded’ (1977) and ‘Eternally Yours’ (1978), are considered punk classics. The second album included “Know Your Product,” an anti-consumer, anti-punk song that had fans raving.
But like punk itself, the Saints had a short lifespan, though by their third album, the R&B-enhanced “Prehistoric Sounds,” they were beginning to transcend the genre. Released in late 1978, it fizzled, EMI dropped them and a few months later Mr. Kuepper and Mr. Hay left the band.
The Saints’ legacy cannot be measured by record sales; they influenced generations of Australian rockers, as well as bands emerging from the early 1980s metal scene along Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip, such as Guns N’ Roses.
Nick Cave, another Australian musician born in the 1970s underground punk, said in a statement in memory of the Red Hand Files website“I can only just repeat, for the record, that in my opinion the Saints were the biggest band in Australia and Chris Bailey was my favorite singer.”
Christopher James Mannix Bailey was born on November 29, 1956 in Nanyuki, Kenya, where his father, Robert Bailey, was stationed in the British Army. His mother, Bridget (O’Hare) Bailey, was a homemaker.
The family moved back to the Baileys’ hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, when Christopher was young. But with political unrest brewing and Australia opening its doors to immigrants, the family soon moved to Brisbane, where Robert found work as a night watchman in a factory.