PSEUDO ECHO in the 80s

By Mark Nobes and Hannah Johnson

Pseudo Echo are an Australian new wave band that formed in 1982, and are best remembered for their cover of "Funky Town", which was originally a hit for Lipps Inc.
You might be surprised to learn that the band has released nine studio albums, and despite only having one hit major hit single in the UK, Canada and U.S., they have achieved success with eight top 40 singles and three top 20 albums in their home country. In fact, Pseudo Echo went on to become Australia's second-biggest band after INXS.

"Listening" (Debut Single)

In 1983, Pseudo Echo released their debut single, and it featured on their first album Autumnal Park. The song became a hit on Australia's ARIA chart, reaching No.4. The UK release included "From The Shore" as the B-side, with the Australian release featuring "In Their Time" instead. The single did not chart in the UK.

"A Beat For You" (1984 Single)

Featuring a blend of synths and hard rock riffs, the band's second single gave them their second hit in Australia, where they had a number of chart-topping hits. "A Beat For You" reached #12 on the Kent Music Report (ARIA) chart and No.6 on the Official New Zealand Music Chart. The single included "Autumnal Park" as the B-side, which was the title track from the album.

Autumnal Park Vinyl LP sleeve front - Pseudo Echo

Autumnal Park (1984 Debut Album)

Heavily influenced by Ultravox, the band's first album was a commercial success, reaching #11 in Australia and #13 in New Zealand, and receiving a gold certificate from ARIA, the Australian Recording Industry Association. Four singles were released from the album; "Listening" (#4), "A Beat For You" (#12), "Dancing Until Midnight" (#53) and "Stranger In Me" (#58). The chart positions are for the ARIA charts in Australia. The singles did not chart in the UK or U.S.

"Dancing Until Midnight" (1984 Single)

The band's third single became the first not to become a major hit, peaking at #53 in Australia. The B-side included an unreleased track "Scripts", which was later included on the Autumnal Park CD album release in 2005. 

"Stranger In Me" (1984 Single)

After the commercial failure of their previous single, I'm not sure why EMI attempted to release a fourth single from the album, and this one would only reach #58 on the Kent Music Report. The 7 inch vinyl included the B-side "Turning The Pages" (a non-album track), with the 12 inch featuring two different tracks "Listening" and "Destination Unknown", which were both tracks on the Autumnal Park album.
Pseudo Echo on front sleeve of Love An Adventure LP

Love an Adventure (1985 Album)

Pseudo Echo's second album became their most successful. Love An Adventure went platinum in Australia (although this was achieved with just 70,000 sales) and also received gold from Music Canada (50,000 sales). The album reached #14 in Australia, #31 in Sweden and #57 in the U.S. 

"Don't Go" (1985 Single)

The album's lead single "Don't Go" reached #4 on the Kent Music Report chart and #28 in New Zealand, and included a jazz version of "Living In A Dream" on the B-side.

"Love An Adventure" (1986 Single)

Released in January 1986, the album's title track reached #6 on Australia's Kent Music Report chart. It was a punchy, synth pop number which deserved to be a hit in the UK, too, but didn't even chart here, sadly.

"Living In A Dream" (1986 Single)

The third single from Love An Adventure (seventh single overall) reached #15 on the Kent Music Report, and also became the band's first chart hit on the U.S. Billboard chart, peaking at #57. A new track entitled "Loose Ends" was included as the B-side.

"Try" (1986 Single)

The fourth and final single from the second album would only reach #60 in Australia. The B-side was "Lonely Without You", which was track 9 on the album.

"Funky Town" (1987 Single)

In 1987 (I have the 7" vinyl record in my hand, so I definitely know this was a 1987 single), the band released their cover of "Funky Town", giving the song a rockier edge, with an impressive guitar solo in the middle. This version has great energy, but the lead synth sound is just too brass-like for my liking, and although synth brass was one of the defining sounds of the 80s, here it doesn't sound particularly impressive.

Pseudo Echo's cover entered the UK singles chart at No.71 in 12th July 1987, climbing to a peak position of No.8 for one week on 23rd August, while Rick Astley was at No.1 with "Never Gonna Give You Up". "Funky Town" spent seven weeks at number one in Australia (released in 1986), while Lipps Inc's electro version was No.1 for only two weeks in Australia.

For both Lipps Inc. and Pseudo Echo, these were both one hit wonders in the UK.

The single featured on the band's second album Love An Adventure in the U.S., but not on the initial Australian release. However, it was included on later pressings.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for the "Funky Town" lyrics.

Race (1988 Album)

Race saw a major change in the band's musical style and image - think hard rock and big hair! Unfortunately, the unsuspecting record-buying public weren't ready for their Van Halen style, and the album only charted in Australia. It was basically a commercial flop and slated by the critics, with many labelling it as "pretentious". More recent reviews have been kinder, and here at Simply Eighties, we think the album was misunderstood - it's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of 80s rock.

"Fooled Again" (1988 Single)

The first single from the Race album reached #33 on the ARIA chart (which replaced the Kent Music Report in June 1988), and included the album track "Take On The World" as the B-side, which was released as a single in Japan. The CD single also included "Runaways", another album track from Race.

"Over Tomorrow" (1989 Single)

The second single from "Race" reached #40 on the ARIA chart and featured "Wings" as the 7 inch B-side. The CD single also included "Nothing To Say". Both of these tracks were previously unreleased and not included on any album.

"Eye Of The Storm" (1989 Single)

This was the band's final single release of the 1980s, and the last to be released from Race. It did not chart in any country, which was a disappointing way to bow out of the 80s. Indeed, the band split-up in 1990, but decided to reform in 1998.

Studio Albums

1984 Autumnal Park (EMI)

1985 Love An Adventure (EMI)

1988 Race (EMI)

2000 Teleporter (Colossal)

2014 Ultraviolet (Pseudo Echo)

2020 Acoustica (Pseudo Echo)

2020 After Party (Pseudo Echo)

Record labels are shown in brackets. None of the albums charted in the UK.

Funky Town Lyrics