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The Badloves

The Badloves
Origin Melbourne, Australia
Years active 1990–1997, 2008–2010
Labels Mushroom Records
Festival Records
Members Michael Spiby
Jak Housden
John Favaro
David Hibbard
Robbie Ragg
Tony Featherstone
Past members Stephen O'Prey
John Spiby
Chris Tabone

The Badloves is an Australian band that formed in 1990, dissolved in 1997 and reformed in 2008.



  • The Badloves were formed by frontman Michael Spiby in Melbourne, Australia, during January 1990 under the name DC3. The band consisted of Spiby (guitar and lead vocals), his brother John Spiby (keyboards, saxophone), John Housden (guitar), Stephen O'Prey (bass) and Chris Tabone (drums). The band produced a sound that some critics described as "neo-hippy" and "retro".


  • Signs to Mushroom Records after Michael Gudinski sees the band supporting Hall & Oates.


  • In 1993 came Tony Featherstone, whose Hammond organ was an essential component of what would become the trademark Badloves sound. Before long their laid-back 1970s-style blues, Memphis soul and New Orleans R&B material was noted by industry taste makers.
  • Debut single Lost (March)
  • Debut album, Get On Board (August), featuring the singles "Lost", "I Remember", "Green Limousine" and "Memphis".
  • The band wins two Australian Music Awards (December) - Best Debut Single (Lost) and Best New Band

Collaboration with Jimmy Barnes, The Weight, hits the Top 10 (December)


  • In 1994, their debut album Get On Board made the Australian Top-5 and the band was nominated for three ARIA Awards, winning Best Debut Album and Best Debut Single and Best New Talent in 1994.
  • Australian tour with Lenny Kravitz.
  • European tour with Jimmy Barnes, Bass player Stephen "Irish" O'Prey leaves the band, replaced by John Favaro.


  • After touring in Australia and Europe playing to packed houses, The Badloves released their second album in September 1995, Holy Roadside (mixed in the US by Jack Joseph Puig) featuring the singles Caroline, Slave, Living Thing and Barefoot Bride.


A follow-up live album, Everybody Everywhere, was recorded at the Continental Café in Melbourne in 1996.


  • In 1997 the band dissolved, each member following his personal pursuits.


  • The band regroups to play at the Mushroom Records 25th Anniversary Concert in November.


  • Michael Spiby releases his first solo album, Ho's Kitchen (July). It's nominated for Best Adult Contemporary Album at the ARIA Awards.
  • The Badloves re-form to play at the Queenscliff Music Festival (November).
  • The compilation album, The Mushroom Tapes, is released (November).


  • The band's 14th release, the EP 14, is released (June).


  • Another 'Best of' album is released, The Definitive Collection (September).


  • Michael Spiby releases the Liberation Blue album, Barefoot (June).


  • The Badloves re-formed in September 2008 to perform limited live shows in Sydney and Melbourne. The lineup for these shows was: Michael Spiby (vocals and guitar), John Favaro (bass), Tony Featherstone (keys), Robbie Ragg (keys), Jak Housden (guitar) and Dave Hibbard (drums).


  • The Badloves start recording their third album


  • In July, 2010, The Badloves officially broke up again Undercover story


The liner notes of The Badloves’ multi-platinum debut album, Get On Board, started "Some years are like that: too busy, too distracted, too fuzzed out. You miss things. Great music passes you by. Then, years later, you find it.”

The band – responsible for such singles as "Lost", "Green Limousine", "I Remember" and "Caroline", as well as the cover of "The Weight" with Jimmy Barnes – is working on a brand new album.

“I know it’s been a long break,” says bass player John Favaro, “but the chemistry is still there. We’ve all been doing other things, but it’s very hard to find that chemistry elsewhere. There’s nothing like The Badloves.”

“It all came together organically,” explains singer Michael Spiby. “We were always bumping into each other and whenever we got together on stage, the songs would come alive. I don’t know what it is, but it works. So I said, ‘We should put the band back together.”

The Badloves released just two studio albums before taking some time out – 1993s Get On Board (which spent 69 weeks on the charts, peaked at number five, won three ARIA Awards and went double platinum) and 1995s Holy Roadside (which went gold and reached number 14).

The band never officially broke up. There was no farewell tour. “We just stopped playing at the start of 1997,” John says.

“I think we were just tired,” Michael adds. “Those years were so intense; it’s a bit of a blur. We just didn’t have any balance in our lives.”

This time around, the guys are working to their own schedule. “We’ve come back with no big expectations or preconceptions or deadlines,” John says. “It’s all about simply making some more good music.”

“We just want to make a new album that we’re proud of,” Michael continues. “And if we love it enough, hopefully other people will love it as well.”

The Badloves are making the new album in Adelaide and Sydney.

“I know people now just get on iTunes and download songs, but we’re traditionalists,” John states. “We enjoy listening to albums, that’s the medium we like. We want to create an album that takes you on a journey.”

And The Badloves “new” sound? “I don’t think the band has changed much musically. I think we’ve just gone back to the influences that we had back then. We’re still into real instruments and real sounds and real playing.”

As author Andrew Masterson wrote on the back of The Badloves debut single, "Lost": “Knob-twiddling wizardry has its place in music, but its influence will never be as strong, or as enduring, as the sounds produced by the classic combination of two guitars, bass, drums and a mega-whomping Hammond organ … The Badloves both continue and extend the grand tradition of such music, pushing out a sound that would have seemed quite at home at Muscle Shoals in 1967, while remaining as fresh and original as tomorrow.”

Inspired by the past, The Badloves are a band that’s very much focused on the future.

“It feels like we’re starting again,” Michael says. “We have to prove ourselves, which is very exciting.”



  • Michael Spiby — vocals, guitar (1990–1996, 2000, 2008-Current)
  • Jak Housden — guitar, vocals (1990–1996, 2000, 2008-Current)
  • John Favaro — bass, vocals (1994–1996, 2000, 2008-Current)
  • David Hibbard — drums (2008-Current)
  • Robbie Ragg — keyboards (Current)
  • Tony Featherstone — keyboards (1991–1996, 2000, 2008-Current)


  • Stephen O'Prey — bass, vocals (1990–1994)
  • John Spiby — keyboards, saxophone (1990–1991)
  • Chris Tabone — drums, percussion (1990–1996, 2000)



  • Get On Board (1993) AUS #5
  • Holy Roadside (1995) AUS #14
  • Everybody Everywhere (1997) AUS #82
  • The Mushroom Tapes (2000)
  • The Definitive Collection (2004)

Extended plays

  • Green Limousine (1993) AUS #35
  • I Remember (1993) AUS #48
  • 14 (2002)


  • "Lost" (1993) AUS #51
  • "The Weight" with Jimmy Barnes (1993) AUS #6
  • "Memphis" (1994) AUS #73
  • "Slave" (1995) AUS #113
  • "Caroline" (1995) AUS #63
  • "Barefoot Bride" (1996) AUS #75
  • "Living Thing" (1996)


External links

  • The Official Badloves Website
  • Michael Spiby website

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